Shadow's Essays

"Words are loaded pistols."Jean Paul Sartre ~ "The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." Anais Nin

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Location: San Jose, Ca, United States

Saturday, December 26, 2009

#41. Who are You?

Being honest about being yourself.

Essays on a life of P.E.
April 23, 2009
by shadow

Each of us has a bio of some kind, and what it is says a lot about us, not necessarily in words. The phrasing we use, the kinds of examples we give, the pieces of our lives we share all add to that total on line picture of us.

As do our first meetings and the things we do/ wear/ say/ think at that time.

Recently i read a long winded discussion about meeting a dominant male the first time and if potential slaves and subs should or shouldn't 'dress as requested'. It was the jumping off point of my thoughts about dating, about me, and about finding that ultimate partner.

Let me just start with a simple idea. If you are wrong for each other, you are wrong for each other and all the care and attention to trying to please the other or impress the other or test the other will just prolong the amount of time it takes to come to this realization.

Yes, people can change- but not drastically, and not without deep reasons. Yes, people can give terrible first impressions and turn out to be exactly who you dreamed of sharing yourself with.

Keeping those things in mind, the flip side is, if they turn you off right away, they probably aren't what you were looking for. A good example of this is my ever changing bio on Fetlife.

It's long these days. i keep adding things that i think are important. If a great dominant stumbles across it and hates reading it, then they aren't the right one for me. Why? Because i AM a writer, and i love writing and i need to have an Owner that WANTS to read my stuff as i create it, and to critique the ideas and assumptions for me. So right off the bat, someone that sees that page of text and doesn't want to read it (barring just not in the mood at that moment or has just lost their reading glasses, etc.) probably isn't the ultimate collar for me in the future.

I get into 'bitchy' modes. Once in a while, i also get into ego stroke range and need to show off just how bitchy i can be- and i POST those bitches, gripes, complaints, and slaps. The man that can see those and LAUGHS is probably someone that will appreciate me. The man that reads those and shakes head and thinks "that is unacceptable in my property, but something i can work on" is possibly someone that i can serve with commitment and love. The man who reads one of those bitch slaps and gets all twerpy pissed off and takes uber offense at 'that crap from some bitch who doesn't know the meaning of the term slavery' is someone who doesn't know the meaning of the term slavery and is not going to either appreciate me or get along well with me.

So my honesty in posting-- even when i have not thought it out well at the moment- is a window into who i am and what kind of woman lives in this brain. The Owner out there that seeks one to serve and respect them will WANT to have a deep well of information to play with, and WANT to have a woman of strong temperment and emotion to corral, and WANT to look at all that as 'good stuff to mold'. Being me and trying to post as honestly as possible is helping, not hindering my search.

Should i have censored each thing for how politically correct it is, i would not be showing such a real picture. It might be more pleasing to more men, it might bring more replies and invites, but eventually all those excess meetings and dances in the dark would prove futile, because the person they thought i was in print was a watered down censored version of the colorful flamboyant sensitive woman i really am.

The same holds true for first meetings. i am cautious by nature, and i want to get to know someone before i expose too much of the easily wounded parts of me. That means keeping my wits about me and staying OUT of slave space early on while i evaluate how i feel and watch what he does. Many great Owners that i know have stated that they WANT to tell a woman what to wear- or at least suggest the style that they like to see on a gal- in order to get some eye candy and to see if the woman really is interested in following suggestions or orders early on. For them, it weeds out the wanna-bees and they are stripping off one layer of protective camouflage so they can get a better glimpse of the woman they are considering. They want their coffee date to be exhibiting some of the traits they are looking for, and submission, both in her demeanor as well as her clothing (or lack there of) is part of that for them.

The good ones know, however, that ALL the scum want to dictate what you wear on a first meeting, with lots of suggestive clothing and fantasy fulfillment involved (they don't get past coffee too damned often, so they layer it on while they can). The newer men to M/s and D/s do this as well, because they are still learning and have more fiction than reality to work with. New young women are eager to please and DO dress the part as asked without question. Unless they are scooped up off the planet on their first date and live happily ever after with that one man of their dreams, they will not always be so mallable. They will eventually grow older and get burnt a few times and scared a few times and have men ask them to do things that they did even when uncomfortable, often with disasterous results. They will spend hours dressing for dates that don't show, they will dress inappropriately for work so they can meet up at lunch or right afterward, and maybe put their jobs in jeopardy. They will dress in clothes that make them uncomfortable and end up giving a bad first impression. They will spend money to have EXACTLY what the gentleman asked for, then he will dismiss them and the fetish wear they personally hate.

