November AMA!

I’ve had a lot of questions come my way of late so I figured I’d post some of them here!

As always, if you have any questions, you are more than welcome to get in touch!

On Writing

Do you write in one go or over the course of a long period of time, returning to it?

Sometimes I’ll write in one go. I’ve written stories for the blog like that. They’ll come to me out of nowhere and I’ll write them in one sitting – but if they’re bigger, I’ll break it off in chunks and spread them out over the week. Sometimes even longer.

I usually aim for 2,000 words a day. I’ll write more if I get lost in the story but I aim for 2k, knowing that I can stop there if I’m feeling drained and I can still feel like I have accomplished something in the day.

Do you take notes first or make a structure or do you just sit down to write and see what happens?

I take a tonne of notes – things that never even make the final story. It’s weird because I’ll plan out the setting like I’m building a house. So – say I have a scene with two characters living in an apartment, right? I’ll design the floor plan of the house – in my head, not in actuality – so I have a mental guide I can flesh out and narrate.

I also sketch out profiles on characters – their flaws, backstories, tastes, favourite novels. Even if it doesn’t get in there, it helps me build a character as I write the story.

I usually plan out a draft structure for chapters – but only the basic bullet points for what I want to hit. I like to freeform write so I leave s little room for spontaneous writing where voices and ideas come to me that I never planned for but let them breathe anyway.

Do you edit lots?

I try to. It’s a sin that I don’t do it enough. There is so much I read to proofread on the blog but there’s so also so much that escapes my busy eye so easily! It’s crazy.

So I apologise if I piss off some of you.

How much of what you write sees the light of day?

Hmmmm. More then 50%, I know that much.

There’s a lot that I put onto the blog, that are my genuine, raw fantasies unprocessed – but then some get drafted on my phone that I feel are too weird or too dark or even too personal.

I sometimes get worried I’ll go too far or I’ll sound too weird or mopey and I just leave it to sit on my phone. Case in point – the story about a teenage girl walking home from a party and being sexually assaulted by a possessed tree.

But I’ve also written this really vulnerable thing during an anxiety attack that I never posted because there’s always a fear of rejection I guess.

How do you write in terms of surroundings? music? place? time of day? do you write alone?

I have to write alone. In complete silence. I need to be able to transport my mind to the scene so I can see and hear and taste and all of those other weird writer things. Generally, though, I write for the blog during the night or curled up in bed naked.

Writing naked is therapeutic in a way and makes me feel comfortable and liberated enough to write freely. If that makes sense.

Sometimes I’ll write curled up in bed, if it’s a rainy day and the rain is pelting down on the window. It really sets the mood and charges me.

What is your most common source of inspiration? books, movies, music, daily life, dreams? people watching at the supermarket?

I would say my most common source is my dreams, followed my daily life. I have a lot of weird sexual dreams where I can feel every minute detail so intensely. Like, I can feel how hard I am, how wet this made up woman (or my kitten) is , I can sense my orgasm. Sometimes I even come – the point is, it’s very vivid and detailed. And weird.

But it’s not just dreaming, I gather inspiration from everywhere – the way my kitten has this foxy, babydoll look in her eye, a scene in a horror where a woman is skinny dipping. Hell, I remember writing about a submissive Japanese woman who fought back against conventions to be a samurai. I had her whole backstory fleshed out, did my research a bit, before I felt I couldn’t do it. But that just came from my interest in ancient Japanese history. And samurai cinema, of course. Ahem.

On Dominance

If you could only element of the lifestyle, what would you choose? The sexual or the non sexual?

It would definitely be the non-sexual because I find those tiny details endlessly fascinating. When I think about what I enjoy as a dominant and what calls to me, it’s the little soulful interactions like setting creative tasks or deep, meaningful conversation that fulfil me.

Come to think of it, the non-sexual parts were what largely interested in me the more I read up on BDSM and D/s. I was always curious about the sexual parts but what drew me in was the aspects that make up the dynamic in a non sexual way.

What are your favourite non sexual parts of the dynamic?

