Take My Whip: Fantasy Date Night, Guest Post by rife

It’s Friday night and we keep this night blocked off on the calendar. 5:30 rolls around and you send me around the block to walk the dog once I wrap up my work for the day. When I come back, you’re sitting on the porch in your jeans with the leather crotch, a tight new black t shirt and the chest harness. All the deck furniture has been pushed off to the side and your Bluetooth speaker is playing a mixture of jazz and romantic pop music. You are wearing your heavy harness boots and you let your goatee grow out a little.

I giggle, suddenly feeling underdressed in my daytime pajamas and sneakers. I prance over and get up on my toes to kiss you. You let me. “Hi, Daddy! What’s all this?”

“I’m taking you dancing, boy. Go get dressed.”

“Mmmhm. I mean, yes, Sir.” I say softly and pad inside to feed the dog and put on that slinky grey dress you like and my combat boots with the soles that have worn down to slick nothing and the chain wrist cuffs that match my collar that you like to see on me. I wash the work day off my face and scrub dry until I’m pink.

You raise an eyebrow at my outfit choice but you’re smiling underneath it.

We dance for days and days on the porch as night falls and the bats come out to play. Sometimes the tempo is slow and our feet barely remember to shuffle while we kiss with lots of tongue and you run your fingers through my fresh soft buzz cut. The smell of wisteria finds its way to us across the breeze and if our neighbors see us, they pretend not to.

Sometimes the tempo is faster and you throw me across the boards in controlled chaos. It takes every ounce of concentration to just follow, to listen for the cues in your palm on my back, to remind myself of the rock step-triple-step beat, to give over to the music and your direction. There are moments when it is effortless and we are just flying, one creature.

Finally it is fully dark and you press me back against the one oak tree, breathless and sweaty on the warm summer night. Ed Sheeran or some other sensitive white guy is still crooning on but all I can feel is your dick hard against the fly of your jeans against me.

You press me hard enough that I’m sure the rough bark will leave marks, pinning my hands over my head, looping the chains around my wrists into that hook that usually holds the wind chime. I’m impressed by your forethought but the nation is quickly swept away my your hands doubled up on either side of my rib cage, stroking the length of me up and down from exposed armpits to the bottom curve of each hip. I shiver and swoon under your firm big hands that make me feel so small. You inch the bottom of the dress up teasingly slowly. I really hope the neighbors aren’t watching now.

Just when I can feel myself start to squirm and rub my thighs together anxious of the wetness I can feel coming on… you pull back. I whimper a little and sigh involuntarily, which of course is what you want.

“Not now, pet. You’re going to wait.”

“Mmmrf. I mean, yes, Sir.”

Inside, we make pizzas — yours pesto and salami with a cauliflower crust, mine sourdough and jalapeños and onion. They are delicious, but I am distracted thinking of the packer still between your legs. After dinner you tell me to ignore the kitchen mess and follow you, so I do.

You strip my dress off like someone who has done it a hundred times before and nod approvingly at what is revealed: just mounds of tight exposed flesh with no underwear. I feel you press up against me from behind and your arm wraps around my throat.

“You’re going to take my whip, boy, and then you’re going to take my dick.”

“Mmmmmm… ! I mean, yes, Sir.”

The wood of the coffee table is shockingly cold at first and my nipples flinch against it, but I relax into it as you layer gentle strokes with your big fat deerskin flogger all across my back. I moan despite myself as you ramp up in intensity and land a few solid strikes across the curve where ass meets thighs. You always were a leg person.

You pause to lean over me and grow into my ear. “Mmm, beautiful. Good boy. Ten more. Count for me.”

This time, I do not hesitate. “Yes, Sir.”

You step back but your fingers trail across my reddening back like it pains you to be separated. I can still feel the energy of you reach out to me across the room.

Until it is concentrated into a fiery pinprick of the kiss of your single tail.

“One, Sir.”

I try to remind myself it is just sensation. I try to erase pain from my vocabulary and just feel it. Easier said than done.

“Two, Sir. Three, Sir. Oh…! Four, Sir.”

Now we are both flying, drunk on your power. You push me harder to see if you can draw blood and break in this whip. Make it bound to me like i am to you.

The lash falls hot across my shoulder and i squirm hard, but the trickle raised is just sweat.

“Five, Sir..!”

You love me but you quiet that part of yourself with reserve to get what you want. No, it’s not want. You will be nice later. You need blood.

“Fuck! Six, Sir. Seven! Ah!”

I squeak out with difficulty eight and nine. You tell me a hundred times i am a good boy for taking it so nice and it lands every time.

Finally the warm droplets are pooling for you and you can feel your dick hard and straining in your jeans. You laugh aloud as i flinch hard out of habit while you barely tease me with number ten.

“Ten, Sir. Thank you, Sir.”

You run the tails and your fingertips over my back and ass, drawing in the red, savoring my flinching as you pass over the already raised welts. My breath is heaving and so is yours, in time, I think.

