Thursday, December 29, 2011

Topping from the Bottom... right? Maybe Not

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart, mainly because it's something I've been accused of in the past. At the time of said accusation, I believed it. I believed I was being a “bad submissive” and trying to yank away my Master's control. Which in turn sent me into a downward spiral. As a submissive needing from the deepest part of me, to yield my heart and soul to my Master, WHY would I want to take that control away? Why would I go against my instinct to submit everything to him? Ultimately, that relationship failed and I was left with that burning question. Was I truly a submissive?

Master and I have been doing a bit of reading together. We started with a book on the lifestyle from a Dominant's perspective. And then he gave me the task of finding a similar book from the submissive's perspective. It took me a bit longer to find one that covered the same things, but I did and to say we're both getting a lot from this would be an understatement. Sometimes you need someone else to put an idea into words before you can recognize it within yourself. I told Master that every time I came across a passage or sentence that I wanted to share with him, I would highlight it later for reference. Little did I know that most of the book would become bright yellow.

This book covers topping from the bottom in a few sections, and every time I've come across it, it's been like an “aha!” moment for me. It's helped me answer that question – why a truly submissive woman would want to take back the control she craves to put in the hands of her Dominant.

I guess I should preface this part by saying that I do believe there are different types of topping from the bottom. It's NOT that black and white and can most definitely be a sense of turmoil for both a Dominant and submissive. First, we should look at the bare bones of the D/s relationship. The submissive hands over the control to the Dominant who in turn takes the control and “actively dominates” just as she “actively submits.” Active dominance can mean something different for everyone as each relationship is unique. For me, it means Master is as active in the relationship and in maintaining it as I am. The mentality that now he has my submission he can sit back and passively “let me submit” doesn't exist. In the same respect, I actively submit to my Master. I make a conscious effort to fill his needs, meet his expectations and listen to him talk to himself as he builds (a habit I've begun to pick up on.) The balance of the control is always moving and shifting depending on the situation. It's when one party continuously puts in more than he or she is getting, an uncomfortable and unhealthy imbalance forms which can result in behavioral changes by either person.

I recognize my stubbornness (and thankfully that's a challenge Master has embraced) and there have definitely been times when all I want to do is stomp my foot and say “REALLY?!” But I don't because I know that's a line I shouldn't even think about crossing. While I may have doubted my submission at one point, my journey to my collar with Master has reaffirmed the deep submission that I know I couldn't force myself to have. So how could I be accused of topping from the bottom?

I knew I had been giving myself over to him completely in my previous relationship, but my needs were not being met in return. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I withdrew (seen as topping from the bottom by isolation), I tried to express my concerns (seen as topping from the bottom by demanding things), I tried to be the perfect slave and failed every time. I needed him to “conquer me” (a term I've picked up from the book and LOVE) in some way that said “I am your Dominant.” Conquer me is almost like an internal need for a show of strength. It's not saying to a dominant “force me to do what I don't want to do.” It's that voice, that je n'est sais quoi that sends shivers down your spine and butterflies fluttering in your stomach.

It all goes back to the control factor. As a submissive, I crave for Master to exert his control over me. How, how much, when, why are all things that have been discussed at length between the two of us. I also looked at it as a way to almost safeguard me from unconsciously playing with the control balance out of fear or frustration. I would never want to truly try and take away any of the control from my Dominant or express any sort of domination over him (unless he's asking for my brattiness to rear it's lovely head), but looking back I can absolutely see how I did unconsciously take back control in a previous relationship. I do remember feeling afraid, confused, “blah” and unable to pinpoint the source. I felt insecure due to a lack of control over me, so to alleviate that absence I attempted to exert my own control. I cannot stress enough how this was not a conscious decision on my part. My main thought was to alleviate the uncomfortable emotions I was feeling. In a way, it's a natural response. A submissive serves her Dominant because that is who she is. If he drops something, she picks it up without thinking because it is helping him. If he drops the power of control, she picks it up not only to fill the void, but to help him. This is still a hard concept for me to understand myself, but I have never believed in something so much. It broke my heart to be told that I was being a selfish slave, topping from the bottom and acting out when internally, I had no idea what I was doing.

I retreated further. The further I drew back, the “worse” my behavior became. By that time, I had regained all of the control I had at one point submitted. This behavior of unconsciously taking back control bit by bit can definitely be (and clearly was for me) habit forming. By regularly taking charge in the absence of my Dominant's control it became harder for me to any relinquish control whatsoever. I lost faith in his ability to command, which took a toll on my trust in him. When he did try to exert any control over me I found it extremely difficult to feel an appropriate submissive response which eventually caused me to question who I was. I couldn't figure out how I was failing. In the end, I found myself extremely unhappy, with full control in my hands, internally freaking the hell out.

It's amazing how the simple lack of expressed control can cause such a breakdown of a relationship.

Was I topping from the bottom? Not in my opinion. I truly believe that in topping from the bottom the submissive is consciously aware of what she is doing, whether it's through manipulation or giving her dominant orders, with the intent to take power from her dominant regardless of the motivation. I don't fully understand topping from the bottom or why a submissive would want to do so. This way of demanding things (demanding in general is unacceptable) is dramatic, unnecessary and exhausting. If the submissive is unwilling to take responsibility for her actions and blames the dominant for her behavior such as demanding that he fix the problem, perhaps she should reevaluate if this is a relationship she truly wants to be part of.

I'm not saying that all bad behavior is due to topping from the bottom, nor am I saying that absence of the Dominant's control over a submissive is always the reason either. This phrase that gets thrown so frequently in our community is not as black and white as it seems. Next time you accuse someone of it, or are told that you yourself are topping, take a look back and analyze the actions, emotions, and balance of control. Take a deeper look at what's going on in the relationship and never shut out honest communication.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hijacked Breakups

Cross-posted by request from the D/s Academy blog. Thanks, Alisha!

We’ve all seen it. A D/s couple are struggling or breaking up, there’s a question of abuse, people jump in to rescue the abusee and drive the abuser outta here. Looks righteous. But wait a minute, what’s really happening? Could this be hurting the very couple it’s meant to protect?

To talk about this phenomenon we need to look at a couple of things: the culture of fear, and the nature of proof. It has been said that “fear is the adrenaline of our time,” and in your authors’ experience this is becoming ever more true. Both RL and SL have developed a culture of fear, encouraged in RL by the media and in SL by the endless discussions of red flags, predators, abusers and sociopaths. Fear sells even better than sex. And nothing proves the need for fear better than finding a predator in our midst.

How do we prove our predators? In RL there is forensics. In SL there is. . . hearsay. In your authors’ experience, here in SL it is almost impossible to prove or disprove anything. People can and do easily escape responsibility for their actions. The dark flip side is that people can easily be held responsible for actions they did not do, and have little to no recourse.

In SL, the only fact that’s knowable about a breakup is the observation that the couple, at least in those avatars, is no longer together. It is compassionate and reasonable to assume that both parties to the breakup are suffering. But we have all seen it go further than that. Allegations of misconduct or abuse are made, either by the principles or by someone listening to their stories. Vague “proofs” may be presented. Listeners form conclusions based on indirect subjective evidence (tone of voice, consistence of story etc.) A set of unprovable allegations magically transforms into actionable facts in the minds of friends and strangers alike. A community of caring individuals sprouts pitchforks and torches and becomes a mob.

Why does this happen? There is a great deal of historical precedent in RL, and your authors would argue that the SL drivers are no different. The uncomfortable energy of fear can be discharged by locating and attacking an enemy “out there.” A mob supports its members to take emotion-based action without critical thought, and shields individuals from consequence. As witnessed by such TV programs as Jerry Springer, other people’s problems can be enjoyed as a blood sport. For Dom/mes, there can be the ego boost of dragon slaying, and the validation of being identified as on the Good Dom/me side of the fence. For subs, there may be reliving of a past victim role through another’s experience, projecting their own past feelings into the current situation. For both Dom/mes and subs, there can be the transference of past wrongs in their histories and the opportunity to get revenge by proxy.

