What is your Safeword?

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Day 10 of 30 days of self-exploration through D/s

Safewords, an often-overcomplicated issue in the BDSM community, can be a simple concept. 

Anyone who engages in any kind of activity sexual, scene, or otherwise can and SHOULD incorporate the use of one or more Safewords.    Safewords can be either a set thing for an individual or can be negotiated.  However, all parties should be fully aware of each other’s Safewords as well as what they mean for that individual. 

In the past I have used several different Safewords that were mundane objects and would not likely be related to the activity, such as apple or bicycle.  These words can work, but the hard part is usually remembering them when your head is a bit fuzzy from endorphins.  A common system, and one my partner and I have discussed using is the light system.  Most people are familiar with the street light system where Green means Go, Yellow means Proceed with Caution, and Red means Stop.  These can be directly applied to interactions within BDSM, with a few additions. 

I see the light system in this way:

  • Green – keep doing that, that feels good, I’m having no issues.  Issues can be physical, mental, or even both.  When someone expresses green, they are wanting to continue the activity. 
  • Yellow – I’m doing ok but be careful.  This can mean that the activity is causing some physical discomfort, but for now you can proceed.  However, this could refer to triggers or mental issues that are beginning to spring up. While they may still be under some control and they want to proceed; care should be taken to proceed cautiously.
  • Red – STOP everything Immediately!!!  This is non-negotiable.  Many people do not utilize the other colors, but Red is mostly universal.

As with anything else, this is my personal opinion and in no way should be taken as gospel.  I hope you have found this informative, please contact me if there are any questions and be sure to check out my other posts.

*Shoutout*

The topic for this post was provided as part of LovingBDSM’s 30 days of D/s, which can be found here.  if you would like to join in, check them out.  If not, still check them out, they are great people doing great things for the D/s Community and so much more.

Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s

As always, thanks for stopping by – raxleanne

Let’s Talk about Limits

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Day 9 of 30 days of self-exploration through D/s

Limits are a big subject in any BDSM or alternative sexual relationship.  Limit lists are a common way for play partners and people in relationships to communicate.  These lists provide ways to talk about what experiences they may have had in the past, things that they are interested in, sometimes called soft limits, and perhaps most important to many partnerships, hard limits.  Hard limits are those things that for some reason (and often very personal) one person considers off limits.  Limits can and often do change, especially as a relationship develops over time.  Many things that I considered hard limits when I first began to understand BDSM, I enjoy now.  One example of this is asphyxiation.  Asphyxiation is one of those things that scared me beyond explanation when I first learned of it.  However, over time and as trust in my partners grew, it was something that I became curious about, later, became something of immense joy to me. 

I would suggest using a limit list like a checklist.

  • Go through the list, marking anything you have experience with and enjoy with a mark
  • Mark the things that you are curious about, or have some experience but may still need to learn more
  • Mark the things you know little or nothing about, but are no completely out of question, these are often referred to soft limits.  Sometimes these things become part of play; other times they can become hard limits as tolerance and experience is expanded.
  • Finally, boldly mark the things that are an absolute – No Way

I have compiled a pretty inclusive limit list that can be download here. This list likely does not include everything there is to try, but it can be a great place to start

I also suggest revisiting your lists as your relationship progresses.  Keeping your list up to date on what you have experience and curiosities can be a great way to decide what areas to explore.  This also serves as a tool for negotiations.  I know I cannot be the only submissive to give into something I may not absolutely love in exchange for something I really enjoy that may not get my partner super-hot. 

I have no problems answering questions about limits, but a person’s limits are very personal, so while I will not share mine, I will try to get a limit list uploaded soon that you can use with your partner.

The topic for this post was provided as part of LovingBDSM’s 30 days of D/s, which can be found here.  if you would like to join in, check them out.  If not, still check them out, they are great people doing great things for the D/s Community and so much more.

Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s

As always, thanks for stopping by – raxleanne

Handling Negative Emotions in D/s

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Day 8 of 30 days of self-exploration through D/s


Photo by Callum Skelton on Unsplash

This week the topic Handling Negative Emotions

Negative Emotions, we all have them.  We get anxious, jealous, filled with fear, or just feel off sometimes.  What is important is how we handle those negative feelings.  In a D/s partnership like mine, part of our dynamic includes communicating how we are feeling on a regular basis.  This becomes even more important when those feelings come from a negative place.  For me negative feelings tend to result from inaccurate assumptions or feelings of doubt in myself.  My own history of issues with self-image, self-worth, and, to borrow the term (LovingBDSM), my own bad tapes are usually the root cause of my negative emotions.  During such times, I struggle, but know that if I talk to my Dominant, things tend to get better.  Usually the resulting conversation will show me that my fears and anxieties were off somehow, or even completely unrealistic.  But talking through them, even if it means just writing them down, helps tremendously.  On the rare occasion that negative feelings come up that involve something that my Dominant has done, or is doing, I find it hard to be confrontational.  At these times, I will reach out to a trusted friend first to run it by them.  This serves to figure out if may feelings have foundation or are just rooted in fear.  Fear for me, is typically the biggest cause of most of my negative feelings.  This may not be the same for anyone else. 

Dominants are not immune from negative feelings.  There are times when very similar situations come up from the other side of the /. Dominants need to have the same avenues available to them to express and deal with their negative emotions just like they do for their submissive.  In my partnership, we try to make a point to check in at least once a week; particularly if there has been a lot going on in our ‘vanilla’ lives.  By making a point to check in, we tend to avoid the bigger issues that have built up in the past.  I make a point of trying to make myself available for one on one conversations when there are little or no distractions for these discussions.  There have also been times when I have had to write things down, like a list, to keep myself on track.  By doing so, I can keep my thoughts in order and not controlled by the negative emotions that I am battling.

As with most everything in D/s; communicate, communicate, communicate.  No one is a mind reader, and unrealistic expectations can only cause further trouble. 

Disclaimer: The opinions contained in this blog are not a substitute for therapy and should not be considered anything other than my personal experience.  Your experiences can and will be different. Emotions that are obsessive, unrealistic, or overwhelming may lead to serious mental health issues.  If you feel that these emotions are too much to handle… Please seek professional help in your area.  If you need assistance finding someone, please contact me and I will do all I can to assist you in your search.

The topic for this post was provided as part of LovingBDSM’s 30 days of D/s, which can be found here.  if you would like to join in, check them out.  If not, still check them out, they are great people doing great things for the D/s Community and so much more.

Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s

As always, thanks for stopping by – raxleanne

Communication in D/s

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On Day 7 of 30 days of D/s, the topic is Communication

Communication is by far the most important aspect of any D/s relationship.  Communication is used in negotiations, during any power exchange, scenes, or play, and even aftercare.  Communication includes not only verbal, but non-verbal cues.  Throughout a relationship communication can and should change and as trust increases, non-verbal communication can increase.

Negotiation communication is the primarily the time when expectations, desires, and especially concerns should be addressed.  For many people negotiations may take on a formal feeling, some even using contracts or written lists to help facilitate communication.  One common thing may people use to help this part is lists, there are many, many kink lists out there that can be used to determine likes, dislikes, and curiosities that people may have in common and areas they want to explore together.  For me and my partner, this was one of the first steps I used to introduce what things could be included in our D/s dynamic.

Play time is not void of communication.  Most individuals in BDSM are familiar (or should be) with the use of safe words.  My partner and I use the light system, which has gained popularity over the years, but in previous relationships I used mundane non-sexual words, such as bicycle or popcorn (the light system is so much easier to use because most people are familiar with what the colors red, yellow, and green mean.  Stop, proceed with care, and GO! This is also a time to pay close attention to non-verbal communication.  For me, it is not uncommon to lose the ability to form words during particularly intense scenes, I also have a bad habit of holding my breath during orgasm, so that if they are coming (pun intended lol) one after another, I have been known to pass out.  So that means that my partner needs to pay attention.  Luckily it has only lasted for a few seconds, and I am able to communicate that I am ok.  Though I have never used an object to communicate, it is something I have heard of many times.  For example, if a ball gag, or other device makes verbal communication difficult, an object such as a ball in the hand can be used.  When the person drops the ball, all play stops.

Aftercare communication is more important than people sometimes realize.  Especially during times when limits have been pushed, or play has stopped abruptly.  It is important to follow up with your partner to assist them in any way they need.  Everyone is different.  For me, if I have pushed my personal limits, I need time to analyze it myself before being able to communicate with my partner.  Sometimes this can take just a few minutes, other times this has taken days.  In either situation, it is important for the partner to be open and understanding.  Help, whether it be water, food, or just being held.  Do not rush the person that needs to think things through.  In instances where a safe word has been used, it is important afterward to discuss the reasons behind using the safe word, but never blame or use accusations.  Safe words can be used for so many different reasons, physical issues or mental issues, such as triggers, fear, or overwhelming misunderstood emotions can take time to figure out. 