In a moment your fly is open and you are crammed against me, sliding in easily to the hilt of your open jeans. You pull my hips back into you with both hands and groan as you start thrusting slow and deep the length of you. You wrap your hands around my face and shove your fingers hard against my tongue. You are growling a steady stream of filthy words but my brain isn’t even processing it anymore. I am overwhelmed by you.

“Fuck, that’s so nice. That’s right. You just take it for me, you little whore. That’s Daddy’s slut. Unh, you feel so good. So tight baby. Daddy’s going to give it to you. Fuck…!!!”

I guess I came too, because the next thing I remember: I am in a puddle, dripping into the carpet and high and there is no pain anymore.

You scoop me up and guide me into the shower, lather down my dully aching back with peppermint soap and wrap me in your big soft Daddy robe.

We eat Girl Scout cookies and watch Steven Universe until I fall asleep on your shoulder.

Methods of Control in Your D/s Relationship: Defining Rules, Tasks, Protocol, and Ritual

Relationships with authority exchange, using dominance and submission, are usually centered around control: who makes decisions, who dictates what happens, whose standards are upheld, who tells who to do what.

For lots of us, telling someone else what to do — or being told what to do — is the core of the fetish. It’s the thing that makes us feel all tingly and yummy and taken care of and important and good.

So, D/s relationships use a lot of rules, tasks, protocol, and ritual.

These words are often used interchangeably, but have nuanced differences. In my personal relationship, we’ve spent a lot of time ironing out what the key distinctions are and how to use them.

Your mileage may vary here — please, find and use the language that works for you. Sometimes I short-hand these in my work, so hopefully it’ll be useful to have a reference point for the definitions I’m using when I do.

”Rules” Are The Big Picture Guidelines

“Rules,” as I use them, are like a moral compass, like the underlying ethical values in the relationship.

You’ve probably been in a workshop or a classroom where the instructor set some expectations at the beginning, such as “One Mic: one person talks at a time.” (I’m sure you can think of many other examples of these.) This is a way we set community agreements with each other about the values we hold collectively, so we can be clear about the kind of behavior we expect.

Same goes for a relationship — these are the overarching guidelines we are agreeing to follow as part of our foundation.

Sometimes people call these things like guidelines, principles, or philosophies, but we call them rules — sometimes we refer to them as “capital-R Rules.” They are best when simple, clear, and straightforward (though that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re easy) — I suggest between 5-10, not very many. Because these rules are often words that have multiple definitions, being very clear about what they mean is important.

Examples of rules:

  • Transparency — be forthcoming about what is happening in your life
  • Respect — communication expectations, how we treat each other

”Protocols” Happen Ongoing

You can have dozens, even hundreds, of protocols underneath the rules. Sometimes they are directly related to the rules, but sometimes they are not.

Protocols are the instructions that are followed on a day to day basis. They are recuring and time-specific, meaning they have some sort of trigger that makes them happen. If they can be explained by the statement “if this, then that,” then I consider it a protocol.

Sometimes people call this “procedures” or “rules” in a relationship, though D/s folks tend to really like the word “protocol.” Sometimes I use “protocol” and “rules” interchangeably — such as, “rife has a rule that he asks permission to get in bed.” Meaning, that is a protocol. Or, “Whether or not he uses furniture isn’t a rule for us.” But what I mean is, we don’t have that protocol. (Mostly I do this in speech and am more careful in writing, for clarity.)

Most of us have lots of little protocols like this for ourselves, things that dictate our style and habits. Examples are things like, I never wear a blue shirt with blue jeans; I always wash my dishes after I eat; I never go to bed without a cup of tea. (I bet you can think of at least five that you already have, off the top of your head.)

They should be fluid — especially when one person is making protocols for another. They can be added or removed as the needs or desires of the folks involve change and grow. Sometimes they become so integrated that they are invisible. rife and I call our protocol notes a “living document” — sometimes it changes organically, sometimes we need to have a formal check-in about it and assess.

When introducing new protocols in a relationship, do so slowly, and a few (one or two) at a time. It can be so tempting — for all of us! — to pile on the protocols and get hot and excited about it, but that quickly can become overwhelming, which both means it’s hard for the dominant to track what’s happening and it’s hard for the submissive to implement. Make sure to let everyone have time to integrate and practice the new protocol before adding more.

I’m not going to go in to enforcing protocol, but there are many complicated things to say about it.

How do you figure out which protocols you want to make? Well, that’s a process! I have a lot of theories through my workshops like The Protocol Game and the Discipline Unit of D/s Playground.

Examples of protocol:

  • Brush, floss, and use mouthwash immediately after you wake up
  • No screen time after 9pm
  • Always wear matching bra & panties
  • Get a manicure once every two weeks with a polish of my choice

”Procedures” Are How Things Are Done

Protocol is what I want to be done, and the procedure is how I want it done. “Do the dishes every night before bed” is a protocol; “wash the dishes with this type of soap; put them this way in the drying rack organized by size; wipe down all the counters, sink, and stove; set up the coffee pot to be ready in the morning” might be the procedures underneath that protocol.

