More Thoughts On Care

Last October I wrote about care, and an occasion that my rather wonderful sub of the time had showed care in precisely the way I needed, and how her instinct to care was so perfect.

I wanted to show how capable she was of care by contrasting it with a time when a sub of mine showed how little she cared.

Me 4.10pm: I’m just feeling a bit sad, that’s all. You know me. I’ll snap out of it soon enough.
Her 4.11pm: Well I’m tired and hungover so this isn’t a good dynamic. I’m afraid I’ll have to leave you to it.

The lack of care in these messages is palpable. I’d expressed sadness, and was told to go and deal with it myself. As red flags go, that’s a pretty big one!

The thing that struck me most was that she didn’t even bother to fake it. It would’ve been a quicker message to write “Oh no, that’s awful. I’m here for you.” She had taken the longer path to say “So what?

There were things I should’ve taken from that message that I didn’t. In my need to care, I took it as her cry for help, that she was feeling so low she needed me. In truth that may have been the best thing she could’ve done for me in that moment. But I don’t think she was doing it deliberately (although I’d love to be wrong).

In hindsight, I think the thing I should’ve taken from that message was “I don’t care about you.

I keep that lesson with me in more recent relationships. If I feel I need my sub to show care in a way she isn’t at the moment, I simply say so. I always strive to ensure I say so in a constructive way, and hope that it is seen as such, though we all fail in our goals sometimes.

The real lesson is, if they don’t care anymore, don’t be angry or blameful, it’s just, as I’ve said before, that you failed to keep their interest and attention. Recognise it and try to move on, retaining if they will allow, a positive friendship.


Some might be angry at me posting this text exchange. But in truth, she’s wouldn’t be angry, just embarrassed at the exposure of her lack of care. The puncturing of her superficial image. I’ve not posted it for this reason, but to illustrate the difference between this girl, and the sub who supported me so perfectly last October.

© Charles Rochester 2016

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Thoughts On “Fake”

Fake subs, Fake Doms…

I know, how judgemental am I? How conceited to even mention them, right? Who am I to judge who’s real and who’s fake?

In different situations we all moderate our behaviour to some degree. I act differently with patients than with my family and friends. We all compartmentalise and allow different people to see different sides to us.

Fundamentally I believe I stay the same person. Unless you are motivated to see something that isn’t there, then anyone I’ve spoken to on here or twitter, either TL or DM will know the same me I’ve been since before I started this blog. They will know what’s going on in my kink life, whether I’m in good spirits or poor, crucially whether I have a sub or not (though not necessarily who she is). Knowing those things mean I’m being respectful to the person I’m talking to and to my sub (if I have one). I’m not wasting anyone’s time if I’m unavailable and I’m not undermining my connection.

But different aspects of me come to the fore in those different environments. I may not tell everyone on twitter everything about me, just as I don’t tell all my patients everything about me. I’m discreet about certain parts of me with family and patients – hence my online anonymity. What I never do is masquerade as something I’m not.

Twitter is heavy with people pretending to be something they’re not. From a D/s point of view, it’s a rich hunting ground for Tops and Bottoms who want some rough sex, but can’t be bothered with all the actual Dominance and submission that – for me – makes it the fulfilling dynamic.

For ‘real’ Doms and subs, the physical side of the dynamic is merely one very intense expression of the relationship. The Dominance and submission doesn’t wane just because you’re out of the bedroom (or the kitchen, the car…). If anything, the desire exists to draw each other closer in the absence of physical presence.

None of this means that a sub is going to be submissive outside her bond (that would be as much a problem as it would be peculiar). Just as a Dominant isn’t going into work everyday and being “Domly” to everyone he meets. But it does mean that a submissive will never be fulfilled by being a Bottom to someone’s Top, and a Dominant won’t be satisfied by a Bottom, either.

For ‘fake’ Doms and subs, the physical is the thing. Giving yourself to be used or using someone for that act of gratification. This might appear to some to be about submission, or portrayed by a predator that way to gain a sub’s interest, but it is the superficial submission of the body to be used to please another (or two or three others at once), not submission in a D/s sense. A sub will feel used, not fulfilled by it. She will not float, but sink.

