Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Submissiveness - serving two masters

This post is about a life situation that seems quite frequent - where a woman with submissive inclinations is married to a man who has no affinity for being dominant. As she starts to explore her true nature, the tensions between the call of her Self and the obligations of marriage can stretch her emotionally to breaking point.

I hope that this situation is improving - the internet provides so much more information about sexuality now that it is easier to learn who you are at an earlier age. However it can take a long time to understand yourself, so it's still quite possible to end up being married before your submissive nature reveals itself.

If you find yourself in this dilemma, it is very important to be clear. As a married submissive woman your husband is your Master. You cannot have a Dominant "on the side" and expect it to work, because this type of relationship is basically one of deception.

I realise how hard this situation can be, your newly discovered submissiveness is so energising and powerfully rewarding that the thought of not being able to fulfill it is almost too much to bear.  Others may have different advice on how to cope with this - I offer my own opinions here for what they are worth:

submit to your husband, even if he can't receive it

Initiate the submissive behaviour of your own accord. At first he may be sceptical or even scornful, but persist with humility. Examples of submissive acts include
  • make a point of getting up early every morning and kneeling naked by the bedside where he can see you. Repeat before going to bed.
  • in the evening, kneel at his feet rather than sitting beside him on the sofa.
  • wear a skirt rather than trousers, and go bare underneath when in his presence.
  • be waiting at the door when he arrives home, and make a submissive gesture such as a bow or curtsey.
  • initiate your own monitoring, making a point of recording any behaviour that a dominant would regard as an infraction. Go through your records with him if he's willing, and ask for his help in becoming a better person.
keep your own infractions book 

Your infractions book keeps track of all your lapses in submissiveness, however minor. Even if you don't receive punishment for your infractions, it is a useful way of increasing your awareness, and you can always use the self-discipline methods mentioned in the next section.
  • it is important to record unsubmissive thoughts, especially negative thoughts about your husband. They can be fleeting, if you don't make a note of them at the time they occur you will quickly forget you were having them, but it is good to have them on record for the future.
  • if your husband does come round to disciplining you eventually, it will be good to have a record of all your past infractions so that these can be worked through
  • if your circumstances change and you become free to take up with a Dominant, working through all these recorded infractions will become important.
manage your own discipline
 
Although self-inflicted punishment can't replace that given by a dominant, there are some things you can do to punish yourself, such as self-spanking or self-whipping with a strip of leather
  • use kneeling or holding a punishment position for a significant time to discipline yourself. Getting out of bed in the middle of the night to kneel is a way of challenging yourself harder.
  • nettles can sting ferociously, and you may be able to persuade your husband to use them on you instead of a cane. Otherwise they are easy to use on yourself.
  • one of the best implements for self-punishment is the ferula. It is spoon-shaped, made of heavy rubber, and really stings!
  • missing a meal, taking a cold shower, exercise, picking up litter, or giving away possessions to a charity shop are other ways of self-discipline.
remain submissive when provoked

All relationships build up tension which can lead to rows. There is no excuse for behaving unsubmissively in these situations, so accept responsibility yourself rather than blaming your husband. It's virtually impossible to continue arguing with someone who is totally accepting the blame for the situation and humbly apologising
  • you can defuse the situation by kneeling for an hour until things have calmed down.
  • make your apology - in writing if doing it verbally is too hard.
  • accept the blame and request punishment for your part in the row.
  • Avoid blaming your husband, however badly you think he has behaved. Try to see how your behaviour might have provoked a reaction from him.
build friendships with female submissives

Most husbands would be threatened by you having a friendship with a male Dominant, but may be quite comfortable with you meeting female submissives as a  group for friendship and support. I recommend this if you can set it up, because it helps to remove the isolation, gives you an opportunity to share advice and support one another with the self-discipline.

caveat

as one of my readers kindly pointed out, there is a limit to how much submission you should give if it's not being valued, or worse, you are getting abused. My suggestions above are about ways a submissive can initiate change in her relationship without insisting that her partner makes the first move, but that doesn't mean I recommend making yourself a doormat. There comes a point when enough is enough.

There is much more I could say here, which I am happy to do if asked.  If you have experience of introducing submissiveness into a conventional marriage, I'd be interested in your comments.

Sunday, 13 May 2018

What follows is my old Fetlife profile. I'm changing it to something much simpler on that site, but I don't want to lose this one as I spent a lot of time working on it....

I see myself foremost as a healer, but also as a disciplinarian - these two belong together in my personality. I have many years of experience in psychology, psychotherapy, coaching and personal development. I have helped many people using these skills, but in so doing I have met others, often extraordinarily talented and creative people, who were unable to fully benefit from these approaches because they lacked the necessary discipline. At the time my professional ethics made it impossible to provide the discipline that was lacking, but I am now creating a new lifestyle for myself where this becomes possible.

I am renovating a property in the Scottish Highlands in which I plan to run workshops in the future. In the meantime the building and land needs a lot of work doing to it, so there is an opportunity for volunteering with a d/s angle which could involve discipline, submissiveness and corporal punishment. I am interested to talk to anyone, male or female, who would be interested in helping.

In the longer term I expect there to be difficult times ahead - whether caused by climate change, economic collapse, politicians, war, or any number of other factors. Probably a combination of all the above. I aim for the property to serve as a refuge where a small community can prepare for surviving the hard times.

I'm looking to attract suitable people to join me in this community. I expect such people to understand submissiveness, to be able to get their egos out of the way enough to follow my leadership and serve the community. I've had some very positive experiences of working with people who are genuinely submissive, not in a needy, attention-seeking sense, but in the sense of quietly doing what they are told and reliably delivering results.

So the type of person I'd be hoping to meet would be interested in living a life where their submissiveness is valued, but in the format of a community rather than one to one relationships or one-off kinky activities. Although such a person may already be an experienced 'player', I'm looking for someone who wants more than play, that is open to being trained in my way of operating, which I summarise under 7 headings - obedience, discipline, openness, skills, resilience, simplicity, service.

Guidelines for contact

I notice that many fetlifers use their profile to set out guidelines for making contact. Rather than list a set of rules and prohibitions, here are my suggestions for reasons why you should make contact with me.

1. You understand the impact that humans are having on this planet, and have come to the conclusion that we are doing a lot of damage that sooner or later we will be called to account for. This could come in many ways such as climate change, economic collapse, wars, food shortages, drought.