We slaves and subs and bottoms are made to be manipulated, but over time we often grow protective shells and skin like leather. The good girl is still inside there, still awaiting the right moment, the right situation, the right man, the right Owner. She just isn't always right out on display the first moment she is asked by someone who is, for all intents and purposes, a virtual stranger she is meeting for the first time.

For me, i want to dress appropriately feminine, slightly more vulnerable than usual, and always with taste and an eye towards what looks best on me, that day, for that first meeting. Should the man be an ardent lover of fishnets, i would have to mention that i don't own any right now, but that i do have a pair of something laddered that he might appreciate. i would not go out and spend money on fishnets (they are hell on my feet for standing around in, biting into the heels in many of my good shoes), but i would make it clear that i am MORE than happy to oblige should our relationship continue for any length of time. i would stand on fucking fishnets till hell froze over once i found another love of merit in my heart.

What probably would turn off 90% of the men i might meet for coffee is still EXACTLY what the owner of my dreams wants. He wants a girl that is NOT throwing herself at every 'dominant' that crawls up to her door. He wants a girl that is thrifty enough to not spend money she doesn't have taking a flyer on a coffee date. He wants a girl that can keep her wits about her and protect herself when he is not there to do so for her- and that means using her common sense and being cautious about how much she exposes both physically and mentally to the new men she meets.

My belief in safe calls, even for coffee dates, is legendary, and i teach that every woman is meeting a stranger that first time, no matter what she learned on the phone and internet. Even if he has 'references', if those aren't coming from her PERSONAL friends who know him well and know her well and know where you both live, then they are suspect. So i create safe calls for coffee dates. The owner of my future likes this idea. His property is no fool, and she takes basic precautions when she is not with those who are her Owners. He expects to arrive for a meet up and have me evetually have to excuse myself to get the phone or make a call. He would not impede that idea by either demanding i ignore the phone nor would he tell me "Do NOT make any calls without my permission" (yes, i had one do that last year in SF. It was a very exspensive dinner for him since he ignored every signal and warning i sent out about his demeanor and demands). Would i ever take any call but an important one while meeting up with a potential Owner? Hell no! The man out there understands that, and has already evaluated several dozen women that have not risen to certain standards, including rude phone chats while on a date. he can tell he difference between a short check in and a chatter fest with a friend. He is aware of both sides of the coin, and i am aware that He is evaluating me.

Finding someone to spend the rest of your life with is a process, and the honesty you show from the outset makes that process easier for other honest seekers. Yes, it gives the dishonest manipulative ones more hard facts to use, but they are also at a disadvantage, for they do not understand that a smart slave is evaluating not just what they are and what they do and say and wear, but we are evaluating THEM at the same time.

Men who take no power at all on a date worry me-- have they been burnt and are cautious, have they had a rough day and want some down time and are not making this first date important, or are they just not that kind of Owner? Men who fail to dress at all for a date send out clear signals to me that i need to be aware and evaluate them further- are they naturally super casual, were they coming direct from work, or do they just not have anything appropriate for first dates?

Most of us know, within a few moments of meeting eye to eye and face to face, if the person across from us sparks something, makes us damp, gets our attention, or brings out the NEED to take control. After that moment, we have changed the nature of the meeting, for we now have something to lose. We have smelled fresh meat, and wanted to taste it. We have been happy with all the lead up information and now the in person contact has whetted our appetite for more.

Once we want more, then we have a whole new set of reasons to be 'unreal'. Wanting to please someone very much rather than show our feelings over issues and ideals, rules and philosophies of M/s. Wanting to impress on the woman your style, your demanding nature, how powerful you are sexually. Once we have made that basic "Yes/ No" decision we have a bit of an emotional attachment forming and we want things to go well.

That is another time when we are most suspect and likely to fall back on dishonest, but BDSM socially correct behaviors. False giggles. Chest puffing. Age regression. Control and decision making.

If we do them out of a desire to please but they are not something we are comfortable with, then we are still dooming the relationship. If we do them because they come naturally in the situation and feel right, then we are showing the honesty and growth potential in the power exchange.

Being "the best you can be" is honest, and something to strive for, but if what you do is behavior that is not normally and something you are not going to be repeating, they you are leaving false expectations on the partners side. And example is the infamous nipple tweak. If she hates that, and you never normally do it, then you might have run off a potential girl with a behavior that she dislikes intensely. If she loves it, she will want you to tweak her nipple regularly as part of your relationship - and if she loves that kind of thing, she will become ultimately dissappointed in you and the behaviors you exhibited only for courting.

Doing something to show you CAN when you never will again as a dominant partner is just as bad as submitting to something you hate hoping never to do it again and knowing it is a deal breaker in the long run for the sub. It creates false expectations.

