The Sevion Brotherhood

The Sevion Brotherhood
Now Available From MLR!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Activity Time!-RainbowCon 2015 Tour Post

Some of you may remember me talking about RainbowCon earlier this year. I really enjoyed myself. I had a great time meeting new authors, meeting readers, and speaking on a number of panels (as well as doing a reading of Groom of Convenience and a signing). It was very enjoyable for me and I'm looking forward to going back next year.

Today I have the organizers of RainbowCon here with me and they're going to be talking about some of the activities that will be available at RC 2015. And if you want to leave a suggestion or if you have any questions about the con or the activities, leave a comment below:




One of the awesome things about RainbowCon is the diversity of artistic endeavors we showcase. For 2015, we've set aside several hours throughout the schedule to help foster crafty artistry, and for those who sign up, they get to keep what they make! I'd love to take a moment to share with you a bit about each activity we have planned for 2015, and if anyone has any suggestions or questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Cookie Decorating: S.L. Armstrong is an awesome cook, and she's going to bring a bit of that to RainbowCon! Sugar cookies in the shapes of open books, quills, wild cats, and rainbows will be provided to everyone who signs up for the activity. Colored icing, candy bits, sanding sugars, and edible markers will also be available so everyone can spend an hour making works of edible art out of some awesome cookies.

DIY Pencil Jars: Who doesn't need a place to store their pens and pencils? This is another hour long crafting activity headed by S.L. Armstrong (who is a wonderfully talented artist eager to share her skills). Attendees who sign up for this activity are each given their own glass jar to decorate using glass paints, mosaic tiles, grout, and other glass art supplies. Attendees get to leave with their own personal piece of art ready to store the pens and pencils they take home from their welcome bags!

Rainbow Pendants: K. Piet and S.L. Armstrong (of KS Charms) team up to help attendees make their own rainbow glass pendants! These glass pendants are something they make all the time, and it's a way for attendees to walk around with their own bit of handmade Pride. :D Of course, attendees are not confined to just rainbows, but rainbows make everyone smile, right?

Coloring Pages: This is a fun-for-all-ages sort of activity where RainbowCon provides line art, crayons, markers, and colored pencils, and attendees provide all the creativity to color in the pictures. It's just a fun, light hour where attendees can relax, chat, and be creative!

Make Your Own Bookmarks: During this hour, attendees are given blank bookmarks, crayons, colored pencils, markers, glue, glitter, pompoms, stickers, rhinestones, sequins, ribbon, and anything else we can find to make their own, unique bookmarks!

Masquerade Masks: On Saturday, we will have our Call of the Wild Masquerade for attendees, and while some people might avail themselves of our on-site face painter, we know others might just want to wear a mask they can keep after the event. So, we have an hour where attendees who sign up can come and make their own, gorgeous face masks for the masquerade! Everything we have for bookmark decorating will also be made available for decorating the various masks, so everyone will be able to truly customize their masks for the party!

RainbowCon is all about the creativity of LGBTQ art—books, television, movies, theater, music—and our activities were chosen to help foster that creativity in all attendees. It gives everyone unique souvenirs to take home with them, things they made with their hands during this great meeting of minds. We really hope everyone has fun with them, and we can't wait to show off pictures in 2015 of all the great crafty bits everyone did while attending!


RainbowCon is a four day QUILTBAG-centric event for anyone and everyone. If you love QUILTBAG fiction and media, then this is the place for you. You don't have identify as GLBTQ to attend! You just need to love and support the GLBTQ community. In 2015, we've expanded our programming to include not only content for writers and readers, but also anyone who loves QUILTBAG television, movies, comic books, educational, and fandom topics. We're an inclusive conference, and we want everyone to enjoy themselves. Check out our schedule to see all the fun we have in store for you!


Monday, July 21, 2014

BDSM Blog Hop Winners!

Congratulations to the following 5 winners of my BDSM Blog Hop Giveaway of 2 Free eBooks of mine and an Autographed Cover of one of My Books!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



Congratulations Ardent Reader, Jen, Penumbra, Kathryn, and Sara! You should have received an email from me. Make sure you respond.

Thanks for following the hop and thanks for getting involved.


-Vicktor Alexander

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thursday Pimping: Lex Chase & Chasing Sunrise from DSP: LEX CHASE DAY!




WOOHOO! It's Lex Chase Day over here at The Purple Fantasy Den! Why? Because Lex is here to talk about her amazing upcoming release, Chasing Sunrise, from Dreampsinner, which is donating money to an amazing cause, but also because this evening Lex will be on Write On the Edge!

-let the raucous party commence-

So, I'm going to turn things over to Lex and I want you all to go and buy the book, because it's going to be amazing, and also because that money will go to a very worthy charity.

And now, without further ado... Heeeeerrreee's Lex!



I’m Lex Chase, a sci-fi/fantasy author for Dreamspinner Press. And I’ve been asked to say few words about my upcoming release Chasing Sunrise. Set in a lush paranormal world of vampires and shifters, it is in fact a story about surviving domestic violence.

It is an issue I know very well as a domestic violence survivor at the hands of my girlfriend for 10 years. They band Everclear has a song called “Misery Whip” the opening line went “Walking wounded with a belly full of pain and a bad, bad attitude.” This had been my anthem for many years. Because I indeed walked the world with a suspicious eye that anyone could be the next sociopath to take over my life. I’ve looked over my shoulder for years, and still do. Any mention of her, her name, or contact with her friends, immediately puts me on the offensive, when inside I’m crumbling and hunting for the nearest exit.

People still struggle, even in law enforcement, that women can not only be sociopaths, but also the perpetrator.

No one understands domestic violence between gay couples actually exists.

I will always be picking up the pieces, and I admit I may never be whole. It is a long journey, and one I walk alone. While I have therapy, and people that care for me, it is always something that comes up in conversation. It is the conversation that goes “I have this suitcase full of knives, broken glass, grenades, and a few vials of anthrax and Ebola. It is mine. Mine to carry. And if you can stand to let the suitcase sit here next to us, then you’re all right. Do not give me a reason to open this suitcase.”

Countless members of the LGBT community, gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and the whole gamut carry their own suitcases. We can fill countless barges with our deadly cargo. But we can never let it just sail away. We must sail away with it.

Chasing Sunrise is my way of slowly unpacking the suitcase. Setting aside the knives, sweeping up the glass, disposing of the grenades, containing the anthrax and Ebola. Bit by bit, and piece by piece, it will all be unpacked, sorted, and not put on a barge to sail away, but incinerated with the weight holding me in place.

Chasing Sunrise, and the Darkmore Saga as a whole, is my way of exploring my scars in a safe space. Wrapped in a pretty packaging of vampires and shifters, it makes the bitter pills easier to swallow. They may be fantastical creatures, but they make real decisions, they face consequences, and they often have to make tragic decisions they must find the strength to live with.

Sevon, the lovely fellow on the cover, copes with his abuse with women’s clothing. He carries himself with the dignity and grace of nobility behind his metaphorical armor and shield of elaborate gowns and jewelry.
His suitcase is full of barbed wire, gunpowder and gasoline, and the weight that he will never escape. His suitcase is hidden under his armoire, where every night he carefully applies his mascara, and dainty lip gloss, so he can cast the image that he is not a prisoner in a nightmare without end. He will always appear prim, dainty, and polite despite the punishments that await him for whatever made up reason.

He never gives up hope that someday that not only will someone be able to tolerate his suitcase sitting next to him, but help him carry it, and help him open it.

Out of the corsets, and under the makeup, perhaps someone will see him for the strong man he is.

There is no one to help me carry my suitcase, nor help me sort through it. One day I may learn that someone will tell me it’s okay, and I can throw the nasty battered suitcase away. Buy a new one, golden and glittering, fill it with the peace and contentment of new adventures, new days, and the days to come. I want to help others be able to go on their own grand adventures and fill up their new suitcases.

This is my call to all of you out there. This is my call tell you how you can get involved. I’m donating 100% of the pre-sale royalties to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center’s Domestic Violence Service. We need to raise awareness for the issue of LGBT domestic violence. It’s real. And it isn’t going away. Help someone, gay, lesbian, bi, trans, everyone, get the help they need and know they can too walk the world without a belly full of pain and a bad, bad attitude.

The dedication for Chasing Sunrise reads:

For those that suffer in silent darkness and fear they will never see the light, let hope be strength. Chase the sunrise.

Let’s give someone that hope.

Please consider pre-ordering the book here in Paperback or eBook
And click here to directly donate to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.



Chasing Sunrise400x600
Genre: Vampires, Werewolves/Shapeshifters, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy
Series: The Darkmore Saga: Book One
Length: Novel
Published: July 25, 2014
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 978-1-62798-776-9
Pre-order: Paperback or eBook

Blurb:
Chasing Sunrise
The Darkmore Saga: Book One

On the Coastal Bend of Texas, a hidden kingdom called Darkmore lies in ruins, and King Sevon Maraté is trapped. Using Sevon as a mouthpiece and a scapegoat, Lord Dominic rules from the shadows. Sevon copes with the unrelenting abuse by dressing in women's finery and casting an image of graceful nobility. Born of royal verkolai blood and as beautiful as he is lethal, Sevon possesses the ability to part the Veil separating his world from hundreds of others. His gift is his chance to escape, but Dominic refuses to relinquish his tool for power. Dominic forges an ambitious plan to invade the prosperous land of Priagust. Only a select few know the mythic kingdom of shifters exists. Sevon is out of options for his people’s survival, and cooperating with Dominic is his only chance.