The overt intention of the mob is to “help,” but is this helpful to our hurting community members? Much is made in D/s of the healing power of being seen. Many of us bring RL traumas and instabilities to our SL relationships, hidden behind the sparkle of our avatars. Pain is individual, its roots and depth unknowable in SL. Your authors hold that what most fracturing couples need is cooler heads, compassion, tolerance, eventual resolution, and in some cases solid pressure for RL help. The mob, however, is no longer about the individuals, nor about their reality. The mob needs the couple’s pain! It perpetuates and feeds upon suffering, perceived injustice, the need for intervention; the righteous glow achieved by condemning others, rescuing victims and slaying dragons.

Yes, there ARE predators and sociopaths out there, drawn to SL and other online venues by the lack of consequence and the limits of proof. There is abuse, people who successfully trap others in mind games or physical situations. Prudence and awareness are essential when engaging one’s RL self on any level in SL.

That said, your authors would argue that the vast majority of relationship breakups are just breakups, between people who like all of us are struggling with their own demons and having ordinary problems. Around their individual nidus of personal pain the community crystallizes its own agenda. Like sin and the Yom Kippur goat, the fears of the community are placed upon the heads of the couple, and a wilderness of polarization and projection opens around them at the moment when each of them likely most needs a sane and caring shelter.

We like to think we are rallying to support each other, to help our hurting friends heal, but who does this dynamic described really serve? What needs are actually being met? And the most disturbing question: in such situations could we in the community end up being the very thing we fear: Predators?!

your authors are Ryn Hax and Meadow Theas

Saturday, December 10, 2011

INTERNAL ENSLAVEMENT part 5 - "Submission in stages"

This is the fifth essay of my series about "Internal Enslavement". This time I picked the subject "Submission in stages" and will focus on the development of a submissive that engages in an M/s relationship to reflect on various possibilities to strengthen the intimate bond between Dominant and submissive. What facilitates and what threatens enslavement in D/s context?
Most of what i am going to present here was inspired by the website that provides many interesting essays, a huge part of them was written by the RL Master Tanos who runs a poly D/s household in the UK. 

0. Introduction

The concept of "Internal Enslavement" deals with the question if a radical consensual slavery is possible in an M/s context that is based on the pillars of safety, sanity, consensual and mutual trust, respect and commitment, in the physical, emotional and mental area of relationship. According to Tanos the answer is yes. Radical consensual slavery is possible (-> TPE = Total Power Exchange). It is a goal you can work towards to step by step, and you can make more and more achievements towards this goal. Tanos also believes that there are certain techniques derived from psychological knowledge that help with the "examination of a female slave's thoughts, emotions and past experiences to establish and maintain a solid and inescapable state of ownership". When the authors of the IE website speak of a "natural slave" they mean someone who is a slave by nature ... someone who has an innate or inborn character trait which predisposes them to slavery in some way. This means that while some people are predisposed to feeling comfortable under conditions of consentual slavery in D/s context, others are not. So not every submissive is going to feel comfortable and "at home" in a Master-slave-relationship.

1. Conditions that allow the growth of an M/s bond up to the enslavement of the submissive

I guess we all are aware that no intimate relationship of a Dominant and a submissive can successfully work longterm without the pillars safety sanity and consentuality (--> "informed consent"). The conditions for an intimate relationship involving the D/s dynamic pretty much seem to be the same as for any kind of intimate relationship, of the BDSM kind or not.

The solid ground is "matching characters/compatibility", mutual attraction, mutual respect, honesty, openness, a tight bond of trust, mutual commitment and the will of the partners involved to actively work on the success of the relationship which also includes will and ability to self reflect and to communicate.

So, when we have the solid ground and these nice pillars, what will prevent the solid material
from crumbling when time is taking effect after the first bliss of a new D/s relationship?

If you hung on the lips of some grand self-proclaimed Masters and Mistresses, You might think it is rules that rule. Have a good rule set and all will go smoothly and longterm. Nice ideologies. Let's look at the reality of being humans. I say ... the most important thing that will prevent a D/s relationship from crumbling to pieces after the first bliss is over, is ENJOYMENT. In this a D/s relationship is not really different from any kind of intimate relationship, right? Just the areas and methods of finding enjoyment might be different.

* Enjoyment of the other person and how he/she is.
* Enjoyment of oneself in the relationship ... enjoyment of Your role as submissive or Dominant or switch ... enjoyment of how one can be due to the fact of being together with the Dominant or submissive partner.
*Enjoyment of the mental and emotional aspects of D/s and their effect on one's own and the other's mind and heart.
*Enjoyment of having control or enjoyment of giving control away. Enjoyment of experiencing the partner in control-loss or in control.
* Enjoyment of the physical aspects of a D/s relationship, for example SM practise (if involved).

Finally, it should also be bourne in mind when considering potential Masters or slaves that Internal Enslavement is necessarily built while living together, and this will involve the submissive joining the dominant's household at some point.

Tanos writes: "It is considerably easier to evaluate genuine compatibility if dominant and submissive can spend time together regularly before moving - for instance, spending every weekend at one house or the other, or spending an extended period of "everyday" time together (eg a few weeks, and not just a holiday.) "

For this reason, there is often a risk associated with starting a long-distance relationship in the hope that it will lead to enslavement, since you may not be able to fully evaluate whether you are compatible before it is time to live together if the relationship is to progress.

In this context I would now like to mention some unplesant things that occur in too many long distance relationships that came into existence by online contact.

2. Unhealthy conditions - example: Myths used to deceive submissives
    (source of info:

a) Online training

Online training is the most common distraction from a genuine search for M/s. A number of men with no intention and/or no talent of establishing enslavement seek to attract women with a genuine need for an M/s relationship.

One ploy is to offer some form of online training which is claimed to increase the submissive's attractiveness to potential Masters. Online training can lead to periods of short term dominance, which go some way to satisfying this need in some submissive women.
However, because submissives always retain final control in online submission (by withdrawing if necessary) they are ultimately unsatisfying - in particular, Reactance cannot normally be overcome if submissives are expected to "dominate themselves" into obedience.

b) Formal Mentoring

Formal Mentoring is often a more sophisticated variant of the Online Training ploy, and isn't limited to online environments.

There have been respectable traditions of mentoring in some parts of BDSM's history (in particular, the Old Guard Leather subculture among gay men up to the mid 1970's).
However, it is commonly used in online communities to enable dominants to obtain committed submission without taking any responsibility, and without making clear their motivation.
In particular, mentoring is frequently portrayed as some form of public service that the dominant does to "give back to the Lifestyle", and in which he will train the submissive in some way, encourage her to explore her self and filter out unsuitable potential Masters for her.

Tanos clearly states on
"Although I do agree that would-be slaves can learn some useful things in relationships of submission outside of Enslavement, I believe the true motivations of all involved should be made clear from the start. For dominants, this will normally include their desire to control, understand and be served by submissives, and such relationships may be better viewed as limited Service with opportunities to learn, rather than purely as Mentoring." (cited from

I would like to underline "DESIRE TO CONTROL".
If a self-proclaimed Master has no deep desire, even need, to control, then an M/s relationship cannot work longterm. And with desire and need there come up the question for TALENT.
Is the "Master" willing and able to invest the great efforts it takes to take control?
Le's look at the sub: Des he/she have the need to be in control? Ad is he/she able to truly cope with control loss and enjoying it? It comes down to the question if the sub is what Tanos calls "a natural slave" that has another way to experience and deal with reactance than other people have. evertheless, in most cases, the best source of guidance for an inexperienced female submissive is usually a circle of other submissive friends with similar needs, rather than a dominant. .

c) Secret Training Houses

Let''s see what Tanos wrote about them:
"Secret Training Houses is one of the most suprising myths to persist online, and probably owes its origin to the mysterious slave-training chateau in the "Story of O"."

"Typically, a dominant will claim to be part of a worldwide, underground network of training houses, decry the falling standards in BDSM today compared to the "Old School", "European" or "Formal" standards of his youth (he has been "in the Lifestyle" either exactly 20 or exactly 30 years) and then tell the enthralled submissive that he can tell even through her computer screen that she is good enough for him to introduce into his organisation... " (cited from

As these examples may illustrate, it is not at all easy to find a good, well-,matching Dominant or submissive partner that is actually worth investing Yourself into a committed relationship with him/her. But I don't want to cling to the negatives here. Let's see how submission may develop if a sub actually went into good Dominant hands and conditions are set for establishing a well-working longterm D/s relationship up to the bond of M/s, with the submissive being enslaved property of his/her Master/Mistress.

