Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Beauty Is

My Lessons Learned in an Imperfect Life

In a lifestyle where we strive to be the best we can be, the best submissive, slave, Dominant...person, it can be easy to lose sight of realistic expectations. Expectations are set high by ourselves and by our significant other and meeting that expectation, maybe even surpassing it become our focus. Because our Dominant wants it and we want to do it for them. However, as much as we strive to be the best, there is no such thing as perfection. Sometimes it's difficult to accept, and definitely difficult to keep in mind when you're so focused on serving. Especially if you are a perfectionist, or have perfectionist tendencies.

I will be the first person to admit, I am most definitely a perfectionist to the point where I can make myself sick over tasks, especially when it comes to work. It can be extremely difficult to separate that attitude from the “other me”, the me that Master sees more often, the one that isn't at her desk – rather, she's focused on her service and that's it. And part of me doesn't want to separate my perfectionism from Jessa the submissive. Not only is it a part of my personality (the one that Master said he was attracted to), it's a tool, a work ethic that is applicable to both my RL work and my service to Master.

So how does one balance a need for perfection with the reality that it's never going to happen? Personally, remembering that serving well does not mean perfection is a specific goal of mine. I think it's okay to have high expectations. I think that it's a fantastic way to motivate yourself and wave of pride you feel when you've accomplished something that means so much to you is such a reward (as is my Master's pride in me, but that's a whole different topic.) Do I apply these high expectations to everything I do? Unfortunately and fortunately, yes. I do struggle with not putting myself down when I don't do something as good as I had expected myself to do it. Master has told me on more than one occasion that I have done nothing wrong. And that's where the difference needs to be highlighted. Completing a task below our own self-set standards and completing our task for our Dominant to be evaluated at their standards are two very separate things. I may feel that I have failed (it happens more often then I'd like it to, but I've been a perfectionist all my life), but Master may think I've done a superb job on whatever it is I'm completing.

I guess one could argue that this is where trust comes in. This is where the focus should be. I know without a doubt that my Master would tell me if I did something that wasn't up to his standards. I guess that's where trust comes in, and expectations within the relationship. Master has taken me in his hands – I have given myself to him knowing he won't let me fail; he'll make me into the best version of me possible. I'll always fight internally with myself, but knowing Master's judgment is what truly affects me, it makes things a little easier.

The same can be said for my Master. Long before I wore Master's collar, I knew that there was no perfect Dominant. As I stated earlier – there is no perfect person. We are all growing and learning and evolving in our Dominance or our submission. Mistakes are a way of growing. It's not healthy to expect a Dominant or a submissive to be perfect. To anticipate your every mood. To do everything right the first time. I find that to be unhealthy and a set up for disappointment. Besides, if someone were really that perfect, what could we offer them? How could we help them grow or learn?

I will never get angry at my Master for making a mistake. I accepted him as he is. I don't expect perfection, I don't expect him to have all the answers. I know he too holds himself to higher standards, but he's also mindful of the standards I hold him to. In our relationship, that's what we hold ourselves too. It's the standards of the relationship that matter. And if you're aren't currently in one, know that as long as you make yourself happy, as long as you try your best, you are succeeding. Forward, positive motion is is the important part. Your friends aren't perfect. Your teacher and mentor's aren't perfect. Your friends aren't perfect. It's the imperfection that makes us interesting and unique. As long as we focus on the positive and take away something from mistakes made and problems overcome, imperfection shouldn't be viewed as a negative. It's what gives us our diversity, our character, and our strength.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Light for the world

Yesterday one of the greatest singer voices of modern times was found dead in a hotel room. Whitney Houston. Not long ago I was given the opportunity to see her live in concert, her performance showing the effects of drug abuse and other things that have been overshadowing her life while her voice once was so bright, a true spirited light to the people listening to her songs.
This tragic event made me think ... made me think of talents, the light that we have. It is what we show of it that will persist and survive the event of our life's end. It is what carries a meaning by the meaning it has for the heart and life of other people. Let's dare to stand in the light and shine to our potential.

             Houston's "One Moment in Time" @ Grammy Awards

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Light in the Dark

When I started my journey into the D/s lifestyle, I kept running into a contradiction which confused me. If D/s, M/s and BDSM were supposedly so "good", why was it only talked about in damp, dreary and broken down dungeons? I tend to associate dungeons (and their assumed atmosphere of rats, dripping water, and cold, moldy stones) with "bad". There was always this sense of fear and foreboding which accompanied the term BDSM. While people talked about how enriching the lifestyle was, at the same time they often acted as if it was something only "bad" people do while hidden away in shame.