2. You have realised that these problems are beyond the capacity of the human race to fix using our technology. Instead you are drawn to atoning for the damage, not only that which you are personally responsible for, but also the errors of others.

3. You are drawn to sacrifice and service to facilitate healing of the planet. You see D/s as a way of facilitating this, so for example you are drawn to the pain of severe punishment, nakedness to display your humility, you welcome restrictions on your sexual expression so that your sexuality becomes service.

4. For you this is not "play", but something you take very seriously. You would like to re-order your life around obedience, discipline, simplicity, reducing wants and needs, becoming more resilient.

5. You are drawn to working with others to achieve these goals. You are willing to be trained in these skills, whatever your prior experience.

6. You understand the meaning of submissiveness, seeing it not as something to use to get attention, but as a way of subjugating your ego and putting the needs of others before your own. You are open to being submissive or dominant, whatever the community needs at the time.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Through submissiveness to higher consciousness

Although some people are more naturally submissive than others, submissiveness is a quality which can be developed through practice, discipline and training, under the guidance of someone with the specialised knowledge of what is required. It may be helpful to think of the development of a submissive as going through a series of stages.

Stage 1

In this stage the individual is not aware that they are actually submissive, they haven't thought of themselves in those terms yet. There will be signs and indications of course, they will be aware that they are different from other people, but they may not realise that there are others like themselves. The submissiveness may reveal itself through particular types of fantasies, an attraction to austerity and a rejection of self-indulgence. This individual may have a tendency to defer to other people, to sit quietly in the background rather than join in with conversations, or to apologise for themselves a lot.

Stage 2

There comes a time when the individual begins to recognise their submissive nature, and starts wanting to do something about it. This might come about through reading, through watching videos or documentaries. Alternatively someone who has known them for a while may recognise their submissive traits, introduce them to the concept, and suggest cautiously that this might be the case for them.

Sometimes this guidance will be rejected because the potential submissive is not ready to absorb it, but often it will come as a great relief, a moment of discovery when things start to fit into place. Often the person pointing this out will be another submissive or a dominant who has learned to recognised the signs. Although the news needs to be imparted tactfully because it can be hard to take in, this is nevertheless a very helpful thing to do because it can save the individual many years of pain and wasted time derived from not understanding who they are.

An individual at this stage is not really submissive yet. They may have fantasies of submission, but they won't be very reliable at carrying out some of the basic requirements, such as being obedient and accepting discipline.

Stage 3

Once an individual has recognised their submissiveness and started to experiment with it, they may come to realise that they need help to develop. This is where the idea of submissive training comes in. It is necessary because the ego is immensely powerful, and it is very difficult for someone to use their own ego to overcome itself.  It really does require someone from the outside, normally a dominant person, to use the power of their will to instruct the submissive in what to do, to point out what they may be doing wrong, and to stretch them with ever more challenging goals.

Although the initial experience of exploring submissiveness might be very exciting, it doesn't take long for reaction to the instruction to set in. This this is often called "topping from the bottom", and is where the submissive tries to take control of the relationship, often in subtle ways. It is an example of the ego creeping back in, and an experienced dominant will spot this immediately and correct it.

There could be a number of false starts, because finding a good dominant is not an easy process.  In the excitement of the first encounter it is easy to overlook the dominant's limitations. There needs to be alignment between the goals of the dominant and the needs of the submissive. There is a need for a lot of exploration and negotiation before embarking on a training relationship with a dominant. An individual who is new to submissiveness won't know a lot about what to look for, so there can be much trial and error involved.

Assuming that the new submissive does eventually find a dominant who seems to offer what is needed, there needs to be a period of discussion and negotiation, arriving at an agreement as to what that training will consist of. What does the dominant expect from the submissive? What does the submissive hope to achieve in their training?  The submissive will have all sorts of ideas and expectations which picked up from the culture, and it will take a lot of work to modify those into true submissiveness.

Just as it takes at least three years to gain a professional qualification, you should think in terms of it taking three years to become well trained as a submissive. The contents of that training are beyond the scope of this article, but the ultimate aim will be to embed the fundamental qualities so firmly that external control is no longer needed.

So for example, discipline learned with the aid of the sanction of punishment eventually becomes self-discipline, where the need for any sort of punishment disappears. Similarly rituals will initially be done erratically if at all, but when performed diligently over a long period the submissive comes to see their value, and so carries them out willingly and automatically, rather than needing external discipline to keep them happening.

So for example if the dominant requires a submissive to kneel or meditate for a period every day, it will be quite hard at first to maintain that regular discipline. The dominant will need to monitor the submissive to ensure compliance, and enforce obedience through various sanctions. Once the submissive has been practising discipline like this for an extended period of time this changes completely. The practice becomes so embedded, comforting and reassuring that the thought of missing out on it becomes unthinkable.

Another part of the training will be in openness and honesty. Again at first this can be a really difficult thing to do and a lot of enforced discipline is required to make sure that happens. However as training proceeds the submissive realises the benefits of openness, she becomes so convinced of the value of it that to be dishonest or to deceive just becomes unthinkable.

Stage 4

There is another stage, which begins when the training process is complete. At this point there is really no need for external control, the basic principles of submissiveness - obedience, discipline, openness, reliability, simplicity - are fully established and automatic. The submissive will have also acquired a wide range of skills, and developed their strength and resilience to be able to carry them out. All significant psychological issues will have been worked through, and while nobody is totally free from hangups, these no longer cause issues, they are just dealt within the normal run of events.

Once this stage is reached the submissive may not need a dominant any more, or may just need the occasional maintenance session. At this point there are a number of options. The submissive may choose to become dominant in their own right, and start to take on other submissives in training. Alternatively they may decide they need to go even deeper into the submissive process, essentially taking on a slave role, or exploring deeper levels of masochism.

A third option, the one that interests me most, is to submit to a higher power, which is a spiritual process. It's difficult to do this at an earlier stage because the ego gets in the way, and you need the external discipline to work with. But once the submissive has reached the stage of not needing external domination, they can essentially monitor their own submissiveness then the possibility of submitting to the Field, Gaia or any chosen higher power becomes available.