Being soulful with one another, you know? The little moments like that. Organising structure and protocol and setting tasks like kneeling before bed and asking the dominant if they can share the bed – or picking out outfits she’ll wear together. Little psychological interactions like that.

Are you able to differentiate between sexual and non-sexual or do they bleed together sometimes?

Oh they definitely have the chance to bleed together, depending on context. But yeah, a big part of what I ‘chased’ when I was learning to be dominant was the non-sexual side of the dynamic. To me, that’s what I was feeling in the pit of my stomach – the call for control of that structure and mind of another. That’s what stood out. So I learnt backwards, I guess? Or rather just learnt of the non sexual interactions first because I was intrigued by the psychology behind it.

Does it bother you to admit weakness?

Sometimes! If I’m particularly anxious, I will ruminate on what I think are my weaknesses, like weird social personality or my inability to properly express myself or just how absent minded I can be.

I’m getting better at slowly accepting that this is who I am, but some days it’ll hit me harder than others.

What Is A BDSM Mentor?

I’ve spoken about acting as a mentor to people in the past but I don’t believe I touched on just what exactly is a Mentor in the context of the BDSM lifestyle.

As I’ve been doing some reflecting lately on it, I thought I’d go into detail about the role.

A BDSM Mentor is someone that has been in the lifestyle long enough themselves that they have experience and a good understanding of the differing aspects of the lifestyle, enough so that they can act as support and guidance needed to newcomers to BDSM and a D/s lifestyle.

There needs to be a solid foundation for a mentor and the newcomer’s interactions though. Forging trust between one another is paramount, as is genuine friendship. You’ll be working together and, depending on the individual, maybe even on sensitive, intimate aspects. So establishing a mutual level of trust and bond is absolutely necessary.

For example, I’ve always said to anyone, that writes in to me intrigued about a mentoring, whether by me or otherwise, to take the time and think about it. Take the time to get to know the mentor and see if they are best person for the job.

A BDSM Mentor should be in a strictly non-sexual role with the person being mentored. If it goes beyond that, either you or your mentor are looking for entirely different things and should either reflect together or apart.

I’m sure there are people who evolve from a Mentor / Mentored to genuine play – and maybe that’s what they want and that’s fine – but for the most part, a BDSM Mentor should be in that strictly non-sexual role.

They don’t own the Mentored, they can’t set protocols or rules or structures or punishments. They shouldn’t be teaching how to be like them specifically but more helping the individual be who they want to be.

Okay, but what does a BDSM Mentor actually do?

In my experience, being a mentor to a newcomer has involved listening to their needs and wants and guiding them accordingly.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of having that line of communication open, sometimes it’s listening about their relationship or their thoughts and helping them make sense of it, sometimes it’s just answering any questions they have about the lifestyle.

Me, personally, I like establishing a level of trust and comfort so that when or if they feel like asking me anything, they can stop in the middle of their day – to ask or vent or simply just talk out their feelings.

Some people need support and structure in their lives – I helped someone I Mentored get to the gym more, while I helped another organise their day in a way that she always wanted to but struggled to.

Setting tasks for the individual to reflect upon, offering resources like non-fiction books and just giving your time and patience – that’s what a mentor does.

Is a mentor needed for a successful D/s or BDSM relationship?

Absolutely not. I never had one. Granted, I took the road less traveled and it took longer to get there, but I’d like to think of my own D/s relationship as successful.

Whether you want a mentor there to assist you, for as ever long as you want, is entirely up to your preference. Some prefer the community in whole, some thrive on a one-to-one basis. It really depends on your personal views.

Should a submissive find a submissive mentor and a dominant find a dominant mentor? Or can they cross?

It depends on personal preference. Though I’m sure a submissive mentor could impart knowledge that I couldn’t fathom, I think learning from both sides of the dynamic could be a fascinating and enlightening experience.

Some people prefer to work with someone of the same dynamic while others like to work with the opposite to gain some insight into the mind. I’m sure personal preference also plays a part.

In my experience as a mentor, I’ve mentored both dominant and submissive people and have enjoyed answering questions to both sides of the dynamic.