There is of course absolutely nothing wrong with being a Top or a Bottom and getting honest fulfilment from your counterpart in that way. Good on you for recognising your needs and seeking out someone with complementary needs. That’s what all the honest people want. My concern is when the desire is wrapped in the mask of D/s and the person being seduced believes you are something you’re not – believes they are getting a Dom or a sub, or believes they are being offered a submission experience.

That’s fakery. You’re faking that you’re one thing to get what you want, with no intention of delivering your side of the D/s ‘bargain’. Needs change, too, as journeys progress. You might find yourself in a relationship with a Dom or a sub, and find that really, you’re a Top or a Bottom and the rest of the D/s is a bit of a chore. This is the time for that all important communication.

Pretending you’re something you’re not to get laid the way you want is not just fakery, it’s abuse. It’s predatory. And ultimately unfulfilling for everyone. Be honest about who you are and your needs, and everyone – including you – will be happier.

D/s? great. All about the fucks without the care and protection? Great. Just don’t pretend you’re one when you’re the other.

Was this post judgemental. Yes. The truth is we all can be judgemental from time to time, and the people we are judgemental about are those who portray themselves as sharing our own kink, when we can see they don’t.


© Charles Rochester 2016

Thoughts On “Difficult”

Some time ago I read an article on Kosher food. I was fascinated by the author’s reason for keeping Kosher:

Because it’s difficult. You have to think about it so you don’t mistakes. It takes effort. It’s not what you’re doing that’s important, it’s the effort that means something.

I’m paraphrasing from memory, but I rather admired his honesty when it came to the original reasons for Kosher, that they’d become obsolete centuries ago. Keeping kosher was nothing but an act of devotion to his God, something that he did which may seem pointless but he imagined his God had a reason, even if he didn’t understand it, and it would please him. So doing it was fulfilling for him.

I’m not religious, but I suspect that underlying reasoning will sound familiar to many in D/s.

It’s a Daily Task.

As a sub, doing a task when it’s easy is, well, easy. Doing it when it’s difficult, that takes much more. Finding the time, making the effort when others wouldn’t, trusting there is a reason even when it hasn’t been explained, is an act of devotion by a submissive for her Dominant. A demonstration that she trusts him to guide her, trusts his judgement, and will always go that extra bit that no one else would to please him.

While it’s vital a Dom shouldn’t overburden his sub with demands – particularly when she’s busy – small, quick and simple tasks, like incidental photographs, help to maintain their connection and help her to show care and thought of him. That he’s important to her. That’s important to him.

Being an attentive Dominant isn’t easy, either. It’s a huge commitment of time, understanding and care. There are those I know who do it very well, nevertheless. They don’t achieve this because it’s easy or shirk away from it because their work or other aspects of their lives get in the way. They find a way, and they do because if it was easy, it wouldn’t be as fulfilling. If they stopped just because they were busy at work, it wouldn’t show a great deal of care, and it would show their sub how important she is to them: not very!

There’s always time in the day for a call and response, and in that phrase that goes around in memes on twitter:

You always find time for the things you care about.
If it’s important, it’s never too difficult

Mutual fulfilment is what D/s is at its core. If you can’t find a moment in time for quick simple tasks, what are you doing? Whatever is happening in your work or your life… There’s always a minute to show you care.


*incidentally, there is one good reason for ordering kosher food: it’s always better on an aeroplane than the regular stuff if you’re unfortunate enough to be in economy class.


© Charles Rochester 2016

Thoughts On Loyalty

Honesty is essential in D/s. Honesty means you tell the truth, hopefully because you know it’s the right thing to do, but certainly when you’re asked a direct question. Honesty doesn’t hide a painful truth.

When your other expresses a concern about someone or something, honesty means you face that concern with the truth of the situation, not try to prevaricate or conceal or turn the concern into an argument about something else, real or straw man.

But it’s not enough. What’s just as important is Loyalty. Loyalty means that the truth you tell won’t hurt your other. Loyalty means your behaviour doesn’t raise the concern in the first place.

If you’re loyal to your sub or Dom, then you behave in a way you know they wouldn’t object if they were watching. Loyalty means they’d be proud of you.

Loyalty means you don’t have to make excuses, you don’t erode your bond, you don’t have to apologise, you don’t have to pretend you didn’t know what you were doing was wrong when you get caught out. Loyalty means you don’t let your other down.