Creating impressions is never easy, but should we try to mitigate things about us by manipulating them for the sake of others possible interpretations is not a good philosophy.

Your bio is you. When long and involved, it says something about you. When totally absent, it still says something about you. When written with humor, it says that you are a funny person who expects to entertain and laugh. When written in haste, it shows that you have not put time into showing a potential partner what you care about. Those might or might not be things that are true about you, but before someone can take the time to get to know you, they have to be attracted to SOMETHING about you first. The more they find in those first impressions, the better your chances at having a deeper relationship with them.

Do not fret about what others say you should or shouldn't do, or mull over how you wrote or said or did something afterward. You were being yourself. The right partner will see that, and want that, even if the particular action or post was not your best. The right partner will be tempermentally suited to your natural self. If they are not, they are probably not going to be the right partner for you.

You are a unique cup of tea, but you are not everyone's cup of tea. Who are you?

Copyright 4/23/09 shadow.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

#88 Diamonds and Rust

Essays on a life of P.E.
December 8th, 2009
by shadow

When a relationship ends, especially an M/s based one, both parties usually take a lot of time to try to find their bearings. The deeper and more committed the relationship, the longer that takes to being feeling "ready" to enter the world again, to laugh, to talk, to begin to play.
In slavery, the rules are pretty firm, and once a slave has started down that path, they become ingrained. The eye contacts, the tone, the service, the considerations and expectations.
Those things might fade with time and disuse, but they are, and always will be, based in a permanent mindset.
Slavery, like few other things, is deeply ingrained and doesn't fade easily.

Starting over, however, is much harder than it sounds for some.
First, there is the point where you feel ready to go out in public, to talk to others, even if it is stilted, even if it is painful to even breath the air every day. Those early days are often filled with tears and stilted silences and half hearted explanations that don't really explain anything.
Then comes the friendly reunions and folks who come to offer their support, touch, hugs, warm spots and simple play to keep your brain from freezing.
With time, you find your way back to the pool of players, the people that you knew, and you find your 'new' self taking over things that your 'old' self had as well. Placemarks of our lives are not easy to avoid.

After the basic healing comes the first dating, and that is not done without much trepidation and deep fear that you aren't ready, can't do this again, will screw it up, forget the rules, be unable to perform, not have any love left for anyone. Dating, like many other things in the months to come, is one false start after another as the idea becomes less about finding happiness and more often about just finding a fuck or getting a dinner and a movie or even meeting someone you can talk to for more than 45 seconds without thinking ' loser' in your head.
There are a lot of people out there in the world seeking love and affection, and many of them mistakenly believe that BDSM is the easiest way to their own fulfillment. They aren't real players, and they don't understand just how much they stand out from the 'in crowd'.

Eventually, real people become new friends, real players become new partners for short term meetings, weekends, and the bits and pieces of 'casual' life that we most often populate our worlds with.

Then comes someone serious.
Then comes the hard part.

Suddenly, you realize you do not get to just slide into this situation, and you don't know this person's protocols or habits. Do they like petitions? Are they leather? Do they want to negotiate everything right up front? Do they expect you to have your own toys?
Suddenly, everything changes.
Standing there, you might well look around and realize that you are RUSTY. You cannot remember what you wanted on your limits list- or even to ASK about THEIR limits list.
You find yourself wondering what you should do next, even as the excitement builds and the heat starts to move into the room.
Things will never be the same as they were before.

They will be different, and you, like a work horse too long out of halter, or like a finely tuned car too long in the garage, sputter and stumble, forgetting how the basics work, forgetting even some OF the basics.
They are skills you have not used in years, ideas so familiar that they were absorbed and then washed away with your tears. Now, suddenly, after all that hard work, all that time and energy, you find yourself at a new challenge.
You have to start over.
Your toybag is full of jewels you have been, gems of your past, and you will find them as you search around in your heart and in your head. They will be there with the old tools, and those just need to be cleaned of the rust.
Time to get back up and running.

Copyright shadow,Dec. 8, 2009
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#29. Run Through the Jungle

Essays on a life of P.E.
June 2006
by shadow

I spend a great deal of time reading what other BDSM writers have out on the net, and ran across a great old article of Kayla Kuffs about Doms pushing their partners limits. It was informative, clear, and had a great deal of stuff in it that I respect.

Quickly on, however, I noticed that it was rather one sided. It was all about submissives (or bottoms, or slaves, or whatever you would like to call the half in the power exchange that is NOT in charge) feelings and issues when *they* are pushed.