Usually, the procedure can be taught once (and perhaps guided or corrected, as time goes on) and documented clearly, and the submissive will have a point of reference. The protocol might happen daily, but the procedure is explained and then enforced.

Procedures are slightly different than rituals because while they reinforce the dynamic through controlled behavior, they aren’t necessarily intending to generate D/s headspace or a spiritual connection. They do often have multiple steps within them, but they are usually concrete steps.

Often, people include how a protocol is done in the definition of the protocol itself. Nothing wrong with that! I’m just breaking down the two different concepts for clarity.

Examples of procedures:

  • “Make my coffee:” add creamer until the color matches this paint chip, approximately two tablespoons; add one dash of simple syrup
  • “Make the bed:” military corners, fluff the pillows, put pillows on top of the sheet and blanket

“Tasks” Are One-Time Assignments

Tasks are assignments which are done one time. Sometimes they have deadlines, sometimes they are open ended.

Tasks could evolve into protocols, particularly over time — for example, “Pick up my dry cleaning tomorrow,” is a task, but “Pick up my dry cleaning every Thursday,” is a protocol.

With tasks … the sky’s the limit! Tasks are great when starting out in a relationship, because the people involved can get a sense of what they like and don’t like, what the dominant’s style is, what works, and what doesn’t. Plus, they are great opportunities for rewards (even if the reward is a spanking).

One fun way to do task assignments is to give them a task with the instructions that they will get another one when they complete this one. That way they can take their time with it — if they have an incredibly busy schedule, or if it is very elaborate, it could take a month, but if it is simpler or they have more time, it could take a day.

Some task examples:

  • Run an errand and pick up [object] at [place]
  • Write me an email with short descriptions of five fantasies
  • Clean the kitchen and bathroom before [date]
  • Make me [this particular] piece of art

“Rituals” Remind Us of D/s Headspace

This could sometimes be known as “routines,” though I use the word “ritual” because it has a slightly different intention behind it — the word “routine” sounds a little more like being on auto-pilot. I think of the intention as being connection to the D/s dynamic, each other, and possibly a larger purpose — a spiritual path. Either way, rituals are intended to get us deeper into a D/s headspace, to bring more consciousness and intention. Toutines are generally intended to become background habits that propel us through our lives.

Routines are often used more in the day-to-day, and rituals are used for more special occasions, but using the word ritual for the day to day — hopefully — brings more consciousness to it.

Rituals are larger events that usually have multiple steps or aspects of protocol. They also have a particular trigger, such as: when we wake up together, then do the morning ritual.

Rituals might be daily or occasionally. We might have morning/evening ritual, or a New Year’s Eve ritual, or we might have a once in a lifetime ritual of a bat mitzvah upon turning 13.

Examples of rituals:

  • When your alarm goes off at 6:30am, get up from your sleeping spot and kneel on my side of the bed until I acknowledge you. I will rise and stand above you, and we will recite our morning poem. I will go to the shower and you will begin cooking
  • When someone graduates from school, we go to our favorite restaurant and invite the whole family
  • When we have been apart, before anything else, the submissive kneels and kisses their dominants boots

That’s my thoughts — how do you use these words?

Do you use them in similar ways that we do? Or different? Do you prefer to call these concepts something different? Totally cool. These are ideas to jump-start what works best for you, and have clarity in the different categories of control in D/s relationships.

Hopefully, having different categories makes it easier to create and brainstorm protocols to try out.

The Outermost Bracket™: A Theory on D/s and Non-Monogamy

Both non-monogamy and power exchange relationships revolve around sets of agreements between the people involved. Sometimes, those agreements are in harmony — and ahhh, isn’t it lovely when that happens? Not just lovely: it is magic.

Sometimes, however, they conflict.

Both D/s and non-monogamous relationships often have agreements (and arguments) which center around control, ownership, and permission. The difference is, non-monogamy often emphasizes the equality of all parties, while D/s is about someone having authority over the other.

As you can imagine, when both D/s and non-monogamy are both happening within one relationship, that can be very difficult to negotiate.

rife and I were both in non-monogamous relationships when we met, and we quickly knew our play — and then our relationship — would have an ongoing authority imbalance (a.k.a. power dynamic, D/s). As our D/s relationship grew, the non-monogamous and D/s agreements became increasingly complicated. Our authority imbalance continued to strengthen, and sometimes it trumped — or we wanted it to trump — our non-monogamous agreements. That didn’t make sense to a lot of our non-monogamous friends or with the polyamoroy theory that we were reading, and we had a lot of trouble navigating that.

In trying to negotiate all of this (with a lot of trial and error and fucking up), we developed a theory we call “the outermost bracket,” that explores which identity is set within the other.

In other words, is the D/s within the non-monogamy agreements, or is the non-monogamy within the D/s agreements?

Quick disclaimer:

This theory doesn’t apply to everyone. If it makes sense in your world, great! Hope you can take it and make it your own and use it to negotiate these complex things with more ease. If it doesn’t apply, cool. Just take what makes sense and leave the rest.