On their foray into Priagust, Dominic's men kidnap and interrogate a shifter named Jack. Even under torture, Jack's loyalty to his kind never wavers. But as Jack’s knowledge about Darkmore’s king and its history unsettles Sevon, a curious bond begins to form. Despite Sevon’s mistrust, Jack is determined to tame Sevon’s wild heart and perhaps earn his freedom. As invasion looms, Sevon wonders if trusting Jack will lead him into another trap or if he should forget about chasing the sunrise and remain Dominic's compliant prisoner.

100% of the presale royalties of this book will go to Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center's Domestic Violence Service.




Chasing Sunrise Excerpt

The chill of the metal bucket had long since numbed Sevon’s hands. He took another breath. He had to do this. He had no choice but to go through with it. He bit his lip and mentally repeated Jack was the enemy, Jack was just like any other man. Jack was a man who preyed upon men like him. Jack intended to kill him.

Jack was the enemy.

Jack was the enemy.

Jack was the enemy.

Sevon upended the bucket of ice water over Jack’s sleeping head.

Jack coughed and sputtered, consciousness returned to him in a hard-hitting rush. His shackles rattled and creaked. Sevon waited patiently as Jack fought the unrelenting wave of temperature shock. Jack turned his soggy head upward and looked at him. Sevon fought to keep his expression cold as Jack chuckled in a shuddering laugh. He croaked hoarsely, “Well, if it isn’t the little meadowlark….”

Sevon considered his set of tools on the small wooden table. They were well maintained in comparison to Dominic’s set. Dominic had them made just for Sevon’s boyish hands and gave them the royal touch with studs of diamonds, sapphires, and inlaid with filigree.

It’s just a game, Sevon reminded himself. The object of the game was for him to appear more intimidating than Jack. The intimidation part commonly worked. Sevon had never had to draw blood in exchange for the truth before. Dominic made it look easy. Easy but horrific. This time, it was different. This time, the creature had tried to kill him, and when he searched his mind, Sevon found only a foggy void where the incident would be—and a sense of desire.

The idea sickened him.

Sevon had to make himself the bigger monster. He had to be ready for what came next. He couldn’t make his heart stop racing. Sevon’s fingers glided over his instruments, trying to decide what to try first. The pliers? Maybe not. The razors and salt? Too soon for that. The flask of mercury? Oh, come now, he’s no good to the kingdom dead! Possibly the skewers are the best choice. Yes.

Sevon delicately rolled a metal skewer between his fingertips. “We’re going to have a little chat. The more you cooperate, the more you get into my good graces,” he purred.

Jack laughed against the rawness in his throat. “Your lover’s poor excuse for sadists already had a round on me. I think I made one of them cry…. I’d have to apologize about the nose of the other.”

Sevon regarded his prisoner coolly and gathered three skewers. “Broke his nose, did you?” he asked, as if they were discussing the weather. If he could keep his thoughts disassociated from what was unfolding, Sevon would get through this momentary unpleasantness.

Jack spat out a lock of greasy hair and grinned. He looked up at Sevon, the blackened blood of an aisa caked around his mouth. “More like bit it off,” he said, adding his observation, “You creatures taste like fermented clay. Thanks for the water. I needed a drink.”

Sevon maintained his aloof air, but his stomach lurched at the state of Jack’s appearance. Old bruises had faded and were overlaid with new ones that, despite the size of the marks, didn’t appear terribly severe. Old blood, sweat, and grime painted trailing fingers down his wiry body. They had done away with his clothing as well as his dignity in the dungeon. While bound in chains, he had no place to relive himself save where he stood. They had treated him like a beast. A mongrel that only deserved beatings.

Sevon knew that sensation all too well. He knew this cell intimately. Dominic was taunting him by putting Jack in the very cell where Sevon was sent to be taught obedience. Sevon blinked away his concern, despite the bile rising in his throat. He forced himself not to pay attention to the smell of filth.

Sevon considered where to apply the skewers first. The toenails seemed like a good idea. After all, Dominic had done it to him months ago as part of his training regimen. Dominic had wanted to teach him a better appreciation of the prisoner’s pain. As Sevon observed Jack’s roughly callused foot and thick toenails, his own toes flexed in his boot at the hazy memory of agony. Sevon wasn’t sure about shifter physiology; maybe it would get a reaction, maybe it wouldn’t. Losing a toenail was bound to ruin anyone’s year.

“What happened in Priagust, Jack?” Sevon asked the foot.

Jack feebly tried to jerk his foot out of Sevon’s reach. “By Diana, do we really have to be like this?” Jack whined as Sevon tapped the skewer into position.




Pre-Order Now From:

LXC_FlamesAbout the Author:

Lex Chase once heard Stephen King say in a commercial, “We’re all going to die, I’m just trying to make it a little more interesting.” She knew then she wanted to make the world a little more interesting.

Weaving tales of cinematic, sweeping adventure, epic love—and depending on how she feels that day—Lex sprinkles in high-speed chases, shower scenes, and more explosions than a Hollywood blockbuster. She loves tales of men who kiss as much as they kick ass. She believes if you’re going to going to march into the depths of hell, it better be beside the one you love.

Lex is a pop culture diva and her DVR is constantly backlogged. She wouldn’t last five minutes without technology in the event of the apocalypse and has nightmares about refusing to leave her cats behind. She is incredibly sentimental, to the point that she gets choked up at holiday commercials. But like the lovers driven to extreme measures to get home for the holidays, Lex believes everyone deserves a happy ending.

Lex also has a knack for sarcasm, never takes herself seriously, and has been nicknamed “The Next Alan Moore” by her friends for all the pain and suffering she inflicts on her characters. She is a Damned Yankee hailing from the frozen backwoods of Maine residing in the ’burbs of Northwest Florida where it could be 80F and she’d be a popsicle.

She is grateful and humbled for all the readers. She knows very well she wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them and welcomes feedback.

You can find her on those social media things at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LXChase
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lex_Chase
Tumblr: http://lexiconofkittens.tumblr.com

Find her blog at http://lexchase.com or drop her an e-mail at lex.a.chase@gmail.com.


ChasingSunrise_BlogTour_S

The Novel Approach Gay Rom Lit Countdown with a Chasing Sunrise Reading

7/13 - Chris T. Kat - The Power of Androgyny

7/17 - Michael Rupured - Whispering for Help: Chasing Sunrise Goes Viral

7/19 - Lily Velden - Don't Lose Your Way

7/20 - Jaime Samms - Screw Sparklepires! Meet the Aisa

7/22 - Aidee Ladnier - Were...what? Meet the Shifters!

7/24 - Grace Duncan - Walking the Runway with Sevon

7/26 - Shira Anthony - When Disaster Strikes: Natural Disasters in Fiction

7/25 - Chasing Sunrise Release Day!

7/29 - Dreamspinner Twitter Takeover with Charlie Cochet

7/30 - Live Your Life, Buy The Book - "I loved you before Nazareth." Meet Bianca and Chaney

8/2 - Chat at the Dreamspinner Press Facebook Page

8/8 - Charlie Cochet - The Catharsis of Lovers Shirts

8/13 - Gay List Book Reviews - The Necessity of Brutality

8/16 - Tali Spencer - The Shape of Things to Come: Glass Moon







(And as promised Lex, here are your party hats and streamers, etc. for your big day! LOL.)


Sunday, July 13, 2014

BDSM Blog Hop 5 (Finale): The Collaring Ceremony



In honor of the last day of the BDSM Blog Hop I decided to talk about one of the most sacred, precious events in the BDSM community: The collaring ceremony.

But first, to answer your questions. There's only one today (does that mean that I've answered all of your questions? Really? LOL):

Hannah B:

How do you pick your safeword?

There are different schools of thought on choosing a safeword. Some think it should be a word that you will easily remember. "Red" for instance, since it means stop. But it should be something that you wouldn't say accidentally or during a scene. So they usually suggest not using words that you might say in normal conversation. For many of my subs I suggest they choose a word that, for them, would eliminate any and all arousal. Their parent's name, pet's name, a President's name (Nothing puts a halt to a BDSM scene like someone calling out "Reagan". LOL) or even the name of their favorite sports team.

"Aside from choosing what your safeword should communicate to your partner, selecting the word itself can be important. A good safeword is also one that unlikely to be used in a normal play scene. There should be no confusion as to if the safeword is being used or if it is normal conversation occurring within the scene. Words that are too long or complicated can be hard to remember, especially in the heat of the moment. The word should also be distinct sounding; homonyms (such as "bare" and "bear") that could be confused should be avoided. In a play scenario where endorphins are high and everyone may not be thinking clearly, anything that can be confused is likely to be (DrHGuy, 2006). The safeword should also be one that both participants feel comfortable with remembering. If you do find yourself in a position where you cannot remember what safeword was picked, using "Safeword" can always be a good fall back.