Being the slut I am, I immediately jumped to the other side of the PE coin. What about when slaves push Dominants?

"What in hell?" you say? "How could that be?"
Yes, I am talking about when the bottom pushes the Top.
This is entirely different from "topping from below," which is a manipulation game that is often to the detriment of both parties and makes honest communications difficult.

Submissives pushing the Dominant’s limits is far different. One example might be Doms that find their new partner wants to do things that have bothered them for years. The Dom then has to evaluate both the relationship as a whole, and how much this topic or issue might affect the couple, as well as their own inner edges and desires. Sometimes, if a Dom finds out early enough in the courtship period that the bottom has desires that they are not comfortable with, there is a happy parting of the ways. Once a couple has joined up for a more long term relationship, the topic needs to be considered differently.

Some Doms have hard limits that they will NOT cross (blood sports, breath play, rape games, etc.) even though they are important hot buttons for their partners. Rather than pushing their own limits, they might loan their partners out to someone else for those games, or learn to play them in a much more acceptable way that still fulfills the submissives needs.

Pushing the Dom might well be something as simple as time management. High maintenance slaves and subs that are partnered with Doms who have already full lives will invariably be pushed by their partners to find more time for play, to incorporate more contact during the day, and to manipulate their schedule to focus more attention on their submissive partner. Most Dominants know that both sides needs must be met in any M/s relationship, and if a needy or attention oriented submissive feels neglected or unfocused for too long, they will leave for greener- and more controlling -pastures.

There is also a deeper and very important aspect of pushing.

Pushing the Dominant partner can be a highly charged edge with a stable couple. It can come about during play without any "topping from below" needed. As a scene unfolds, Dominants often have a "map" or "plan of action" in their head about what they want to do, or where they plan to drive the situation. Submissives, however, are not predictable creatures, and for somethat have more primal urges, their mental focus and attitude can become a driving force for both partners.

Some call it "beast meat," others "primal play" or"inner beasts," but the effect is usually the same- an emotional separation from one's grounding, a mental space where animalistic urges and desires take over internally, a departure from the personality they normally expose in play.

So there you are, hot and sweaty, pulling out the 4th or 5th toy in your arsenal when the girl you KNOW every inch of suddenly quits whining or moaning and suddenly becomes almost empowered even though she is firmly tied to that cross or bench. Guttural sounds are emitted, and the normal responses you are comfortable with are replaced with someone who might well spit at you, scream or laugh maniacally, or even growl and bite.

Those are the times when a dominant has to keep their head. They are suddenly being pushed into something deeper, possibly more dangerous, and with more potentially serious consequences than they might imagine. Being pushed- having someone reach into your head and throw the switch from "nice guy" to animal- might have some dire consequences.

It is always a very difficult thing for a Dominant to not "let go"and keep their inner urges at bay. Having your partner suddenly push all that control aside with desires so hot, emotions so raw, or primitive urges so dangerous that they trigger your own primal needs is a kind of edge play that very few people will even admit to, let alone go to.

The line between normal sane human and insane inhuman sadistic monster is being erased by the submissive. They are pushing your boundaries just as surely as they push for more popcorn at the movies or an orgasm at night. This pushing, however, is neither manipulative nor controlledby them. It is that beastmeat moment when they have found a way to strip off their sophistications, to jettison their contrite social face, and to delve into the darkest thoughts they can muster.

A Dominant having that suddenly confront their already heightened sexuality, sadism, and flowing power can easily be pushed past where they had planned to go, pushed past where they are comfortable to play, pushed past the mental controls they have carefully built up to protect BOTH their partner and themselves from the darker and more destructive thoughts and desires they carry.

Like a woman with a match lighting a powder keg, a submissive that displays NO FEAR or edges and invites the Dom to throw off their limits and indulge their animalistic tendencies is begging for an explosion.

Knowing that the possibility exists is important.

Knowing ones self, ones limits as a Dom, and the triggers that make your blood run hot and your judgment falter is equally as important. As a slave that sometimes finds herself deep in the woods, tasting His scent as He chases me, high on my own power and need and focused intent, I have watched myself turn my head in the darkness, just to make sure He is going to eventually catch me, and hoping that I can push Him to break His leash.

My owner knows this- His beast knows mine intimately, and He has an ironwill that seldom waivers (seldom... but not never).

Keeping control of that leash- knowing yourself and where desire becomes criminal, play becomes damage, and temptation cannot be ignored is a very important part of what we do.

Recognizing when your submissive's beast has called to yours and pushed your reason aside is one of the signposts on the road to being a Master.

Copyright shadow, May 15, 2006

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for permission to repost. All reposts must be complete with copyright and contact info.