3. Submission in Stages

The initial phase of starting and building on an M/s relationship is a most delicate time: The sub and the Dom might already have a well working D/s bond, but for a Master-slave relationship more is needed. Of course, we hear the question ring on the mind if this all isn't an ideal, a fantasy, also by presenting it as something "different" that requires "more" than the "usual". Something that requires a "diploma", one could think. But in fact it is nothing but about nature. No forcing it makes sense, things should just happen as they naturally fit with people.

There is the apparent contradiction of consensual non-consent: The submissive needs to change from a willing supplicant, seeking eslavement, into a slave held in her Master's possession. One of the pillars of a D/s relationship, as we know, is consent. This implies that a submissive usually has freedoms that have been negotiated. A submissive can say no and leave a D/s relationship, for example. A submissive can always safe-word.

Now, when a submissive becomes a Master's possession as His/Her enslaved property, there potentially is a tension between the freedoms the submissive still has and the authority the Master needs to progressively acquire. uthority that is also grounded in a Master's/Mistresse's need for control. control He/She will take from the slave and simply use as He/She pleases, let's hope responsibly. An authority of the Master/Mistress that induces the sub seeking enslavement to "consent to nonconsent", so to speak. A power that lets the sub turn over his/her powers and control to the Master/Mistress completely, becoming His/Her property that is being cared for and that is being decided on.
Now, what is so diffcult about it? Progress can be halted and the Master's authority undermined by a reactive submissive selectively vetoing his decisions to prove to herself she is still free. Which is in fact the reason why "Total Power Exchange" seems to remain a matter of fantasy and ideals, not appearing apt to withstand the reality of relationships. And it is a
very natural thing, nothing to be criticized or despised as trait of the "less developed form" of submission. In fact, such inner rebellion against a Dom's command could be rooted in the antropological need for freedom and as such is not to be judged negatively. It is about being human.

Reactance, the emotional reaction towards restriction of freedom, helps us reflect when we are in unsafe situations and thank God this natural mechanism cannot be submerged by any external control. It is up to the subject how to act if reactance is felt. 
If i felt uncomfortable with a command of my Dominant and felt reactance, but nevertheless did it because it is His will and I were eager to please Him, it is likely that it at the same time  fulfilled a deep need within me to be controlled and to feel the bliss as soon as i got over the reactance peak.

"Submission in Stages" is a model that can help with the transition of the sub, being in relationship with the Dominant and still having several things of herself and some freedoms, to an enslaved sub/slave that is owned posession of a Master, having turned over the control/power into the hopefully capable hands and braincells and heart of the Master (--> Power Exchange). To put in a nutshell, it is as if the Dominant was cutting the big cake that we call "Total Power Exchange" (full enslavement) into smaller pieces, then feeding them to the sub bit by bit, so that the sub can have time to get used to the new aspects in the nature of their M/s relationship and have the chance to consent to each of these bits individually.

Tanos writes: "In this approach, the dominant lays out stages of increasing authority transfer which the submissive consents to as her trust increases. For example, one stage might give the dominant authority to require domestic service, a respectful attitude and control over what the submissive wears, but exclude the right to demand sexual access, control over finances, choice of job, where she lives etc." (cited from

So you could say, this all happens prior to slavery, as this "cake feeding" period is a phase of voluntary submission, and the sub always has the right to consent or not consent to each of the single "cake pieces". During this phase it is always clear how far the dominant's authority is guaranteed; the submissive retains reassuring control over aspects of her life which she still feels she cannot give up; progress is made at her pace; but the path is still defined by the Dominant. Submission in Stages can either be agreed verbally or by written agreements or even with formal contracts.

Such "voluntary submission" can also be described as "service", and "submitting and being in service to a Dominant" is different to "Being property of a Dominant". During the "Submission in stages" phase we have a service D/s relationship, not yet achieved enslavement and not yet achieved the sub's status as possession of the Dominant. "However, we should stress that the Internal Enslavement process will already have begun right from a supplicant's first meeting, by building trust and opening up the submissive's Self to the dominant." (Tanos, cited from

"The "emotional" acceptance of the dominant's authority will usually be deeper than the sub's "rational" acceptance during this phase - that is, there may be aspects of her life which she does not yet think she could lose control over; but if confronted by the dominant taking control of them, she discovers she can in fact accept it." (Tanos)

I call this phase when the sub is starting to feel alignment of the will of the Dominant with her own needs. Such alignment is so to speak the "Vital IT" of any intimate relationship, and without it no relationship is going to work well longterm.

Tanos also gives this advice to Dominants who wish to enslave a submissive: "A techinique like Submission in Stages can yield more reliable and quicker results than a trial and error process of the dominant continually testing how far his authority extends, since the errors continually undermine trust and authority." 

So, what follows "Submission in Stages", if it has gone on successfully and led to ENJOYMENT and inner alignment and contentment for both, the potential Master of the potential slave?

Final stage: The sub accepts the dominant's authority over all aspects of her life, and confirms her desire to become his slave. This can happen after some weeks, and with other submissives craving enslavement, after some months of D/s relationship with the prospective Master. With this Consent to Enslavement in place, the work of building her emotional acceptance of her slavery can proceed.

So, to come to an end here, let me put a Dominant's main task in words if He/She dreamt of enslaving a submissive and becoming his/her owner:

written by Mirjam Munro, December 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Reactance in the context of D/s

According to an essay on the Internal Enslavement website ( a "natural slave" shows a lower level of reactance and another way of dealing with it than people who do not have this trait.
What is reactance?

In November 2011 i wrote the following text about reactance, what it means and how it plays out for me in the context of D/s. I hope for many of You sharing Your thoughts and experiences on this interesting topic as well.

"To me, reactance is a feeling of rebellion against restriction. It is a positive thing, cause without it, i might not have the reflectivity and emotional energy to fight if my freedom was restricted against my will, this means non consentually. An example: When I get too many tasks put on my shoulders by my boss at work and that do not fit with my usual job role, I feel reactance.
Reactance is something that each human feels in every day life, in many areas. Reactance belongs to the traits of being human, and this is no surprise as freedm is a high good for mankind.
Now, in my D/s relationship, I enjoy being restricted by my Master. I feel much less reactance when He restricts my freedom and I even crave it. It puts me in mental bliss . I want to be controlled by my Master. The big difference to what I described before is: This all happens consentually. I want it to happen. I trust my Master in dealing with me harshly but never beyond my hard limits. I feel safe because I know He utterly respects my hard limits. And this safety makes me feel much less reactance, or even none when He restricts my freedom (physcially or "mentally", by giving orders, by permitting and not permitting certain things and actions etc.)
It happens that I first feel "inner rebellion" against something He does or that He commands me to do. Then I feel reactance. Reactance makes me alert and aware. It switches my mind "ON" and lets me reflect if I am still in the safe zone. And then I feel ... oh yes I am, cause I know my Master is totally trustworthy. I know it from experience. I know it from His eyes, His voice ... I know it from how He deals with me. I feel it in my heart ... and then I push myself to go through it and get beyond the peakpoint of reactance and fall into bliss. Feeling "one" with what is happening, giving in completely, and not feeling any inner resistance or reactance. And I crave this feeling.
I find it interesting that Tanos used reactance to describe the being of a "Natural slave" on the IE Website ... submissives who seems to feel a lower level of reactance when freedom is restricted , and who even seem to crave it and fall into blisswhen they got beyond the peakpoint of reactance are called "natural slaves", according to the article on the IE website.
Last not least: Towards ANYONE that restricted my freedom or tried to restrict it, I would feel a normal level of reactance, i think, and i would fight for restoring my freedom. But towards my SPECIAL ONE, my Master, I react differently ... cause what He does and decides is what I consented to. Cause what He does and decides has proven to be good for me in my experience with Him. And because I feel safe with HIm and trust Him completely.
In all of me that is His,there is no room for reactance, cause rebellion against what He decides and does can only happen in something that is "outside of my Master" and that does not belong to Him. And yes, if i had a non responsible Dominant that would not care for me well enough, then it would be damn good to keep some parts to myself and feel the reactance that could save me and bring me out of a situation and if needed, completely away from such a man.
And yes, thank God we have this mechanism. We need it for reflection, to be able to safeword (reactance makes us aware something is not right) - even with best intentions a responsible Master might fail at times and go too far or catch us in a bad situation. And when a relationship is new ... we damn need reactance to feel in our guts when we don't feel comfortable with a Dominant that might not give us the feeling of safety, that might not be trustworthy, that might even be abusive.
So to me reactance is very positive, and the experience of not feeling it when being with my Master is utterly awesome as well."
(written by mirjam in November 2011)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Finding the me in my submission: Learning to Let Go Again

I've found that I'm now much more aware about myself then I have ever really been, I've shifted into a phase of working on my fears. I think that there's definitely a sense of needing to be "strong", needing to prove something, or in my case keeping nice thick walls up, when you're not wearing a collar. As an uncollared submissive we do have to look out for ourselves, but where do we draw the line? At what point do we allow ourselves to open up? What's the best way to teach ourselves to do this?