Image Obtained From Keep Calm
If attending a public play party, it can be advantageous to use the established house safewords, particularly if you do not have a set of your own that you and your partner are comfortable with. This will attune you to the use of these words for any partners that prefer the community established safewords. It also alerts the dungeon masters, and everyone else present, if you have called out your safeword in a public play space; this can be a safer option if playing with a new and unfamiliar partner (Thomas, 2010).


It is important to consider your safety when playing in scenarios that may impair or completely inhibit the bottom’s ability to speak. Non-verbal safewords are an excellent solution and can have a multitude of advantages. Aptly chosen visual or audio signals can be extremely effective in drawing attention and a creative non-verbal safeword can add some artistic flare to your scene which can help draw in both participants and add to the tone of a scene. If you are playing in a scene where there is a danger of any loss of consciousness, a well-placed non-verbal signal can be the difference in time that averts danger. At a public play event I witnessed a scene in which the two players were working with water asphyxiation. The top had secured the bottom to a chair and was pouring water into a cover of burlap over the bottom’s face. The bottom had been given two large rope bondage rings, one for each hand. When the bottom needed a break, the rings were dropped; this also served as a visual and audio safeguard against any loss of consciousness." (http://www.keepingitkinky.net/general/safe-choice.php)

The most important thing is to choose a set of words (for Go, Stop, Slow Down/Be Cautious) that you will remember even while you are in subspace. Your safewords should be given to your Dom during negotiations and reiterated at the beginning of every scene. A good Dom will check-in with you during a scene during the scene using the safewords to see where you are and to remind you of them, just in case.



And now for today's post. My final post for the hop:

The Collaring Ceremony


Reidel Parthings stood at the back of the nightclub, his arms crossed across his burly chest as he watched Ahijit, Travis and Etan as they began their collaring ceremony. Ahijit sat in a chair while Etan and Travis knelt before him, naked, their temporary collars around their neck, wrist restraints on, both of them having either a flogger or a whip in their lap. Reidel rubbed the back of his neck before returning his arms back to their folded position in front of him. The fabric of his suit stretched along his torso and he grunted softly as he cursed himself once again for not going to buy a new outfit before the big day. Before he could sink any further into the morose thoughts, Brylan, the Dom of Ceremonies began speaking.

" Love, honor and obey used to be a common and significant vow in marriage ceremonies. Almost everyone has no issue with love and honor, the problem comes with the word obey. Each person of the union had a high code of behavior, ethics and morals to follow and the act of obeying supported the individual's success in meeting her or his own code. As society changed the code, the desire to obey diminished to the point that it is deemed contemptible. I feel to love, honor and obey is very appropriate for the Dom/sub relationship. But instead of the expected and obvious act of the submissive obeying the Dominant, I see it as each obeying her or his calling of dominance or submission. I see it as a higher calling of behavior, ethics and morals; in this case in the integrity of domination for Ahijit and the integrity of submission for his subs Travis and Etan. Knowing this, the three will now recite their own vows."

Ahijit stood and smiled down at Etan and Travis. "Etan? Travis? My boys, do you offer me your love?"

Etan grinned even as Travis sniffled before they both answered simultaneously. "Yes Sir, Master Ahijit."

Ahijit reached out to caress Travis's cheek first and then Etan's before gesturing to a man who stood off to the side of the stage. "Then accept my piercings to express this love." Reidel watched with happiness flooding his being as the other man stepped up to pierce both of Etan's nipples and then both of Travis's, placing small silver hoops in them. Once the hoops were attached, Ahijit reached over to the tray that sat next to his chair and lifted up two y-chains. He connected the chain to the rings in Etan's nipples and to his cock ring before turning to do the same to Travis.

"Travis? Etan? My boys, do you honor me?"

"Yes Sir, Master Ahijit," Etan and Travis stated solemnly.

Ahijit nodded. "Then worship my cock to express this honor." He released his cock from his pants, groaning as the two boys licked and sucked at his cock. Reidel felt his own cock grow hard at the sight of his friend receiving his sub's submission and envy curled up in his gut like a snake poised and ready to strike. He was happy for his friend, he really was, but he couldn't help but want the same.

After a few minutes, Ahijit pulled his cock from the lips of his subs and tucked himself away, though Reidel could tell it was difficult. He smirked and wiped his mouth to cover his grin. "My boys, Etan and Travis, will you obey your submission to me?"

Travis nodded immediately, Etan bobbing his head seconds later. "Yes Sir, Master Ahijit," they intoned.

"Then accept this lash as an expression of obedience."

Ahijit held out his hand and accepted the flogger from Etan. Walking around behind the young man, Ahijit rubbed his hand over Etan's back and ass, giving the skin a few smacks with his hand to warm up the flesh. Then he lifted the flogger and brought down the leather straps along Etan's body, praising Etan as the young man accepted the lashes without complaint. Praising the sub, Ahijit placed a soft kiss on Etan's neck before walking over to Travis. He accepted the whip from him and placed a small peck on his lips. Standing, he walked around behind Travis and, as he did with Etan, took a moment to warm up Travis's back and ass with his hand before stepping back and snapping the whip against the curve of Travis's ass a few time, leaving his marks upon the young man's skin.

Ahijit wrapped the whip and placed it back on the seat of the chair before going to stand in front of the two subs. Spreading his feet shoulder width apart, he observed both young men and Reidel could see the moment when his friend grew nervous. Ahijit swallowed, his Adam's apple bobbing noticeably as he did so. "Etan? Travis? My boys, do you offer me a symbol of your commitment?"

"Yes Sir, Master Ahijit. We offer you our leashes." Reidel noticed Etan and Travis each hand Ahijit a leash that rested beneath their legs. Etan's leash was red, while Travis was black, and Ahijit accepted them both as if he were receiving the Holy Grail. Reidel wanted to applaud right then, knowing all that his mentor and friend had gone through to get to this moment, and being so proud of him, but he knew that the ceremony wasn't over just yet, so he held off. But just barely.

Ahijit turned back to the tray that rested next to his chair and opened the box there. He lifted out two gorgeous collars. Both of them were made of silver and looked like just like a chain, only with a small padlock in the center. The lock was engraved with AK+ED+TC on Etan's collar and AK+TC+ED on Travis's collar. Reidel had gone with Ahijit to buy the collars from a friend who specialized in making collars and engravings and had admitted to his friend how spectacular they were.

"These collars are a symbol of my love for you, a reminder that I honor and respect you, and a commitment to obey the responsibilities of being the dominant force in your life. It is a visible symbol of our commitment in a Dom sub relationship." With those words, Ahijit leaned forward and locked the collars around both Etan and Travis's neck. After locking the collars, he attached the leashes then leaned forward to kiss them both. Pulling back, Ahijit stepped between the both of them and turned to face the audience. Reidel felt pride and happiness soar through him as he stared at his friend and new, fully committed subs.

"Thank you all for coming and for sharing this special moment with us. As you all know, the collaring ceremony is just as important to those of us in Lifestyle as a marriage ceremony. So to have all of you here with us is a very beautiful thing. For those of you who have experienced this before, I know that you understand our joy, and for those of you who have not yet experienced this, I can only hope that one day you will, because it's truly an amazing feeling."

Reidel cheered along with everyone else when Ahijit concluded his speech, his heart clenching at the man's words. When Ahijit lifted Etan and Travis from their kneeling positions Reidel stepped forward along with everyone else to wish the new triad a happily-ever-after. Stopping at the end of the line, he caught sight of a pair of bright blue eyes and long black hair surrounding a thin, androgynous male face before it disappeared from sight. He gasped, his heart pounding in his chest as he wondered who the gorgeous stranger could have been.

-From the prologue of Mark Me (The Dom) (coming soon from Rooster & Pig Publishing, Inc.)


"The collar is a physical representation of the spiritual bond between a Dominant and his submissive. A collaring ceremony is akin to a wedding in the non-kink world, and is where a Dominant claims the submissive partner and presents the collar.

Collars take many forms. They may be physical or only symbolic. A leather collar is just as good as one crafted from the finest precious metals. What is important is the relationship that they symbolize. A Dominant commits to protect, nurture and, perhaps most importantly from a lifestyle perspective, control their partner in a considered, respectful manner. While romantic love is often found in the relationship, it is not a requirement to be collared. Love, though, is a requirement I believe, for a healthy relationship to develop.

BDSM Collar Evening Formal Submissive Choker Engraved "HIS" Princess Necklace Stainless Steel Chain Lockable Swarovski Rhinestone
BlackMarketChicago.com
Typically, a Dominant will pick the collar out for her submissive. She may involve him in the process, but normally the decision is all hers. A physical collar may be a simple chain with a padlock, a dog collar bought at the local pet store, or even a piece of costume jewelry bought at the mall. Depending on the relationship, and their needs, a collar may lock, but it is almost equally likely that it will not. In my case, I commissioned a collar from a website (BondageCollars.com) that is designed to be non-removable (is secured with a hex-screw), but still looks like normal jewelry.