Higher consciousness

Higher consciousness arises when you've got a direct and immediate communication with a higher power.You can only submit to something or someone that you can communicate with and receive guidance from. This may sound strange if you've not experienced it, but it really works! You ask for help with a particular problem and it miraculously arrives, perhaps through another person who just appears at the right moment with the help you need, or perhaps because the solution just appears in your mind. Similarly you get guidance as to how you can serve the higher power by noticing your thoughts, messages from others, or unlikely coincidences.

I don't know of a guaranteed way of bringing on this capability, but I do know that the disciplines of submissiveness, if followed diligently over a long period, make it more accessible. This is because submissiveness works in large part by containing the ego, getting it out of the way, and this seems a necessary step for achieving the higher faculties. I know that meditation works too, but submissiveness may be quicker!

It  seems that higher consciousness can develop in response to difficult experiences, such as loss, bereavement, accidents or trauma. This is where physical punishment may be helpful, because it seems that pain is another method of awakening higher consciousness. If you look at the lives of the Saints, the practices of gurus, mystics or shamans; these people often put themselves through a considerable degree of physical hardship and suffering. At the opposite end, people who've never experienced any difficulty in their lives can often be remarkably unconscious. Physical discipline and punishment may be a controlled way of raising consciousness, whereas experiencing traumas such as a car crashes or terrorist situations will be very uncontrolled and risky. It may be that people who put themselves deliberately into dangerous situations are seeking a way of raising their consciousness too.

I think it can be very useful for a submissive who finds she is starting to access these levels to continue to work with a Dominant, because the new energies can be very destabilising, and deceptive at times. It's therefore very useful to have someone who can introduce checks and balances, while willing to accept that she now responds to a higher authority than him.

Of course there's no guarantee that a Dominant who has taken a new submissive from the untrained stage right through to fully trained will have attained higher consciousness himself.  There isn't the same requirement for Dominants to control their egos after all. In this situation a submissive really needs to seek out a different Dom with a matching level of awareness, because the principles that apply to everyday consciousness simply do not work at the higher level. It's a totally different way of operating, and someone without that experience will not be able to help her.

Being the only one who has higher consciousness can be quite a lonely situation, particularly as it should involve being able to freely communicate with others at a telepathic level. Therefore seeking out a group, or community of similar people is a really good idea. A community led by a Dominant who has attained higher consciousness, and containing a number of submissives who have reached that level themselves, perhaps including others who are still in training, would be a very fruitful combination that would be highly rewarding for all concerned.

The main principle in such a community will be to sort out the alignment towards the higher power, the entity that everyone is ultimately submitting to. Its the role of the Dominant to make the initial connection and to work out what the purpose of the higher power is. Then the submissives in the team align themselves in the same way, so that everybody is ultimately oriented to the same higher power. This is necessary because a team that contains people who are aligned differently will pull itself apart.

I'm talking about quite a rare situation here. I imagine that such a grouping would be labelled as a cult by the outside world, and it would certainly be necessary to guard against going in that direction, but the benefits that could flow as service to the world at large could be so productive that I feel that it's worth making the attempt.

Please do comment here if you have experience of attaining higher consciousness through your submissive disciplines, or if you have worked with others in this way.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Punishment in the training of a Submissive

I made many attempts at writing a rationale and justification for punishment as a component of a submissive's training, before concluding that I was wasting my time. Training as a submissive without punishment is like trying to play the game of cricket without cricket bats: it would be a pointless exercise.  Willingness to accept punishment is such a fundamental component of submissiveness that if you are firmly opposed to the idea you should probably read no further.

Paradoxically the other extreme is also true – if you could willingly accept any amount of punishment and masochistically enjoy every second of it then it is unlikely to have the corrective effect necessary. Ideally you should view the prospect of being punished with a certain amount of fear and trepidation, while accepting that it will do you good and resolving to suffer it willingly and bravely. If you have never been punished before that is not a problem - all you need is a willingness to experience it.

It is important to state at this point that I am talking about punishment as a consensual activity between two adults who understand what they are doing and are sufficiently well adjusted to do it in a safe way. I am not talking about criminal acts of violence or abuse. Our culture finds it difficult to make the distinction, but a submissive with even a small amount of experience can tell the difference.

Why is punishment necessary in submissive training? 
Punishment is an integral part of the training. It is necessary to challenge the negative ego traits that can be so destructive to individuals and their relationships. It is vital to ensuring that the training exercises are carried out as required – thoroughly, accurately and with maximum effort. Bad habits such as laziness, slovenliness, carelessness, lateness and suchlike have to be be eliminated, and sometimes it is necessary to experience a certain amount of pain and humiliation to achieve this. While corporal punishment is essential to the proper training of a submissive, this only becomes possible when face to face work with a dominant begins. Before this starts, punishments such as bar time and kneeling can be given for infractions.

Having said that I don't want to try and justify punishment, there are a number of reasons why it is helpful in a submissive's training. You may wish to reflect on this list and use it to check your own motivations:

  • The relationship between you and your dominant involves an exchange of power and control. Punishment symbolises this exchange, and provides a sanction that the dominant can use.

  • Your dominant will be instructing you to do things that you find difficult, that cause your ego to rebel. Trying to use your ego to overcome your ego isn't a recipe for success, so your dominant needs a sanction to overcome the resistances your ego will produce. Without such sanctions all your dominant can do is shame you, shout at you or sack you, none of which are desirable or productive outcomes.

  • If punishment is not overt and physical it tends to emerge in a way which is covert and emotional. For a relationship this can be much more destructive. Most submissives are emotionally sensitive, and would far prefer the "short sharp shock" of pain to being subjected to an extended period of anger or withdrawal.