As someone who has been blamed for stopping play too soon, it is dangerous to say or show negative feelings during aftercare, it can only lead to more complications in the future.  Just be supportive in any way they need.

Dominants can use safe words or stop play at any time for a number or reasons as well.  In these times, it is important for a submissive to be open to the Dominant, if they need to discuss the reasons why.  This may be especially important when a Dominant begins a new type of play, for example impact play.  Men, particularly in western culture, are raised and taught by society that they should never hit a woman.  When the woman they are with desires that impact, or the man desires to give that impact, sometimes it takes a bit to reconcile that with how they were raised.  Take your time, go slow and use constant reassurance that the Dominant is doing what you want them to do.  Praise and thanks when a Dominant fills a need is always a good thing.  Currently, my partner and I are trying to discover what types of impact he is comfortable with coupled with what I enjoy.  It is a slow process, but the learning stages can be so much fun. 

Finally, never confuse communication and assumptions.  Assumptions in D/s can be very hazardous.  Communication, on the other hand will lead to deep trust and understanding. 

When in doubt- Talk it out!!!

Again, I want to give a shout out to LovingBDSM for providing the prompts.  Go check them out!!

Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s

Conflicts, How we manage

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On Day 6 of 30 days of D/s, the topic is Conflicts. 

This is a difficult area for me personally, as I am a person who can handle other people’s difficulties and conflicts, but when it comes to my own… not so much.  I grew up in a difficult family, my father was an abusive alcoholic, so we spent most of our time walking on egg shells to avoid the next blow up.  Jump forward, I had a couple of previous relationships, where screaming matches seemed to be the only way to communicate. 

Today, my biggest struggle is voicing my concerns, discontent, or any unhappiness.  In short, I hate to fight or disagree with my partner, and find it easier (at the time) to just not say anything. (I know, how shockingly submissive of me!) I’m sure it is not hard to guess that not saying anything does not work either. 

So… I draw on the foundation of D/s as I know it, which is communication, sometimes even over-communication.  Before we decided we would slowly add D/s to our current relationship, we talked, and talked, and talked some more about the smallest things that were going on.  I often resort to writing letters or long texts, simply so my emotions will not take over and I can make sure to get my points across.  He is then able to contemplate my meaning without becoming defensive.  So far, it has worked for us.  We talk every day, gauge where we are and where we need or want to be and figure out how to get there.

What ways do you and your partner(s) deal with conflict?

Again, I want to give a shout out to LovingBDSM for providing the prompts.  Go check them out!!

Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s

Discipline and Punishment

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Discipline and Punishment might bring about horrific memories of switches and the principal’s office for some.  For others, visions of regimented households where everything has its place, and everything is always in its place.  For me, discipline, falls somewhere in between, and punishment causes echoes of another kind of terror.  It is not uncommon for fears from younger days to transfer into triggers later in life, so anyone wanting to take the leap into BDSM, or similar power exchange relationships should be aware that these things can crop up at, typically, the most in opportune times.  There is nothing scarier than having flashbacks to a time when flyswatters and belts were the normal weapons of punishment, and they do not make you feel sexy or submissive. 

In my personal experience, discipline and punishment should be approached in the D/s dynamic with caution.  Open communication about previous experiences, both surrounding BDSM and in the ‘regular’ areas of life may help to stave off more intense triggers. 

Discipline can be confused with punishment and gets even harder to differentiate when “funishment” becomes part of a dynamic.  Whatever form discipline may take, there are many things to take into consideration.  One thing that I must deal with on a regular basis is physical limitations that may be as slight as mild discomfort, but more often include sharp, debilitating pain that makes even walking across a room difficult.  Therefore, the use of punishment as a deterrent, may be less effective, if the original act causes discomfort or pain. 

In my current dynamic, the focus of discipline has mostly been on improving my health.  Since this is something I am fully behind, I have not had the need for punishment…yet.  In the past, though not specifically called punishment, withholding sex was, unfortunately, the result of my “bad” behavior.  Now, I will say this is no longer the case, communication and renegotiation of those instances have resolved that punishment, as it was especially non-effective.

So what are your views on discipline and punishment? Do they differ now than they did before D/s?

Again this post is part of an ongoing series called 30 Days of D/s from LovingBDSM. If you haven’t checked them out yet, please do…

Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s

-raxleanne

Negotiation: A fancy word for talking in D/s??