Then we come to the Collaring Ceremony. The ceremony may be intimate, just between the Master and slave involved, or it may be a large event with friends and family invited. If they are in an online only relationship, it may be a simple phone call, or online chat where descriptive chat is typed out. In any event, no matter where the event is held, or who attends, it should be seen as a somber event with bit of significance in our lifestyle, as a wedding is in the vanilla world.

A ceremony can be lead by a third party, as many I have attended have been. A community leader or respected friends conducts the ceremony and requests statements from both parties stating their commitments. In the case of my ceremony, I lead the ceremony, and had my esclave make her own statements.

In both cases, the normal course of events is to get those who are present to pledge their support of their relationship and to support the couple in the future. I can state from witnessing several and having my own, that a collaring is often a moving experience and can bring many there to tears." (*From http://houseofvoid.com/2009/03/18/bdsm-101-collaring-and-collaring-ceremonies/*)

Collaring ceremonies are so straight-forward and to the point, whereas many wedding ceremonies that I've been to are huge spectacles. To me, however, the collaring ceremonies also seem so much deeper. The Dom and sub are pledging complete devotion to each other. The sub is giving themselves into the protection of the Dom, giving themselves into the safe-keeping, the care, the arms, of the Dom. Whereas the Dom is proclaiming to all how truly priceless this sub is, how they are promising to never mistreat this sub, they are promising to never betray the trust that the sub has placed in them, they are promising to always treat that sub, their sub, as the treasure that they are.

By Calisto Photography
Image By Calisto Photography
I see it like this, during a collaring commitment ceremony, the gods, the heavens, the Fates, are placing this priceless jewel into my safekeeping and I am being charged to guard it, to care for it, to see it become the best display, the best jewel that it can be. I am being blessed with a role, a position as this jewel's guardian, charged to protect it, charged to love it, charged to keep it from harm. I am not only taking this jewel into myself, but I am putting myself into this jewel. I will be grounded and hold onto this jewel and watch it soar.

It's humbling, it's liberating and freeing and exhilarating. There's no need for me to be reminded to "care for them in sickness and in health, to love, honor and cherish them, to forsake all others...until death do you part," that's a given, I've been doing that already. That collaring ceremony is just me saying that I will continue to treat that sub as the priceless, gods-given treasure that I have been implored to care for, for all the rest of our days together.

The last thing for me to say on this matter is that the D/s relationship is not for everyone and there are couples out there who are more solid than some D/s couples that I know, but that's because everyone has to do what's right for them. I would never ask my sub(s) to not be a sub anymore if I ever lose part of my brain and can't be a Dom anymore, no matter how much I'd care for them at that point, I'd find them someone that could give them what they needed. That's the biggest thing. You have to do what's right for you, no one else and you can't let someone tell you what's right for you in matters like this. If you want to be a Dom or a sub, then be one, just do it the right way, do it the safe way. If you and your Dom or sub, want to make that commitment to each other, do it, regardless of what others may say, because that's what's right for you.

As a Dom I try to make sure that I'm doing what's right for my sub(s) at all times whether I'm with him/her or not. Plain and simple, because in our relationship, (s)he is what's important. Case closed, end of story.

Thank you all for joining with me this week during the BDSM Blog Hop. I hope you have learned a lot, not only from me but from the other bloggers as well. I hope that this hop has helped to eliminate any misconceptions you have about the Lifestyle, opened your eyes to the truth of those within the community and cleared up the damage done by those books that put the community in a bad light. Remember, if you have any questions there are many resources available to you: websites, books, munches, and people you can talk to. I am here if you want to ask more questions of. You can email me at: vicktoralexander (at) vicktoralexander (dot) com and I will do my best to get you any information that I can.

Thank you all again for hopping with me. And remember, you have until the 20th to comment on the other blogs, post the link, and sign up for my Rafflecopter giveaway: 2 free ebooks and a free autographed copy of one of my books.

bdsm
Image via Amanda Sub

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Saturday, July 12, 2014

BDSM Blog Hop 4: Aftercare & Dom Wannabes



Welcome to Part 4 of the BDSM Blog Hop!

Today's post is a very important one to me. It's one that deals with Aftercare and how to spot a "wannabe." I'm going to tell you why Aftercare is so important and why I have such an issue with wannabes. If you ever want to hear my Alpha wolf growl just get me around a wannabe Dom or talk about one and you'll hear it.

But first, your questions!

Sarah Testarossa:

Are there any activities that some people into BDSM engage in that you think should not be considered part of safe, sane, consensual BDSM? What are they and why?

Knifeplay, fireplay, needle or sharpsplay, bloodplay... I understand and fully support that not everyone's kink is the same and that some people get off on different things and even that some people's submission needs a different type of dominance. A more extreme type. But for me there is nothing "safe" or "sane" about these things even if they are consensual.

Then again I feel the same way about scat-play. Ummm... no, thank you. Excrement is not safe, especially if it's accidentally ingested and I don't think playing with it is too sane.

But again, this is just my opinion. As long as the persons involved are being safe and I do mean being extremely safe, sane and everyone is a consenting adult, then to each his or her own.


What misconceptions about the lifestyle frustrate/anger/upset you most and why?

LOL. There are a few:

    21_lo by die_knippserin, via Flickr
  1. That all Doms are cold, unfeeling bastards. That we aren't insecure, suffer from low self-esteem, have doubts, or are romantic. That we're hard-nosed dictators who need a sub or sub(s) to help us have fun or experience love. This is a misconception that has been encouraged in a lot of romance books as well. Not to to say that there aren't Doms out there for whom this description fits, but most Doms are caring, if a bit gruff, sometimes, (ie. me without coffee or a smoke) selfless, giving individuals who enjoy having control. We are still human. We are still flawed and imperfect and there are still aspects to our personality that are soft, loving, gentle, and romantic, in spite of our need to dominate and control.
  2. That all Doms are sadists, rapists, or potential serial killers. Guess what? My name is not Christian Gray. I'm not someone who gets off on what essentially constitutes rape or abuse because there is a lack of negotiation, safewords, etc. I don't enjoy my sub(s) not having any power in a particular situation. Even if there is a "rape fantasy", the sub can safeword and make it end. I get a thrill over having my sub trust me, have faith in me enough to relinquish their control. I get off on caring for my sub(s) through my domination. I'm not a sadistic rapist or a potential serial killer. Doms aren't generally the ones that you find out that are killing people. It's the sweet, gentle, nice, "vanilla" folks. LOL. But no, seriously. Doms are not the bad guys/gals.
  3. That subs are weak or freaks for wanting to relinquish their control, for needing domination and restriction, for needing pain or sensation or to be needed by someone. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with being a sub. There is nothing wrong with needing a Dom, with needing to relinquish control or having someone dominate you. It doesn't make you weak or a freak. As a matter of fact there are two articles I want to mention here. One from Huffington Post entitled: BDSM Correlated With Better Mental Health, Says Study and another from LiveScience entitled: Bondage Benefits: BDSM Practitioners Healthier Than 'Vanilla' People where studies have shown that those who are a part of the Lifestyle are actually healthier mentally than those who do not. Why? "According to Reuters, BDSM-friendly participants were found to be less neurotic, more open, more aware of and sensitive to rejection, more secure in their relationships and have better overall well-being." "Andreas Wismeijer, a psychologist at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands and the lead author on the study, told LiveScience that people involved in the BDSM community may have scored better on these surveys because they tend to be more aware of and communicative about their sexual desires, or because they have done some "hard psychological work" to accept and live with sexual needs that are beyond the scope of what is often considered socially acceptable to discuss in the mainstream." "BDSM practitioners don't appear to be more troubled than the general population. They were more extroverted, more open to new experiences and more conscientious than vanilla participants; they were also less neurotic, a personality trait marked by anxiety. BDSM aficionados also scored lower than the general public on rejection sensitivity, a measure of how paranoid people are about others disliking them. People in the BDSM scene reported higher levels of well-being in the past two weeks than people outside it, and they reported more secure feelings of attachment in their relationships, the researchers found. Of the BDSM practitioners, 33 percent of the men reported being submissive, 48 percent dominant and 18 percent "switch," or willing to switch between submissive and dominant roles in bed. About 75 percent of the female BDSM respondents were submissive, 8 percent dominant and 16 percent switch. These roles showed some links to psychological health, such that dominants tended to score highest in all quarters, submissives lowest and switches in the middle. However, submissives never scored lower than vanilla participants on mental health, and frequently scored higher, Wismeijer told LiveScience. "Within the BDSM community, [submissives] were always perceived as the most vulnerable, but still, there was not one finding in which the submissives scored less favorable than the controls," he said."
  4. That all submissives enjoy pain. Not. True. Some submissives are into sensation play: ice, feathers, Wartenburg wheel (see the image above). Some submissives are into service. They want to serve their Dominant and that's all. Not every sub wants to be tied up and whipped and fucked or even treated like a puppy. Every submissive is different, every Dom is different. Which makes every D/s, M/s, S/M relationship unique.
  5. That every Dom is a Top and every sub is a bottom. There are switches within the community, but not only that, you know the expression "Topping from the bottom"? It is completely possible for a Dom to enjoy being fucked or for a sub to enjoy being tied up while their Dom uses their cock for their own pleasure.
  6. That everyone who wears leather is into BDSM. No. Once again this is incorrect. There are bikers who are not into the Lifestyle but they wear leather. Leather is not mutually exclusive to the community. There are Doms who wear suits, jeans, lace, hell, even pastoral robes. You can't make a judgement based on books or movies. If you go to a munch or a play party you'd be surprised at the different representations of the community found there.
  7. That all Doms share their subs or that they're all extremely possessive and don't share. The relationship of the members of the BDSM community are extremely diverse and unique. You can't look at one relationship and expect them to all be the same.
  8. That subs have been abused as children and that's why they crave domination. Again, this is not true. It takes a person of supreme inner strength to be able to handle giving up their control to another. To be able to trust someone to that degree. While there are some subs who have been abused as children, this is not a "pre-requisite."
  9. That all D/s relationships involve sex and penetration. Sorry to disappoint you. Sometimes the Dom and sub do not engage in any type of sexual intercourse at all. Either because the sub is married to someone else, the Dom(me) doesn't engage in sex with their sub(s), or there could be a conflict with the sexuality and the gender of the persons involved: ie. Dom is straight, sub is male. Dom is gay, sub is female. Dom is straight, sub is lesbian. Dom is gay, sub is female. Dom has two subs who are married to each other who do not want to have sex but both need to be dominated.
  10. That all Doms have a dungeon in their home. LOL. I WISH this were true! Because that would mean that I would have a dungeon in my home right now, but it's not true. A lot of Doms either have a guest room they use, they go to the sub's home, or a hotel room, but most Doms use the private rooms provided by BDSM/Alternative/Kink clubs. Why? The equipment, furniture, toys, etc. that many Doms would need to furnish their own dungeon would cost anywhere between $10-20k, and this is on the lower end of the spectrum, not getting all of the bondage furniture that many of us Doms love to use. So no, we don't all have dungeons, though many of us would love to have one. We use what we can.
There are a lot more but those are the biggest ones that irk me.




