Friday, February 4, 2011

Mainstream S&M ala Rihanna?

Casually exploring SL and my box vibrates with a conference IM from Dantelicia Ethaniel of Le Fetiche who asks "Are we getting mainstream?" and then links me to Rihanna's new video "S & M" via YouTube (click to view). Of course my curiosity encouraged me to address the button where I was delighted with an interesting kaliescope of pastel pleasures. The video features the artist whose reputation has been heavily tainted with her brawls with Chris Brown who, parenthetically, has been diligently working to rebuild his reputation after their famed domestic assault reports. Quite an interesting flip of the media's attention where she has often been coddled as a victim of harsh physical treatment. In this video, Rihanna makes it clear that "sticks and stones may break my bones", but words are no match for chains and whips which bring much pleasure to the sex in the air!

I hardly believe that her antics in the video are regular exploratory activities for the pop artist, but they certainly draw attention to a cross over from vanilla into something more risqué. Even though the coloring of the video, with pastels, gives it a sense of parody, I respect her willingness to take back ownership of her identity. She seems to challenge the media and the manner in which they portray her. See seems to be saying "I'm not weak... maybe I liked it!"

I can certainly empathize with the development of an honest sense of self minus the need to be what is socially acceptable in order to feel happy and fulfilled. It is unfortunate that anyone need to hide who they feel they truly are in order to achieve mainstream success. It begs consideration of how success is defined and I believe it begins with what makes you happy and feel good. There is no cookie cutter answer for that. It requires some level of self exploration which might include challenging perceptions of the "dark" side which some often find is not so "dark", and in fact provides a tremendous sense of satisfaction, fulfillment ...and yes, pleasure! If it feels good, being "bad" as Rihanna sings... is it really bad?

Perhaps this question is her way of challenging the mainstream as she invites us to "come on." If she's headed in the direction of self-liberation, I'm right behind her!

cypher Reverie-Ra

Monday, January 31, 2011

Some C&A (Clarification and Advice)

Well about a week ago i wrote a blog about goals and goal setting. Since then it has become a bit of hotbed with submissives at the castle and in many open forums complaining about their Dominants about not being challenged enough. I'm not going to sit here and say that i am so special my blog caused this. I am sure its been in the brew for a while. BUT if anyone has a mind to point to my blog and say "see she said so too"...well i want to clarify myself a tad.

First, my apologies to the Dominants if any thought i was taking aim at Them. The purpose of the blog was to give any Dominant or submissive looking to understand the point of goal setting from a submissives viewpoint. What or how a Dominant chooses to challenge His or Her submissive is THEIR business and THEIR choice.
Submissives: Take note above and please understand i did not write that last blog to imply that submissives have the right to demand ANYTHING from their Dominant. Ever. What your Dominant chooses is what goes. Period.

So there is the clarification and that does bring us to the advice part. Submissives this is for you. Dominants if you do read the rest of this,  i do recommend reading Master Mikhail Borgins posting "Our Submissive's Development: Does Our Job Stop After the Collaring?" for a Dominant's perspective.

Ok! So you are a collared submissive and lately you have begun to feel..unhappy. Your Dominant doesn't seem to give you much to do to improve yourself or challenge you. Maybe even spends a lot of time with a sibling that seems to be a hand full and a half. As a submissive myself believe me i do understand that feeling of uselessness. Of being detached from the Dominant and feeling lonely, frustrated, and even unwanted. Be assured you are not the only one to ever have felt this. Be assured as well that you are human and are entitled to your feelings, collar or not. As i teach in my classes the first thing any relationship needs is communication. You need to tell your Dominant how you feel. Unfortunatly some stop listening at this point. PLEASE keep reading!!
Communication is the key, yes! BUT HOW we communicate with our Dominants is the difference between getting a problem solved and creating hell on earth with Them. You want to express to your Dominant that you feel unchallenged and unfulfilled. There are three very bad ways of doing this and one very good way (please note i did NOT say "right" way...there may be other "right" ways but this seems to have worked the best for me so far). I'll start with the "bad ideas."

1) You enter the room and tell your Dominant point blank: I feel unhappy. I want more control from you.
Problem?...You just put YOUR wants and needs and happiness ahead of your Dominant. The ultimate goal and happiness for the submissive is supposed to be serving and pleasing the DOMINANT.
It is possible that your Dominant is VERY happy and pleased with your service and did not see any need to change what is. My sisters and brothers in service this is a COMPLIMENT! At the very least be grateful for it. It means that your Dominant has utmost faith in you, is completely happy with you and you have attained the highest honor of a submissive. Yes i understand it doesn't solve the underlying problem. But i see far too many submissives with great relationships throw everything away because they became more concerned with themselves rather than being grateful for what they had with their Dominant. Gratitude comes in short supply these days. And if you truly are submissive to your Dominant, by He or She telling you They are happy with you should bring you ultimate joy. Submit because you WANT to PLEASE...not jus caus ya like the collar thing.

2) You kneel before your Dominant and say "Master/Mistress You need to control me more. You need to give me more direction. You have to be more firm with me".
Okay whoah nelly. Who exactly runs this outfit anyway? By saying these things you just topped from the bottom. You just told your Dominant how to serve YOU! Maybe you didn't intend for it to sound that way but i GUARANTEE that is exactly what they heard and perceived. Remember it is all about perception. Any time you use the words "you need" and "you have to" are telling someone what to do even if the person you are talking to is your best friend or bus driver. So it is absolutely certain that your Dominant will not hear that with any kindness. You don't get to tell your Dominant how to run His or Her household or how to take care of His or Her submissives and that DOES include YOU.