I’m using the terms “D/s”, “dominant/submissive relationship,” “authority imbalance,” and “power dynamic” as somewhat interchangeable. There are dozens of other terms that folks might be using, too, but these are some of the main ones. All of them mean different things to different people with subtle nuance, but for the purposes of this theory, they are similar enough. Generally, I use them to mean all kinds of authority imbalance relationships in and out of the bedroom.

This theory might be most relevant for D/s relationship where the dominant has a lot of control, but some bedroom-only D/s dynamics might apply here, too, since often there are rules executed in the bedroom. Such as: you will only come when I give you permission, you will call me Mistress and nobody else, you will always keep your genitals shaved. As you can imagine, if someone who has those rules is playing with someone else, they might cause conflicts.

Similarly, I’m using the terms “polyam,” “polyamory,” “open relationship,” and “non-monogamy” somewhat interchangeably. We could have long conversations about the nuanced differences between them, and what applies to what, but for the sake of this essay, they’re similar enough.

The conflicts around D/s and non-monogamy are vast and complicated, and, while there might be some parallels and common concepts, the specific circumstances are unique to each polycule or set of folks involved. I don’t assume to speak for everyone or all experiences, and this might not resonate with you at all.

The Key Distinction of the Theory

Is your non-monogamy restricted by your D/s rules and agreements, or is your D/s restricted by your non-monogamy agreements?

Let’s break that down.

When Non-Monogamy is the Outermost Bracket

When non-monogamy is the outermost bracket for someone, a couple’s D/s relationships happen within their open relationship agreements.

This often looks like making relationship guidelines with a partner, or setting one’s own solo-poly or polyamorous family boundaries, and negotiating D/s within the confines of those agreements. Whatever D/s-based rules, protocols, or agreements are made, they do not extend to other partners — and the D/s might be restricted by non-monogamous arrangements.

For Example:

Let’s say that Mel has a partner they live with, Jay, and another partner, Alex, they are in a power exchange relationship with (and perhaps other partners, too).

The relationship with Jay is long-term and they consider themselves primary partners. That relationship has various agreements for how any other relationships happen — how many times per week, whether or not they sleep over, whether they only do certain things with one person and not another. Mel and Jay made these rules together from an egalitarian place, and both adhere to them.

Mel’s relationship with Alex is a power exchange relationship where Mel is the sub and Alex is the dom. Alex wants to exercise some control over Mel’s sexuality — let’s say they want to restrict the use of Mel’s ass so that only they can fuck it. But Jay doesn’t want any restrictions on what they can or can’t do with Mel.

The agreements within the D/s don’t extend to their primary partnership — at least, not without some negotiations between all three of them, and with Jay’s blessings for the restrictions.

(Sometimes, Alex and Jay might get together and conspire to make wonderfully terrible things happen for Mel. But that’s an exception, because non-monogamy is hard and sometimes Alex has lots of feelings and they have to spend lots of time sorting it all out.)

So Jay might have control over very specific things in Mel’s life — for example, what they wear when they get together for dates, or how they keep their hair. Whatever these are, they are not things that interfere with Mel’s other relationships.

But Jay’s control does not extend to whether or not Mel can have any other partners, and does not extend to any parts of their relationship with Alex.

In other words, the rules of the D/s relationship do not extend to the primary relationship, nor to the arrangements of any other non-monogamous activities.

In my experience, this is how the majority of D/s non-monogamous relationships operate.

Having non-monogamy as the outermost bracket can help the D/s boundaries be incredibly clear. Mel might want Alex’s power and control over them to be in certain realms or within certain time restrictions only, and their power dynamic might flourish that way.

When D/s is the Outermost Bracket

When D/s is the outermost bracket for someone, their non-monogamous relationships happen within their D/s agreements.

The dominant in this scenario would be in control — to whatever degree they arrange — of the kind of play the submissive would have with other people.

Let’s use another example:

Carter is Devon’s dominant. Carter is in charge of pretty much every aspect of Devon’s life. Devon occasionally wants to play with other people, but Carter gets to say how that happens, when, and within what context.

That could look like:

  • The dominant gives orders when the submissive plays with anyone else
  • The dominant is allowed to play with others, but the submissive is not
  • The submissive is allowed to do certain things but not other things
  • The submissive has to ask permission for any kind of play with others
  • The dominant gives permission for all of the sub’s new relationships, but none of their existing ones

Ultimately, the submissive conforms to the dominant’s will, and the arrangements for their non-monogamy are within the confines of the D/s. The submissive’s needs and boundaries are taken into consideration here, and the rules are consented to, but they might be guided by the controlling ideals of D/s and not the egalitarian ideals of open relationships.

This means that the other people Devon is in relationships with must, to some degree, consent to their relationship being underneath the D/s umbrella that Devon has with Carter. Not everyone wants to do that.

How far does the control go?

A dominant controlling the kinds of acts the submissive can or can’t do is one thing; controlling who the submissive is in relationship with is another thing. Vetting or giving permission for a certain relationship to happen or continue can get into tricky territory that can become controlling, unhealthy, or even abusive.

