Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Achieving Balance in TPE Relationships

Sir Zano Irata recently held a discussion on achieving balance in TPE relationships. The timing of this talk was especially important to me as Master and I work through the typical growing pains all relationships experience. Sir Zano suggested that prior to achieving true balance, both Dominant and submissive need a strong idea of their self worth. "It is impossible and unreasonable to expect the dominant to be perfect;" he stated and added, “there is no true TPE relationship where the power is all on one side. The capabilities and desires of the participants are vital. It is these and not some idealised vision that should drive the relationship."
Discussion participants engaged in a fruitful dialogue about the scales ever tipping on one side or the other of the relationship and each individual grows within it. "A “perfect” dominant and slave would be extremely boring," one participant offered, as the group explored the inevitability of human error and the importance of all parties being willing to accept accountability for their weaknesses and to work together to create routines and rituals that allow all to feel safe and supported. Sir Zano offered, "In a healthy D/s relationship, the dominant will be in control but will empower the submissive in certain areas. These areas will depend upon the talents of both..." As talents are encouraged and developed, these roles might be shared or even exchanged and the process can cause the relationship to lose equilibirum. The group seemed to agree that this is normal, however; the key is ongoing communication, commitment to overcoming the obstacles together and ongoing strengthening of trust.
Mountains only exist because of the valleys between them. It is impossible to have one without the other. Acceptance that change is a lifetime experience allows us to accept the valleys as a necessary obstacle to climb the mountaintop ahead and should inspire a deeper connection and understanding of one another. Inevitably the scales will tip from one side to the other, enjoying the equanimity at middle ground and using those times to adjust and evolve, allows our relationships to flower, grow and achieve harmony.
cypher Reverie-Ra

"the Happy Ending" with Jay Wiseman

A few weeks ago, I was intrigued by a notice announcing a live interview at THE FORUM with Jay Wiseman (Avatar: Jay Composer) author of books such as the "Erotic Bondage Handbook" and "SM 101" amongst others. It was my first introduction to the author and producer of several instructional DVDs on Bondage.

Questions from participants ranged from inquiries about the nonsexual aspects of BDSM, to opinions on an elitest view of real lifestylers versus virtual ones. In response to the seperation, he responded, "..."the Internet has decreased the relevanceof geography...you [are able to] meet a kindred spirit in a way that you would not otherwise; there is the potential for great satisfaction and great pain in online relationships." Sir Jay went on to discuss Second Life as a way to explore and I readily cosigned this view. Internet connections and relationships, especially in Second Life have opened a window of exploration which has set free many closeted and curious lifestylers unsure of ways to experience these deep rooted urges, thoughts and ways of being. Many of these connections allow an acceptace of self that facilitates growth and participation in both lives for individuals who might never have ventured away from their vanilla lives to truly discover who they are.
I was most impressed with Sir Jay's description of what he calls the " Happy Ending Model" of BDSM. He discussed the importance of healthy and positively received outcomes at the end of a scene "...once the session is over are people at peace about it and if so why? If not, why? If they are happy and not too much risk was involved... then the outcome is reasonably ok." As I processed his words my thoughts were that this "outcome measure" should extend across any TPE relationship whether in a scene or not. Of course this is true of commited mono or poly families and may not be true for single night episodes of fun filled kink. Nevertheless, mutual respect appears to be the point here and something that can, unfortunately be neglected when priorty on the *people* involved in *any* relationship is neglected. Irregardless of what your preferrences are relative to Dominance, submission, kink or fetish, a mutual understanding of one another's needs, desires, limits and expectations is essential. This might also mean that the relationship will experience struggles as all members grow and develop individually and within the relationship. Sir Jay adds,"...challeges are universal [in all relationships] although the way of achieving the desired outcome is more personal and individual....there is a role for dissecting things and looking at nuiances and then synthesizing what you've discovered and incorporating that into what you are doing."
Additional dialogue was facilitated around the success rate of D/s relationships over vanilla relationships which is attributable to the level of trust expected and required for a true submission to occur. More than in typical relationships and marriages, there is a willingnes to trust, be self accountable and expressive about feelings that is often absent in other relationships. It’s hard to imagine how a positive outcome could not be achieved under those circumstances as this type of commitment.
Although some lifestylers might cringe at the idea of a "fairytale ending" Having dialogued with Sir Jay and other very vocal and opinionated lifestylers W/we seem to aspire to live happily ever after.
cypher Reverie-Ra

Monday, January 10, 2011

BDSM Etiquette: Basics Are For Everyone

I made this set of guidelines over a year ago for a Femdom sim I used to teach classes in and wanted to pass it onto everyone because it is a basic a set of guidelines that everyone of all levels of experience can benefit from. These can be applied to "play" or relationships of any structure. Many of you already know them but it never hurts to have a look again at the basics.

How To Behave in BDSM Related Sims in SL: for Dominants and subs/slaves

√ Everything that happens from just hanging out, to mild "play" to full on whipping scenes to sex must be consensual at all times regardless of the situation, how long you have known the person(s) you are with, or where you are. Following SCC (Safe, Sane, Consensual) or RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) guidelines is a good place to start.

√ Know Your sub's/slave's limits and boundaries and respect them at all times regardless of any situation or how long you have known them. Hard limits are NEVER to be pushed by any Dominant at any time. Dominants it is Your responsibility to ask the sub/slave what his limits are, to discuss those limits and to ensure that those are respected at ALL times.

√ It is not okay to just pull someone aside for any kind of play/interaction without at the VERY LEAST asking them what their Hard Limits are. If the sub/slave does not know his limits then Dominants it is Your responsibility to make sure that as you interact with the sub/slave you are aware of how the sub is feeling and thinking as not to go too far and cause harm to the sub/slave mentally, emotionally or physically.

√ All subs/slaves must understand that you do have a right to say "no" or "stop" if you feel you must. A good way to do this is to establish safe words. The norm in BDSM are "Green"=keep going "Yellow"= proceed with caution and "Red"= STOP RIGHT NOW! If "Red" is used, Dominants and subs/slaves make sure you discuss and understand why it was necessary to stop. Never leave without any kind of reflection or after-care. Remember that Dominants need aftercare too!

√ submissives respect that Dominants also have limits and that you must never push your Dominant/Top into a situation She does NOT want to be in for your own selfish pleasure- you would also not want to be mistreated or abused in this way! Show Them respect at all times and do not try to "top from the bottom."

√ Have fun and enjoy what Y/you do. If Y/you feel something is not right then Y/you need to speak up and try to solve the issue. Know you can tp out if Y/your boundaries are not being respected and if Y/your dignity and basic rights are being violated even after Y/you have been clear about how you feel/think of what is going on. Not respecting boundaries is abusive and abuse should never ever be tolerated by A/anyone at any time period.

√ Remember that it is better to take Y/your time and leave feeling like Y/you really enjoyed the experience, the company and want more rather than to leave feeling like you would not like to run into the person again or what just happened was way TOO much.

√ Be responsible, communicate openly and honestly and often. Set a good example for O/others and be respectful to E/each other always.

Jovial Denimore