  • Punishment tends to focus the mind. It makes the experience of submission more real, it is no longer just a role play or a mental activity done from the safety of a computer.
  • Pain accelerates learning. Externally imposed discipline soon becomes self-discipline, and external control becomes self-control. This happens much more quickly if physical punishment is used than if it is merely an academic exercise.
  • Punishment can be humiliating, often intentionally so. Accepting this humiliation will help you to learn humility.
  • Submissiveness is demanding. It may sound good to be obedient and open, but putting the ideas into practise can be very challenging. The body rebels from holding an uncomfortable position, basic instincts make us want to resist doing unpleasant tasks, our addictions make us do things that we know we shouldn't. Punishment is a very practical means for reinforcing the will and bringing the ego under control.
  • Keeping a record of infractions is an important task for a submissive in training, but without a punishment for these infractions the exercise will soon start to seem pointless. You will stop doing it, and the benefit of the discipline will be lost.
  • Punishment can have beneficial psychological effects, if it is done in a caring way with consent. The pain pathways of the body trigger the release of opioid neurotransmitters in the brain which can lead to a state of stillness and calm, but also energy.
  • Punishment can leave marks on your body which you should be proud to carry and display. They act as constant reminder of your state of submission to your  dominant, and the nature of the relationship between you. Your dominant will reinforce the significance of these marks by having you display them regularly.
  • When you routinely experience pain in a manageable way, you learn to overcome it. Yes, there is a moment of intensely painful feeling as you are struck, but within a few seconds this subsides. As the pain subsides, the fear of pain starts to subside too, being replaced by a sense of achievement and inner strength.  As you overcome fear of pain, you also start to overcome fear of other people, they lose their power to hurt you. Soon there is a lot less to be afraid of, and letting go of fear brings liberation. Pain, paradoxically, sets you free,
  • Punishment will force you to be a responsible adult, to grow up. A good dominant will not tolerate excuses, and the submissive quickly learns that only the highest standards are acceptable. There is much genuine pride to be gained from this, which is excellent for your self-esteem.

Barriers to obedience

You long to submit, you find someone worthy who is willing to accept your submission, they give you a simple task to perform which you gladly accept, you set out with good intentions determined to please - and you can't do it.

What has happened? There may be a number of reasons, but the most common is fear. Fear blocks us, prevents us from growing and reaching our full potential. Rather than deal with it we seek out a "comfort zone" where we're not exposed to the fear and quietly forget it's there. An experienced Dominant will quickly spot your avoidance and set you a task that forces you to tackle it head on, at which point you arrive at the uncomfortable conclusion - "I can't do it".

Does this mean that you're a bad submissive, a hopeless case? No, it means that you have a fear (or guilt, shame, or other negative emotion) that rises up when triggered and makes it impossible to do the required task. Fear is endemic - there are very few people that don't fear something, but the good news is that it is eminently treatable.

Dealing with fear

If it's deep and ingrained it may be best to get help from someone trained in this work such as a therapist. This is even more important if the fear stems from a traumatic event. However if it's not too extreme, you can work with someone else, or even do it on your own.

If you are in a relationship with a Dominant then they may be able to help you work through the fear. It's important that they are sensitive to your degree of emotion and help you to manage your anxiety.  Forcing you to keep going when you're feeling terrified may only traumatise you more, so it's important that they know when to pause and reduce the emotional arousal.  The same applies when you are working on the fear yourself, but you're more likely to stop much sooner in this case.

Choose a time to work when you're relatively calm. Stress can increase fear, so if you're highly stressed and close to burnout, you need to deal with the underlying causes first.  In fact having panic attacks can be a strong indication of being highly stressed.

Identify the fears. Clearly before you can work with fears you need to know what they are. Sometimes this can be easier said than done, because our minds are very good at protecting us from unpleasant memories. The condition known as "generalised anxiety" can come about because the mind is shielding us from a big fear by feeding us a whole string of smaller ones.

In addition to noticing what makes you afraid you should also try to notice what you avoid, as avoidance is one of the most common defences we use to protect ourselves from the feeling of fear.

As you identify the fears, calibrate them on a scale of 0-10. For the ones that are 9 or 10 consider getting professional help. Ideally a fear that you rank at around 5 or 6 is one you could consider working on with support, and 3 or 4 on your own.  Obviously these numbers are highly subjective, and different people will rank their fears very differently. My main message is to start with what you feel you can manage, and then gradually tackle the harder fears once you understand the technique.

Having identified a fear, think about several situations where you could experiment with facing it, and rank these on the same scale 0-10. Try to find a way of approaching the fear gradually. So if approaching a barking dog gives you a fear level of 9, how about a puppy that's quiet, or looking at a photo of a dog that's across the other side of the room. Find something related to the fear that you can manage, perhaps with a fear level around 5.

After finding a fear level that you can tolerate, practice facing that fear. You need to find a situation which is safe for you, where the only thing you need to worry about is the fear that you are focusing on, and which you can "switch off" if it's getting too difficult.

Once you start, unless your fear gets out of hand try to keep going until you notice it subsiding.  This will normally happen in a few minutes, but this may take half an hour or more. Make sure you breathe well while you're waiting for the fear to subside and relax the muscles in your body.  If you find you're clenching your fists, for example, let them relax.  This is where a partner can help, because they can spot the signs of tension and remind you to relax.

Provided you were not already highly stressed, you will find that the fear subsides as the body gets used to tolerating it. Keep going until the fear level drops to around 1. Congratulate yourself on your success, have a break, then repeat the experiment.  You should find the fear subsides more quickly this time. Once you no longer feel anxious you can move on to more challenging situations, but stop if you find yourself getting too tired.

When you feel you've dealt with the fear, write up the whole experience in your own words.  If possible post it on this site. to help others dealing with a similar fear. What worked for you, what didn't. This is about giving something back.

In addition to fear you can work with shame, guilt and other negative emotions in a similar way.

The process I've described is based on techniques called graduated exposure or systematic desensitisation. There are many books written about these techniques which you can refer to for more information.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Bar Time

How does a Dom punish his or her submissive when they are thousands of miles apart and rarely, if ever meet?  I describe here one of the methods I use. It's based on a similar principle to Corner Time, which is a frequently used form of mild punishment, involving standing in a corner for an extended period of time. 

Corner Time can be used as a "cooling off" process, or as a technique for creating anticipatory anxiety in advance of something even more unpleasant.  What is described here is a variant of corner time which I call Bar Time. I prefer it because it requires a more submissive position (the typical bend-over-for-a-caning position), thereby having a more powerful psychological impact. It's also a lot more physically challenging - holding the position for any length of time can become quite painful and a real ordeal, so the severity of punishment entailed can be set by adjusting the duration.

Construction

The Bar is essentially a horizontal metal pole set about two inches above floor level. I've found that the chrome-plated bars sold for constructing towel rails in DIY stores work well, along with the brackets used for supporting them. Choose the strongest rail you can find (such as 25mm/1inch), and get three brackets so that you can have a central support.