Talking is an amazing tool - sharing, listening. Have you ever had one of those moments where you're talking with someone and you're saying things you didn't even realize you were thinking. It's not only therapeutic, it's a great to discover deeper parts of yourself. It's an easy way to learn how to open up. That is one area I know I’m weaker in – communication. But in my readiness to share myself, I'm also working on one of my greatest weaknesses. When I first decided I was going to allow others in I was skittish. I would shut down when I felt any sort of negative feeling about almost anything. There were even times when no matter how badly I wanted to share and verbalize what I was feeling, I found the words were stuck and I was incapable of doing so for fear of the repercussions. By no means am I even remotely close to being a strong communicator, but I've made the first (and hopefully subsequent) steps in the right direction when I decided to move forward.

I'm not saying we're obligated to share anything with anyone. I know walls go up for a reason, I have plenty myself. But I know, I know without a doubt I'm so ready to move forward with my life. I'm so ready to let someone in. I'm ready to put myself in a vulnerable position, to slowly expose myself to him. I have my friends and I do open up to them, but now it's time for me to open myself to the possibility of connecting with someone on a deeper level.
I can't give a definite answer as to why I feel like now is the time. It feels right. I trust myself. The raw emotions I was dealing with when I was first uncollared have dissolved. I'm able to look back at my past experience and grow from it without the intense negativity I used to feel. It felt safer for me to start allowing people in a little more. I made the conscious decision to be less hesitant and perhaps a bit more trusting with those I wanted to share with. It's hard work. It's kind of like jumping into the deep end of the pool. I'm the type of person who jumps in because I have to. Toe-by-toe doesn't work for me. If I go that slow, if I'm that cautious, I'll never make it all the way.

I had let go of fears and anxieties when I was previously collared. The end result - a failed relationship. For a while, I felt like that was a lesson, teaching me that letting go was a bad thing. I had done something that terrified me with someone I trusted and at the end of it all I was alone and hurting. I spent a lot of time thinking about that. It's not because I let go and decided to trust him that the relationship failed. I took a chance and it didn't work out. It doesn't mean letting go is a bad thing. It's quite the opposite. It's definitely scary, but it's also exhilarating and freeing and rewarding. It's a chance we're always going to have to take if we want to have the most meaningful relationship that we can. I think about where I am now, where my emotions are invested and while I'm nervous, I'm excited. More excited than I've been in a long time. And I'm so happy. What I'm feeling right now, feelings that I hope will continue to grow and expand, outweighs the fear of getting hurt. I can say that if I didn't feel ready myself, ready to face my fears or strong enough to take a chance, to allow someone to see the deepest parts of me, I wouldn't be saying this. And I wouldn't be actively working on letting go.

The power is completely in our hands. We make the decision to let people in. Who. When. If. What we share. We are the only ones who can determine if we we are ready. Everyone works at a different pace. We all want something different. That's the beauty of this. We're all at different stages with different needs, but with the power residing in ourselves. There's no timeline to follow. It's a matter of doing what feels right when it feels right. And trusting yourself - trusting that you're making the right decision. Don't let past experiences hold you back. You'll absolutely know when you're ready to let go.

Enjoy the journey when you do.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I am proud to present a brandnew info on new developments in Second Life's ADULT LIFE to You today. On Monday, November 14th 2011, the new Adult Hub opened (the former adult hub for SL was on Zindra mainland but it did not bring as output what Linden Labs had hoped to achieve by it). Preparations are still being done and people are busy working on the Adult HUB SIMs to make the experience for the future users of the HUB best as possible. The official launch date for the Adult HUB is announced for December 2nd 2011.

Linden Labs had put out a tender a few months ago asking for residents to present proposals to make a new way of helping people who do not nessesarily know what adult services and activites are avallable in Second Life. The bid run by the Freedom Continent was successful.

So please, if You are meeting more newbie avatars and/or people new to BDSM and/or more people with questions on one of the Freedom Continent SIMs in future, don't be surprised and be aware they might have come over from the new Adult HUB SIMs. It would be awesome if You could help them further.

The new Adult Hub will be the place where people who are doing searches for adult-themed communities and content will be redirected to in SL. The Adult Hub will serve as an information center which will be staffed with both volunteers and paid greeters to assist new people to SL, and new to Adult themed content in SL, find what they are looking for in SL. Help from how to set up the avatar, change clothes, get viewer setting rights and such to how to where to find speciality SIMs (educational sims, leisure time fun stuff, adult-themed, general SL events, etc).

The current Adult hub consists of 5 sims. The central Hub is for all aspects of Adult life in a little detail and to direct people to one of the 4 further surrounding Sims depending on what they wish to know.

HERE IS THE SLURL: Hub/137/138/55

The four other HUB Sims around the center SIM are the CARP/Roleplay hub, the Sex hub, the Gor/Medieval hub and the BDSM/Fetish hub. Each of the sims represents and focuses on their own area of the adult life in second life.

The staff of the hubs are required to provide information about the topic of the HUB Sim that they work in, be it from personal experiance, academic knowledge, notecards and boards that will be on the Sims,  right down to direction people to other adult Sims in Second Life where they can find out more information or the adult experience that they wish.

CURRENTLY GREETERS ARE BEING HIRED TO WORK ON ONE OF THE ADULT HUB SIMs, they will be paid 25 L$ per hour. If You are interested to work at the Adult HUB and help adult users of SL, then please apply by sending a notecard to Naaman McMahon. A few members of the D/s academy are already working at the Adult HUB.

Sims are not required to join the Freedom Continent at the location of the new Adult HUB  to be recognised by the HUB as this is for the whole of the adult world in second life, not a handful.

We hope that the new adult HUB will help keep our adult communities growing and help newcomers find a positive support system and resources.

If you have any questions, please contact Mirjam Munro, Sidius Core, Naaman Mcmahon, JeZeBeLe Dagger, or Jovial Denimore. The main responsible person for the Adult HUB is Serjourn Daxter, the head manager of the Freedom Continent.

Many thanks to Naaman McMahon and Jovial Denimore for providing the major parts of this information text.

Interesting related links to read:

Enjoy Your adult SL experience and come explore the new ADULT HUB,

Mirjam Munro
D/s academy director
ACES Facilitator
Member of the Freedom Continent Director's Board
Staff of the Adult HUB

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Finding the me in my submission: a turning point

I've been debating sharing this. For one, it's a really personal experience, and a very emotional one at that. But then I thought, what if someone was reading this and in a similar position. What if someone needed to hear the staggeringly positive emotions that could be right around the corner. I guess this constitutes as a disclaimer. This is my experience, and can probably be labeled as one of the best days of my life. If I can help someone else chance upon something as equally as rewarding, then this has been worth it.

The other day, I had the most incredible experience. Things have shifted so unexpectedly. The happiness I’ve found can’t be measured. I don’t know if it’s from throwing myself into as many educational opportunities as possible or my friends or me uncovering a large portion of myself that I was unable to reach before. Perhaps it’s a combination of everything.