Do you still mentor?

I do! The door is always open for people of any background or nationality, if you think I’m the right person to help you. If so, I’m happy to chat with you for as long you want so you can feel comfortable with me and make sure you still want that line of dialogue to be open.

Take your time deciding what’s best for you. You have all the time in the world to learn or to build a friendship and trust with the person that you want to be mentored by. Follow your heart and soul and you’ll be perfectly fine.

World Mental Health Day

Hi there,

How are you today? How have you been this week?

Today is World Mental Health Day and I just wanted to tell you that if you’re having a really shit time, please hang in there. You’ve got what it takes to keep going, no matter how battered and bruised and hopeless it feels. Just please – keep on going. You’re stronger than you realise.

If you’re feeling like you haven’t got anyone to talk to, please – look into talking to someone, either a professional or a friend. There is no shame in telling people how you feel – to a friend, those who matter don’t mind and to a psych, that’s why they’re in that line of job. They want to help you.

I was diagnosed with panic disorder and anxiety when I was 25. Suddenly, my weird mood swings and anxious periods across my entire existence made sense. I was suffering anxiety.

Through acknowledging what I have, by not undermining who I am as a person outside of that disorder, I have come to live a happy and mostly functional life. I still go through times where I question conversations, where I question my job as a writer and where my sexuality and dominance suffers because I freeze on the spot and disrupt a scene or sexual tension. It’s the most devastating and soul crushing thing.

But reading about it, hearing from others who struggle with it, has led me to understand what I suffer and how I can come to combat it. It has brought me awareness and education and a means to live as close to a healthy life as I can.

You’re not alone. You’re never alone.

If you EVER need an anxiety buddy, I am one message or email away. That extends to everyone.

Love and hugs to all. Take care of yourself.

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.

Untitled

Sickeningly sweet and twisting.

Why do we act the way we do?

Winding tightly around your skin.

What drives us to do the things we do?

Your breath catches on your cracked lips.

Why are we so scared to make an action?

You can feel the heat flush over every inch.

Why are we so scared of ourselves?

Your heart is pounding in your ears.

Is it any less real if you ignore it?

A dull light flicks on in the corners of your mind.

You cannot hide from who you are.

Your head is bowed before the sink.

The more you run, the stronger it gets.

You try to get it under control.

This is who you really are.

Acid rising in your throat.

Take a breath and let it in.

Incoming Rant and Ramble about being a BDSM Mentor

Grey sky leaking the bedroom windows, a soft rain on the roof over my head – laying naked in bed this winterly morning, I’ve been reflecting on my time acting as a mentor, of sorts, to those that have wanted or needed a recurring figure and friend to help them in their own journey, be they new and learning or savvy to the ways but finding new wrinkles in their mind.

When I first learned that such a thing as a BDSM Mentor existed, I didn’t really know what to make of it – was it key for some special sexual dynamic? Another riff on addressing one as ‘Sir’? It wasn’t until I read up on it, and read thoughts from the community on this here internet, that I realised what it was. And it spoke to me.

A mentor needs no ceremony, no bells and whistles, no special speech assigned to them – they merely are a friend on standby, someone to offer resources and guidance, someone who stands by the individual for as long as the individual needs their help.

A mentor is a preference though – one does not require a mentor. I didn’t have one, I stumbled through knowledge and here I am – and if someone like myself can do it, anyone can. No, a mentor is purely for those who feel they need the guidance. Someone to drop in and chat.

So in late 2016 / early 2017, I started to give it some thought. Could I be a mentor? Do I know enough? Can I help others? Am I worthy of their time? I doubted myself but my desire to help others where I struggled won over. I ran it by my kitten, clearing misconceptions, making sure that – if I were to chat with anyone about these things, man or woman, that she would be comfortable with that notion.

So I began to offer it more openly to readers here, being sure not to push the concept or make any shy person feel obligated, as I sometimes have been known to feel. I just wanted people to know someone could chat with them.