If you have a fixed location for punishments you could fix the bar to the floor, but you are more likely to want to move it around, so get a solid wooden shelf (not chipboard) to attach the bar to. Rather than using screws which could be pulled out, I recommend nuts and bolts which going right through the shelf for strength. You will need to make a small recess or countersink on the underside of the shelf to avoid the bolt head scratching the floor.

Measure the shelf and the pole so that you can set the brackets at the right width for the submissive to spread his/her legs. This is a matter of aesthetics - I prefer quite a wide spread, two feet or more. It's worth testing this out before beginning construction.

I have posted some images of the hardware here:





Usage

The essence of using the bar is to go beyond it's functional purpose as a pole to hold a body in position, but to develop the psychological aspects so that it reinforces submissiveness. It's up to each Dom to define how the Bar is used, my principles are as follows:

1. It is to be used naked, and getting naked is defined as removing everything that's not permanently attached to the body

2. The submissive must not break position and let go of the bar until released. In this sense Bar Time is like self-enforced bondage.

3. Release from the bar may be after a set time has elapsed, or on a word of command. Both release mechanisms may be used for different purposes, so the timed release may be used for a routine disciplinary ritual, whereas release on command may be used as a time-out or for cooling off process. Psychologically, not knowing when the release will come is much harder for the submissive.

Preparation

The aim is to minimise distractions or the possibility of interruptions so that the submissive's attention is focused entirely on the practice. There should be no phones or other appliances to distract, the room should be cleared of all unnecessary objects and thoroughly clean. It should not be too warm.

If using a timed release a timer that "pings" is better than a clock as it can be out of sight, otherwise the submissive will spend the whole time watching the clock.

Prepare the body by getting naked, using the toilet, bathing or showering and do any other body preparation that the Dom requires.

Positioning

The sub should stand with his/her toes underneath the bar and feet apart at the required spread. Note that for a mobile bar, the sub should be standing on the plank so that his/her weight holds the apparatus in position.

I like a submissive to adopt a position with the legs straight and the back well hollowed, so that when holding the bar the body is bent like a hairpin rather than an arch. This may be hard and require practice for those who are not flexible. The difficulty of the position can be increased by requiring the sub to look forward rather than letting the head hang down, or rising on tiptoes.

An alternative posture is the "paddling" position with the knees bent and the buttocks pushed backwards.

Entering and leaving the position should be done as slowly, smoothly and gracefully as possible, although after a long period of bar time unwinding from the position may inevitably be difficult and not at all graceful.

Timing

Using the bar for any length of time can be very challenging, unless the submissive is trained in yoga, ballet or some other discipline that makes the body flexible.  For the average person, five minutes may be enough to begin with. A Dom should try it for themselves before setting a long time. Once it's clear that the submissive has mastered a short time, the duration can be ramped up.

If the sub's muscles start shaking this may be a sign to stop. If the submissive is  overweight, check that they are able to breathe properly. It may be necessary to raise the bar by fitting extra blocks of wood under the support brackets.

Instructions to the submissive

When starting, practice emptying your mind of thoughts.  There are many good meditation texts that will tell you how to do this, so they will not be repeated here.  At the very least all thoughts connected with your mundane daily life should be eliminated, and if you cannot maintain a totally tranquil mind, then focus on thoughts of submission.

When first using the bar you may experience all manner of negative emotions - you may feel ridiculous, humiliated, angry, resentful, ashamed.  You must work through these feelings - acknowledge that you have them and maintain the position anyway - they will pass soon enough. 

Your body will feel uncomfortable at first as it gets used to holding the position for a length of time.  You will feel all manner of aches and pains, you will want to itch and scratch.  Overcome these distractions and maintain the position.

At times you will feel exposed and vulnerable - this is both understandable and desirable.  Your buttocks, genitals and anus are fully presented for the use of anyone who cares to take advantage of them. If you feel uncomfortable about this, remain in position until the feeling subsides.  Remember that these parts of your body are  beautiful, and in bending to the bar you are displaying them at their best.

You may not break position until released, either by a timer or by command. If you are unsupervised and you break position, whatever the cause of the disturbance, you should end the practice, take a short break, re-enter the position and start again from the beginning.
 






Sunday, 29 April 2018

Submissive service and health

As a Dom I'm very demanding in areas such as obedience, discipline, self-development and service. It takes a lot of time and mental effort to train a submissive, even if the relationship is purely online, and in return I expect a sub to work as hard as possible at the tasks I set.

In order to achieve this level of dedication to service, a submissive needs to be healthy, both mentally and physically. The sad truth is that this is getting ever harder to achieve. I read some statistics recently that if you include obesity and mental health issues, around 60% of Americans have a chronic illness of some sort. The UK is not far behind. The most depressing statistic is that children are almost as badly off for illnesses as adults, with diseases such as autism increasing exponentially.

I first became aware of the seriousness of this issue over a year ago when my local medical centre ran a public meeting, and at that meeting their presentation showed that 30% of their patients was chronically ill. It immediately became apparent that this is the reason the National Health Service is in crisis. It's not just about government cuts, they seem to give more money to the NHS every year. The real problem is that we're all too ill. We have too many health problems, and the fact that they are chronic means that they never get better - we need the prescriptions and the treatments month on month for the rest of our lives.

The explanation given by my local doctors was the explanation that you will find in all official publications - it's a lifestyle issue - we don't take enough exercise, we eat rubbish and we smoke and drink too much. In other words it's us, the general public that are to blame. According to this "diagnosis" of the problem we're all lazy slobs that spend our lives eating doughnuts in front of the television.

Except that it's not true. I'm surrounded by fitness fanatics that take their diets and exercise regimes seriously, but are still developing diabetes, arthritis and cancer.

I too have been noticing my health deteriorating. It started slowly at first, wounds not healing, strange rashes, aches and pains. At first I put it down to ageing, but it got worse and worse until I'd reached the point where I could hardly walk. I was hobbling round with a walking stick, contemplating a future life in a wheelchair. I was sure there must be something environmental at work, I'd been doing more physical work than I'd done for years, and I didn't think my diet was that bad.

It was pure chance that gave me the clue I needed. A friend posted an article on facebook about Roundup, the commonly used weedkiller that's advertised on TV for killing dandelions on your drive. What the article described both shocked me and made me realise I'd found the answer. Apparently for years farmers have been using Roundup and other similar herbicides to spray crops like wheat just before harvesting. This basically kills the crop, causing it to dry up and produce bigger seeds. It's easier to harvest, and gets round the problem of crops not being quite ripe. It also means that the bread and other foods produced from these crops are full of herbicide residues.