It is true that our lifestyle must be kept private from the uneducated and intolerant vanilla world. However, I was not willing to accept that this made my lifestyle choice "bad" or "dirty". Even at the start of my journey, I sensed that there was an uplifting and hopeful aspect to what I longed for. It didn't make me feel bad, it made me feel GOOD, and I wanted desperately to meet other people in the lifestyle that felt the same.

Second Life has the unique ability to show us both the dark and light side of almost any situation we can imagine. Hopping from sim to sim, we can experience a wide range of perspectives on the D/s lifestyle. Some people want that dark, brutal slavery and there are many places which will accommodate them. But for those of us who choose a different path, there are the educational sims. These are places we can go without being harassed or molested, where we can engage in adult conversation and hopefully learn something new about ourselves and our relationships.

It's vitally important that the educational sims are maintained in Second Life. Each of us was new to this lifestyle at some point and faced with the arduous task of finding quality information and assistance without being ashamed of our desires or being preyed upon. As practitioners of D/s we are all called to support, in any manner we can, the sims and owners who have dedicated themselves to providing this service.

If you travel around the educational sims, you'll see the 80/20 law in effect. 80% of the funding and work is done by only 20% of the people. I applaud those efforts. But it's time for everyone to stop and think about what they can do to help.

The economy sucks. Not everyone has the disposable income to donate (though even small donations add up). If you can donate, you should. However, each of us has talent(s). If you can't offer money, offer time or assistance. Seek out the sim owner and let them know your talent. Can you design graphics? Lead a discussion group? Build? Plan parties? Write? Do administrative tasks like transcription or filing? Believe me, there is ALWAYS something which needs to be done.

If you are reading this blog, chances are that you enjoy the educational sims. Many of you are already offering some form of support. If you aren't, I hope you'll consider becoming an active part of the community. We need you. We need your gifts, your time and your talent to make Second Life a solid source of education and assistance to the wider D/s community.

There were people who helped you on your journey. Turn around and lend a hand to others. Helping, welcoming, caring and's all part of TTWD.

[I stopped by SoS yesterday to take a peek at the new castle and was reminded, all over again, why I was initially attracted to SoS. Nothing about this place looks like a dungeon. There is no sense of fear at all, but only a welcoming atmosphere which encourages exploration. Kudos to Mikhail, Sir, Alisha and Sarrah. The new castle looks wonderful!]

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Trust misunderstood

I recently read an article about Trust on It has greatly inspired me and made me think of implications of trust in D/s context as well, even though this article deals with trust at the workplace.
In my opinion a lot of the thoughts presented by the author Nan S. Russell can be related to trust in the context of an intimate relationship too. We so often talk about trust and how important it is to make D/s relationships work. I hope that this article may feed some contents and deeper level thoughts to the
term "trust" that we so often toss in at discussions among people interested in BDSM.
I'd be glad if a discussion about the ideas presented could develop in the comments area of this blog.


7 Misunderstood Truths About Workplace Trust
- Authentic Trust at Work

Published on December 31, 2011 by Nan S. Russell in Trust: The New Workplace Currency


Trust is the most misunderstood word at work, resulting in perceptions of broken promises and trampled expectations. People mean different things when they use the word. But the new workplace currency of trust is centered on authentic trust. Authentic trust comes from authentic people.

Only when there is a commitment to the relationship is authentic trust built. When mutual commitments are delivered without concern for personal advantage or attempted manipulation or control, trust grows.

Consider these misunderstood truths about authentic trust - the kind of trust that builds workplaces and ignites engagement:

1.  Trust is not always a good thing.
There are many types of trust. Non-authentic, basic trust can be unrealistic, naïve, foolish, or blind. Yet, many people still operate at work with this simple kind of trust most of us started with as babies. Childlike trust is not authentic trust. It's not the kind of trust that builds work relationships. Trust is not inherently good or not good. It's how and when it's applied.

2.  Mistrust is not the opposite of trust. Control is.
Notice where there is a lack of authentic trust and you'll see controlling people. Giving trust is a choice to be made but once it's given, accountability tied with freedom is at its core.

3. There is always risk when giving trust.
Authentic trust is an action developed through critical thought and experience. It doesn't deny the past or ignore the possibility of future trust broken, either intentional or unintentional. Those operating with authentic trust weigh the risks and benefits before giving it.