The behaviour of a sub reflects on her Dom and vice versa. In an exclusive bond, it’s important to ensure that you make each other proud, that you don’t allow the disrespect of others to continue. If you’re loyal then when someone tries to engage your sexual interest, you don’t allow it, unless your bond allows it. You don’t encourage it, and you don’t allow anyone to seduce you away from your bond with their attention.

But mostly your behaviour reflects on you. However much you might rage at another person for something, if your behaviour shows that you were disloyal, disrespectful and encouraged those who disrespected your relationship, that reflects on you.

A loyal other will always forgive, strive to rebuild that bond however weakened it’s become, because a good relationship is a good relationship, it just sometimes needs a little evolving, tweaking. Loyalty means you try, you run to your other when there are problems, not run from them increasing the space, increasing the erosion.

Ultimately, loyalty is about truth. If your connection has weakened, for whatever reason, the final disloyalty is to continue whatever is harming it (because you’ve chosen to) while trying to blame those who have strived to strengthen it, believing that’s what you want instead.

Cheap trivial attention (which is how it always starts) shouldn’t seduce a loyal sub from her Dom. Unless she’s not really a sub, and just another twitter attention seeker.

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© Charles Rochester 2016

Thoughts On Respect

Respect is an essential founding pillar within a relationship. Respect for your other, respect for their feelings, and respect for your bond.

There are many ways disrespecting your bond and your other can harm your relationship. Even kill it.

But the greatest harm is done by tolerating, or even encouraging, the disrespect of your relationship from someone outside. If for no other reason than it gives them the impression that it’s acceptable behaviour.

Some time ago I was given assurances by someone from outside my relationship of the time that my role and position with my sub would be respected. It wasn’t.

Later in that relationship, I was given similar assurances by another

…just to be explicit about it (not cos of how you are, but more in the spirit of being respectful of your relationship and any unease you may understandably be feeling), feel no need nor desire to possess, claim or in any way undermine what you have. I want to be really, really clear about that, hence the rather self-conscious and formal language. I’ve said this to her and I also wanted to say this to you. I want us all to be able to communicate freely.

Both these people lacked respect. Their assurances were hollow. As subsequent events showed they were doing nothing but trying to make me drop my guard. Neither man had any respect for my relationship. One went on to undermine it and temporarily end it, the second proceeded to sext my sub behind my back, after I had expressed that it wouldn’t be acceptable, to seduce her with attention (as she put it), harming trust when I’d said we’d need to build it, he was talking negatively about me to her in messages, and ultimately became angry with me for not wishing to share her in a threesome as if he was entitled to. He was unfollowing me, petulantly ignoring the olive branches I was offering so that she needn’t feel uncomfortable being friends with someone at such odds with me. Ultimately leading to the end of that relationship.

That the girl I was with at the time encouraged them, defended them both, denying the concerns that subsequently proved correct was damaging to our bond. Although that showed me she was entirely unsuitable as a sub, I can’t deny my culpability for giving her a second chance. More fool me.

Disrespect is a red flag. Anyone disrespecting your relationship from the outside should be put out in the cold. Far from either you, or the person who has shown over time that they truly care. Disrespect from within the relationship should end it. Not out of punishment or ultimatum, but because if your other allows – or worse, encourages – disrespect to your bond… there is no bond.

Disrespect is a red flag, and just as overstepping boundaries may have been before, is not just a red flag for now, it’s a red flag for always. If someone has disrespected one of your relationships and placed it (and you) at risk before, they’ll do it for other relationships. Perhaps in your ‘vanilla’ life too. If their lack of respect undermines your connections in kink, they might also be cavalier outside of kink. Perhaps risking your social wellbeing by going to your vanilla Twitter and liking only your tweets and those of your vanilla connections when they @mention you. That raises awareness of them to your “real life” people. The people that for social or professional reasons you’d want to hide your kink life from. If someone gets a bunch of their tweets (say 6 in one night) that all have your @name in them liked by someone, they’re going to take a look at the person who’s liked them and wonder what their interest is.

Red flags everywhere!

Disrespect, like the overstepping of boundaries, means people can’t be trusted. It exposes you to risk. It’s okay to be angry (read: defensive) when those who truly care for you point this out. It’s okay for the disrespectful to rage about the person who cares for you that’s pointing this out. Doesn’t stop it being true, and it doesn’t stop you from knowing that.