I’ve hit a really good place in my submission. I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately, and picking up a lot of things – what I like, what about Dominance and submission draws me to it, why I’m submissive. I’ve had this insatiable appetite to know more about everything. That’s nothing new, but suddenly I’m feeling so different. It was early one morning before I was at work and I had a moment to just reflect. My mind drifted to where it wanted to, which ended up being my current state as a submissive. And what surprised me the most was what I felt. I was happy. Incredibly happy. Happier than I’ve been in a very long time.

This amazing sense of peace settled and I didn’t feel pressured or anxious. I wasn’t hopeful because I was content. My submission in itself brought me joy. I felt what it meant to embody my submission and the accompanying freedom. I could feel an overwhelming complete sense of joy, openness, and love radiate from the top of my head to the bottoms of my feet. It was such a rush, I had a high the rest of the day. My coworkers couldn’t figure out why I was grinning.

I think there’s a power and a beauty in relying on yourself and in finding your inner strength. For me, I found where my true joy lies. In being submissive, in recognizing that need within myself and allowing it to grow I’ve opened myself up. I push myself to keep learning. For me personally, I feel like the more I learn the more I’m doing for myself and the more in touch I become with the submissive I am. It’s like a cycle – the more I learn, the more self-aware I am. The more self-aware I am, the more I can explore. It’s exciting! I know these feelings have only scratched the surface of what’s out there, and I’m not only thrilled to have reached such a positive place – I’m excited

This positive energy – I still feel it. I think my mind and heart were finally ready. I don’t doubt myself anymore. I’m way more confident in my choices, my opinions and my thoughts. I believe everyone has their own timeline and this isn’t a conscious choice. It’s a turning point – one that happens when you’re ready. To feel such an absoluteness in my own submission is such a huge step. I’ve always known that the collar doesn’t make the submissive but now I feel it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finding the me in my submission: worries, needs and fulfillment

The Second Installment:

I’ve always been a bit of a forward thinker. Always. My future has been a cause of anxiety for me since high school. So over time, I’ve become really good at ignoring that which maybe I shouldn’t. Every logical bone in my body knows that a collar doesn’t make the submissive. But that reasoning does nothing to quell the loneliness. That’s one thing I wonder. Yes, this is the time to be focusing on myself, but how do I combat the natural human emotion of loneliness? I do think that is one of the harder parts about being unowned. We are typically around a lot of collared submissives – joyful couples and cheery people and at low moments it can be kind of sucky.

I wish I had amazing advice for this situation. I only know that for me personally, keeping busy helps. Work on something you’re good at. It’s times like that when I just say – take one day at a time. There is no rush. And in the grand scheme of things, there is absolutely no reason to want anything to happen before it should. Take comfort in your friends. I’m learning to step back and find the peace within myself. I’ve always known that the collar doesn’t make the submissive, but I’m beginning to feel it. And why rush something that is so important. A collar isn’t something to take lightly and at this point, I’m more likely to be overcautious then to let the next “Dominant” throw a collar around my neck. We work so hard to understand ourselves, our submission, to be the best version of who we. Why would you want to risk all the hard work for the sake of calling someone Master?

Be careful with your heart. Personally, I struggle between protecting my heart and not shutting everyone out. It’s very easy to get carried away and want so badly to protect yourself from any further hurt that you stick up nice big walls. The mentality “I’m just going to look out for myself and only myself” is a dangerous one. It’s very negative and very emotionally draining. It kind of feels like the last fight, in a way. At least for me it did, almost like I was giving up. I’m still cautious, but when I finally stopped trying to keep everyone away I was so much happier. And when we’re happy and have a little less to worry about, we’re more able to focus on what’s really important. Our growth. Our own goals. Exploring our submission.

I’ve finally put into words what’s been causing me so much turmoil lately. Not only as a submissive, but as a person in general, I am so much more comfortable with structure and direction in my life. Being uncollared, the only structure I have is whatever I create for myself. I’m at work Monday through Friday by 8:30. I put my things down at my desk, change my shoes and make a cup of coffee in the kitchen. With coffee in hand, I scan the news before slowly easing into my emails and tasks for the day. That is my daily routine. Having that small bit of structure helps me “battle” that ever present need. Collared, I had tasks to provide stability and goals to provide direction. Lately, my only goal is to make it to the gym after work. Well, not entirely true – my other goal includes learning as much as I can right now and understanding myself. I guess figuring out how to semi-satiate this nagging need for stability and direction is just a more difficult part of delving into who I really am. In a way I'm forcing myself to learn to be confident without the Dominant provided direction that I crave.

So how do we as uncollared submissives help ourselves in this situation? Yes, it’s our own responsibility to satisfy a need we may have. I see such strength and power in that. I’m really proud of myself when I am able to understand myself enough to know what it is that I need at a particular moment. For example, I’m going to stop yelling at myself to sleep in every time my boss is out of the office. I’ll take comfort in my morning routine because it’s helping to fill a need in me and has probably started as an unconscious way to help myself when I felt unstable and insecure. I’m also going to set more goals for myself. I’m a runner so my goal of getting to the gym a couple of times a week is feasible. When I start reaching that goal on a regular basis, I’ll set another one for myself.

Just because there isn’t a collar around my neck doesn’t mean I have to become complacent. There’s no one saying I can’t at least fill a small part of that desire. Learning to depend on yourself can be extremely gratifying. I think as we find more fulfillment in that, we’ll find satisfaction – completeness in ourselves that a Dominant can’t provide.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Finding the me in my submission: Self-Exploration as a newly uncollared submissive

Recently uncollared, I realized the only thing I was sure of was my name. Actually, even hearing that was hard as my previous Master had a pet name for me that I had grown so accustomed to hearing, [consider removing comma as this is one thought] my own name sounded strange. My own identity was no longer familiar. I was “jessa, slave, owned” because my Master had said it was so.

No longer having that collar or that person telling me who I was, became was a harsh reality. The first few days alone were spent in a retrograde reflection; I just willingly left a long-term relationship – did I do the right thing? According to some I was a lucky girl. That was lesson number one. The first thing I had to understand was the only opinion that mattered at that point was my own. Now was the time to focus on my own thoughts and opinions because that was what I had unknowingly lost in the past year. Because I was the only person who mattered when it came to my submission at this point, what other people thought was no longer of concern.

Upon leaving the relationship, my constant question was “was this my fault?” I simultaneously felt heartbroken and guilty. I was angry and I couldn’t pinpoint why. I certainly didn’t trust anyone and found that keeping to myself was my safest option. It was hard to join new social groups. Speaking up took a lot of courage that I was lacking at that moment and I was so lonely and out of my comfort zone. But a few very wise people got in my head and with the right words and reminders got me settled on the right track. That was my second lesson. Don’t keep out the people who are trying to help you. Fear is natural, sadness is expected, as is the urge to protect yourself. Find the little bit of rational thought that you can muster from within and see those friends as people you should keep close. It’s okay to need help.

I also believe all that negativity is part of the process, but I hit a point where I realized that I wasn’t being fair to myself as a submissive. Alas, I had discovered my third lesson. It’s my job, especially no longer wearing a collar, to nurture, explore and rediscover who I am as a submissive woman. My submission is my anchor. It stems from the deepest part of my soul; it’s what gives me strength. Now was the perfect time to reconnect with what drives that feeling. After being in a relationship for so long, a relationship that ultimately didn’t work, I was unfamiliar with who I was. I wasn’t sure of my own likes or dislikes. I wasn’t sure of my own desires. Eventually I found out I wasn’t sure of what I even expected from a Dominant or a relationship, or if I was even allowed to have expectations. I could write and rewrite the affirmation I had been reciting for the past year plus, but that was no longer me. I had to start from the bottom and build myself up, the foundation of me being my submission, and slowly layering on top of that as I learned more.

Besides being around really positive, supportive people, the most important and helpful thing I’ve done is jump into educational opportunities. Classes, discussions, anything that even mildly interested me I attended. I cannot express how valuable I have found educational outlets to be. Not only do I get a chance to hear other’s opinions, I also see this as a chance to come to terms with what wasn’t working in my previous relationship. Honestly, it was somewhat painful in the beginning. I spent many discussions thinking, “You did this, this and this wrong,” or, “you shouldn’t have done that.” My fourth lesson – Everything I attended was with the intention to help me rebuild. No one can make me feel bad about myself right now, except myself. This is my opportunity to gather the tools and information I need to make healthy, positive decisions for whatever may come my way in the future.

