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The Master’s Voice #16: Happy Valentine’s Day

Hurting the one you love.

Loving the one you hurt.

10928998_933646453321551_4622834056669050866_nOver the past few months I’ve talked about all kinds of BDSM relationships and how they work. Among the many questions I’ve been asked there have been more than a few along the lines of “how can you hurt the one you love?” Its true that I’ve not used the ‘L’ word very much, but there are reasons for that. First is that on some level , for me, it permeates all my encounters or relationships. Secondly I always knew that it was a subject worthy of its own blog.

To answer that question I will say yes, of course you can have a deeply romantic and loving relationship with a BDSM oriented partner. For a great, long-term BDSM relationship, many aspects of love have to be present, whether or not you are in a romantic relationship with that person. You may choose not to express these things as love but in a mature bonding you will accept them for what they are.

Some of the basic requirements for love are things like trust, honesty, responsibility, reliability, communication, empathy, desire, respect, satisfaction and a sense of humor. Try having a great sub dom relationship without anyone of these things and you will fail.

To help with understanding lets look at three types of BDSM relationships. First of all we have the casual encounters, whether they be one-off sessions, modelling at demonstrations or in club events. This will mostly be devoid of love or romance, but will still require trust and some mutual respect.

Secondly we have the regular, or even long-term BDSM partners with whom we are not romantically linked but which cannot be devoid of love on some level. Love without romance? yes of course. Just like the love of parents, siblings, children for best friends, you can love without being in love. When both parties can understand that and realise that it does not threaten their other romantic relationships then the link is a powerful one.

Thirdly we have the long-term, committed relationship where there is both a loving BDSM bond and the entirely romantic bond of a life-partner or partners.

Lets take a closer look at the long term or regular, non-romantic bond.10559658_262546807269767_1781677666578919213_n If a dom and their sub spend a lot of time together, whether over long sessions or through regular sessions, their relationship must grow. If this becomes stale or boring then the partnership will not last. If however creativity continues to grow over time and the responses become more comfortable between the players, then it is difficult to ignore some aspects of love. Remember we are talking about loving, but not being loved.

We may not be lovers in the traditional sense but a sub may learn to give themselves entirely to the dom in a way that they cannot with anyone else. It takes a deep empathy for the sub to let themselves go entirely with their dom. I have huge respect for any sub who attains that level of trust. I care very much for them and would do pretty much anything to help them, support them, or protect them if needed. For all intent, I love them even if I am not in love with them. I challenge any true dom to bring their sub to the point of wild ecstacy and not feel enormous pride in them for that. As a Dom I have had a great deal of experience with sub guys who are either Straight or Bisexual. Here it can be more difficult to express these feelings but they do not challenge sexuality in any way. The straight sub of a gay Master may feel uncomfortable with physical intimacy but he will feel pride in a job well done and even misery over mistakes made. Over time the relationship will become a strong bond of mutual trust and understanding even if sex or romance play no part in it.

I’ve also talked before about the importance of aftercare of a sub following a session with them. Nothing aids recovery like the affectionate contact with the dom who has just drained them physically and mentally.

True, life-long BDSM/Romantic partnerships are unusual but not impossible. I have known couples who started out as BDSM playmates before falling in love with each other. At first the play is intense because there is a true connection and it can be uninhibited. After a while, the romantic relationship becomes stronger and one or both partners looses interest in the sexual activities. For those who can see their way beyond the short term, a hiatus is followed by renewed vigor and once again the pair will return to intense BDSM activities.

As a dom, don’t be surprised at the strength of feeling you may have for your sub. As a sub, a loving master will get so much more from you so don’t resist, just be true to yourself and honest with him or her.

If you are unsure of the link between the subject matter and said Valentine then I urge you to read about the life and death of the sainted man himself. There is more than enough hurt and violence in that story I can assure you.

The Master’s Voice #15: BDSM is Good For You.

BDSM is good for you.

A bold statement, but for experienced BDSM practitioners it is no surprise. Many researchers have become fascinated with the psychology of the BDSM world and so far their findings have been very positive. Opinions are changing and something which in the past was treated as a disorder is now under serious review. The scientist in me admits that my bold statement is an extrapolation of the findings but it remains a reasonable conclusion based on current evidence.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is often referred to as the “psychiatrist’s bible”. In the latest (5th) edition, BDSM is no longer listed as a disorder but instead is referred to as a paraphilia, or unusual sexual fixation. Even in this incarnation, studies have consistently failed to link BDSM practices to any psychological problems, leading some professionals to argue for its removal entirely from the manual.