You can tell yourself (and your Dom) for months that this disrespectful person isn’t trying anything, but deep down, you know better. Because they’ve been disrespectful before, and you allowed it then.

People can be judged by their previous actions. Disrespect and risking your relationship once… means they’ll do it again. Whether they’re part of the relationship or trying to intrude on it from outside, undermine it, or end it.

The one thing you can always trust people to do, is be themselves. If they’re disrespectful to you, to your other, to your relationships once, you can trust them to be disrespectful again.


© Charles Rochester 2016

Thoughts On Exclusivity

Some time ago I wrote a blog about Priority in non-exclusive relationships. In that blog I said:

When you have an exclusive relationship, that privileged position is clear and obvious. How you show them they’re your priority is well defined.

To me it seems an obvious line:
In priority, you put someone First.
In exclusivity, you put someone Only.

It seems that it should be obvious which behaviours would break exclusivity. But in truth, different assumptions can leave bear traps for you.

Back then, I also spoke of the desirability of having flexibility in a relationship to express yourselves in a manner that didn’t threaten the real world exclusivity of relationships. The anonymous and geographically diverse world of naughty Twitter being a good place for that.

But how does that relate to exclusivity when the anonymous and faceless friends of twitter step out of the Timeline and into DMs? Or further, into WhatsApp, or the real world? When those simple and easily defined boundaries become blurred.

What happens when the kind of flirting and exploring that is entertaining and fun with anonymous nobodies on twitter happens elsewhere with real people? What happens to that behaviour on twitter when the friends there become friends we meet in bars or restaurants – when they become flesh and blood? Is it ever just “Dinner and drinks“? Is that flirting, sharing, sexting still alright? Even if it’s only still happening on twitter, when the friend is now a ‘real world’ friend?

I’m not a fan of negotiating and niggling at details. I prefer to let those details evolve and grow as the relationship evolves and grows. That’s easy with good communication and trust, and crucially with a recognition that you both put each other Only, that no wronghood was intended.

But it does lead to the – hopefully rare – occasions when one or other of you does something that doesn’t match the expectations of the other. So you’re sexting someone on WhatsApp that you meet in the real world who has expressed his sexual intentions toward you, rather than a friendly twitter account? Are you sure that’s okay? Are you sure they have no agenda? Are you sure that’s not going to harm your connection? Slowly erode your bond?

There’s a sliding scale, and where you draw the line on it is going to be different for everyone. Which is why I prefer the obvious limits, the easily defined ones. There’s little chance anyone thoughtful would imagine they can be stretched. The danger arises in assuming that what you think is okay will be okay with your partner. Or assuming that even though it’s not okay when someone does it to you, that it’s okay when you do it to someone else.

Talking about sex with anonymous twitter accounts, exchanging pictures, sexting in DM, sexting on WhatsApp, meeting for drinks, flirting, encouraging sexual attention, sexual contact… There are many points on the sliding scale, and the line isn’t always as clear as you might think. Keeping it clear becomes sensible, so you don’t let each other down.

Making sure you stay on the right side of the line requires caution. If you’re not sure if something’s okay, best not to do it. That’s likely to involve some sacrifices of passing whimsy, but if you can’t make those little sacrifices and you’d choose that moment of whimsy over a committed bond, then clearly you don’t really care that much about your relationship.

Because remember, you relationship once began as just such a passing whimsy.

While no Dom should ever tell his sub that she can’t be friends with someone, choosing a friendship that troubles your Dominant or submissive over their feelings is a red flag for your connection. Encouraging it is worse still. There shouldn’t be any whimsy or friendship more important than your bond. And if it is, well, there’s no bond.

I think the line is clearly crossed when you decide you had best keep what’s happening to yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable mentioning it – particularly if that type of behaviour comes up in conversation, then you probably know you’ve crossed the line. It’s like an alcoholic who hides his vodka.

If you think it’s okay – or even defensible – you’d tell the truth. You only keep it hidden of you think it’s wrong. Why keep it hidden otherwise…

As a Dominant man, I put in a lot of time and effort taking care of my sub. Far more than she would ever realise. The understanding being that her attention and interest is then directed at me, Not someone else.