4. Trust is a process.
Authentic trust is not a screensaver waiting in the background until it's needed. It's not the glue that holds things together. Authentic trust is a learned emotional skill. It involves an ongoing process of relationship building, where the relationship is more important than any one particular outcome.

5. Trust is about people not things.
Trust involves interpersonal engagement. We may use the word, associating trust with things as well as people, but one can't really "trust" their car. We confuse trust with "dependable" or "reliable." Authentic trust requires commitments made and commitments honored. It necessitates decision, action, and response.

6. Trust is conditional.
There are limits and conditions with authentic trust. When we say we trust someone, there is a presumed statement of conditionality. I may trust my mechanic to work on my car, but I don't trust him to do my root canal.

7. To get trust you must give it.
If you want to be trusted you must first give trust. You may be loveable, but that won't get you love - loving will. Sharing, not hoarding information gets you communication, and respect comes by respecting others. As a relationship process, authentic trust is no different. Contrary to popular belief, trust is not earned. You start trust by giving trust.

Authentic trust, like love, is cultivated, grown, and nurtured. We make authentic trust. We make it by what we do and how we do it. We make it by what we say and how we say it. We make it by showing up and being authentic. We make it by giving it away.

The article is adapted from my book, Hitting Your Stride: Your Work, Your Work.



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Basics Build the Foundation

I was newly collared, hot, ready and oh-so-eager to serve my Master in any number of delicious, delightful and decadent ways. I was begging for Him.

"Command me...Control me...Master me!"

He had been quizzing me over several days, asking questions about my life, my dreams, and my goals. He wanted to know private things, too. It excited me to give Him all the details. No one had ever asked so many questions about ME and I loved the attention. Finally, in that extremely sexy, slow and deliberate way of His, Master gave me my first task as His submissive:

"You need to drink more water."

I was a little disappointed so I asked hopefully, "Is there anything else Master would like me to do?"

"No more sweets without permission. Eat fruit, instead." was not what I wanted. I wanted some sexual task or erotic assignment. I wanted to be His submissive a.k.a. sex slave, not obey the Department of Agriculture's guidelines for good health. Granted, Master was taking luscious sexual advantage of me, but I was ready for the good stuff.

Like most submissives, I yearned to feel His darker side, that sexual Mastery. What I didn't realize until I looked back on that time, is that I WAS being Mastered: but it was complete Mastery and preparation for more intense play. From the beginning, Master wanted much more from me than just sexual scenes. He wanted a permanent, life-long submissive. So with that goal in mind Master began training my heart, body, mind and spirit to be absolutely and completely HIS.

It takes a wise Master to understand needs. No matter how hot and eager the submissive is, if her basic life needs are being neglected it will eventually overwhelm her and possibly destroy the relationship. If she isn't getting enough sleep, she's going to burn out. If she isn't eating healthy foods, she'll lack energy. If she feels unloved or lacks friends, she will become insecure and too needy (demanding). If money or housing is a worry, the stress will affect her ability to submit. How can she submit fully to you if she must fight to maintain control over an out-of-control situation?

Handle the basics first. Put that submissive who stays up all night on a bedtime. Monitor her food, if necessary. Help her manage a budget or to find help in doing so. Remember, as a Master, you have already conquered these things in yourself, right? Share your insight with your sub, help her improve her LIFE and I guarantee that it will reflect in her deeper submission to you.

There will always be new situations or ongoing issues that the submissive must deal with, so continue to monitor those basic needs. Add more rules or protocols as she develops, but ALWAYS check back to make sure she is in compliance with the basics (we tend to lapse on them).

Difficult times in my relationship with Master are thankfully few, but they always seem to occur when those basic needs get out of whack. If I don't get enough good sleep, go on a sugar binge or get trapped at my desk for days on end doing work and go without exercise or getting outdoors (fresh air), I tend to get cranky, irritable and try to wrestle back control.

Wrestling back control is another way of saying "I have a need here that isn't being met." Although I would argue about some petty thing to Master, a closer look has routinely shown that my REAL need was a basic one. Once that basic need was addressed (like getting some sleep), the petty thing I was squabbling about seemed irrelevant or not nearly as important as I made it out to be.

Basic needs.
Always start there because it's the simple stuff which builds a solid foundation for D/s.

[dual posted from the blog subtypical]