By this time I was so crippled with what I thought was arthritis that I was stuck in an armchair for over a month, with plenty of time to do research. As I dug deeper and deeper, not only was it obvious that I'd found the reason for my deteriorating health, but that this was a much bigger problem than I could possibly imagine. The science is too complex to go into here, but what it demonstrates is that glyphosate, which is the active ingredient of Roundup, must be one of the most dangerous substances to human health on the planet. Yet we feed it to ourselves, our babies, children and pets in almost everything we eat. It's everywhere in the food chain, in meat, milk, cheese. It's in every plant crop you can think of - wheat, oats, barley, alfalfa. It's in cooking oils, and even in the pills we take for our ailments.

One of the pieces of evidence that clinched glyphosate as the culprit for me was that I found I could kill dandelions by peeing on them - they shrivelled up just like in the TV ads.

I've had to do three things to recover my health - and to be honest I'm not sure if I will ever fully recover the use of my joints, but I'm more mobile than I was. These things are:
  • I've stopped buying any food from supermarkets. I now only buy food that I know to be organically grown or at the very least grown without the use of chemical sprays.
  • I eat a lot more (organic) yoghurt than I ever did before, because glyphosate (Roundup) kills off the probiotic bacteria in our digestive systems that we need to properly digest food.
  • I take a lot of mineral and vitamin supplements, because glyphosate strips these out of our bodies.
Little by little I'm recovering. I still have trouble walking, but the pain I was experiencing in my muscles and joints has largely gone. Altering my diet was hard, it's meant a lot of changes and learning how to do things. I now bake my own bread a lot of the time, and I'm starting to grow my own food. All convenience foods have gone - things like breakfast cereals are some of the worst contaminated. When I take supplements in capsule form I cut the end off the capsule and eat only the contents, because the capsules themselves can be contaminated. Eating out is virtually impossible.

I've decided to write this to spread awareness of the problem. If nothing else BDSM is much more rewarding if the participants are fit and healthy. I know that when I was at my lowest point, my libido had virtually disappeared, and just the struggle of getting to a munch made it too hard to be enjoyable.

As a Dom I've not really paid that much attention to what my submissives eat, but from now on I'll be making it one of my first priorities.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Alignment

If you've ever done the physics experiment where you magnetize a nail by stroking it with a bar magnet, you will have an idea of the power of alignment. The nail is made up of many regions called domains which are magnetic, but randomly oriented, so the magnetic effect cancels out. When you stroke the nail with a magnet, you cause the domains to become aligned, with the result that the nail now generates a magnetic field.

The same can be true of people. A group of people working together who are not aligned will tend to cancel out each others' efforts, and produce very little useful result. If that same group of people can be aligned in a common direction much more can be achieved. If you have ever worked in a team which is out of alignment you will know the sheer frustration and hopelessness that results. By contrast, working with a group of people who are in the flow, like a group of jazz musicians improvising together, can be a joyous and creative experience.

As an individual you can lack alignment too - if you have contradictory impulses and conflicting desires, you can end up achieving very little. The warring factions in your personality tend to cancel one another out. One of the effects of training as a submissive can be to highlight these contradictions so that they can be dealt with and resolved.

An example of this can be found in punishment. You may have agreed with your dominant that certain infractions merit punishment, that it is beneficial to help you change and that it will do you good. Still when the time for punishment arrives and you are faced with the reality of a painful experience, your ego will do its best to avoid it. This is where the fantasy of submissiveness meets the reality, and you learn who you are and what you need. It's only when you've reached that moment of simultaneous wanting and dreading, complying and resisting, that you discover how conflicted are your desires.

With that discovery opens the possibility of alignment - firstly with yourself, then with your Dominant, and potentially with a wider community. With this alignment comes the experience of inner peace, confidence and strength. You no longer need to worry, put on a false mask, or make yourself out to be something you're not. You are moving towards becoming whole and authentic.





What about dominants?

There are plenty of people who would like to see themselves as dominant, but finding someone who is good at it could be difficult, as people with the right qualities are rare. Submitting to a dominant is a major decision and one which needs to be taken with care. Someone new to submission can easily be swept along by the new discoveries, feeling accepted and being understood. However this can lead you into a relationship with the wrong person, which can be an unpleasant experience.

There's no one-size-fits-all prescription here - you need to find a dominant that meets your needs, as well as you being the right person for the dominant. The list below contains my suggestions for things you might want to look out for, but you should take what feels important and add your own criteria too. In what follows I will be referring to a female submissive and male dominant, but most of the points are relevant whatever the genders involved.

Qualities desirable in a dominant:

He will have a high level of conscious awareness of his own psychological issues and the impact he has on others. I'm not saying that the dominant should be flawless, just that he knows about his own limitations and doesn't try to dump the blame for them on others. This awareness means that he will be able to distinguish between his own problems and yours.

He should have his ego under control. Someone who is arrogant, grandiose or a bully certainly does not. Someone who is self-pitying, has a chip on his shoulder or likes playing the victim is equally controlled by ego, just in a negative sense. A dominant with his ego under control should feel comfortable to be with, be secure in himself and will have no need to act defensively or to be right all the time.

He should be empathic and able to attune - in other words he should be able to "read" you. He takes care to understand you, your needs and your limitations. This doesn't mean that he will always give you what you want, far from it, but he will have an awareness of your capabilities and limitations.

He will be able to challenge your edges firmly, constantly pushing you out of your comfort zone and stretching your capabilities, but without pushing you so far that you end up being traumatised.

He will be independent and free to act without more than the usual constraints that society imposes. If he needs to resort to deception or manipulation to achieve his aims, something isn't right.

He will sets firm boundaries and expect the same from you. This will include not making himself too available to you - when he gives you his attention it will be quality time, but there will be limits and he will not appreciate you demanding more.

He will want to be recompensed for the time and effort he dedicates to your instruction, but he will expect you to do this through giving your time and energy (lots of it), rather than money. If you feel financially exploited then something is wrong. If you feel that sometimes your life isn't your own because of the demands he makes on your time, this is probably a good sign that the dominance-submission dynamic is actually working.

He should be able to teach you new things and encourage you to widen your knowledge and skill base. He should also be willing to learn from you.