Hannah:

How common is it for someone to use their safeword?

If the sub is just starting out in the Lifestyle there's the possibility of them safewording and that's the reason most Doms do not start off with anything too heavy. They ease into the harder things as the scene or the relationship progresses.

The use of a safeword calls the scene to a halt. Completely. Or it can call the relationship to a halt (if a Dom and a sub have a contract and the sub safewords, the Dom will talk with the sub about voiding the contract sometimes, especially if they're not in the middle of an actual "scene.") When the safeword has been used, the Dom stops everything and engages in Aftercare, where they talk to the sub and discuss why they used their safeword. They'll figure out if it's something that can be rectified, something that needs to be removed (ie, the sub used their safeword when the Dom started to use the crop on them and they just can't handle that), or if they need to call a halt to their association.

What usually happens, however, is that subs will use a "slow down" word. Maybe they are starting to feel overwhelmed, maybe the pain is starting to be too much and they're slipping out of subspace, maybe they don't want to call a halt to the scene but they don't want to be whipped either. So they'll use a word that tells the Dom to slow down, take a few steps back, but to continue the scene at a softer, slower pace. So if you have Green, Red, and Yellow for your words. Green=Go. Red=Stop. Yellow=Slow down.

What characteristics do you look for in a good Dom/Domme?

Well, I don't actually look for a Dom(me) since I'm a Dom myself. LOL. But when it comes to looking for a good Dom(me) there are certain characteristics that you should look for:

From Mistress Di's Website:
Acceptance
Acceptance of self, what is within yourself, what your wants needs and desires are. Acceptance of your limitations and those of your submissive. The ability to accept another human being for the person they are, including their shortcomings and especially to accept your own. Accepting what being a dominant is to the individual and not being ashamed or intimidated by the needs within, but happy in one’s mind set.

Communication
This is the ability to talk and discuss things. It is an integral part of any relationship, but an absolute necessity within a D/s bond. A dominant should have the skills to communicate their needs, wants, desires, fears, thoughts, limits or whatever else comes along. The ability to talk also calls into play the honesty and truthfulness of the dominant. Once communication is open it should remain that way, and will do so provided the dominant does not stop communicating honestly. To not communicate is to endanger yourself physically (by not telling the submissive your experience and other necessities) and emotionally.

Compassion
The ability to see and at least attempt to understand the emotional aspects of your submissive's psyche. To understand and be aware of the multitude of things within reality that can affect a submissive physically, emotionally and mentally. To be able to apply that understanding to the many situations that arise within daily life that may prevent your submissive from serving to the best of their abilities. Using compassion wisely to allow you to aide your submissive, support him/ her during times of stress shows that you are truly a well rounded dominant. One who realises that a dominant and a submissive are people too. Without compassion you are not a dominant, only a sadist.

Courtesy
This one is fairly self-explanatory but many people have asked me for specifics on courtesy. It is the ability to show proper manners, i.e. “pleases” and “thank you’s”. To address someone with a respectful tone of voice. A dominant should show courtesy to his/ her submissive and other submissives around them. Just because you are a dominant does not give you the right to be rude or cruel. This includes courtesy to your peers.

Grace
Elegance in the manner a dominant presents themselves is an important and desirable personality trait that many submissives say they prefer. The way a dominant carries themselves, their style of play, no matter how graphic, should still flow with style and grace. Their actions should not be overly hesitant, stilted or confused. If this is lacking as an inherent ability, the dominant should be willing to learn and grow in this area.

whips by ikkio_too, via Flickr
Image by Ikkio_too from Flickr
Dominance
This is the most important trait in a dominant. It is the inherent natural ability to lead. To exert control in a respectful, intelligent and humble manner. The strength of character, which allows you to exert the control necessary in a power, exchange relationship. The ability to care for another person's entire well being.

Honesty
Personally I feel this shouldn't need to be said, but there are far too many people who lack honesty so it has to be said. Honesty is the ability to speak up, be open and truthful about what you say. Don't hide your emotions, fears, limits, fantasies, ideas and thoughts. Don't tell the submissive what you think he/ she wants to hear. Honesty is the basis of trust, without it; there is no trust. And without the trust, there is no true relationship. A successful dominant is an honest one, one that does not lie or attempt to deceive. One who is truthful when he/ she speaks. Most important is to be honest about your level of experience. To lie is to endanger the very life of a submissive.

Humility
This is basically the ability to see yourself as fallible. To see yourself as a person, not just a dominant. To see that sometimes in reality your needs must be set aside for the better of the relationship. A successful dominant knows they will make mistakes. They know that they are not perfect. Sure they have pride in their abilities but they also know that everyone grows constantly and they are secure enough within themselves not to need to be the centre of attention at all times. This allows the dominant to be open to learning new things. This brings into play bullying. Bullying is using your status as a dominant to push submissives around without any thought for their well being at all. Bullying is a completely selfish action. A dominant who consistently bullies, will turn submissives away from them and lose the respect of their peers. It shows a lack of humility and can also mask a poor sense of self-esteem or a possible abusive person using the lifestyle to hide their abusive nature.

Intelligence
By intelligence I don't mean book smart, the ability to do long involved mathematical equations or pull apart and rebuild a computer. As it applies to a successful dominant, intelligence is the ability to learn the proper way of playing with the toys inherent in the lifestyle before using them on a person. The willingness and ability to research and learn about the lifestyle itself. The ability to make informed decisions about what a submissive’s needs are and how to attain them. The ability to take the time to learn about their partner outside the roles of dominant and submissive, to find out who they are, their likes and dislikes. The ability to learn what pleases their submissive and remember those things. The dominant should not only take the time and intelligence to know the physical tools, but also the psychological tools of dominance. Along with some basic psychological aspects of their submissive. (Knowledge should grow as people change constantly). There is nothing uglier than seeing an ignorant dominant trying to use humiliation as a tool of dominance. Humiliation is a difficult tool that requires maturity, intelligence, and skill.

Loyalty
This is a very important trait in a dominant. It is the ability to uphold your personal honour and remain true to the agreement between you and your submissive. Fickleness is very unattractive in a dominant and dangerous to the emotional well being of the submissives who serve you.

Patience
A good dominant has patience. The ability to wait for things. Being pushy is aggravating and not being dominant. This does not mean you have to be lax or soft, but to learn the proper time to push and the proper time not to. It is also the ability to wait for those things, which take time to develop and to learn, especially within yourself. To realise that it takes time for a submissive to learn all the intricacies of serving you and having the patience to teach the submissive what you prefer.

Pride
This is the ability to know your capacities and realise you are not only a good person but also a good dominant. The ability to recognise your own strengths. This does not mean you should be closed minded to new ideas. Nor does it mean you should be unaware of your faults or keep an inflated ego. Pride in your dominance is a beautiful thing. Arrogance or false pride is deadly. False pride usually masks insecurities which can be life threatening to the submissive.

Respect
A successful dominant will show respect at all times, until such time as the submissive proves he/she is unworthy of such respect. A disrespectful dominant does not earn the respect of his/her peers or the submissives around them. By giving respect to others, you earn it for yourself.

Responsibility
A good dominant should have a sense of responsibility and be aware that they are the ones who are in control of a scene. They should take this responsibility seriously and act in such a manner that will keep themselves and their submissive as safe as possible. A good dominant should take responsibility for his/ her own actions, even so far as admitting a mistake when one is made and not push the blame onto someone else. A good dominant should use this sense of responsibility to learn before acting.