My first self-discovery was exciting and a source of motivation - it felt good to know I was actually making progress. For as long as I can remember, I have identified myself with the label of “slave.” Looking back I now realized I only called myself a slave because that is what my Master called me, literally from day one of my exploration of this lifestyle. I didn’t put enough faith in myself to question that, to figure it out for myself before I let him make that decision for me. It was liberating to come to that decision on my own, under my own power, working on myself as I have been – there’s a certain freedom that goes along with that, with this journey. Perhaps it’s a sense of euphoric pride that comes with my developing self-confidence. Yes, there have been days where I’ve had to push myself to get to a class or a discussion but every one has been worth it. I’m learning to form my own opinions about my submission in a way that I never gave myself the chance to previously. And in doing that I’m slowly gaining a confidence in myself that I never had without a Master by my side. In retrospect, those are two different types of confidence and that which I’m working on now will enable me to serve from a much healthier place.

It’s somewhat exciting to be in the position I’m in. I don’t answer to anyone, I make my own decisions, and I put myself first. I’m indulging in being rather selfish (nicely, of course!) because I don’t want to miss an opportunity to discover a new part of me. There’s no need to rush, but I see this as the chance I need to focus on me. Should I ever have the opportunity to wear a collar again, I want to be in the best shape I can possibly be. I want to take the responsibility now to work on my issues as best I can myself because ultimately, my submission comes down to me.


This is the first of a series I have been inspired to write by a few very special. I hope to document as honestly as possible my experience as a newly uncollared submissive through this tumultuous, exciting, scary process. I'll update as things progress!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Internal Enslavement part 4 - "Finding Enslavement part 1 - The Dominance Economy"

This is the fourth essay of my series about "Internal Enslavement". This time I picked the subject "Finding Enslavement" and I am going to adress some of the issues involved in finding a dominant or submissive with which to build an Internal Enslavement (IE) relationship. In the following You can read about the Dominance Economy, statistical data and its consequences for submissives. In the second article om "Findind Enslavement" You can read about places to use for partner search and myths used to deceive submissives online. Most of what i am going to present here was inspired by the website that provides many interesting essays, a huge part of them was written by the RL Master Tanos who runs a poly D/s household in the UK. 

1. Introduction

The concept of "Internal Enslavement" deals with the question if a radical consensual slavery is possible in an M/s context that is based on the pillars of safety, sanity, consensual and mutual trust, respect and commitment, in the physical, emotional and mental area of relationship. According to Tanos the answer is yes. Radical consensual slavery is possible (-> TPE = Total Power Exchange). It is a goal you can work towards to step by step, and you can make more and more achievements towards this goal. Tanos also believes that there are certain techniques derived from psychological knowledge that help with the "examination of a female slave's thoughts, emotions and past experiences to establish and maintain a solid and inescapable state of ownership". When we speak of a "Natural Slave" we mean someone who is a slave by nature ... someone who has an innate or inborn character trait which predisposes them to slavery in some way. This means that while some people are predisposed to feeling comfortable under conditions of consentual slavery in D/s context, others are not. So not every submissive is going to feel comfortable and "at home" in a Master-slave-relationship.

Let us assume a submissive feels that he/she might be a "natural slave" or already knows that he/she is and desires to live in an M/s relationship with a responsible Master/Mistress. Or let us assume the submissive wants to find out if living as slave and property of a Master/Mistress is something that fits with his/her nature and helps him/her to find comfort and fulfillment in life. One might think that finding enslevement is easy as there seem to be so many people out there who embrace this concept, at least by what they say or write in profiles throughout the internet. Yet it is not ... at least it is not easy for a submissive who is interested in Internal Enslavement to find a responsible Master/Mistress that matches well with his/her personality and needs. And this has to do with "The Dominance Economy". Let's read more about this in the following.

2. "The Dominance Economy"

People who have participated in the mainstream BDSM Scene will have noticed that there are far more men than women - online in chatrooms, forums and mailinglists, but also at real-life events like munches and club nights. Tanos collected statistical data on this phenomenon, by doing a survey via the general UK BDSM website "Informed Consent". Over 1200 people participated in the survey that every site member was offered, and 887 of them were male, but only 384 females. By the survey, they also explored the interest of people in dominance and submission. Surprisingly, 50 out of 384 women responded by "ultimate interest" in submission (scale 0-5, 0 no interest at all to 5 very high interest, and together with the ones who said "high interest" in submission they found out that 168 of the 384 female participants in the survey describe themselves as extremely submissive women. While only very few females described themselves as "extremely dominant", around 170 of the participating males saw themselves as "extremely dominant". This is statistically equivalent to the 168 women with the complementary bias towards extreme submission. Consequently, the numbers of males and females who would be seeking relationships between male Masters and female slaves, should at best be roughly equal.

Now, if a man is highly interested in being "extremely dominant" and finding the complementary female to take her as his slave, this does not mean he will be successful with the search and relationship performance. Tanos writes:

"Due to the Master's leading role in the relationship, his competence in managing his and his slave's life plays a central role in its success or failure. Attributes such as experience, responsibility, reliability and knowledge of techniques of Enslavement and aspects of BDSM are highly sought after by submissives looking for Masters." (

Corresponding traits are valuable (and indeed common) among female submissives, but they do not seem to be as essential to their desirability as the traits of dominants are. Let us again read Tanos:

"In particular, whereas a totally inexperienced would-be Master would find it difficult to improvise the techniques necessary to establish an M/s relationship; the corresponding inexperienced female submissive can be led and moulded by a competent Master, with her lack of prior knowledge no impediment to learning." (

In this context, it also needs to be said that some self.proclaimed male dominants are not seeking long term relationships, despite their claims to the contrary, and are merely manipulating submissives with false promises and fake self-descriptions. If we look at the meaning of all this statistical data that Tanos and colleagues found, we can put it in this nutshell: There are more available female submissives than male dominants with whom a genuine M/s relationship could be started. Tanos sums it up like this:

"This observation leads to the concept of the Dominance Economy, in which real-life, competent dominance is a scarce resource, and this scarcity has negative consequences for both women and men." (

3. Consequences of "The Dominance Economy" (according to Tanos - compare

a) Female submissives need to invest extra effort to weed out dominants who exaggerate or blatantly lie about their desirability in terms of experience, knowledge, responsibility and even social status and employment.

b) In consequence to a), female submissives may not be able to rely on conventional female social norms of "waiting to be asked", and may need to make the first contact with a desirable dominant. This is something which many female submissives find very hard to do directly, as part of their general reluctance to risk rejection by asking for things. And i may add: It may be even harder towards a Dom who presents his many many years of RL experience ... might make a sub even more reluctant.

c) Not few submissives with a great need to be dominated might likely accept short-term, unhealthy or even abusive D/s relationships.

d) Male dominants must make extra effort to differentiate themselves from the large number of less than honest or clueless competitors. I think many of the dominants reading this can sing a song of this :-).

I hope to have presented a few valuable insights and ideas to You by this short essay, and I am looking forward to writing the second part on "Finding Enslavement" for You soon which will be about various places to use for partner search and myths used to deceive submissives online,

written by Mirjam Munro, October 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Gender Bender: Whats Sex Got To Do With It?

