Why Do You Care So Much?! – And Other Frequently Asked Questions

As I lay in bed and enjoy winter’s gentle kiss on my bare skin, I thought I’d compile a list of frequently asked questions that come my way. It’s not a huge list I’m afraid but hopefully some might recognise themselves in these.

Why do you care so much about the people out there, newcomer or otherwise?

This is a big one that I get, and rightly so I guess. The internet can be a dodgy place and a recurring element that I’ve seen since starting the blog and offering counsel / mentoring is emotionally and physically abusive men, generally preying on women who have started to realise they’re submissive.

I care so much because I guess I see a lot of myself in people that write in to me. I can sense that trepidation and uncertainty. I mean, the world of Kink is so layered and vast that it’s terrifying. Where do you even start?

It’s partially because of my upbringing – I come from a conservative Catholic household – but also because of my insecurity, magnified by my shyness and my undiagnosed anxiety disorder. I was TERRIFIED at the prospect of, essentially, rebooting my life – finding a new place to live, finding someone who would, somehow share my sexual interests. It scared me so much that I stayed in a vanilla relationship longer than I should have.

And…I don’t want people to go through that. Not if I can help them find their voice and confidence and, at the very least, ease their anxiety or minds. I mean, even now I’ll get an email from someone who deleted several drafts before hitting send. Even now, on twitter, someone will message me and say they’ve been reading my blog for years – but haven’t said anything to me out of fear or guilt or shame – and it breaks my heart. Which is why I so often write to tell people it’s okay to write in to me.

This is a long response but another thing people ask after is my patience. The patience I have, with people asking questions – I haven’t hit a point where it’s become a nuisance. And I can’t tell you why I’m not bothered, I simply don’t feel annoyed. It’s just – I want to be available as much I can, and be this secure and helpful support.

Have you ever thought about doing a podcast?

I have, but being so shy and rambling and monotone I don’t know how entertaining I’d be. When I talk for a while, my anxiety tends to put the thought in that I’m self indulgent..or have tickets on myself – and I feel bad all on my own accord.

It’s a nice fantasy to think of having a BDSM podcast where I talk about a few things an episode – I could even have anxiety support sessions where I read a book or something – but would people enjoy it if I was the only speaker? I’m not sure.

I’d need a host that was like me – someone I could riff off and get talking. It can’t be my kitten because, a, her work and B – she is far too shy and reserved! You should’ve overheard me talking to her about voyeurism on a coffee run one day! She kept cursing me with a shy smile and flushing red.

Is being a Dominant exhausting, having to take care of so many different aspects?

Hmm, no! I mean, we take in note structure and mental well being and order – but these things become second nature with practice. And before they become second nature, they are things that you WANT to do – or at least that I WANT to do. There’s a constant drive there for me. Always…kinda like a PlayStation 4 on rest mode..it’s there in the background thinking away.

Because I want this – whether sexually or non sexually – it’s never a point of ‘ugh, gotta whip my lady now..’ It may become routine but it doesn’t become less exciting because of that fact. It’s still a constant pleasure and a thrill, to have the trust of someone. To hear their free moans and to be the one to guide them. To look them dead in the eye and hold their gaze.

The only time I can think of it being exhausting is when I’m in the midst of an anxiety storm and I lose not only will but my entire sex drive. In those moments, the last thing I want to do is be dominant.

What are your kitten’s thoughts on offering to talk to and / or mentor folk?

In the beginning, when I first wanted to do this, she had questions. I mean, even on a platonic level, talking bdsm and the like is still sexual. So that’s more than understandable. So we had a lengthy chat and I told her what I wanted to do and why, sharing how I felt and how I wanted to do something, anything, to alleviate minds and she understood.

She senses my need to share my writings and advice and opinions, though I think she’s worried that I’ll get hurt trying to help when you can’t possibly help everyone. And that’s why I try to help where I can, but not try to pry or overstep boundaries.

And something we always agreed on from the beginning was that bloglife didn’t overspill into any personal time spent together. Birthdays, brunch dates, family time together, Netflix on the couch, coffee runs – I always make time for us and never crisscross.

What do you get out of being a Mentor?

For me, there’s personal fulfilment that I’m getting, because I’m doing something I really want – and that’s helping someone, and guiding them and sometimes even seeing them grow.

I think it’s knowing that I helped in some small way that makes it worthwhile. I mean, I’ve gotten messages on Fetlife and tumblr from people I don’t know saying I was the inspiration for them to confront their own fears – and isn’t that the sweetest thing? It gives me the warm and fuzzies, honestly. I mean I’m just regular bloke from Australia, not even officially trained in counsel but I’m helping someone from the other side of the world. It’s beautiful.