When the dominant controls the kind of non-monogamy that the submissive is allowed to have, it can be a red flag to some folks outside of the relationship. The negotiations of this should be careful and intentional. All parties are in their full agency, give explicit informed consent, and understand that they can talk about it if it becomes a problem between them.

For some folks, it works; for others, it means that the control goes too far.

And this is the key distinction of the Outermost Bracket theory.

Why Does This Matter?

If you know you are into one of these relationship styles more than the other, it can be useful to bring up early on in negotiations. If you can communicate what you’re looking for, you’re much more likely to get it. So, where do you fall? Is non-monogamy your outermost bracket? Is D/s? Or do you structure things in another way?

If you’re having trouble figuring it out, I suggest doing a thought experiment: imagine you are in the most ideal D/s relationship. Do you have control over all aspects of your submissive’s relationships? Does your dominant have complete control over you? What would it feel like if they did?

In Conclusion

For me and rife, this distinction was very helpful as we were figuring out how to navigate the theories we knew about non-monogamy and the desires we had within our D/s. We even extended it with geeky HTML references to talk about hierarchies of other relationship identities (for example, our relationship is M/s first, and Daddy/boy within that). More on this later, or come to our “Art of Ownership” class!

There are probably many other theories and best practices within the overlap of D/s and non-monogamy — no doubt this is not the only one! But honestly, there’s not much out there about it. We know of very few resources, aside from Raven Kaldera’s book Power Circuits: Polyamory in a Power Dynamic.

I’d love to hear about the different kind of theories you all know about and have come up with. Please add your resources and theories to the comments!

PS: Feel free to expand on this theory and apply it to all kinds of other identities! Please do credit us and link back here if you do.

Creating a Submissive Training Plan for Yourself

Submissives don’t have to wait for a dominant to give them structure, plans, and training! There is a lot you can do on your own to keep yourself connected to your submission.

A training plan involves protocol, goals, rules to follow, and, ideally, rewards. A lot of protocol and training in relationships revolve around sexy kinky things, but sometimes people use it as tools for self-growth and self-improvement.

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A quick side note: though I am really into the tools and ideas of the self-growth worlds, I take it with caution. Sometimes focusing so hard on improvement and growth can give the impression that who you are and what you’re doing already right now is not good enough, and I don’t want to encourage that. Still, it’s often satisfying to dream big, break it down into goals, and work toward them, so the tools still have a useful place in my life.

Even if you don’t currently have a dominant, you can create a training plan for yourself to keep you motivated, connected to your submissive, and striving. These are excellent skills to hone, both for yourself and for your future dominant.

So what is a ‘training plan,’ anyway?

A training plan is a breakdown of the small steps needed to reach a goal. For example, if the goal is to run a marathon, the training plan breaks down the different steps to get mentally and physically prepared in order to do it. For example, a triathlon training plan might include identifying one’s current level of swim, bike, run; increasing capacity for each; targeting biggest improvement potential; and setting a date to do the triathlon in order to dole out the milestone goals between then and now.

Making a goal and working to achieve it combats boredom & complacency, because there’s something challenging to strive for — pushing oneself is not usually boring, and inherently not complacent.

Within the context of D/s, there are dozens of skills that submissives can hone in order to be of greater service to the dominant. Setting a goal to learn or master some of those skills can serve the D/s in the long run, as well as the submissive themself.

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If you are in a relationship, and you want more training or support to meet goals and push yourself, you could think about presenting your dom with a short list of goals you are curious about, that you think will benefit your partnership, and ask your dom to choose which one they would like most. You could still follow the other suggestions, and create the rest of your plan yourself, knowing that the reward will be presenting your completed goal to your dominant at the end of the plan.

Step 1: Identify What Kind of Training to Pursue

Depending on what you want to improve, or what your dominant/household would want you to improve, your training will be different.

Here’s some examples of skills you’d like to increase or parts of your life that you’d like to improve:

  • Providing sexual service
  • Domestic service: cooking, housekeeping chores, bookkeeping, assistance, gardening
  • “Trophy” attributes like dress, grooming, mannerisms
  • Entertainment: music, dance, storytelling, producing/hosting events
  • Expressions of devotion

Step 2: Vision What You’d Like the Goal to Be

Here’s some examples that (roughly) correspond to the examples above:

  • Receive double penetration
  • Perfect your favorite Thai food dish
  • Do 100 push-ups
  • Play guitar well enough to share sing-alongs at a campfire
  • Make a photo album (actually print out some of your Instagram photos!)

Step 3: Break the Goal Into Small Tasks

Continuing with the examples above, here’s some of the tasks and experiments that could happen in order to perfect your favorite Thai food dish.

  • Go visit your favorite Thai restaurants to order the dish and see how you most like it
  • Research Thai cooking classes in your area
  • Ask that friend who is a really good cook for some help
  • Look up recipes for that thai dish
  • Gather the ingredients needed
  • Cook the dish for your friends at least 5x to experiment with getting the flavors right

Step 4: Set a Timeline

When do you want to have this task or goal complete? A timeline is essential to a training plan — otherwise, it’s just a someday-dream.