Humans are a funny creature. We like to have things sorted into boxes with neatly typed labels on them. Then when we see more than one item that looks similar, we can toss them both in the same box. Another item that's different for some reason? Toss it in its own box with its own little label. Everything is sorted, we know what is in each box (relatively speaking), and our desktop is clean.
But we keep trying to do this even when speaking about other people. For instance most of us were born one gender or another (yes there are some medical exceptions but for the most part either you were born with a penis or your were not). And every one of us, whether we knew it or not, was tossed into somebody else's "boy" or "girl" box. And once you were in that box you were expected to have certain generic tendencies. Let me explain what that little box looks like on the inside!
If you were born a girl, you were expected to "act like a girl" or a "young lady". It is the only way a girl could fit in the girl box. She has to sit quietly, never yell or be rude, never curse, never pass gas, never use the toilet, never get dirty, always be neatly get the idea. Girls are also supposed to be catty, jealous, and conniving. Stab you in the back if you get too close to her territory....But...what if you are none of those things? I don't think i get catty with people, nor jealous. I certainly am not in the habit of causing drama or backstabbing. I also use the toilet, pass gass from time to time, cuss when i need to and give my opinion whether it is asked for or not at times. far as i know i still have female parts. And even when i am opinionated and strong...i am still a submissive.
How about males? Guys are expected to "Gentlemen" and "A man's man" (whatever THAT means). They are to be strong like bull, never show emotion, be polite but make sure the woman knows her place, and habits like scratching, spitting and missing the toilet are expected. Guys are also expected to be one track minded (with that track in a tunnel), possessing of selective hearing,and leave their mates to become "football or baseball widows". But what of the men that are not these things? What of the men who are not ashamed to show emotion? What of the men that prefer to put the woman in their life before themselves? They don't have tunnel vision because they are not focused on only themselves. Is it possible to be a man and be a strong submissive? Is it possible for a Dominant male to care for another human with deep emotion? I cant speak for males but i can say that i have seen VERY Dominant males who did not need to punch holes in walls to prove they were strong. They did nothing but say one word. It was enough. And i have seen submissive males with more masculinity than the five top male athletes combined. They hold their Domme above them and will weather any pain or storm for that Domme (or DOM for that matter!).
So apparently humans are not so easy to compartmentalize. Just because you were born male or female does not mean you will fit into a "boy" or "girl" mold. The thing about people is that we live lives. We have experiences as we go through life. We have emotions that are wholly our own. And anyone who has ever burst out laughing or crying can tell you, you don't always control the emotion. Because of this basic fact alone, who are we to judge the role someone chooses for them self?
Is it OK that i am submissive just because i am girl? If you looked at me and said that i would punch you in the mouth for being a sexist piglet. When it comes to the Dominant moves, i have them down pat. I can out Dom half the Doms that come in the room. Why? Because i have sat through all the classes (hell i was there when those classes and concepts were outlined), understand all of the concepts, and know how to handle the job. But does that make me Dominant? Of course not. What makes me a submissive is what is in my heart. It is in my heart to please Master, to give Him the control of the relationship and the decisions, to feel the safety and security of being owned by Him. You cant teach that. Its either there or it isn't. I cant teach someone to BE submissive. They are or they are not. No one can teach me to BE Dominant. I simply am not. Its kind of like religion. Either you believe and have faith in something or you don't. You can go through the motions and say all the words. But that doesn't make you a believer.
So why do i bring this all up? Because it occurs to me from time to time in tidbits of conversations and attitudes, that we as a community are still judging things we have no right to judge. Who am i to look at someone and say "you're a girl so you're submissive and also catty and a drama queen"?. Or "you're a boy so you're a self centered pig headed he-man that's only good as a Dominant". By that same token, who would i be to look at a woman and say she does not have the right or ability to feel Dominant and BE Dominant? The same for male submissive. How do i know how they feel? How do i know what they have been through, what brings them satisfaction, or even what kind of person they are based on sex? ...Or race, sexual preference, or anything else. The fact is i know a lot of VERY good, strong female Dominants. And equally good, strong male submissives. They are being true to themselves and looking for the partner that makes them feel fulfilled. Anyone who has attended my classes knows..this is one of the most base components of finding a relationship that works. Honesty with yourself and who you really are before you can be honest with anyone else. And the only person who knows how you YOU.
My final Sub-Stance; its not our business to judge or compartmentalize others based on the exterior. Its not fair to stuff humans into "boy" and "girl" boxes then cover their mouths with tape when they complain. If you judge someone...make it on their actions and words. On the person they ARE. Not on how neatly they fit into your boxes.

Internal Enslavement part 3 - "The Natural Slave"

This is the third essay of my series abouut "Internal Enslavement". This time I picked the subject "The Natural Slave". Most of what i am going to present here was inspired by the website that provides many interesting essays, a huge part of them was written by the RL Master Tanos who runs a poly D/s household in the UK.

The concept of "Internal Enslavement" deals with the question if a radical consensual slavery is possible in an M/s context that is based on the pillars of safety, sanity, consensual and mutual trust, respect and commitment, in the physical, emotional and mental area of relationship. When we speak of a "Natural Slave" we mean someone who is a slave by nature ... someone who has an innate or inborn character trait which predisposes them to slavery in some way. This means that while some people are predisposed to feeling comfortable under conditions of consentual slavery in D/s context, others are not. So not every submissive is going to feel comfortable and "at home" in a Master-slave-relationship.

Let's read what Aristotle said about these predispositions in the 4th century BC::

"The same holds good of animals in relation to men; for tame animals have a better nature than wild, and all tame animals are better off when they are ruled by man; for then they are preserved. Again, the male is by nature superior, and the female inferior; and the one rules, and the other is ruled; this principle, of necessity, extends to all mankind. Where then there is such a difference as that between soul and body, or between men and animals, the lower sort are by nature slaves, and it is better for them as for all inferiors that they should be under the rule of a master. For he who can be, and therefore is, another's and he who participates in rational principle enough to apprehend, but not to have, such a principle, is a slave by nature."

Quote taken from Aristotle, Politics, 1.V (translation by Benjamin Jowett)

So for Aristotle a slave was not competent to run their own lives. The reason he gave for it was inferior intellect - put on same level as animals even. It is important to know that many domestic servants in ancient times were not given the chance to develop the competency to run their own lives. We could say "They were kept at dull state". However, we know that other ancient societies, such as Imperial Rome or the Ottoman Empire, were largely administered by slaves and freed slaves.

And yes, we all definitely know that slaves in D/s context are definitely no dull brains. Tanos wrote in an essay on the IE website:

"In our modern experience of IE and TPE infact, submissive women appear, as a group, to be disproportionately intelligent and drawn from demanding professions such as teaching and healthcare."

I guess most of us would agree on this. Tanos suggests that we, as modern people and ambassadors of a healthy D/s lifestyle step back from Aristotle's position, and just start from "it is better for them ... that they should be under the rule of a master" (Aristotles words).
There are people in our modern society as well as in historic societies that are predespositioned to enjoy and live more happily and better under the rule of a master.

Why is it better for some submissives to be under the rule of a Master and become His property as an owned slave?
Here I am thinking about the human need for self actualization. Each one is more or less striving to become the person that he/she really is and to act one's self out in life. For some submissives it is an aspect of their nature that they need to be under control for fulfillment. When they are under control of a Dominant they trust in and accept as Master over themselves and their lives, they feel bliss when their personal freedom is restricted. They don't feel reactance that other people would feel when their personal freedom was in danger or taken away, and they don't rebel and fight in order to regain their personal freedom. I think the utterly important conditions for such are
* deep trust in the Dominant
* feeling of emotional safety in the M/s relationship
* consent to the nature of relationship as Master & slave and all its implications and
* positive experiences with the Master who hopefully won't abuse the right to take control over his possession for a negative outcome for the slave.

Which people are suited to slavery due to their nature in a way that is relevant for D/s or M/s?
*They feel secure when someone is giving them direction & guidance.
*They need certainty and security in their relationships.
*Their level of reactance when their personal freedom is put in danger or being restricted is different than it is for other people.
*To be happy and feel fulfilled, resting in their own identity, they need to feel control loss, someone taking control over them and caring for them well.

As mentioned above, a huge aspect of determining what constitutes the being of a "natural slave" is that they seem to show a lover level of every-day "Reactance" (psychological concept first described by Brehm in 1966). Reactance is an emotional reaction to mentally or really experienced restriction of personal freedom. A "natural slave" is experiencing and showing less of this "reactance" if freedom is restricted. A slave's level of reactance is "below average", so to speak.
Reactance normally leads to actions in order to reestablish the state of freedom that is being threatened or that was taken away, such could be acts of rebelllion, aggression and fight. In case the freedom cannot be restored there is a typical turning point that is described as "reaching the peak of reactance": giving in, trying to settle with the situation that seems unescapable ... when it is dramatic it can lead to depression or other negative psychical consequences.