I’ll stop it before things get War and Peace-levels of writing. If there’s a question you want to ask or one you feel was left out, let me know either in the comments below or at darkanddominant@hotmail.com

Remember, we all grow and bloom at different places. Don’t let others dictate your growth. Don’t define yourself by someone else’s thoughts on you – and whether you’re a long time lurker, first time reader or just want to chat all things BDSM and psychological – you are always more then welcome to write to me.

Please Don’t Hesitate To Write To Me

Every now and then I’ll come into contact with a reader who might express that they took several tries to write in to me before they actually did. Some say they they never would if I didn’t reach out first.

I wholeheartedly understand. It’s hard to communicate about something so personal and intimate and overwhelming. Especially to a stranger.

There have been many times – and I’m sure there are many times to come – where I’ve tried to write a blog post and I’ve deleted several drafts because I’m fidgety and awkward and I feel stupid.

If you’re reading this, and you have wanted to write to me but put it off because of – age, inexperience, maybe English isn’t your first language, maybe you think you’re too weird or I’ll shun you. I’ve even had some tell me that they don’t feel they have a lot of worth and can’t possibly write to me – please don’t let that train of thought get the better of you. Especially with someone like me, who does not judge for any of those things whatsoever.

One of the goals in creating this blog, besides harnessing my own darkness and desires, was to help those like me who felt they were truly alone and had no support. I wanted to offer the opportunity where a person – regardless of sex, identity, tastes, race or experience – could feel free to write to me – to say hello or ask for a perspective or to just shoot the shit, as they say. I love meeting people and helping if need be – I live for it.

So please don’t ever be afraid to approach me, please don’t be afraid of your voice or your interests or who you are. And please don’t put me above yourself, on some higher platform, because I’m just Aussie guy writing on the Internet. As far as I’m concerned, you and I? We’re equals.

And this all extends, not just to writing in to me, but to being yourself as well. Love yourself. Cherish who you are, all dark thoughts and everything that comes with that electric realm of possibilities – because let me tell you, that’s a magical and beautiful thing.

My email or twitter or Instagram is always open. It never closes. There’s never a bad time to write, I’ll never get annoyed by your approach and I certainly won’t be too busy to write a respond to you. I will say this – I am scatterbrained. I’m a man with one foot in the dreamscape and the other in reality. If I don’t respond, it’s because I’m off in my own world planning devious things. I’ll reply before you know it.

Anyway. Here at the end of Easter long weekend, I wanted to write this to the person that may or may not hesitate to write in. Don’t be afraid of this part of yourself, it’s a beautiful thing.

Take care!

Do What Makes You Feel Alive / Late Night Ramblin’

As I sit here, half naked in front of a fan to avoid the scorching Australian summer, half trying to tiredly map out Valhalla chapters, a thought comes to my mind.

I’ve been on my Tumblr, scrolling through my feed, ghosts of stories coming to me from the remnants of safe-for-work semi-sexual pictures and I think to myself – we need to do what makes us happy. We have to be in it, whatever IT is, for ourselves.

I mean, when I was starting out as a Dominant and I was on Fetlife looking for answers, everyone had their own code, built up from whatever they felt right – and that’s fine. Everyone has their own customised role from the pre-established basic rules of BDSM and it’s many dynamics. But I struggled to find what was right for me.

The thing is, you need to – we need to – follow our own hearts and minds and desires and see where that leads, especially when it comes to our interests in BDSM. Sure we might fall. Sure we might hurt ourselves or even someone we love, but if such an event occurs, there is an opportunity to learn from that. And with learning comes growth.

I almost didn’t start this blog you know? I thought for sure that there were other, more experienced people – experienced Dominants, male or female – though I confess, I did initially think ‘experienced dominant males’. I mean, I thought: Oh I’m some joe blow from down under, I’m 26, what do I know? What can I add to the table?’ – I still think this.

I still think – what have I got to offer, even now? After all these years? I don’t know. But I’m not the point – the point is – you can’t think like that. You can’t afford to.

Who cares who is more experienced? We all grow, we all adapt and learn in different ways. At different times. We all bloom as flowers in different seasons – and we all make our own way.

More importantly, our differences are validated and can be thought of as unique. And difference can be beautiful to behold. I know that from learning the slow, slow SLOW way.

So, lurkers and readers I don’t hear from, don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t compare. Don’t dwell. Try not to ruminate on how others run their lives – you’ll only find that leads to torment. Focus on what makes you laugh, what makes you giddy. What makes you alive.

Goodnight world. Sleep tight.

‘Under Protection’ – What Does It Mean?