Make your timeline as realistic as possible. You might even check in with friends about the timeline and see if they find it realistic — sometimes it’s hard to tell how long something will actually take.

Step 5: Set Aside Time To Do These Different Tasks

That might mean saying no to things you want to do, or canceling things, or pausing a project or hobby you love in order to make time. You can come back to all those things later. You won’t miss out on that much, I promise. (This is a good time to practice noticing your FOMO — fear of missing out — and not letting that fear overpower your goals and training.)

Put your tasks on your calendar! You could even make a date with a friend to keep yourself accountable.

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One Last Note: About ‘Failing’ to Meet Goals: I’ve noticed that submissives are often a-types, and often beat themselves up (even more than their doms beat them up) for mistakes and short-comings. Learning to acknowledge limits, forgive failures, understand and move on are big skills for a sub to build. (Big skills for all of us to build, let’s be honest; but in a D/s context a sub is held to external standards and both D and s need to work with that with kindness & forgiveness & humanity.)

Step 6: Practice

Anything new needs practice. For a while, it will be a thing to try out (and probably fail, sometimes). The only way to see the progress is with more practice, more diligence, and more trying.

Find different ways to practice. Put your skill in different situations to adjust and practice with different variables. Tell your friends that you’re practicing and ask for their help in supporting you. For example, cook at a friend’s house, cook in a very limited prep time, cook using only what you have in the house and make a range of substitutions.

Step 7: Present! Show Off Your New Skills!

Once you feel confident that you have practiced a lot, show off your skills! Share what you’ve been doing with friends. Offer your new cooking skills by bringing dishes to a leather community event. Or find different ways to share what you’ve been learning, and tell people about your journey.

  • Make the Thai dish for dinner for your partners + friends
  • Dress up for no good reason, just to look good
  • Write down a fantasy about your new DP skill
  • Set up a campfire sing-along

This is part of how to reward yourself for a job well done!

Step 8: Celebrate Meeting Your Goal!

You get to decide how to celebrate — you could bribe yourself, you could create a star chart and cross things off, you could high-five your bestie and congratulate yourself.

And repeat!

Set another new goal, break it down, and get it done!

You can be your strongest self AND a power bottom

From the moment I met Casey*, it was clear that they were a powerhouse. They ran a non-profit, were involved with leather community events, managed a Facebook group for queer survivors that had thousands of members, and kept up an amazing vegetable garden. I saw them work a room at a kinky happy hour, and I was impressed. They were charming, funny, generous, and so welcoming — and it wasn’t even their event. Casey just naturally exudes confidence and ease, and it’s infectious.

I immediately thought they were a top.

“Everybody always thinks that,” Casey told me later that night, sitting next to me at the bar, both of us waiting for another drink. “I can’t tell you how many times bottoms have tried to pick me up. But I’m not. I’m submissive. But people don’t see that in me, because they expect submissives to be cowering in the corner waiting for a dominant to tell them what to do.”

Casey was so eloquent, speaking about their desires for submission. (And you know me, I’m a sucker for somebody who can use words to articulate what they want and how they work. Yum.) But still, I went away from that thinking, Casey is absolutely right … there is a huge difference between having a submissive personality and having the desire to submit to someone in bed. And I played into those social expectations, too, by assuming their outgoing behavior meant that they were a top.

(I try really hard not to assume people’s power orientation, though it’s pretty much human nature to speculate and put others into categories we understand. I try to lead with questions, rather than assumptions, and to keep any surprise to myself, as best as I can.)

I’ve heard this complaint about being assumed to have passive personalities from lots of other submissive folks, too: from leather girls who are worried that their job is too high-powered, that daddies are all scared off by it. From subs who are convinced that no one can ever tell they are submissive, because they are in charge of too many social groups. From bois who believe deeply that their masculinity will always be read as dominance, and that they will always have to explain that they’re not a top.

I call it …

The Bad-Ass/Bottom Paradox

Based on kinky stereotypes, it seems like being a bad-ass and being a bottom are contradictory. But they’re not — just like being a sweetheart and being a top are not contradictory. Having a core of concern and emotional care for someone else makes that person even better qualified to be a top, just like having a strong sense of self, direction, and desire makes someone an even better bottom.

Submissives are often seen as weak, passive little creatures who don’t have a brain of their own, and whose head gets filled with their dominant’s every whim. Or, perhaps worse, as doormats who are being taken advantage of, controlled, and manipulated.

While this might be true for some folks — toxic relationship behavior and abuse can and does happen in D/s relationships, just like any other — most submissives I know are actually bad-asses. They aren’t empty vessels; their heads are full of managing their own lives — car payments, asking for vacation time off, calendaring the next social events, keeping up with knitting trends on Pinterest (and often, parts of their dominant’s lives, too).

On the other hand, I heard from Jake*, a queer boy who took Submissive Playground, that he was pretty sure he was submissive, but he’d never done much psychological play, though he craved it, because he thought he’d have to give up parts of himself, or make himself smaller in order to be “good” at it.