Recent studies do in fact tend to range from the ‘does no harm’ variety, to those which appear to suggest that BDSM behaviour lends itself to measurable positive mental health. So, can we truthfully say that BDSM is good for you? Well, yes, it seems that we can.

Elsewhere I have discussed the notion of the ‘sub-space’ or ‘head space’ which many submissives describe. One study (1) in 2013 found that BDSM can give similar results to focused meditation, leaving the practitioner in an altered state of consciousness. It appears that blood flow to the brain may be altered in similar ways to those previously recorded in certain types of deep meditation or in the well-documented “runner’s high”.

Some of the practitioners in the study were ‘switches’ who liked to both give and receive pain. Their role in the study was decided on the roll of a dice and they performed a cognitive test both before and after sex (the Stroop task). It was noted that those playing the ‘sub’ role performed poorly in that part of the brain known as the Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex which is linked to high level functions such as focused attention, working memory and executive control.

This area of the brain has also been associated with such behaviours as daydreaming, various drug ‘highs’ and the aforementioned ‘runners high’. We should not be surprised to learn that activating this area of the brain can lead to feelings of floating, peacefulness and of living ‘in the moment’. It can also give the impression of time standing still as well as impacting on the ability for rational thinking.

More general findings have echoed other studies where it was found that BDSM practitioners experienced fewer feelings of anxiety than the general public. There has also been some evidence to suggest that practitioners have more secure relationships than others. Of course this excludes the very specific anxieties felt when meeting a new BDSM partner and submitting to them.

Another research paper (2) published in 2013, seems to suggest that BDSM practitioners may as a general rule actually be more mentally healthy than the general populace. In this study, researchers questioned 902 BDSM and 432 ‘vanilla’ practitioners without telling them the purpose of the surveys. The questions covered aspects of personality, sensitivity to rejection, style of attachment within relationships, as well as their overall well being.

Interestingly the highest scores were achieved by the ‘Doms’ in the group as compared to the ‘switches’. Of the three groups, the submissives scored the lowest but even their scores were still higher than the vanilla practitioners. In reporting this research, the online magazine Live Science (3) explained the findings as follows:

‘The new results reveal that on a basic level, BDSM practitioners don’t appear to be more troubled than the general population. They were more extroverted, more open to new experiences and more conscientious than vanilla participants; they were also less neurotic, a personality trait marked by anxiety. BDSM aficionados also scored lower than the general public on rejection sensitivity, a measure of how paranoid people are about others disliking them.

People in the BDSM scene reported higher levels of well-being in the past two weeks than people outside it, and they reported more secure feelings of attachment in their relationships, the researchers found.’

More work needs to be done to look into the reasons why BDSM practitioners appear to be more mentally healthy than the general population. Some researcher believe that this may simply be that those practicing such activities are more aware of their own sexual needs and desires. This understanding may well lead to less overall frustration with their physical and emotional relationships.

Wouldn’t it be great to think that our need for anti-depressant drugs could be replaced by a pair of handcuffs and a decent flogger!

References:

 (1) James Ambler, a graduate student in psychology at Northern Illinois University, and presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Austin, Texas.

(2) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jsm.12192/abstract

(3) http://www.livescience.com/34832-bdsm-healthy-psychology.html

The Master’s Voice #14: To Share or Not to share

Last week I wrote about multiple members in d/s or BDSM relationships. For today’s blog I’ve asked my Alpha slave to give us his point of  view on the subject. This is one of the most common inaccuracies that I see in fictional representations of our relationships so it is appropriate that since we are both authors, he uses this same topic as a starting-off point for today’s post. I’ve added a note at the end about the role of the alpha slave but first let’s read what he has to say:

Think about a story you’ve encountered about two men in a Dom/sub or Master/slave relationship. If you read M/M romance or erotica with BDSM elements, that will be particularly relevant. (I’m talking about men here because my only experience is with the gay side of things. M/F and F/F relationships might work the same way as what I’m about to describe, but I don’t have first-hand experience of it!)

Most likely, the story will build towards the two main characters establishing a monogamous relationship – either a Master/slave setup, or else an ordinary relationship with BDSM practice included. Obviously, when you’re writing about a couple who find their ‘happily ever after’, it makes sense to have them be completely committed only to each other at the end. That is, after all, the romantic ideal for most people.

In reality, however, I think most people involved in the M/M BDSM worlds are in at least partially open relationships. Some guys have a boyfriend or partner as their ‘main’ relationship, but see a Dom on the side. Others see multiple Doms, without any of them also being their partner. The variations are probably infinite, but in my experience it’s relatively unusual for someone to have a single, monogamous boyfriend who is also their only Dom.