When I was new to Fetlife and I saw the ‘under protection of…’ tag on profiles, I didn’t quite understand what it meant. It’s strange wording isn’t it? Sure, it says ‘under protection’, that person is protected – but by who? And what does that mean? And is it a platonic relationship or a romantic one? Just what does it entail?

It’s important to note that the use of the word has different meanings and this all depends on context. For example, a Dominant can be the protector of his or her submissive – but can also be a guidance for his or her trusted newcomer – a completely non-sexual relationship established together upon a set of decided rules.

Which isn’t for everyone, of course. There are those who view a protector as simply a predator preying on unsuspecting newcomers – and this can very much be the case, unfortunately. I hear of it happening time and time again. While others have stated if a person needs a protector in the first place, if they can’t apply critical thinking to what they want to approach, then maybe they should take a step back and wait.

There is also the view that the ‘under protection…’ tag on Fetlife is discouraging to those generally interested in the individual, that the tag does more harm than good and scares away folk.

One of the many viewpoints is that ‘to be under protection’ is to have a trusted friend that can talk you through the concepts of BDSM, vetting play partners (if that’s part of the agreement) and generally be there for you, either in person – to accompany you to live events – or online. What shape this ‘protection’ takes depends entirely on the individual and what they’d like.

If you’re thinking about wanting a protector or protecting someone, make absolutely sure you will define boundaries and terms and ideas, making sure you both are absolutely on the same page, otherwise that can lead to unnecessary drama and hurt and a breakdown in communication.

If you just met someone and you two are considering the label,take some time to get to know them. Talk often. Meet for a coffee date or organise a safe way to communicate online – be sure that they are a healthy fit for you and where you are now – and if you’re not confident or comfortable entirely with the idea, that’s okay too. We really do have all the time in the world.

At the end of the day, being somebody’s protector can mean entirely different things for entirely different people. It could be non-sexual, it could be a Friends-With-Benefits scenario where the submissive is accompanied to munches and clubs as moral support, it could just be moral support and a voice of guidance along the way, customised to an extent. It really depends on what people want and how people feel and I could be here all day discussing scenarios.

If you’re new to Fetlife and new to kink and this sounds appealing, try not to rush into it. Be careful. There are those out there who will abuse your trust to get their quick fix. They can easily be sussed out, their lack of interest and patience can be evident generally. Just be wary – but don’t despair! There’s plenty of good out there too.

Just Write

So. I just got an email from a reader of my blog and it struck me as sad and it’s for these reasons that I want to write this piece.

If you’re going to write in to me, if you want to write in to me, there’s a couple things I, personally, want you to know and understand.

I’m not as busy as you think. I’m not running around like a headless chook, know that while I may work, I also definitely check my email daily and respond in full as soon as I can.

I don’t respond to emails to be polite to you, to what a reader described as ‘a self proclaimed fangirl’ – I respond because I want to. You must understand, I started this blog not just to share my fantasies and satisfy a part of me, I did it in case it could inspire someone as awkward as I was when I started off.

So I love hearing from people – young, old, male, female, Australian, American, Norwegian – the more the merrier. Language barriers be damned! I love conversing with people and I love talking BDSM and it’s lifestyles.

Whether you’re a fan or seeking answers or even if you a bone to pick with me about something I wrote. Grill me. I welcome all of it, criticism, friendly chatter, the like.

You’re not bothering me. At all. In all my years of blogging, in responding to the kind people that write in, I can honestly say not one email has bugged me, not one. Even if one person has a laundry list of questions, I’ll sit down and work it out with them until they’re more spent then I am. Seriously. So never ever think that YOU are the person that will be too much for me, because that just won’t be the case. Try me, I dare you!

Do you want to write but don’t know what to say? Do you feel stupid because I can talk so openly and you find it rough to? I’ve had years to process how I feel, to work to rise above my own shyness. I was the same as you in the beginning. We all start somewhere and blossom on our own time.

I will say this though – just write. Don’t worry about grammar or context or anything, just write. I honestly care not for long novel-length texts, I read every word and respond. I’ll even write a long novel-length email of my own.

Start at the beginning. Write how you feel. Find a place to start at, to get the ball rolling, and then just let it go – just write and let it loose. If it feels good, write it. If it doesn’t, write it anyway and send it.

Too many times have I read that someone wanted to write in sooner or deleted several iterations of the email they just sent – and it breaks my heart.

I know I can’t TELL people what to do. I know I can’t get people to talk as frankly as I do, but I’m writing this because I want you to know, anything you have to say, in any way, is perfectly A-OK by me and that you should not feel shame or delete what you write, because I mostly certainly want to read it. Don’t even press that delete button or I’ll slap a crop against your knuckles!