No. On the contrary.

I actually think submission can help make someone even more of a bad-ass than they already are. Healthy, functional submission requires knowing oneself, holding boundaries, communication, being vulnerable about desires, having good recovery skills when things go wrong — and so many more advanced communication skills. Folks who do have submissive personalities can find themselves gaining inner strength, self-worth, and fortitude after exploring submission deeper.

Submission does not require someone to make yourself small, to turn off your desires, to cater to someone else’s every whim (you know, not unless you negotiate that — but that’s way down the line. Or, way up the power escalator**). It really is possible to be a total bad-ass, and turn your ass up to get spanked, or turn over authority to someone you trust and love. In fact, it’s not only possible — it’ll give you a leg up.

* Not their real names

** As related to the relationship escalator, I use the term “power escalator” to mean that in relationships based on authority exchange or power play that often, both parties assume that as trust builds, they will play with more and more power exchange, but that is not always what the people ultimately want. Stopping anywhere along the ‘power escalator’ is valid, and going all the way to total power exchange 24/7 M/s is not the most “real”, or better, or any more valid than any other place.

Thanks to Crash Pad Series for the image, from Episode 149 with Alani Pi and Nikki Darling


Like this? Want more? Submissive Playground registration opens Monday, September 19th. Download the free Submissive Starter Kit for a sample submissive journal prompt from the course, as well as a video and kinky desire map.

Little Liar, Guest Post by Rebekah Weatherspoon

I need routine. It grounds me, keeps me sane, keeps me from going off on the teenagers I work in my other life. So I’ll tell you about my day, how things go when I’m with Daddy.

11:07am

Hours before, Daddy pulled me out of my bed, the cedar box at the foot of her CalKing. It’s comfy and cozy, the refreshing rich wood lined with a soft mattress and linens and pillows. There are plenty of holes that let me breathe just fine. I was afraid of my bed at first, but I like it now. It gives me a place to get away. It gives me a quiet dark place to think about Daddy. She always lets me sleep in. Her day starts early and we both know how cranky I am before ten a.m., but every morning she opens my box and helps me half asleep under the soft sheets where she spends the night. Sometimes I wake up a bit, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I remember the way Daddy touches me before she slips out the door.

Like this morning, I don’t want to wake up. I’m wrapped around my teddy bear, cozy in my bed. Daddy had me up late the night before fucking in the backyard so I went to sleep all worn out. Still when she opens the lid, it’s like my pussy isn’t done with her. Like we left some unfinished business in the grass by the pool. My body wakes up even though my mind doesn’t and I wiggle my way onto her comforter. She says something to me like “Good morning”, or “Good girl”. There’s a “good” in their somewhere as I flop against the pillow.

She touches me all over. My shoulder, my tummy, my breasts. I like it and I don’t tell her to stop. So when she rubs my pussy I might be sleeping, but I squirm a little and a little more until her fingers are inside me. Daddy has to leave. Gym, shower, juice bar, contracts, meeting, meeting, but she wants me as much I want her, so she fingers my pussy, letting me mumble away in my half sleep as I ride her hand until I come. That orgasm puts me right back to sleep. Or maybe I know Daddy is just teasing and doesn’t really want me to wake up because when I start talking that early in the morning, my mouth is smart and Daddy doesn’t have time to punish me.

But at little after 11:06 I do wake up. It’s the drone of the lawnmower, the rhythmic hum that blends into my dreams and makes me think I should do something weird like fly a helicopter. I take my time getting up, but when I do it’s into Daddy’s massive shower. Daddy takes care of my grooming so I just have to get myself nice and clean before I eat a healthy breakfast. I watch my figure, but I know how to balance waffles with fruit exercise and Daddy has the fanciest waffle maker. I have waffles and fruit and then three hours of daytime TV.

I don’t have any chores except cooking dinner, but Daddy has S, her housekeeper and the gardner, George. S stocked the fridge with everything I needed for the day including the chicken I’ll make for Daddy tonight, so I can watch all the junk TV I want while Daddy’s away.

2:00pm

I hit the pool. The hedges behind Daddy’s are high, but there’s a woman next door. She works from home and there’s this little spot where the trees part and she can see right into Daddy’s yard. When she works from home, most days she watches me. Like today she watches me as I work on my tan lines and play with my pussy. I told Daddy that the woman watches me. Daddy doesn’t mind. She might even invite her over sometime so she can get a load of me up close. We’ll both tease her, Daddy says, but it hasn’t happened. yet. I send a few texts. My friends are at work. They don’t get summers off. I get a few messages back, but soon I doze.

4:30pm

There’s chicken to bake and potatoes to prepare. I blast my music as loud as I want. S stops by for a bit after she’s spent the morning with her sick mum. She checks the mail and the gardener’s work, does some dusting, and makes Daddy’s bed. But the house is usually so clean so she doesn’t have to stay too long. She finds me as I’m dicing carrots. S checks my pussy just to make sure I’m wet. My nipples too for good measure.