Self Control
A good dominant must be in control of themselves first before they can even hope to control another safely. A good dominant is not one who is prone to fits of out of control behaviour, raging fits and other actions, which show a lack of self-control. A dominant should be able to keep his/ her physical needs in check in order to maintain a scene safely for the submissive. A good dom should also have the self control needed to stick to his/ her guns when they are faced with a begging sub for something new that they know is dangerous and that they know they have no experience in.

Self Respect
A good dominant values themselves, and respects their own limits. A bully does not thrill a submissive. A solid sense of self worth is a necessity for a dominant or they can cause serious damage to the submissive's psyche.

Service

This is applicable to dominants but not in the same way as a submissive. A dominant serves their submissive by and through their dominance. By intelligently applying their dominant nature, and meeting the physical and emotional needs of the submissive, the dominant mutually serves the submissive. A successful dominant remembers that without a submissive, there is no such thing as a dominant. And that to receive the submission of a person is a gift. The dominant will therefor cherish that gift, and do their best to uphold it and not abuse it. This is the key to an exchange of power relationship. 


From the Serving Master Website:

First and foremost, a good Dom has an extraordinary amount of self-control. Sometimes he is so patient that it is infuriating. His job as your Dom is to make sure that you get what you need from him, as well as getting what he needs from you. This leads to the next sign of a Good Dom…
A good Dom will understand that even though he is the Dominant, your opinions matter. Your needs matter even more than that. There will be times where he will have to decide which is more important: something you want or something you need and he will have to make that judgement call.
A Good Dom always has reasons behind his rules and they make sense. “Because I want you to” may be what we’re told when we ask why we have to do something, but that’s not always the real reason either. A Good Dom understands that your mental, physical and emotional health is important as well. Those rules about taking your meds and working out? They’re not for his benefit, well not totally anyway;. they’re for your benefit. Making sure you eat well? Another way to make sure you’re healthy. Sometimes this will even mean asking you to be careful what friends you keep up with.
For example: I have a friend I enjoy going out with, but she tends to be very needy and the night always winds up turning into a huge bitch fest where she complains about anything and everything and I in turn become very stressed out and depressed. Master Jason has told me on several occasions that he no longer wants me to hang out with her by myself. Recently, this became a private rule between the two of us. If she calls or texts me and asks me to come hang out with her, I am either to make certain there will be other people there too, or I am to set a time limit on our evening. Master Jason has not once told me to end the friendship with her though and I don’t believe he would, he wants me to be able to come to that conclusion on my own if it gets that bad, but he does want to make sure I understand why he doesn’t approve of my hanging out with her for too long and why he considers the friendship to be toxic.
A Good Dom understands the importance of Aftercare. It is never “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am” with sessions with a Good Dom. Sure, we have quickies, but that’s usually “just sex”.
In a scene a Good Dom knows that you have been brought up and down, to orgasm, through orgasm sometimes denied orgasm and then brought back to it again, over and over and over. In a scene, you are extremely vulnerable. The beauty of a successful scene is that you allow yourself to be vulnerable and allow yourself to trust someone enough to handle you and protect you, care for you, love you, while your defenses are down and the Dom gets off on being trusted with you while you’re in that state of mind.
A Good Dom understands that there may be tears, extreme joy and other strong emotions that flow through you for a while after a successful scene (and even more so after an unsuccessful one). Aftercare (usually, but not always, administered by cuddling or snuggling together) allows you to come through those emotions (also known as sub-drop) unscathed.
What’s more, is that there is such a thing as Top-Drop — where the Dominant is also going through strong emotions and he needs to know that you still respect him, are still loyal to him, still want to be with him after he’s made you so very vulnerable and even exploited that vulnerability for his sexual gratification. (And your sexual gratification.)
A Good Dom knows that communication is key especially in this lifestyle. He knows that talking things out, discussing and understanding your views, your limits, your fears and your desires is the very core of how you will serve, how he will teach and how well you two will succeed in a relationship together.
This takes patience and work. Sometimes a submissive will require more work than the Dom can give her, and in those instances a Good Dom will let her know that they aren’t fully compatible. He doesn’t take on more than he can handle, because he knows that it wouldn’t really be beneficial to anyone if he did that.
A Good Dom may also require both of you to go through more painful parts of who you each are. This can be crap you’ve gone through in the past, this could be asking you (telling you) to seek counseling on certain issues, etc. He knows that if you are going to trust him with your vulnerability, he needs to be able to handle it. He also knows that if you can’t trust him with your emotional pain, then he probably shouldn’t trust you with his either. We all have some baggage, but if no one talks about it, then nothing really gets solved and no one learns to grow. Without communication, there will be no growth to your relationship.
A Good Dom does not pretend to know everything about you.
He is not perfect and neither are you. You will both have to work at the relationship, it’s still a relationship after all. A Good Dom understand that. He can even understand you and sometimes it will feel like he knows you better than you know yourself… but a Good Dom doesn’t claim to fully understand everything there is about you either. This goes back to number five: communication is key. He doesn’t read minds, and you don’t either. He doesn’t always pick up on hints you drop, and you won’t always pick up on hints he drops. It may feel like you each know the other completely, but your both still learning and constantly changing…. if you’re not, you’re in a rut and no one likes hanging out in ruts.. not relationship ruts anyway.
A Good Dom will check in on you during a scene.
This can be done verbally (and should be done verbally if you two are still getting to know each other). He may ask any variation of the following: “Are you okay? How are you doing? What color are you at?”
For couples who have played together longer this can be done simply by watching you react, reading your facial cues, listening to your breathing, etc.
A Good Dom may even end a scene before you think you’re ready. “No, if we keep going I will break skin, or bruise nerves that won’t heal properly” or “I think you’ve had enough, little one.” You may not enjoy hearing these things but your well being is HIS responsibility and you are his most valued possession. He knows where your limits are (because you’ve talked them out with him already) and he’s making sure that he doesn’t abuse the trust you’ve given him by breaking those limits. If you don’t want to be bruised for days but your pain tolerance is really high due to the endorphins and adrenaline running through you, you may not realize how hard he’s flogging you. A Good Dom is aware of this and will respect the limits you agreed upon before the scene started.
Most importantly for this one: if you have a safeword, and you use it, a Good Dom will STOP EVERYTHING, unhook you, untie you, bring you down, figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. 
A Good Dom respects the safeword.
It does not end the relationship (because that would only cause you to fear ever using it). It only ends the scene. There are people who choose not to even have safewords, or think they aren’t needed. Clearly I am not one of these people. If I am bound up in intricate ropes and my arm starts to go numb, I need to be able to say so and quickly. For me, this means calling out my safeword and then explaining why I am using it. “RED SIR! My arm is numb!” or more frequently — “RED SIR!! Cramp! Cramp! CRAMP!! OWWWW”. I workout and I like to change up my workouts frequently. Sometimes I forget to drink extra water even though I find routines that make me sweat more. This causes my body, my muscles, to dehydrate and can quickly cause cramping. In my personal opinion, a Good Dom gives you a way out during a scene specifically for this kind of issue. For me, that’s the use of and respect of my safeword.
A Good Dom does not pretend that you are his only option and if you choose to end the relationship, he will not make threats to force you to stay.
He may fight for you but not to the point of threatening you. He will let you walk out of his life forever if you want, even if it nearly kills him to do so because once a BDSM relationship is no longer consensual between both partners, it is no longer healthy. If the relationship is not consensual at all times, then it is not something he is interested in being a part of. You CHOOSE to submit to him, and in return, he fills a void that only the Dominant can for a submissive. If he forced you to stay, forced you to submit, literally and physically forced you… then he is abusive and therefore NOT a Good Dom.
A Good Dom is honest to the deepest part of his being.
Honor, duty, loyalty, trust… these are things that are not only important to him, but things he strives to personify in other areas of his life. He prides himself on always doing the honorable thing, even if it costs him extra time to do so.
He requires the same high expectations of you that he does of himself. He will not flat out lie to you or deceive you or trick you into doing anything. He may tease you, he may joke around with you, but he knows where the line is and he stays far away from ever crossing it.
A Good Dom is humble. He recognizes his own flaws and will gladly point them out to you time and time again.
“I am not perfect, I am far from it.” may be a common saying for him. “I can’t read minds, I need you to talk to me” is his way of reminding you that he may be good at reading you, but he still needs your permission, your confirmation, your trust and honesty as well.
A Good Dom works hard to constantly enrich himself.
He seeks out new things, new lessons, new ways of doing things. He looks to learn about you, about new skills he can use (be they in the bedroom or outside of it), for new ways to help others.
He knows how easily he could become “set in his ways” and how simple it would be to stop learning, or claim that all change is bad… so he works hard to avoid that. Choosing to be sedentary in life breeds contempt and
Added to this, a Good Dom understands the importance of a well read mind, and the need to exercise it. Volunteering your time, skills or money to those less fortunate than you helps you to enrich your own life, a Good Dom gets that and encourages it. He knows that the lessons the poor can teach us are more valuable than any dollar could ever hope to be worth. He understands that helping others fuels an understanding of compassion, loyalty, honesty, self control, humility, and communication with others.