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Day 4 of 30 days of self-exploration through D/s

Negotiation is generally defined as a discussion aimed at reaching an agreement.  In D/s, that definition can apply, but should be expanded to allow for compromise on issues where agreement just cannot occur.  I have done plenty of research on D/s contracts and negotiations, and while I do believe there are instances where they can and should be implemented.  I have not been in a relationship that required a formal contract or negotiation.  Negotiations, in my personal experiences, have been on a circumstance by circumstance basis. 

At the beginning of any D/s or similar relationship, whether intended to be for one night or long-term, there MUST be an ongoing conversation.  People can and usually do change over time.  Protocols, for example, often change from one relationship to another, and can even change from one scene to another.  One scene, I may be completely fine being on display for all to see and another I may want to cover some or all body.  I cannot tell ahead of time where my headspace will be, therefore, it usually involves being prepared for each type of exposure, so I would likely wear clothing that allows access, but can keep me from being exposed, like a long cover up, or even crotchless panties (which reminds me… I need to do some shopping).

In a long-term D/s, or really any relationship, communication should be a priority.  And, negotiation is just a different way of thinking about communication; communication with the hope of agreement as the result.  As a submissive, every aspect of D/s is up for grabs when it comes to communication (negotiation), my Dominant either deals with it, or does not earn my submission.  Submissives can and should consider every aspect of their relationship as an area that could be discussed.  Very few submissives are 100% submissive in all areas of their lives.  Others, submission only applies to acts in the bedroom.  I guess overall, when I think about negotiations, I tend to think of the things that are my hard, or nearly, limits.  The things that fall under, only if every other variable is just right, I may consider it, situations. 

Do you see negotiations differently?  Is there one or more areas where you feel differently about conversations with your partner? 

Again, thanks to LovingBDSM for the prompt.  If you haven’t yet, please check them out, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s

What Titles and Labels Do You Prefer?

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Titles are one of those things in D/s, or even BDSM, that can be either/both positive and negative.  Generally, I have a strong disdain for labels of any type.  Titles and labels give others a way of fitting someone into a preconceived mold of how they think they should appear, behave, or even what people they should then be partnered with.  If I was forced to pick one title to express myself at this point in my life, the simplest is submissive.  However, I also have switch behaviors, most typically I would be classified as a bottom, and I also have a few babygirl tendencies that will crop up from time to time.  I am a masochist, though some may consider me masochist-lite due to my preference against some of the more severe aspects of impact play.  In the past, I did embrace the titles pet, baby, and little, though they just do not fit me these days.

Titles/labels for my partners have changed over the years as well.  My first recognizable D/s (refer to Where it all began… for earlier experiences) was simple.  It was his desire that he be called Sir, and I obliged, however, my title was usually woman.  He took on the more domineering role that many associate with dominance, thanks to porn and media.  Another relationship was mostly long distance, from the beginning he wanted me to call him Master, but never really gave me a title, he was focused on my use of ‘yes, Master’ or ‘what ever you wish, Master’.  Looking back now, I can see how I was subjugated, and not completely honored. 

Fast forward to my current relationship, we have not really discussed labels or titles.  In the most D/s moments, he will use terms like ‘mine’, and it just makes me melt.  I have concluded that titles and labels may help to explain to someone a side of my personality, so that is really the only time I use them beyond sub/submissive, and Dom/Dominant for my partner.

What titles/labels do you/have you used?  Are there ones that you dislike or stay away from?

Admittedly, I was leery of the title Daddy, until recently.  Though it is still not one I could see myself using, I have a better understanding of the Daddy/Caregiver personality.  Thanks mostly to John Brownstone and Kayla Lords over at LovingBDSM.  They have taught me how different a Daddy Dom can be to my own preconceived notions in the past.  Also, they are who to thing for this topic… help me give them a thumbs up by checking them out!!

Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s

What Does Submission Mean to You?

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Day 2 of 30 days of self-exploration through D/s 

If you would have asked me a decade ago what submission meant or was, I would have simply answered serving another, or giving up control to another person.  While yes, that is part of submission, it has since taken on so much more.  Submission involves an innate desire to be taken care of, supported, molded, and in an ever-evolving state of improvement.  Submission is best embrace when there is a trusting guide, usually a Dominant, to take the responsibility of the lessons that need to be learned.  However, submission can and does occur in every day social circles where people may not recognize what it represents.  Submission can take on forms such as helping; nurses, doctors, mental health practitioners for example, or service; customer service, creators, artists, and even police officers, firefighters and emts.  Many professions can fulfill a submissive desire if one is open-minded enough to search it out.