He will have a purpose for himself that inspires you and that you can align with. Note that a dominant who is pursuing a serious purpose may need many followers and may need to train several submissives at once. If this is the case you should be prepared to confront any jealousy issues that might arise. If you start to feel that you "own" the dominant or have a claim on him you have a mistaken impression of what submissiveness is.

He will be comfortable with power, but will use it to achieve his purpose for the greater good, rather than to benefit himself. While being a leader he is also a servant.

He will be a good communicator. He will set aside time to listen to you intensely, and you should expect to be closely questioned about personal and intimate matters. You should feel able to talk freely, without inhibition.

When he gives instructions they will be clear and precise, and he will not appreciate having to repeat himself. Don't be fooled by someone who has the "gift of the gab" - being able to talk well is highly prized in society, but it needs to be backed up by deeds that match the words.

He should be a strict disciplinarian who has no qualms about awarding punishment for infractions when appropriate. These will be as severe as necessary, which he will judge by the infraction itself and your ability to receive the discipline.

There will be a clear distinction between these punishments and any form of abuse. A punishment will feel beneficial, growth-enhancing and deserved, as opposed to an uncontrolled venting of anger, cruel or violent impulses.

Compassion should go hand in hand with the strictness. Provided you are doing the best you are capable of he should be happy.

You are unlikely to respect a dominant who can be manipulated, controlled, talked out of administering a punishment or persuaded to be too lenient. He will err on the side of being strict and severe, but without letting this turn into abuse.

Other ways of training as a submissive:

Although I have assumed so far that you will be submitting to a dominant, and this is probably the most comprehensive way of being trained as a submissive, it is possible to practice submission in other ways:
  • Submission to a mentor, guide, spiritual director or other authority figure;
  • Submission to a group, which can be a family, team, residential community;
  • Submission to an institution, such as a company, organization, university, regiment or religious order.

Most of us are doing some of these already - for example if you work for a company a degree of obedience is expected if you are to retain your job. The difficulty with these kinds of submission in practice is that they do not provide the kind of direct control that a dominant can when it comes to enforcing discipline to change behaviour.

A combination that can work is submission to a dominant leader who in turn is a servant to a higher level grouping. This is the idea of the servant-leader, who attracts followers through common dedication to a worthwhile purpose.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Training

As with any other skill, submissiveness is developed by training. Even those who have a naturally submissive personality can have this improved by experiencing an appropriately demanding training regime. It's very hard to be sufficiently strict with oneself to achieve the necessary development of personality.

Therefore, although I've been discussing submitting to Gaia as a goal, in order to achieve this we first of all have to begin by submitting to an actual physical human, a dominant. In this and other posts I will describe the dominant as male, but this is not necessarily the case. Whatever gender, the dominant needs to have an understanding of what you are aiming to achieve, and to have the humility to recognise that serving them is just a step along the path for you, and that eventually they will need to surrender their dominance of you to a higher power.

This is a big ask, because training a submissive represents a big commitment in time for the dominant, and he will want to be sure you are the right person who is ready and available to receive that training. Ideally the dominant will be on the same path himself, so in serving him you are supporting him in his work for Gaia.

Effective training will change you in ways that cannot be predicted. The dominant you approach will want to be sure you are psychologically and physically strong enough to receive his training and benefit from it, rather than suffering adverse affects. Dominants will have their own process for vetting people who approach them, which might include asking you to write an application, answer a series of very searching questions, or complete a series of tasks to demonstrate obedience.

Below I list some questions that you should ask yourself before requesting training:

Your capacity to do the training
  • Am I genuinely available to undertake this training? Do I have the time? Am I sufficiently free from entanglements and responsibilities? Will the other people in my life support me or oppose me?
  • Do I have the commitment? Do I have the will to keep going when feeling resistance, hostility or demotivation?
  • Do I have the psychological capacity? Am I mentally and emotionally stable enough to handle this? Am I mature enough? Do I have any concerns about my mental state?
  • Am I physically fit enough? Have I any medical conditions that could put me at risk? Have I abused drugs, alcohol, other substances? Am I addicted to anything, whether substances or processes?
  • How will I cope with rejection? punishment? criticism?
  • Dominants often have more than one submissive in training at any one time, as well as being served by those who have completed their training. How will I feel about this? Will I be able to control my jealousy and envy? How will I feel about obeying, or being punished by, another submissive, rather than the dominant?
  • Training calls for extraordinary levels of openness on the part of the submissive. Am I capable of being totally honest to the dominant and his other submissives? Disclosing my deepest secrets, shameful episodes, guilt, insecurities and flaws? Can I be open about my sexuality? Can I be honest about my negative thoughts?
  • Is there anything in my history that could impede me? Have I committed any criminal offences or been prosecuted? Have I harmed anyone, created any enemies, accumulated debts or done anything that may come back to haunt me later?
Answering yes to any of these last questions does not exclude you from proceeding with the training - what matters is your openness, honesty, and willingness to confront difficult issues. On the other hand if you are dishonest at this stage you are automatically excluding yourself - you will find it much more difficult to develop genuine submissiveness if you start off on a false basis.

Your motivation


Reflect on the following questions:
  • Why do I want to do this training? What do I want to get from it? What changes do I want to make to myself?
  • What makes me want to be submissive? How do I know that I'm submissive, what experiences demonstrate this?
  • What do I expect from a dominant?
  • What am I prepared to give back? How much time, effort, energy and resources am I willing to commit to being successful?
  • How serious is my wish to discover my true nature? Am I willing to help others do this too?
Your acceptance
  • Am I really willing to be obedient?
  • To accept discipline and punishment?
  • To be open, honest and truthful?
  • To sacrifice and serve? 
  •  Am I willing for my lifestyle to be completely changed by the experience? To take risks and step outside my comfort zone? To overcome my limiting beliefs and attempt things I never believed I was capable of doing?


What will submissiveness training teach me?


In addition to the changing your attitude to the planet, there are many qualities that can be developed that will help you become a better person and a better servant to the world. The precise nature of what you will learn by training as a submissive will depend on the requirements of whoever is teaching you (your dominant), however I would expect a good training to give you some or all of the following accomplishments:
  • Become the best you are capable of, through being constantly challenged to develop new strengths and skills
  • Increase your confidence in your ability to cope under pressure in difficult situations
  • Develop the capacity to be a reliable supporter of a trusted leader, and know the joy that comes through giving 100% to a shared purpose
  • Learn the benefits of self-discipline and obedience, enabling you to stretch yourself beyond the limitations of your ego
  • Become liberated from shame, guilt and destructive behaviour patterns
  • Learn to welcome discipline and correction, as you discover how it helps you to overcome fear and other limiting emotions.