I know this is a lot of information and it sounds like I may be describing the “perfect guy” or the “perfect Dom”. You might be thinking “Well that person doesn’t exist, so I’ll settle for three of these things and ignore the other nine” this would be a grave mistake. And I mean that literally. To settle for less than what I have listed above can be the difference between life and death. A bad Dom may not kill you, but you may wish he had. Some part of your personality, your heart, your mind, some part of you will surely die a terrible and unnecessary death if you settle for what feels good now instead of waiting for what you need.

And finally, from the Power Exchange Website:

Many of the characteristics of a good Dominant partner parallel those characteristics of a good Leader. So let us start with the characteristics of good leadership.

Leadership Qualities

Self- awareness. A self-aware person understand their strengths and knows what strengths complement their own. A self- aware person also knows what they want, accepts how they feel, and can persevere through a myriad of difficulties both personal and interpersonal. This is because the self-aware person knows who they are, what they need, and makes healthy compromises based on those needs.
Self-control. This is a very important trait for a leader or Dominant partner, the ability to control oneself. If you want to lead you have to live as the example, you cannot lead another when you cannot properly care for yourself. A leader has his/her affairs in order at all times, and in the unusual case that chaos ensues, he/she does not lose control, they rise up to the challenge presented them and figure out the best possible solution. Leaders do not panic, they get things done. A Dominant does not panic, a Dominant sees to it that things are done and done properly.
Communication. You can not lead if you cannot communicate, we are not a society of mind-readers but we are also not a society of fools. Possessing communication skills is necessary, and being perceptive enough to know how to speak to someone to accomplish your goal is just as important as knowing how to speak to someone to reinforce them. A good Leader knows when to talk and when to listen, so does a good Dominant.
Honesty. Always be honest, about everything, how can a Leader or Dominant build a reliable relationship without honesty at the very core? They can not, it is impossible. Honesty is a very hard trait, little lies seem so harmless, especially when they get the goal accomplished, right? Wrong, if you are the Leader, then lead, dishonesty will get you nothing but lies and confusion, a Dominant partner should never lie to themselves or anyone else.
Integrity. Always do the right thing, even when no one is looking. Hold yourself to a high moral standard at all times, even if no one else does. You are responsible for every action you take, and if you are a Leader then make sure the example you set for those who follow you is integrity, it is essential to success.
Confidence. Not to be confused with self-indulgence, a confident person believes in their abilities, and that belief is founded on experience. Confidence is something you L-earn. (L-earn = live and earn). A confident person knows themselves and is not afraid to be honest about his/her abilities, they do not need to color their experience with fluff or pomp. They are who they say they are, and live that fact without question.
Clarity. This could go hand in hand with honesty and self-awareness, each necessitates the other. Clarity is the ability to be clear with yourself and others about who you are, what you believe in, and what is most important to you. A Leader is a paradigm of clarity, a Dominant should be as well.
Compassion. The difference between a dictator and a Leader, they care about the opinions of those who follow them. Compassion is essential for the success of any relationship, personal or otherwise, you do not live in a vacuum and your view is not the only one that matters. Great Leaders and Dominants do not assume that their opinion is the only one that matters, no one likes following self-important person.
Humility. True Leaders and Dominants have confidence, they also have the ability to realize the point at which confidence turns into hubris.
A Dominant person, in my opinion, exhibits all of these characteristics. These are hard won trophies, for no one is perfect and we all struggle with our inner demons. That being said, there is more to Dominance than just these qualities, especially in a D/s relationship.

Dominant Qualities

Control. This is more about the attention to detail and enforcement than demanding the compliance of your submissive. Control is the product of attention and care, in the D/s relationship control is earned through action and not through pretty word play. Dominants must know the needs and concerns of the submissive in order to understand and properly control the submissive. It is not something that you just wake up with complete knowledge of, control is an art, at times it is subtle and at other times it is overt, a good Dominant knows the difference and knows when each type of control is necessary.
cuffs by TheLondonHorrorShow
Image by TheLondonHorrorShow on Flickr
Responsibility. A Dominant must have the ability to take responsibility for themselves and their submissive, in all things. This includes maintaining a schedule, being financially responsible, keeping a household in order, and ensuring the personal growth of another individual. D/s is not all just fun and games, hot sex with whips and handcuffs, D/s is a lifestyle and a Dominant must be willing and able to take responsibility for the livelihood of another.
Patience. In a perfect world patience would not be an issue, but no one is perfect and there are times when a submissive may not reach expectations. D/s is a relationship and like all relationships it includes growth. Patience is a virtue in a Dominant partner, it is essential to the support that a submissive needs. Remember that as a Dominant you are responsible for the growth and development of your submissive, an unruly and overly frustrated person can not provide the safe and structured environment necessary for personal growth.
Vision. Dominants must have vision, they must be able to see the goal, and stay on course. Sometimes things happen in life that may confuse the stated goal, it is then that the Dominant with vision can observe the changes and find a way to adjust the journey and maintain the goal. Vision means perseverance in the chaos that is life, vision means that there is always a next step ahead.
Respect and Loyalty. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. As a Dominant you demand the respect and loyalty of your submissive, but are you giving them the respect and loyalty they deserve in return? This seems to be a shortcoming for most Dominants in my generation. Being the Dominant does not mean you have the freedom to do as you wish with whoever you wish regardless of the needs, concerns, and wants of your submissive. D/s is a partnership, if you want respect and loyalty you had better give your submissive respect and loyalty, this a relationship built on trust, prove that you are deserving of that trust.

Love. Love comes in many forms, but it is essential to a D/s relationship, whatever form it may come in. There are four basic kinds of love storge (affection), philia (familial), eros (erotic), and agape (unconditional). Understanding the mechanics of love and the needs of your submissive is important for a Dominant. You must know what kind of love to give and what kind of love to support in your relationship, otherwise you will both succumb to confusion and distrust. Be clear from the outset what kind of love you expect in the relationship and make sure your actions support the development of that love, both giving and receiving.


Laurel:

Can I be a submissive in my head? I'm 70 and my husband is 89. I read a lot of spanking fiction and that gets me off.

LOL. Age has nothing to do with being in the Lifestyle. While there may be less things that you can do because of your mature age, you can be a submissive that engages in light spanking with your spouse as long as you both are keeping in mind the Safe, Sane, and Consensual rules of the Lifestyle, you have done some sort of negotiation ("I want you to spank me." "I want to tie you up and spank you." "I'm not really comfortable with being completely tied up, but I wouldn't mind you tying up my hands as long as you spanked me.") and you have an established safeword ("If I say vampire that means slow down. If I say werewolf, that means stop. And elf means I'm ready to go again.")

But yes, hun, you can totally be a submissive in your head. Actually, I would talk to your husband, maybe he can give you a small smack on your ass a few times a week. You can also use a hairbrush, wooden spoon, or comb and spank yourself, as long as you are being safe about it. Do not overdo it. Give yourself a few smacks on each cheek and then stop. See if you enjoy that.

I will tell you this though, if you're a submissive in your head, you're a submissive in reality, doll. LOL.



Anonymous:
My spouse doesn't understand my need for submission, what should I do?


Never underestimate the power of talking. Sometimes anger or disappointment experienced by some in knowing that your spouse needs submission is the feeling of fear that you are not enough or that you will not be able to give them the dominance that they crave and they will go out and find someone else to give it to them. There is also a stigma attached to the Lifestyle and those within the community that makes those who are uneducated about it, look at us as if we are freaks or disturbed deviants. None of this is true. If your spouse doesn't understand, try explaining it to them. You can also direct them to any of the blog posts from this hop, or any of the links or books that I've shared in my posts, especially the links that state that on average those who are a part of the Lifestyle are psychologically healthier than those who practice vanilla sex.

You can also direct them to this beautiful essay A View on Submission so that they can hear directly from another submissive about the whole thing. One of my favorite parts is this (you can adjust the pronouns to fit the person/people involved): "I am a submissive woman. I am proud to call myself that. My submission is a gift that I do not give lightly, and can only be given to one who can appreciate that gift and return it tenfold. Only to he who has that strength will I give myself fully, because I am strong and proud. I am a submissive woman."



Anonymous 2:
I want to get into the Lifestyle but I'm not sure how to explain my submission or a collar to my doctor or my therapist without them calling me a freak and taking my kids away. Do you have any suggestions?

Yes I do. There are a number of doctors, therapists, dentists, lawyers, etc. who are understanding, tolerant, and accepting of those in the Lifestyle. Some of them are members of the community, some are just accepting, but here are a few sites for you to check out:
kinkfriendlytherapy.com/
https://ncsfreedom.org/resources/kink-aware-professionals-directory/kap-directory-homepage.html?catid=14
http://www.lifeworkspsychotherapy.com/who-we-serve/bdsm-kink-fetish-vanilla/
http://www.ipgcounseling.com/lgbt/other/bdsm-kink-and-fetishism
http://www.aasect.org/




And now for today's post:

Aftercare & Wannabe Doms

So, what is Aftercare? Wikipedia defines Aftercare as: the process of attending to one another after intense feelings of a physical or psychological nature relating to BDSM activities [have been engaged]. BDSM experiences can be exhausting; and drain the participants of mental, emotional or physical energy. As a result, one or all participants may require emotional support, comfort, reassurance, and/or physical tenderness. Along with this, he or she may experience everything from an exhilaration to traumatization. Aftercare also may include a review or “debriefing” of the activities from experiences of both the dominant and the submissive.