It became a thing of growth for me. I learned to be careful of influencing others with my own thoughts on kink, instead creating a space for them to feel at ease in their own skin. I listened and didn’t speak unless they asked. It’s not my place to interfere, I didn’t want to put thoughts in their head. If they needed a push, Well I would do that gently and only if I felt it was safe to do so. I didn’t want to rewrite their thought process.

Since 2017 I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to help people work through some of their own thoughts – and seeing these people go on to happy D/s relationships has been a beautiful and fulfilling thing for me, knowing in some tiny way that I helped them. It brings a tear to my eye.

It’s strange to me, when someone approaches me and apologises for their scattered email of thoughts or for wasting my time – because I’ve never had a problem with any of that. I’ve never felt out by an email, never minded wandering thoughts – as I’m the same – and I make the time to check my emails and blog. More than that, perhaps I think it’s strange because I can see myself in that person – scared and doubting, unsure about what they’re doing.

I don’t offer mentoring as much as I used to. A flare up in my anxiety caused me to doubt myself, leaving scars that remind me of those troubling thoughts – Who are you to offer that help? No one wants a stranger interfering. Just stop what you are doing.

But I try to relent and push through and still offer help where I can, because once in a while someone will write and say they’ve been trying to write for months but couldn’t overcome their own anxiety.

Being a mentor and mentoring fulfils my soul in many ways, but it has taught me growth. I’ve learned about who I am, about being a teacher, about the sides within me that someone I’m helping helps me see in the first place, thus teaching me.

It’s just a wholesome, lovely thing. And the fact that this person trusts me enough to let me in and help? That’s an honour.

The Many Ways In Which You Can Assert Dominance

Whether you’re new to being a dominant, or you’d like to try OR maybe you’ve hit a brick wall and a dry spell, regardless – there’s a few different and exciting concepts you can tackle to see if they work for you (and perhaps your partner in crime!) personally!

Dominance can be split up between the psychological and the physical. The psychological can relate to tasks such as writing essays, using body language and implementing concepts in which the dominant’s presence can linger within the mind of the submissive. The physical can relate to bondage, spanking, impact play, hands on bodies – the list can go on and on to really creative ways.

Something to consider here is what comes naturally to you as a Dominant. Get to know yourself, your limits and your tastes. Understand what it is you’d like to explore, what it is that drives you as a Dominant. What are some concepts that speak to you? What excites and stimulates your mind? What triggers that side to come out? Personally, I find that when confronted with a concept in BDSM, I slip naturally into the dynamic. I can feel that energy surging within me. It’s there.

As a counterpoint though, sometimes my anxiety creates interference with the broadcast and I can’t think or feel properly. If you’re like me, and you don’t know how to proceed, take a deep breath and think about using your voice, your body language.

A most important aspect to consider is your submissive. What are their interests? What would they like to explore? What works for them that will also work for you? Together, have a think about the concepts you’d like to touch on together, about the dynamic you’d like to have.

When it comes to matters of the psychological, I like to think about the ways in which I can leave a small piece of myself with her – to remind her of my ownership, of my presence with her to protect of her, of my love.

Concepts like dressing her, setting tasks like having her express a mantra each meal of the day, have her kneel before our bed and ask if she can share it with me, having her sleep naked, setting writing tasks like small essays, journaling or writing short erotic stories about what she enjoys.

Think about ways in which you can torment the mind of your submissive, to tease and taunt – but keep in mind at all times to be fair and within a safe environment. Remember to put your submissive first.

When it comes to matters of the physical, consider activities such as rope play, collaring, restraints and ball gags. Extend that line to thinking about ways in which the two of you can explore the environment together.

Keep in mind that this is my own D/s dynamic – everyone is different and has different needs and desires. Maybe this will work for you both and maybe it won’t.

Remember to be open and communicate with one another about your own needs – listen to one another.

On top of that, being dominant isn’t just a lush fantasy, it isn’t cause to be a dick and get your own way. It’s about being mindful of the vulnerability of another soul, it’s about exploring and harnessing the darkness within each other. It’s about knowing yourself and knowing when to be gentle and aggressive.

You’ve got this, just don’t doubt yourself.