3) You head to the nearest D/s gathering hotspot or open forum and begin spilling your guts. You want advice so you waltz in wearing your collar and your Dominants name and start telling the world how miserable you are, how your Dominant is no help to you, and how do i lose this collar??.
Of all the ways to be irritating and irresponsible....this one irks me the MOST.

For one're an owned submissive wearing your Dominants name. You just trashed your Dominant in front of the world. You humiliated and disrespected your Dominant in open public. You probably wont have any collar by the next day for sure. Not to mention that a whole bunch of your Dominants friends (who might have been your friends too..and maybe siblings) just lost any respect they may have had for you.
Secondly, you have painted yourself as a drama queen. You aired dirty laundry that no one else needed to hear. Situations only you and your Dominant needed to discuss. If you have siblings i bet they are squirming right now and wondering how much else you threw out into public knowledge. Trust is a very very delicate thing. Its hard to earn, harder to keep, and impossible to fully regain once you screw it up. Mistakes are one thing but intentionally betraying your family and Dominant is inexcusable.
Finally, you also have put anyone in earshot in a bad spot. Any one in the lifestyle,whether they are siblings, part of the household friends, or absolute strangers; by basic code of conduct are expected to report you and any bad behavior to the Dominant. They may not want to really...may not want to be in any way involved. But YOU just put them into that position. In order to show your Dominant the respect YOU didn't show, they have to report you to your Dominant. Just what exactly do you expect to get out of this other than left on the side of the road? Personal business with your Dominant goes ONLY TO YOUR DOMINANT.

So what is the one way i know of that you can talk to your Dominant about your feelings?..First ASK if you can talk to your Dominant about them. Its very possible at that moment they are having their own crisis and cant be there to really listen. Any attempt you make to throw it at them could end up in a fight or worse. Ask to talk to them about how you are feeling and wait for them to say yes. Then when you do talk to them...don't put yourself first in the list of wants or needs. Tell them you feel you are not doing enough for THEM. Tell them you are afraid you are not serving THEM to the best of your abilities. Then if they are kind enough to ask what you might like them to do about it, ask if it would be alright to suggest some new goals or challenges. The point is to make sure that at all times you respect your Dominant, make sure that THEY are the one making the final decisions, and you are not putting your foot in your mouth.

OK! So you did all this. You still have your collar, you were totally respectful many times, and still nothing got done. Either your Dominant came right out and told you They didn't want to make any changes or they seem to be "forgetting" to get around to it (which pretty much means the same thing...its not changing) . Now what? Where do i go for support and advice? How do i deal with this?
You didn't need a whole lot of support and advice when you took that collar. In fact i am pretty sure a few people advised you against it but you did it anyway. The only one who made the decision to be in the relationship is you. The only one you should be looking to get you out of you. I have heard the argument that a submissive may not be happy but "in love". No you re not. Being IN LOVE means you see that person in the ultimate wonderful light. You accept everything about them ..good and beautiful and wonderful. Clearly if that is not how you feel about the relationship then that is not how you feel about them. But sometimes old habits die hard. Like it or not, if you are not able to find joy in your submission and your Dominant is not helping to achieve that goal then you are in the wrong house. Yes it hurts...especially when we care about others and don't want to hurt them. So don't hurt them.
Don't go from sim to sim telling everyone how you just dumped your Dom. Don't, in fact, tell anyone. Don't tell your Dominant it was all their fault either. Let them know you care but just don't feel that you are being honest in your submission to them and unaccomplished as a submissive. There is no blame to lay here. Pointing fingers at this point about how or why it didn't work is useless and only serves to hurt others. Just lift your chin, softly apologize to them for any hurt, thank them for all of their kindness and time...and walk away like an adult.
Sobbing about it, involving others, and pointing fingers isn't going to solve the problem. Being a mature, responsible adult, taking responsibility for yourself and your relationships, and making a decision like a grown up...This shows grace. This shows poise and dignity. This is how mature adults make a decision that a relationship wont work and end it. No drama, no name calling, no high school BS. Be adult and make a choice. Stay because you find life without them unbearable or go to find the challenge you crave.
And if you choose to stay...Be happy and grateful in your submission. Clearly you and your Dominant have a loving and caring relationship. Challenge yourself. I am pretty sure most true Dominants would not keep you from deciding to pick up a book on scripting or building or knitting for that matter. Choosing to learn a new skill is something most Dominants would be proud of. And never have treasure in this Dominant. This is someone who loves you and cares for you as you are...true unconditional love. There are literally thousands of submissives in the world who would cut off their left nipple with a safety pin just to spit on your Dominants shoes. But your Dominant chose you. And you built this wonderful thing.

My final sub-stance is this: Taking a collar is a mature adult decision. Being in a relationship at all is a mature, adult decision. Now that you are in it, you need to treat it with the same mature adult manor. Follow the basic code of conduct that is becoming of a submissive. Whether you go or stay, do so with grace and dignity. If you can't handle this lifestyle without having a personal pitty party and disrespecting your Dominant PLEASE go back to being vanilla. We don't need that here.