But does this happen with submissives in D/s relationships, when the Dominant they trust in restricts their freedom?
It doesn't. Most submissives who consentually (!) are confronted with restriction of their freedom in D/s context experience less reactance than another being would. For some submissives, this "reactance peak" is not negative, they even seem to strive for it and find comfort by it ... as if they need their personal freedom to be restricted and as if they need to go beyond the peakpoint of reactance and have nothing left but the option to settle with the situation. This is what we call the need to be controlled. For some subs it more than fulfillment of a need, it is enjoyment, it is bliss. It is them who are called "natural slaves" in the concept of Internal Enslavement that we are dealing with.

On we can read:

"Submissives may experience lower levels of total Reactance (roughly stress), when their freedom is restricted, compared to when they are free; and that they also don't experience the depression and low performance which psychologists observe with "normal" people in psychologically defined helplessness."

One could say that a "natural slave" is someone who responds well to a lack of freedom or can't even handle freedom. He/she needs a strong sense of boundaries externally defined to have emotional comfort, and it might be connected to a sense of self worth that a "natural slave" also needs externally defined. (Many thanks to the persons behind the SL avatars Yvana Zadark and Tergen Sadofsky for these thoughts!).

We find a description of this on as well:

"We can go further and use Reactance to define a type of slave: a Natural Slave is a slave for whom slavery can be better than freedom, since they have the capacity to experience less Reactance when living in that condition, without the depression normally associated with Helplessness. Thus they are suited to slavery by their nature - by some inherent quality of their psychological makeup."
"Even though Natural Slaves in this IE sense may experience slavery as a positive experience, other factors in their environment may prevent this. Notably, if the Master behaves in a destructive way, ignoring fundamental needs, then the Helplessness may become negative rather than positive for the slave."

As a summary, "natural slaves" are characterized by a predesposition that lets them seek and even crave and need slavery and control loss, restriction of personal freedom deliberately. They need to be controlled and guided, and have a hard time when they are not. This also stresses the importance of a steady solid bond with their Owner in D/s context that is characterized by consent, deep trust, feeling of safety, consistency, radical openness and honesty, responsible reliable care for the slave's needs and guidance and control in many if not all areas of the slave's life.

If You want to read about "Reactance" in greater detail, I advise you these two resources:

The conclusion drawn by Tanos on is this:

"This would suggest that Internal Enslavement may only be possible with Natural Slaves, since the trust and intimacy (in the Transactional Analysis sense) that forms the emotional bondage would be inhibited if the helpless state were destructive rather than positive for the subject."

I hope this is an inspiring hypothesis for all of You and that it may stimulate Your mental processing about the dynamics of Master-slave-relationships and the conditions that their longterm success requires. Nothing can be commanded and forced onto a person when it is against his/her being, his/her natural condition. Thanks for reading this essay and I am looking forward to presenting You more about "Internal Enslavement" in the next articles.

written by Mirjam Munro, October 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pig In A Thousand Dollar Suit

My siblings in service, what is the one thing we have drilled into us at every turn? The one warning that keeps us in check? That we represent our Dominants in word and action. It is our responsibility to behave with grace and honor no matter the situation because any wrong word could be viewed as a failure on the part of our Dominant. And none of us who care deeply for our Dominant wants to be responsible for shaming them.
So it goes that we quietly fold our hands and turn the other cheek when someone else behaves badly toward us. We bite our tongue out of our head and turn to our Dominant to handle the situation. Anything less would be taking away the power of our Dominant as our defender and protector.

Welllll....OK so we TRY. Sometimes we do react when we should not. Sometimes we are human and no matter how hard we try, we can not be perfect. Luckily for some of us we were blessed by having a Dominant that either grants us some ability to defend ourselves in Their absence, or listens to both sides of a situation before deciding we were shameful. For those wise Dominants who realize that in some cases a strong SUBMISSIVE person will not always lie down and play doormat, thank You on behalf of submissives and slaves everywhere. Sometimes we react. It may not have the results we had expected. Sometimes it even turns out that we were wrong. For those moments when we reacted in the wrong, we know we will be punished. But not half so much as we will punish ourselves for bringing shame to our Dominant.

But after some events i have come to the conclusion that not all "Dominants" may be so deserving of this act from their submissive/slave. Plug your noses as W/we head into the pigpen of the "domwannabies"! Something stinks in here, and somehow the submissives/slaves are stuck down wind on this problem.

Let me paint a picture. I will use my favorite unfortunate subbie Sallie. She is sitting quietly in the corner. At the center of the room is her "Dominant" having a very loud and angry disagreement with another person over who stepped on who's foot crossing the room. No, DumDom isn't drunk (though He has been known to act the same way in that condition). And everyone in the room is rolling their eyes going "here we go again!" And there is poor Sallie red as a beet. She can not begin to express her embarrassment.

No, REALLY. She is not allowed to just stand up and yell at her Dominant "Knock it off already! I'm so embarrassed i could crawl into this floor! Cant W/we go anywhere without you humiliating me?!" She has to sit there with her head down while a million eyes turn in pity toward her. She can not express her own humiliation. And no one else will contact her to tell her her Dominant needs to stop because He is bringing HER shame. But hey! On a good note, Sallie is very well behaved. No one is going to say she has brought any shame to her Dom.

See, it breaks down like this; you can dress a pig in a thousand dollar suit but underneath it is just a pig. Sallie is a thousand dollar suit. Well pressed, sits nicely, and shows quiet grace. But under the silk lining she is hiding a pig. No matter how pressed she is, its still a pig.

Now don't get me wrong. I would never say that Dominants are not allowed to have bad days. I would never say, either, that they are not allowed to react badly to something or have meltdowns. Yes put your Dominant on a pedestal. I sure do! But i also remember that He is a person too. He is supposed to get upset now and then. I do not ask that He be perfect grace every moment of every day any more than He expects me to be.

What i am talking about are those "Dominants" who strut around with over inflated egos. The ego so big there is not room enough IN a room for it. This person could take exception to a squirl looking at them cross eyed. They never see themselves as over reacting to anything even after balling out a waiter for ten minutes because there was a spot on the linen. In this person's mind they are being "strong" and "Dominant". It never occurs to them that in every other mind in the room, they are being a pig. They are stomping, bellowing, and squealing over something that likely was not worth that much effort. But of course they have to let the world know THEY ARE NOT HAPPY! And someone had better fix that pronto! At every turn they fail to show grace or tact or even general dignity. I am talking about those who claim the "Dominant" title but have only managed to earn a reputation as Drama Child in every circle they go to.

The fact is, no submissive or slave can make this domwannabie look good no matter HOW pressed the submissive/slave is. Sallie can be perfect in every way. She can sit perfectly, give that great look of importance and well tailored grace without having to say a word. And all of her work is lost the moment the domwannabie opens their mouth. Worse, she is the pigs suit. She has no choice but to sit there while the pig slings up mud on her. The pig does not notice or care that they ALSO represent the household. Not just their own name. The submissive/slave will be judged accordingly. Don't believe me? Be a fly on the wall after the pig leaves. Before long the first thing you will hear is "poor Sallie! Can you imagine having to kneel to that every day? I wonder if he beats her with that temper!" Worst of all, Sallie has no action she take for this other than take off the collar and walk. With a person like this, Sallie would likely be too afraid to speak about her feelings. They probably don't matter much anyway. There was a saying my father  had on a bumper sticker:
Teaching a pig to talk is a waste of time. It makes you look silly and annoys the pig!

So, you see, Sallie's hands are tied and there is no pleasure at all in this sort of knot. She will never be able to make the pig think about action reflecting on the household. She will never be able to gather even a whisker of shame for the actions that humiliated her. It is not her place. After a while she will become worn under all that mud and fall apart. She will fall away from the pig and all the fine grace she gave the pig will be gone. The pig will be naked and exposed. Not that anyone around didn't already know the thing was a pig. Only when the suit falls off, the pig will no longer be able to fool itself into thinking it was special.

My final Sub-Stance; the greatest and finest submissive or slave in the world can not make a bad Dom look good. Nothing can. But a bad Dom can make themselves AND their household (submissive/slave) look pitiful. And while its OK to snort from time to time over something, being so selfish and self centered that you toss a tantrum over just a great way to become another naked pig!