Be yourself. That’s all I ask of you. Everything else, please don’t worry. I’m not as scary as your mind makes me out to be!

TD&D

How Can You Tell If You’re Dominant Or Submissive?

Ladies and gents, I’m kinda stumped.

Early in the week, I was talking to a lady about how to implement kink into her marriage with her husband, when she ran a question by me – How do you know if you’re Dominant?

I answered that question best I could in the moment, running my own experiences with identifying the feeling by her, hoping it would connect somehow. But now, days later, I’m still thinking it over. I don’t really know HOW. It all seems so organic looking back.

I have also recently had someone ask me If they’re still fully submissive if they enjoy being bratty – there’s a lot of misunderstanding about the persona and how it applies to the individual.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of confused and alone people out there with a laundry list of questions and no one to ask. I’m more than happy to answer anything anyone has to ask, be you male, female, teenager, adult, new to the lifestyle or in the middle of a transformation or even someone with an inkling of kinkling.

Anyway, I thought I would try to the answer the question at length, hoping newcomers to BDSM might relate and it can help them in their own journey.

In the beginning, I had these feelings that I had understanding of. I didn’t know I could file my name calling under ‘Degradation and Humiliation’ nor did I understand why I was so interested in control – in exercising authority over my girlfriend. In these stages, there was no real sense of D/s and aftercare because I was immature and these feelings were immature and coarse and unrefined.

Before I continue, let me just write that there’s no absolute way for one person. Everyone is different and works differently.

I should say that my own development has come with a certain degree of blind luck. I met certain people at the right time in my life, people like me, through Fetlife or the semi-sketchy anonymous confessional app Whisper. I was a lucky bastard. I had the blessing of shaping who I was through encounters along my twenties.

Fetlife was a big player in my path, I would say. By signing up and looking around, I could see I wasn’t alone. I could even put a name to my kinks and thus have some semblance of understanding.

Google helped too, in a way, acting as a gateway to all sorts of media – books, images, blogs, people, Kink. Suddenly I knew of words like ‘Dominance’ and ‘submission’ and ‘dynamic’. Combine this with Fetlife and I had opportunities to feel the gravitational force to someone who was submissive. I’m talking, heart racing, cock hardening, breath quickening gravitational forces that helped me realise something was within me.

I know what you’re wondering. ‘Okay, but how does someone know if they’re dominant? Or even submissive?’

The best advice I can give is that it starts with an idea. Have a google of key concepts that come to mind when you think of BDSM – blindfolding, handcuffs, dirty talk. Start small. See if something strikes up your fancy.

If you want to reach deeper, have a look at concepts within a D/s relationship, such as setting tasks and rules and maintaining order. See if any of these concepts appeal to you on a base level. Try not to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information – there can be a lot to learn but you can easily break it up into easily digestible parts.

Start small. Start light. A bit of spanking, a bit of issuing commands – talk to your partner about what they would like to try and see if it strikes a chord with you on any level.

The last advice I can give is to be open to yourself and to your partner. That goes for likes and dislikes and even if you’re uninterested. But always be open to trying at least. You never know what you’ll find on the road less travelled.

Clawing To Get Out: Realising My True Primal Self

I was a late bloomer to realising I was a primal. When I was 26, I befriended a lovely Canadian woman from Fetlife who talked to me about the ways of packs and who helped me realise I wasn’t so alone in the universe.

When I reconnected with a lovely lady who would go on to be my kitten and best friend and other piece of my soul puzzle, we realised together the full extents of our primality. Is that a word? I’m making that a word. Writing degree be damned!

The timing of these events take place shortly after I stared at my true self through the Magic Mirror Gate and came to terms with my psyche. My experience at the gate would lead me on to help my kitten understand some things about herself. And the more she spoke timidly of cages and collars and leashes, the more I realised how interested in this dynamic I really was.

Kitten made me realise just how deep into the primal dynamic I was, but she also brought out in me the other part of being primal – animalistic traits.

One evening during a special moment, she licked me, claiming she felt compelled to do so. I was taken aback. No one had never done that to me and it felt charming and special and lovely. I felt unique to her.

I tried it myself on her – gingerly, I might add – and sure enough, it has become a deep form of affection for the both of us. It doesn’t always happen but when it does, I feel that same giddy surge of love and excitement, knowing I’ve been marked.

I guess what I’m getting at is that being in contact with my kitten and her primal self has brought me out of my shell in a way. I have kept the knowledge of myself from the experience at the Mirror Gate and have allowed myself to be helped my her lovely mind in order to grow.

Licking and growling and biting is part of my existence now. In and out of the bedroom.