Thoughts On Care

Ultimately it’s all about care, isn’t it? Who cares and how. And is that what you need as an expression of care?

And communication and understanding is the key to care.

Because without communication, you can’t know the other person’s perspective. The “ordinaries”, in the vanilla world, don’t communicate. Don’t believe me? See how they sit on their hurt, they seethe with passive aggression, until it bursts out in anger. Which of course incites defensiveness and anger in return.

In our world, people tend to communicate better. When you tell someone something, they usually respond by recognising that it’s important to you or you wouldn’t have said it. They tend to want to understand. They tend to recognise that it nurtures and grows your bond to talk things through.

Being able to understand care and its expression is particularly important. Not everyone can do it, of course, and still react by being hurt that their Dom or sub is uncaring. They’re rarely uncaring, their way of showing care hasn’t been recognised. And if a sub is showing care her way and her Dom can’t recognise his sub’s demonstration of care, who’s failed, the Dom or the sub? I’d say it’s clearly the Dominant, the person who does the looking after, not the person being looked after. Conversely, if a Dom or a sub refuses to talk about ways their partner might need care shown, then there’s a second, greater failure: the refusal to even engage shows a lack of care in itself.

There’s a world of difference between being Dominant and being a control freak. And that difference lays in what you care about: Yourself or your sub, and whether you recognise the acts of care that your sub shows you. Do you recognise and understand your sub’s demonstration of care?

I was cared for hugely yesterday in exactly the way I needed that day. I knew I could rely on The Girl. But The Girl shows me every day that she cares, and when we’re alone she demonstrates her care in a very clear and significant way. I see her doing it. I understand how she shows she cares because I listen, we communicate, I listen and so I understand her. If I needed other demonstrations of care, The Girl would leap at the chance. After all, knowing she cares pleases me, and what’s more fulfilling to a sub?

D/s is, by its nature, asymmetrical. I expect The Girl to tell me when she’s arrived somewhere safely after a trip, for instance, but I don’t expect, ask or need her to check if I got somewhere safely. My asking her to tell me she’s arrived safely is one of the ways I show my care for her. Her letting me know when she’s arrived safely is one of the ways she shows me she cares for me. The opposite (her asking me if I’ve arrived safely, and me telling her) rarely happens. It doesn’t need to. That’s part of the glorious asymmetry. Of course I arrived safely! If I can’t be relied upon to take care of myself, how could she depend on me to take care of her? She can safely assume that I arrived safely. But she knows if she needed me to tell her, I’d be delighted to. Why wouldn’t I?

A Dominant cares, pays close attention to his sub, her needs. He devotes much time and effort. Because he enjoys taking care of his sub and is fulfilled by her gratitude and devotion to him. A submissive pleases her Dom, makes him the lucky recipient of her sexual attention and is guided by him and understands he has her best interests at heart, and because she finds pleasing him so fulfilling.

From a D/s perspective, the more symmetrical a relationship, the less D/s it is and the more vanilla. Because if your relationship is symmetrical, then who is Dominant? If your relationship is symmetrical everywhere but the bedroom, are you sure it’s really D/s and not just vanilla with a fringe of kinky and rough sex?

Yes, in D/s you both care for each other, but you show it in very different ways. And if you can’t recognise the way your Dom or your sub shows their care, then you can’t meet each other’s needs.

© Charles Rochester 2015


Thoughts On Interpretation

The written word has a great flaw in communication. Tone.

Periscope has been great for this, for instance now I know what some people’s voices are like, I read their tweets and automatically hear them. With many people whose voice I don’t know, I simply read it in the voice I would use. Which means I’m naturally well disposed to what they say.

Sometimes you’ll read someone’s words in the voice of someone you like, or someone who might normally have those sorts of discussions with you, someone you feel secure having them. It’s a natural defence mechanism against danger, but with the written word, it can lead to increased risk: Think of those “If you send me £100 I can release the £30m my former finance minister brother has stored away…” spam emails. Read them in the voice of a con artist, and you’d never consider it. Read it as if it’s from someone you know cares for you, and suddenly you’re more trusting (I hope you still wouldn’t send the money, though. You’re not an idiot).

More, it’s easy to interpret the written word in the tone you think you’d expect: Angry looking tweets get an angry tone. Sexy tweets, a sexy tone. It isn’t surprising that I’d read them influenced by my own expectations of that tweeter.

This gets more interesting when the communication is one-on-one:

We begin to read messages in the voice we know, but we overlay our expectations and our desires. If we think of that person in a good light, whether rightly or because they’ve set out to deceive us, we’ll read their messages in a positive way.

Quite often the way you read a message shows you more about how you see yourself, than how the other person sees you. If we know we’ve treated them badly and deserve their scorn, we’ll read messages through that filter, as scornful because that’s what we feel we ought to expect, and might inexplicably become defensive or feel hurt. By contrast if we’ve done nothing that any reasonable person could be angry about, we don’t read incoming messages from them as angry, but recognise it as supportive.

How we expect people to talk to us tells us a lot about how we feel about ourselves.

Listen carefully.

Not surprisingly, if you both trust each other and know that everything is said with love and kindness, the problem never arises.

This is one of the reasons why I tried the Filth And Erotica Radio: reading out blog posts in my own voice – in the rhythms and tones that I wrote them. I wanted people to hear them as I did. Having The Girl read the words she’s read was part of that: You hear the stories the way we do.

© Charles Rochester 2015