In a relationship, submission can also take many forms.  For me personally, I am mostly a sexual submissive in my primary relationship.  Therefore, my SO (D in training) takes on leadership and control in sexual situations.  However, there are times when he can remind me of my submission in simple, yet effective, ways.  Just the other day we spoke about a common gesture that he does without thinking that puts me in a submissive headspace nearly immediately.  Whenever I am driving and he is in the passenger seat of the car, he tends to grab the back of my neck.  Sometimes it just sits there, while other times he may massage or squeeze gently.  In the instances when we are alone, it works very quickly.  However, I realized only recently that it does not have the same effect when any of our children are in the car with us.  I choose to compartmentalize my submission.  And while I embody many submissive mannerisms around my children, such as taking care of them, or helping them in some way, I just do not feel the same way, so for me it is different enough.  I am always searching for ways to expand my submission.  This blog/website is part of that desire.

There also does NOT exist one type of submissive, as I have met and talked to individuals from many different backgrounds and personalities that embrace submission as a large part of their identity.  For me though there seems to be a few constants.  First, being an underlying need for at least one deep connection.  Some submissives may take time to trust another, but once they do, that trust goes to the core of their being.  Another unfortunate, but seemingly universal trait is self-deprecation in some form.  I do not mean this in a bad way, but all submissives I have spoken with are just too hard on themselves, myself included.  Sure, I try to be self-confident and fight what I refer to as my mental demons, but most individuals have that nagging voice of doubt, somewhere.  Except maybe psychopathic and narcissistic individuals, but that is a whole other issue.

What other ways do you define submission?  Are there universal traits to submissives?  What do you think?

The topic for this post was provided as part of LovingBDSM’s 30 days of D/s, which can be found here.  if you would like to join in, check them out.  If not, still check them out, they are great people doing great things for the D/s Community and so much more.

Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s

As always, thanks for stopping by – raxleanne

What Does Dominance Mean to You?

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Ok, first things first, I must give a shout out to Kayla Lords and John Brownstone over at LovingBDSM for providing a wonderful workbook/ email opt-in to work with.   After subscribing to the email list, I later purchased the digital workbook to use to increase communication with my (new to D/s) partner.  Now, I am going to take this a bit further and use it as (ideally) 30 posts in 30 days.  I am hoping this will not only help you to get to know me but improve how much I know about myself.  Again, thanks LovingBDSM!  So, if you find this helpful, want to join the email list, purchase the workbook, or are just curious about all things kinky, go over and check them out, they are great people, doing great work.

So, the prompt for this first post is What Does Dominance Mean to You?

                For me, the first word that I immediately associate with Dominance is control, followed closely behind by protection.  To dominate someone else should require that the person doing the dominating have, at minimum, a realistic and honest drive to keep the other person safe.  And I mean safe from both physical and mental harm.  Dominance, IMHO, also requires an ongoing education.  Just because someone likes to take control, does NOT mean they should be trusted with it.

                In a relationship, I envision dominance in many different domains.  Sexual dominance can be as simple as being the person who initiates contact, with consent.  Financial dominance; it is not uncommon for one member of a couple to take control of balancing the checkbook, paying the bills, even being the primary income.  Professional dominance is something I envision as the cooperate tiger, who has their way in all matters business related.  Then there is parental dominance, this is the dominance and responsibility ALL parents should have with their children, including guidance, education, direction, understanding and supporting both financially and emotionally.

However, a Dominant in the D/s, sense has a much larger responsibility.  A “true” Dominant CAN be all the above, or just one or more.  A Dominant is the lucky recipient of the trust from a submissive that in every way, they will put the safety of what ever they are being given dominance of; whether that be orgasm control, discipline, or a myriad of other ‘things’ that a submissive has the ability to give up control.  A good Dominant, IMHO, will be a caregiver, gentle, understanding, offer leadership, take on the responsibility of both self-improvement and their submissive’s (and any others they care for) overall improvement.  They will also be humble, possess the ability to recognize their own deficiencies, and have the courage to look for ways to paths do decrease such deficiencies.  Above everything a Dominant must earn respect from their submissive.  Respect and trust are such critical and fragile things that they must be of the foremost importance.

Loving BDSM 30 Days of D/s