She tells me to watch the chicken and not too dry it out. She tells me to turn down the music just in case Daddy calls. I need to hear the phone. And she tell me to put my toys back in my box before Daddy comes home. And I get a lecture about sunscreen. She likes my tan lines almost as much as Daddy doesn’t, but cancer isn’t cute and she doesn’t want me to get a sunburn.

S doesn’t want to play. She has her own fun with her own pets, but she’s a dirty old lady so she she checks me one more time, her hand gripping my pussy hard until my juices make a little squeaking noise as they slip between her fingers. I tell her she’s dirty and I don’t like it. I tell her to stop, but she knows I don’t mean it by the way I hold still. I like being teased this way. A slap on the ass and she’s gone.

6:30pm
I sneak a glass of wine. I hope Daddy doesn’t find out.

6:45pm

A text from Daddy. She’ll be home at her regular time. Dinner’s done and left to warm so I cover myself in this almond scented oil that Daddy loves and pull on these thigh high athletic socks with pink stripes that Daddy is obsessed with. Then I climb back in my box for a bit to wait for Daddy.

7:15pm

I’m playing games on my phone in the dark, but I hear Daddy. She doesn’t announce herself, I can hear her making her way to the bedroom. The front door shuts. Keys on the counter. I can’t hear her put down her bag, but I know she leaves in the kitchen right next to the counter. She’s checking to see if dinner is ready. Daddy likes to know before hand where or not she needs to punish me. But dinner is ready and I’ve been a good girl. Daddy opens my box. She’s adjusted the light in the bedroom so I can look at her gorgeous face without having to squint.

Still so handsome. Gray hair, almost pure white styled back away from her face. Brown eyes and full lips. Her dress shirt sleeves are already rolled up. I love her arms. I love her muscles.

“Hi,” she says.

I hide my face against my teddy before I look at her again. “Hi Daddy.”

“Were you a good girl today?”

I nod. “Yes, Daddy.”

“Good. Pick out a toy and let’s have dinner.” Daddy’s so strong she reaches down and helps me out of my box. We walk over to her toy chest, where we keep all our straps and dildos and paddles and whips and the gags I asked so nicely for.

I look at the dildos laid out all nice and clean. I like to get them dirty for S and tease her when she has to clean them. I joke that she licks them when I’m not looking. Daddy laughs and tell me to cut it out.

“I want you to pick, Daddy,” I say before I shove my thumb in my mouth.

“You do, do you? Let’s go with Big Blue then.” Blue is the widest toy we have. I like to choke on it, and make my pussy hurt. Daddy grabs it for me and we go to the dining room. I get on the table while Daddy makes herself a plate and gets herself a drink. I get on the table and Daddy sits down with her food between my legs. When she takes the first bite that’s when I start. I sit up on my knees and suck the big blue cock in my hands. I suck it deep, push it down my throat until I gag. I pull it out and let saliva dribble down my chin. Daddy doesn’t like it when I swallow.

I do it again, drooling all over my chest. I use the big blue tip to spread my spit around my nipples. Daddy likes that.

“Is your cunt hungry, baby?” Daddy asks.

I nod. “Yes, Daddy.”

“Then you should feed it.”

I stay on my knees, but slide Big Blue between my legs. I sit it on. Daddy likes the way I whimper. It hurts so much, but I’m so wet and it feels so good.

“Make it feel better,” I tell Daddy.

“Not while I’m eating, baby. You have to make yourself feel good.”

I bounce up and down, taking the ache, grateful the table’s so study. Daddy scoops up her wine before it spills over.

I’m close to coming, but I want to give Daddy the show she deserves. I slide to my ass and open my legs real wide. Daddy sits back and takes another sip. I’m going to be sore in the morning, but I don’t care. I fuck myself with Big Blue, harder and harder, until my cum dribbles all over the table and squirts on Daddy’s plate. I’m not done so I do it again and again. I know how Daddy likes it so I don’t make her wait too long before I crawl back to my knees and lick up the mess that I’ve made.

Daddy’s pleased, but there’s a look on her face. “Did you get into the wine?”

Daddy knows I’m a liar so I don’t tell the truth, I just keep licking at the slick table top. “No, Daddy. I don’t like wine.”

“Is that so?”

“Yes, Daddy. It’s yucky.”

“You sure about that? Come here baby.”

I move off the table as Daddy pushes back her chair and then I straddle her lap. She doesn’t pack to work, but some time while she was making her play she put on a strap and cock. I slide myself along the ridges in her slacks. But Daddy shakes her head.

“No, baby. You lied to me.”

“I swear, Daddy. I didn’t.”

She tips her glass and pours a few dribbles of the cool white wine over my nipples and then she cleans me up with her mouth. I whimper and moan and grind myself along the hidden ridges between my legs. “Only good girls get Daddy’s cock,” she whispers in my ear.

I pull back and drive myself against her lap even harder as I look her in the eye. “What do bad girls get, Daddy?”

“You’ll have to wait and see.”


Featured image from Crash Pad Series Episode #176, Indigo Bleu and Viceroy.