Thursday, 5 April 2018

What makes a good submissive?


The following are my views on the qualities that make a good submissive. This may seem like an extensive list, but it is not something which has to be achieved all at once. It is a set of aspirations which submissive training can support you in achieving, although the effort required to achieve them will be yours. If you are not inspired by the thought of achieving many of these qualities then you are probably not seeking to become a submissive.

Obedience - a fundamental requirement but not easy to achieve. A dominant's demands are designed to stretch you, to make you transcend your limitations. Obeying will take you outside of your comfort zone over and over again, into a state of surrender. One you place yourself in service to Gaia the tests to your obedience do not become any less, it it just that knowing what is required of you is not so obvious and requires intuition.

Discipline - a submissive is both self-disciplined and accepting of external discipline. Discipline takes many forms, from the mild to the severe depending on the need. Punishments include, but are not limited to, physical correction that causes pain. This may seem shocking to some, and tends to get confused with abuse. The difference is that submission is voluntary, and consent can be withdrawn at any time if discipline tips over into abuse. Pain is an unavoidable part of being human, but instead of numbing it with drugs, submissives learn to use it to increase their consciousness, improve their relationships, and purify the Field around them.

Honesty – the idea of lying to or withholding information from your dominant or a fellow submissive should be unthinkable. If you take your desire to serve and submit seriously you should also avoid any type of occupation where dishonesty or deception may be required. This is easier said that done, in a world which is more and more built on falsehood and denial of the truth.

Openness – a submissive strives to be open with her body, feelings and her mind. She holds no secrets from her dominant, her community, her fellow submissives. When giving feedback to others she strives to be honest but not hurtful. She is open and truthful about her emotions, but does not inflict them on others. She accepts monitoring of her actions, activities and behaviour.

Reliability - a leader must be able to put complete trust in his submissive and to depend on her totally. Knowing thoroughly her strengths and weaknesses, capabilities and talents, he knows that if he sets her a task it will be carried out, however much difficulty and discomfort she may have to overcome. In order to be reliable she will have to develop other qualities - courage, resourcefulness, self-control, determination, punctuality, patience, and many others.

Good-natured - a submissive's aim is always to make others feel good, through qualities such as gentleness, compassion, respect, consideration and thoughtfulness towards others. However she will not allow her good nature to be taken advantage of in ways which would be detrimental to her dominant. Being obedient to him, she knows how to gently refuse others without giving offence. She can deal constructively with negative emotions. She can experience anger without subjecting others to it – she knows that it is her problem to deal with and no-one else’s. If she experiences fear she either overcomes it herself or enlists others to help her deal with it. Other words that describe a submissive include: positive, good-natured, non-critical, judgemental, even tempered, emotionally controlled, good listener.

Willpower and effort - a submissive will apply all her effort to a task, be resourceful in overcoming obstacles, with the aim of producing results not excuses. However she learns to work in a skilful way which is variously called "going with the flow", "effortless effort" or in Chinese "Wu Wei". In this way doing tasks, however mundane, are no longer stressful or feel like hard work, but become graceful and enjoyable. She knows when to rest from a piece of work when her concentration is flagging, but because she has resolved her inner conflicts her productivity is phenomenal.

Skills - a submissive is constantly striving to improve herself so that she may better fulfil her dominant's wishes. She treats her skills and abilities as a way to serve more effectively, and is not driven by praise, recognition or the need for success. She may not know what will be required next, so she motivates herself to acquire any skill she can in case it turns out to be valuable.

Simplicity - simplifying your lifestyle is not only good practice in submissiveness, it is also good for the planet and a good preparation for the adaptations we will all have to make to reduce our environmental impact. And from a submissive perspective an extravagant lifestyle is inappropriate - you cannot embrace submissiveness while driving round in an expensive car, taking extravagant holidays, making frequent flights for personal pleasure, employing a maid or spending quantities of money on clothes or gadgetry.

Resilience - this includes qualities such as fitness, tolerance of pain and discomfort, emotional strength, fearlessness and courage.



These are all subjects I hope to expand on as I continue to develop this blog.


Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Why submissiveness?

To recap on some recent posts I've made, I'm talking about our planet, which I'm calling Gaia, as an intelligent, living being that provides us with everything we need to exist. If you can accept this, then it seems obvious to me that submissiveness is the only appropriate attitude to adopt towards her. Certainly the arrogance with which mankind has treated her can no longer be sustained; it will lead to our extinction.

Therefore I conclude that submissiveness is an excellent grounding for the way we should behave towards our planet. Once we start to make this shift, it seems that the Gaia responds, and we start to gain access to our higher consciousness.

However, turning a desire for submission into it's practical reality is not a simple task - for most of us our conditioning pulls us in the opposite direction. It therefore takes training to reorient the personality away from ego-based selfishness towards humility and service. It's hard to keep up the will to achieve this on your own, as the conditioning we experience as we grow up is extremely powerful, and tends to blind us to our own deficiencies. To develop submissiveness requires the guidance of someone who understands the path, knows the pitfalls, and can point out when you are going off track. Such people are rare.

In practice it's difficult to learn to be submissive to such an apparently abstract entity as Gaia, which is why most people will start by training with a real person, a dominant, mentor or guide who stands in for the higher level. Once training has developed your personality to the point where submission is automatic and self-organised, you can go it alone. However, although submissive people will develop their own connection directly with Gaia, they tend to be strongly drawn to relationships, so will look for situations where they can help other people, through acts of service.

I am anticipating difficult times ahead, as the unsustainable nature of the lifestyle most of us follow is brought home to us ever more clearly. There will be a need for people to form themselves into teams in order to survive, and a team of submissive people under the leadership of a suitably insightful dominant will be able to achieve much that the lone individual cannot. You may also want to consider becoming a servant-leader or guide and helping others in turn find their submissive nature.

In my experience the desire to be submissive and the ability to live submissively at all times are two very different things. This is where a dominant, and the discipline that he or she provides, becomes essential.