I don’t like to blow my own trumpet (no, really!), but I’m a good Dom. I’m caring, thoughtful, attentive. I’m not demanding. I’m not bossy. I encourage and guide. Draw out desires.

All I ask in return is to be my sub’s sole focus, her only, and for her to please me – not someone else – a key element to a sub’s fulfilment, anyway.


© Charles Rochester 2016

Thoughts On Lessons From Experience

It’s important to learn the lessons of experience. No experience is truly bad unless there is no lesson you can learn from it. Learning that lesson will make things better in the future, next time.

But it’s not just about yourself. It’s good to learn lessons not just as they apply to others and what you need from them, but about how you treat other people. If something has bothered you in the past, it’s a fair bet that it’ll bother someone else if you do it.

Some time ago I gave a second chance to a girl who had let go of me to be involved with someone else. Someone she would later tell me she would “regret for the rest of her life” (for many reasons, and if you think I’m being indiscreet, remember I haven’t told you the reasons!).

In truth it was a challenge for me, too. Despite drawing a line under it to give her a second chance after the way I’d been betrayed, that relationship cast a long shadow over us that reared its head in practical ways for several months.

I’d felt safe giving that second chance because I believed she’d learned lessons from the mistake. Sadly, she wasn’t able to learn some of the lessons of it, which eventually became very damaging.

One was to trust me. It had taken her six weeks to discover that what I’d warned her at the start of her involvement with him had been right. She’d needed to learn it for herself, so it was a valuable experience in that sense. But she forgot that my judgement was good, and I could be trusted to act in her best interests even when she couldn’t see my reasons.

Another time, she told me her feelings about something he had done and contrasted it with how I had acted in a similar situation.

She had a problem with someone that I chatted to on the twitter TL. She thought a girl was trying to come between us, wanted me for herself and so, naturally, disliked her. I can’t remember who it was although I remember I couldn’t see the problem – I didn’t think this other girl was trying to come between us. But as soon as she told me her concern, they were gone. No questions. Her feelings and her comfort were paramount. By contrast she’d said to him…

You have interest in people I wouldn’t give the time of day to and in particular people you know have directly hurt me. It’s perplexing but it’s your right.

Just doesn’t really demonstrate any respect or care in my view. [sub account x] and [sub account y] are dangerous & spiteful. But you value their interaction. More than my feelings it would seem.

She was that upset about just twitter timeline chat.

After about five months of her second chance she couldn’t see how I felt the same about a friendship she developed that was much more than just timeline chat, with someone who quite certainly was trying to come between us and did want her for himself. She couldn’t see how it didn’t demonstrate respect or care to allow him to stay around, or how it seemed she valued that interaction more than my feelings. But that was, in her words, how I felt about her friendship with him, and for the very same reason.

I had done such a good job of healing her, that she hadn’t remembered how hurtful, disrespectful and uncaring it is to be friends with someone in that way, even encouraging his attentions and defending him when I expressed my hurt.

Despite that, I’m not in the business of telling a sub who she can and can’t be friends with. So I had offered the occasional olive branch to him, and in the face of his hostility we made some progress.

I’d made that effort to overcome his attitude toward me specifically because I didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable being friends with someone at such odds with me.

My effort, my bridge building. Against his considerable resistance and my own preference. For her to feel comfortable about something she objected to when she’d been on the receiving end.

I believe it is important not to try to control who your sub can be friends with, or manipulate her into not being friends with him. A sub has a right to be friends with whoever she likes. But there is a corresponding responsibility of loyalty to each other and the bond to ensure that friendships don’t harm the connection between Dom and sub.

Neither should put another ahead of each other.

Learn from your history, or you condemn yourself to repeat it. Worse, you might inflict the same lack of respect and care that upset you so much before.

But in case you think I’m saying “She had only herself to blame“, in truth, I learned an important lesson during those weeks, too. And like her I promptly forgot it because she was more important to me than a silly personal rule that would’ve prevented me giving her that second chance. I even blogged about it last August.

But lessons learned, lessons forgotten, nothing is truly bad unless there’s nothing to learn from it at all.

What’s important when there’s a lesson to learn is to be humble when someone who cares for your happiness has the temerity to show you the lesson. Remember their concern comes from somewhere positive. They’re not bullying, you shouldn’t hate them just because they have the audacity to be right, and to not let you off the hook.


© Charles Rochester 2016