Relationships

NOTICE: The article below deals with adult and fetish-related topics and fantasies. If you are offended by such topics or are not a legal adult in your jurisdiction, I suggest you leave this instant.

In a now-deleted post about the “loving dominant”, which was inspired from and based on Inara Pey’s post of the same title, I negotiated what makes a good Dominant: the one that’s called “the loving Dominant”. One would think this topic has been covered to death, but it seems the misconceptions are a veritable Lernaean Hydra, and I’m sure shoddy depictions of the D/s scene by such films as The Secretary and such books as Fifty Shades of Grey and Histoire d’O have played a significant role to this.

I won’t hide: I’ve come to the point where I actively avoid the D/s and fetish scene in Second Life, even though I have adopted a very kinky look as my main, even though I define myself as a submissive. Why’s that? Because I’ve found out I have too little in common with the vast majority of the people populating that scene. Typically, the erotic roleplay is shallow and vapid; far too many submissives only want some instant gratification without any emotional connection to the other party / parties involved; and, finally, far too many “Dominants” are actually poseurs full of contempt for submissives, using their “Dominant” identity as an excuse to hurt others.

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I’ll have to start by admitting that I’ve never really been actively seeking relationships in Second Life. However, this doesn’t mean I’m unable to see the similarities between relationships in the Real Life (RL) world and SL-based ones; we make the same mistakes, both in RL and in SL. Mistakes that are – to some degree – dictated by the culture in which we are all raised.

I’ve seen my fair share of people whose relationships routinely fail because their expectations are unrealistic. We are conditioned to think that relationships depend on some magic button that someone will press for us and make us fall head over heels in love with them. So, we wait – in vain – for that magical someone who will have the rather unrealistic mix of qualifications we’ve been trained to expect; someone who conforms to fictional ideals we were taught to form in our minds and expect and whose mixture of attributes will press that magic button that will make us fall madly in love.

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NOTICE: The article below deals with adult and fetish-related topics and fantasies. If you are offended by this sort of material and/or are not a legal adult, I suggest you leave this instant.

UPDATE 25 July 2017: Feel free to ignore the wall of text under the update notices. I no longer feel it expresses me, because I’ve grown way past the stage of sadness, shame, self-doubt and depression. Time to give you the TL;DR about it; we need to be brutally honest and blunt as hell: The “drop” is a sorry-ass euphemism that dom(me)s use when they’ve lost all interest in their sub. However, rather than having the decency and honesty to tell the sub up-front that they need to break up, they keep the poor sucker hanging on, as a crutch for their egoes, as a sounding board, as someone who’ll be always ready to respond and cater to their every need, while they hunt around for someone new, regardless of whether the new relationship is within a D/s concept or not. I should know, because I speak from experience – and other (former) subs have come to me and shared astonishingly similar experiences. So, when your dom(me) starts babbling about having “dropped”, just walk away. No. Don’t walk. RUN.

Oh, and learn to appreciate yourself more. The overwhelming majority of dom(me)s need the reverence, the deference, the submission, the surrender, the adoration and the adulation they get from a sub to justify their existence anyway – in this way, they’re every bit as needy (for lack of a more appropriate term) as a sub, if not more; like mosquitoes, they feed on the lifeblood of a sub’s mentality, which is basically an overblown need (stemming from other, unresolved, issues) to be accepted – and, to satisfy this need, the sub will invariably bend over backwards to satisfy the dom(me)’s every whim. As for the “sub drop”: It’s usually a consequence of the “domme drop” or a “scene” in which a little alarm bell rings inside the sub’s mind and warns them that what’s happening is not loving or sensual, but emotionally exploitative. I have also changed the title to reflect my current opinions and feelings. Also, have you noted that most articles that describe the desirable types of dom(me)s and subs are written from the dom(me)’s point of view, looking down upon the “lazy” sub and the “sub who tops from the bottom”, i.e. the sub who “doesn’t know his/her place” and has the… nerve to express ideas and desires and – Heaven forbid! – address the dom(me) as if they were equals?

On a final note: If you’re a dominant and you feel offended by what I have to say, I’m in the pleasant (for me) position to tell you that your opinion doesn’t matter at all, that the mere fact that you need to have power and control over someone else in order to get sexual satisfaction means you have serious issues, and that you can shove your impressive titles and paraphernalia up your self-important rectum.

PAST UPDATES: This article has been updated before on 22 September 2013 and 27 July 2016.

A relationship – friendly, professional, romantic, sexual – is, at its heart, an exchange between the persons involved; a process of giving and taking, which can also last for quite some time. D/s relationships are no different; the Domme and the sub engage with each other and there is a constant exchange of actions, behaviours, communication and feelings between the two (or more, depending on the situation). Now, this exchange sometimes might be stronger on one side than on the other, but it is not one-way. This differentiates a D/s relationship from the “exchange of power” (often referred to as TPE – Total Power Exchange). TPE does play a role in D/s relationships and BDSM play, but it is not absolutely necessary for a D/s relationship to flourish. Furthermore, power exchange is predominantly one-sided, i.e. the submissive gives the Dominant power over them – whereas a relationship is a two-way exchange, and this two-way exchange encompasses a lot more than just power.

Within a relationship, one side “feeds” off the energy (actions, behaviours, communication and feelings) of the other and vice versa. So, in a D/s relationship, the submissive “feeds” off the Dominant’s energy, and the Dominant can take encouragement, pleasure and energy in the sub’s responses to their exercise of control over them. It is important to note here that this exchange of energy, which is two-way, is free and subconscious, as both sides often don’t realise it’s happening.

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Through a recent post by Gwyneth Llewelyn, I once again came across the topic of how we perceive and treat Second Life. Gwyn uses a series of interviews by Aria E Appleford as her starting point, but I believe I’ve seen this pattern again in different manifestations. Whereas Aria reached out and interviewed former Second Life residents that gave up on virtual worlds, I’ve seen such people’s reactions to various situations on their SL profiles and/or their SL-related blogs – profile descriptions, profile picks and blog posts they made just before they ragequit SL.

The interviews’ topic was the interviewees’ involvement in SL, what they did, why they stayed in SL for so long and, finally, why they left. An interesting trend that surfaced in the first two interviews was that both were from content creators who had a “vision” about what they wanted to do in SL and a desire to meet like-minded people. This didn’t exactly work out as they had planned it.

In both cases, the reason was drama. Or, to be more precise, sex-related drama. Interestingly, for both interviewees, drama is defined as an emotional frustration caused by power struggles and manipulations in sexual relationships. Another interesting point is that they both begin with the assumption that “Second Life is just a GAME” – and at the same time they explain that neither of them was into any sort of role-playing. Instead, they made sure their avatars’ appearance was as close as possible to their real life appearance and they didn’t “pretend” to be somebody else – or even “pretend” to be a different version of themselves, emphasising on certain aspects of their RL personalities that could not be expressed easily in RL. They weren’t in SL to indulge in fantasies or escapism. They took everything seriously, with one notable exception: SL itself, which, to them, was not “serious”, but “only a game”.

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