Some participants may wish to be left alone or have other means of processing the experience. While the desire to be left alone could stem from just needing rest, it could also result from no longer feeling safe in the current environment or situation.

.Common aftercare practices may include hugging, kissing, hair-stroking, cuddling, words of praise or gratitude, or general affirmation of an emotional bond between partners. Occasionally, more "vanilla" sexual activities such as intercourse or oral sex following an intense scene may also be considered as part of aftercare.

It is often thought in a submission/dominant relationship, only the submissive requires aftercare following BDSM activities. However, a dominant may require less, just as much, or more aftercare depending on the scene, person, experience level, and other factors. The role of submissive or dominant is unrelated to the amount of aftercare someone needs and should not be thought of as a metric in this regard.

In long distance relationships, a potentially useful practice when engaged in remote BDSM activities is to facilitate aftercare by the exchange of emotionally significant items which can be clung to for reassurance, though success of this depends on both parties' level of emotional investment in the relationship.


When I went through my training with Jerome, he made sure that I was aware of the importance of Aftercare. The scene is over and instead of untying, unshackling, and/or unchaining my sub(s) and walking away with just a word of encouragement, or a pat on the back, I spend time, slowly bringing them back down from subspace with gentle strokes to their skin, whispered words of encouragement, praise, and then I apply aloe vera, lotion, or salve to their abused or sensitive flesh. I cuddle with them, hold them close and we talk about the scene. We talk about what went wrong, what went right, what they enjoyed, what they hated, what they want to try again, etc. It's at this point that we discuss any issues of their day. It's during Aftercare that our relationship is strengthened even more, that the bond is made stronger. Aftercare is not only important, it is a requirement. Not just for the sub, but for the Dom, for me. I have given a lot of myself during a scene. Used a lot of energy, I have fought with the beast, the Alpha wolf inside of me that grows larger as the scene progresses and I have won. My body is thrumming on energy and excitement. I need the Aftercare just as much as my sub(s) does. The Aftercare of a scene is the most loving part of being in a D/s relationship. It's the time when I'm taking care of my sub. Cleaning them up, rubbing their body and their limbs, soothing them from their high with my words, telling them how good they did, how happy they have made me.

You don't get that with a lot of regular relationships, it's like "Cum and Done." Some of them are more loving but in the D/s relationship, in a real one, a "normal" one, it's a requirement.

Aftercare
Image Uploaded to Pinterest by AngieKay
The specifics of Aftercare should be worked out during negotiation. Do you, the sub, want to be held, stroked, caressed, kissed? Do you, the Dom, need to take a moment alone before you can give Aftercare to your sub? These are all thing that should be discussed and worked out before you engage in your first scene.

A good view on Aftercare can be found HERE.

50 Shades to BDSM gives a good Aftercare checklist:

Some of the best things you can do in the period immediately after your scene are:
* Hugs and cuddles
* Rest
* Sex if that's part of your dynamic
* Have something to eat or drink
* Giving each other some verbal affirmation and reassurance
* Expressing thanks to each other
* Temperature control - a warm blanket to cuddle under, or a cold drink if it's hot
* First aid - if needed
* A debriefing if you're both able to talk - otherwise leave this for later or even the next day
* Some people just want to be left alone, others will need to remain close - hopefully you will be the same or can find a compromise
* Tidy up the play area together, clean the toys, pack everything away neatly

All of these things help with maintaining the connection which you've just had, and to provide a closure to the scene, allowing time for a gentle return to reality and to normal everyday activities.

So true
Pinned to Pinterest by AngieKay
AFTERCARE KIT
So, to be able to be ready for providing aftercare to their bottom or play partner, a wise Top will have prepared, or have on hand a kit containing some of the most likely things for aftercare - everything needs to be close at hand so that you don't have to leave your partner while you go in search of a drink or a blanket.   It's different of course if you're playing at home or going out to a club, so take some time to think through what you will need and pack an Aftercare Kit.  Here are some things you might want to include:

* A first aid kit - include some painkillers, antiseptic cream, a soothing gel or lotion (I like pawpaw ointment)
* A soft warm blanket or coat or robe
* Bottled water or an energy drink
* Thermos flask of hot coffee or hot chocolate or herbal tea
* Food - chocolate, muesli bars, dried fruit, chupa chips - these all travel well
* An ice pack
* A hot water bottle
* Warm socks

WHAT NEXT?
Even after you've both enjoyed the aftercare, and returned back to functioning normally, the euphoria can take a day or more to wear off.  It's important to keep in touch during that time if possible, in case one of you has an unexpected reaction.   SUBDROP and TOPDROP can kick in up to 3 days afterwards, and aftercare needs to continue right through - see SUBDROP, TOPDROP for more information)

Tip for Newcomers to the BDSM scene:   One of my pet hates at BDSM play parties is when you finish playing, and someone comes up and interrupts immediately, asking questions or wanting to chat.  For quite a while after I appear to have finished playing, I'm actually still in the scene because I'm in that aftercare period, and my bottom and I are both still coming down from our subspace and Topspace.  So if you have questions to ask someone about their play, I recommend waiting for a while until you see them start to interact with other people willingly :)




And Now How to Spot a Dom Wannabe

While these are written humorously they are true and you should taken them seriously even as you are laughing. A true Dom does not do these things and a "wannabe" should be avoided at all costs.

G-Men


You Might Be A Wannabe (Doms)
If you ever use the phrase "A real sub wouldn't have a problem doing that"... you might be a Wannabe
If you think the word "submissive" means the same thing as "easy"... you might be a Wannabe
If you think leading your sub around by a leash in the supermarket is appropriate entertainment for everyone... you might be a Wannabe
If you think it's perfectly acceptable to address all submissives as "slut"... you might be a Wannabe
If you think SSC stands for "See Submissives Cower"...you might be a Wannabe
If your vanity plate reads "MSTR-2-U"... you might be a Wannabe
If you enter a chat room and command all the subs to call you Sir... you might be a Wannabe
If you think all subs put out on the first date... you might be a Wannabe
If you think the only purpose for nipple piercing is to have a place to hang your car keys... you might be a Wannabe
If you can't understand why a sub refuses to meet you for the first time alone at your place... you might be a Wannabe
If you think limits are nothing you need to consider seriously... you might be a Wannabe
If you think safewords are for sissies... you might be a Wannabe
If you think placing a "Sir" or "Master" in front of your nickname automatically makes you a Dom... you might be a Wannabe
If you think R/L is just like cyber... you might be a Wannabe
If you think using lube for fisting or anal play is too kind... you might be a Wannabe (or a really mean sadist)
If you have to constantly refer to the owner's manual to use your toys... you might be a Wannabe
If you think Doms can't show their feelings and need to be cold and aloof... you might be a Wannabe
If you have any reason to fear that ATF Agents could confiscate your toys... you might be a Wannabe
If you think the KGB Interrogation Manual is the definitive "how to" book for BDSM... you might be a Wannabe.
If you think sterile needles for play piercing are too expensive to only use once... you might be a Wannabe
If household items don't inspire you (wooden spoons, clothespins, etc.)... you might be a Wannabe
If you think electricity play consists of plug in socket/exposed wires touching sub... you might be a Wannabe
If you think a bullwhip is the best choice for a warm up tool... you might be a Wannabe
(From ChicoMunch)


  1. If the dominant demands you address him as sir before even getting to know him, much less commit to him...he's a wannabe.
  2. If the dominant restricts you from getting information from anyone but him, he's a wannabe.
  3. If the dominant never volunteers any information about himself first...such as his wants and demands...he's a wannabe.
  4. If the dominant insists on knowing what you are "into" *first*, he's a wannabe.
  5. If the dominant insists you meet with him within a very short period of time without hardly knowing you or you him, he's a wannabe.
  6. If the dominant insists that you meet him on his home turf and wants to play on the first meeting, he's a wannabe.
  7. If the dominant is jealous or gets hurt easily, he's a wannabe.
  8. If the dominant tells you that unless you obey him, you are not submissive enough, he's a wannabe.
  9. If your dominant is the strong, silent type from whom you have to drag the least bit of information out of, he's a wannabe.
  10. If the dominant exhibits impatience with your questions...any questions...he's a wannabe.



By BDSM-photo - http://www.modelmayhem.com/portfolio/pic/24772977#


Don't forget that if you have any questions that you want me to answer today is your last chance to ask them, as tomorrow is my last post for the hop. I'll be talking about the Collaring Ceremony tomorrow. It's a very beautiful thing.

Also don't forget to sign up for the Rafflecopter giveaway. One person will win two free ebooks and a free autographed cover of one of my books.

And don't forget to follow the rest of the blogs that are a part of the hop as well! There are some really great posts.

The winner will be chosen on the 20th, to give you all a chance to make your way through all of the posts and to post your links.



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