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Archive for June 2nd, 2013

Guest Blogger: TJ Michaels
Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

BDSM and Me

NiahsPride_72LGFirst let me get the promo out-of-the-way – I have a new release coming on June 4th called Niah’s Pride – a Pryde Ranch shifter novella. Okay, now that’s done, let’s get down to it!

I’ve read some very good romance novels with BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Dominance, Submission, Sadism, Masochism) as the couple’s choice, but I’d never actually known anyone in real life that favored the lifestyle…until a couple of years ago.

A very good friend of mine called and said, “Hey, I’m going to a munch tonight with some new friends and I’m not comfortable going by myself. Will you go with me?”

My first thought was, what the hell is a munch and why does she need me to go get something to eat with her? “I’m not afraid of these people,” she said, “but they are new friends and I’ve never been to that restaurant before so I’m not sure where it is.”

Of course, I was convinced more than ever it was an ‘eating’ thing. She went on to explain that a munch was a gathering of people who were “in the lifestyle”. It was a time where they got together to enjoy some candid and fun conversation, get to know others in the scene, and most importantly, impart knowledge to noobs (new people exploring BSDM). They talk about what BDSM is and what it isn’t from their own perspectives, and so on.

Nosey author that I am I quickly said, “Sure, I’ll go with you as long as no one expects me to play with them.”

She assured me there were no worries as that wasn’t the purpose of a munch. Others might decide to play afterward, but not during. So we hopped in my car and rode over to the restaurant and met her new friends in a little banquet room. The door closed and my new education began.

I learned that while many think BDSM or D/s (Dominant/submissive relationships) is about one person controlling or exerting their will on another, it isn’t the case.

D/s isn’t just about kink or fantasy role-play. It’s not about whips and chains, broken bones, pain and squicky stuff the media has burned into our heads. Although some may enjoy that type of thing, D/s relationships are about power exchange. There’s no gender bias here. Various sexual preferences are proudly flaunted and accepted. In many ways, the lifestyle brings about a community. There’s a sense of brotherhood amongst Dominants and submissives who are comfortable and open with their lifestyle choice.

Here’s what one person, Alan Howard, had to say about it when someone asked the question, “Regarding your ‘Dominant/submission’ interest, why do you feel the need to control women?”

Answer: “I don’t feel the need to control women. That’s not what ‘dominance’ is about. Instead, I feel the need to just be the dominant partner in a relationship.

Juicy“I might need to explain the difference between dominance and control… The difference between a dominant man and a controlling man is whether or not he cares about consent. Consent to dominance must be given by the submissive. She must want to be dominated by him as much as he wants her to submit to him……”

“Control does not require consent, and a controlling partner is likely to be an abusive partner, while a dominant partner is more likely to be a loving partner….. Being the dominant part of a Dominant/submissive (D/s) relationship carries significant responsibility. If you’re the Dom, your submissive partner is giving themselves to you, and you choose to become responsible for their mental and physical well-being within the dynamics of the relationship that you both agree to participate in. Rules and behaviours expected from each member are established through extensive communication, and the responsibility of mutual care is far more important than most ‘vanilla’ (non-BDSM) relationships.”

That’s very interesting. I also learned about how important communication is in a D/s relationship. I had no idea that there was such a thing as negotiating scenes, aftercare for Dominants and submissives. Or that it is necessary for a top to carefully monitor their bottom to ensure that they’re doing okay before, during and sometimes days after playing due to the possibility of something called sub-drop.

Every relationship has some form of D/s in it. Now before you start shaking your head and grumbling, “Nu-uh, not my relationships!” think about this – Isn’t it true that a person may be a leader outside the bedroom (top dog in the office running a top notch company, for example) yet want to be submissive (take me! pull my hair!) in the bedroom when they get home? Even in friendships, there is typically one friend that is more dominant than the other – you now, one person is more outspoken about where they should have lunch or what movie to see while the other is just fine accepting their friend’s lead. See, dominance and submission.

In the end, the munch was a gathering of ‘normal’ people that go to work every morning, take care of their families, live and love like everyone else. The difference is that those people aren’t afraid to explore their own sexuality and care enough to share the truth of it with others.

Since then I’ve been exploring the lifestyle and having a load of fun making new friends. The end result – a new BDSM series is underway! The first book in the series is called ‘Juicy’ and you’ll see it by the end of 2013. Woohoo!

Soooo, whatcha think?

TJ Michaels