Thank You For Your Company

For those of you out there that have heard my interview as part of the Darker Side Of Spice event, I just want to thank you for coming along and supporting some positivity and good will in the community.

I’m just a regular garden-variety guy working on a little BDSM blog in my own corner of the world, so opening my blog or my twitter or even tumblr and finding people visiting – most from Australia and New Zealand, Which is cool – I love the idea that there’s people so close to home out there reading – is a touching thing, especially when a lot of the time when I write, I’m always sure that this dark fantasy is going to be THE ONE that makes people re-evaluate their opinion of me.

And yet…through weird sea creatures and possessive shadow, through my strangest erotic nightmares, people are still here. Knowing that maybe my darker thoughts give solace to someone out there and makes them feel less alone is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Knowing that I can help iron out a thought in someone’s mind or relationship or personal growth – to be a part of that, is so touching in ways I can’t even begin to express.

So thank you – very, very much.

And don’t be a stranger, yeah? I’m a night owl, I’m always by a computer or a phone, scribbling down dreams and interactions and thoughts – you’re always welcome to drop by and say hello.

Oh and if there’s a topic I haven’t touched on, I am always looking to expand! Just run it by me and I’ll start thinking deeply!

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.

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, I thought? 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.

Is Everything Okay? — An Open Letter to those who feel burdened

Sometimes – when we’ve got questions to ask, when we’re feeling low and afraid and alone, we don’t look to anyone, we bottle it inside. Maybe that’s what we’re taught, maybe we think it’s a sign of weakness or maybe you just don’t want to bug that person.

With running my blog and leaving my door open for anyone to approach me should they want to, I unfortunately see a lot of this scared behaviour – which is to really say that I see myself – the anxious individual that doesn’t want to talk out of fear of burdening others, that doesn’t want to ask questions about their own fantasies even if it scares them terribly and they can’t eat or sleep or dream.

For those newcomers or sufferers of anxiety and depression, I hope you know that you aren’t truly alone, even if you feel like it. The people around you, your network of family and friends – they all, truly, care more than you know. I can tell you this because I’m my own worst enemy and I felt the lie before I realised the truth. My family do care. My friends DO CARE. It was me that was twisting truth, with my poisoned mind.

And hey, if you’re like me and don’t have a lot of friends, I’m more than happy to talk with you, regardless of what you have to say. Sometimes it helps running our own bullshit past fresh ears.

But if it’s a simple case of a fantasy guilting you – and this does happen more then you know. Hell, realise that I still shift uncomfortably at my own darker impulses. But if it’s a case of guilt at your own sexuality, or identification, I’ve been wandering the lifestyle myself. I’m here to talk and will never feel burdened or weirded out by what you have to get off your chest. Trust me.

I guess what I’m trying to say is — I’ve had readers of my blog who write in, expressing problems — and then they vanish. They’re from opposites sides of the world so I don’t know if they’re busy – sometimes, occasionally, they will return after they’re mended, sometimes not at all. And while I realise it’s not my place to play mediator or meddle – and I can’t help everyone – it still hurts to know that someone is suffering and they feel they have to be quiet when all they want to do is unload or scream.

Remember – you’re not alone. Anxiety is a twisted delusion. You’ll be okay. One day at a time. And —- I’m always a text or an email away, even in time zones.

On My Religion, Sexuality and Love

If you’re a long time reader, chances are you’ve read me touch on my catholic upbringing as a child and into my teens and how that affected my sexuality. Talking or writing about it at length, though, is something I haven’t done here – and for no real reason, I just haven’t felt it was an interesting topic to anyone but me.

I want to address that. However I will ask you to bear with me, it might get messy.

My father and mother were devout Catholics and raised me as such. I did the whole nine yards – reconciliation, monthly confessions, communion, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday’s, Stations of the cross, Sunday Mass – the whole shebang.

We were a conservative Catholic household and lived a conservative Catholic life. Even the sheer sight of me shirtless around the house would cause outcry. Playful or not, I cannot say, but I just wanted to raise this point.

When I was 12, I started to catch on about sex. My dad, when confronted with the notion, told me flatly ‘Yeah, we did!’. As an adult, my mum would tell me it was my dad’s job to address it as she did to my sisters. As an adult, my dad would tell me he never did enough for me. I wonder if he remembers that conversation.

As a 12 year old though, I was weird sexually. I’m taking masturbation in the weirdest places, I’m talking being excited that I’d have the house myself so I can be naked, I’m talking the primal masturbating in the mud in a frenzy – weird.

Thing was, I was making sense of myself. I found the pulse within myself that reacted against my catholic teachings to be naked, to be primal, to fight back against the feelings of shame – which I very well have now writing this, even though I understand how implausible those feelings are.

This reactionary behaviour paved the way for me to explore myself sexually as a teenager, which led to writing erotica and eventually to the wide world of BDSM and kink.

Looking back as I write this, sex – for me – is a battle between two minds. There’s the part of me who is relaxed and in control and vibrant and flourishing and then —- there’s the insecure part of me, questioning – constantly questioning, telling me that what I want, what I’ve always wanted, won’t be accepted. Somehow I know this to be a product of what I was taught, teaching me that to be naked, to want degradation, humiliation, is all wrong. Disgusting.

These days I have good control over the other part of my brain, though it does exist during my most intimate moments. However, during my twenties, that wasn’t the case.

I can distinctly remember feeling the rush of being in the moment, sexually and as a dominant, and then coming down from that high terrifies, not knowing what that meant, guilty because of my actions – my need to command, to dress, to be sadistic.

I thought I was in the wrong for years, with every kinky discovery bringing with it a wave of shame and a terrifying feeling that, after so long of living my life, I would have to reboot EVERYTHING I knew. This feeling, this scary realisation, led me to suppress it, at this point strengthened by the fact that I was in a relationship with a woman I loved but had zero interest in kink, D/s or BDSM.

Hell, I don’t even know now, years later, if my depression and anxiety is merely hereditary or a manifestation of my upbringing as a conservative Catholic. I can only guess and say it’s hereditary plus the upbringing PLUS my social experiences as a teenager. I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was shy. I was quiet. I still am.

What helped me, what still does – is trying to remember that my own development is important, that my happiness is important and that people like you, my dear readers, or kitten will accept me and my kinks and that it doesn’t mean I’m insane or sick or mentally ill.

These days, I’m not a practicing religious person – but I am spiritual. I live by a set of rules – to be kind to people, to love openly and accept everyone. I pray for my loves and my life and my animals but I consider my relationship between myself and God something entirely different to what’s prescribed in the bible. If that makes me agnostic or something, so be it, but I’d like to think that love is all you need and that if God exists, He – or she – would want me to be happy to my fullest extent. Outside of that, I try to be as kinky as I want 24/7. True to myself, in other words.

So was religion / being religious the catalyst for my feelings during sex? My anxiety? My development as a man? I’m not sure. I cannot say. I’m only a writer, half naked, musing to himself on a cool Monday morning.

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.