But what about Master/slave relationships? If they’re ‘full-time’, shouldn’t they also be monogamous?

This is where things get tricky, because I’m sure people have very different ideas of how a committed Master/slave relationship ‘should’ work. I can only talk about my own experiences and opinions, so I’ll limit this post to those.

Personally, I’ve always felt that a slave should be exclusive to his Master, but that a Master need not limit himself to one slave. If this seems like a double standard to you…well, it is, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! For me it goes back to a slave’s role, which is to serve and please his Master. Isn’t it more desirable for a Master to know that a slave is committed entirely to him, without having his attentions divided among multiple people?

In reality, of course, whether this is going to work for you will depend largely on your personality. If you can’t imagine yourself ‘sharing’ a partner with someone regardless of the circumstances, then no amount of high-minded philosophising about BDSM power dynamics is going to make it easy for you to know that your Master is seeing slaves other than you. For me it’s never been an issue at all, but that doesn’t mean everyone will feel the same way.

As with any other kind of relationship, it probably helps if both people are open with each other. Even if you’re okay with the thought of sharing your Master with other people in theory, being kept in the dark about what he’s doing with other people still might not be much fun. That’s the kind of thing you’ll want to discuss in detail at the beginning of the relationship, before either of you commits to anything long-term.

It’s also possible that you might end up sharing a Master with more than just subs, and this is where the fictional scenario I described in the first few paragraphs breaks down a bit further. How often do you see couples in books where the Master has a husband or partner in addition to a slave (or slaves)? It’s actually quite common in real life, but maybe it doesn’t fit with a fictional narrative too well!

Whether you can make a situation like that work is largely going to come down to the three (or more) people involved, which is why I think it’s so important not to rush into anything when it comes to BDSM relationships. I’m sure you have a mental image of the ideal Master/slave relationship – open or monogamous, two people or three (or four, or five…), or some other configuration that I haven’t even thought of. If you look hard enough, you’re bound to find someone else who is looking for the something similar enough that you can make it work.

And if you are writing BDSM fiction, leave yourself open to the huge variety of relationships that exist in the BDSM world. There’s a lot more out there than just plain monogamy!

Master Tim – In a relationship where the dominant has more than one slave, or submissive, the person accorded the greatest power or respect among all the slaves may be referred to as the alpha. The alpha slave has seniority over the others and may help the Dom, or Master to train, organise and even, with permission, to use them for the benefit or entertainment of his Master. The alpha may not be the oldest or the longest serving of the Master’s subs but he will be chosen on merit to fulfil the role. In my case, my alpha has served me fully and faithfully for over 10 years and come to be a significant member of my family.

The Master’s Voice #13: Caring and Sharing

This is the first of two posts about the subject of the Dom owning multiple subs or the sub/slave serving more than one Master. Today I want to start by expressing  some thoughts on this from the Master/Dom’s point of view.

I’ve been in a confirmed long-term relationship with my husband for the past 35 years, and I have no intention of changing that for anyone. I’m fortunate that he fully accepts the part of me that is Master Tim, and while he might not play an active part in the activities, he still knows all my regular subs. Over the years he has, like me, grown to see some of them as close friends who he gets on really well with.

My partner has also welcomed some of them into our home as more than just my subs. He has recognised my ability to share my deeper attachments with more than one partner without ever feeling threatened by them. He knows that he comes first for me, and always will.

Having others in our intimate circle has enriched our lives enormously in many ways. Traditional views of relationships are very deeply-rooted, and not easily disregarded. I do, however, think that we should be open to all options and consider any alternatives available to us. I dislike the broad use of the term ‘cheating’, since this is often applied to members of groups and families where everything is in fact open and honest.

Many people are now experimenting with polyamorous relationships. So long as they are based on honesty and transparency, they have much to offer. In truth, the traditional heterosexual couple is a product of biology when it was essential to procreate for the growth of the species. This is clearly not the case in the 21st century. The world is overpopulated, so we should welcome alternatives based on peoples’ spiritual rather than biological needs.

In BDSM relationships, the dynamics of the ‘dungeon’ are not always compatible with those of the day-to-day lives of a married couple, either gay or straight. Such relationships need to be allowed to evolve with heavy doses of tolerance and flexibility on the part of all parties involved.

A BDSM Dom, by definition, wants to be in control, and so the ideal situation is to have devoted subs who serve him exclusively. This may come across as being possessive, but in reality the reasons are usually more more practical. For one thing, all Doms operate differently, and they prefer to have subs who understand their ways and are unpolluted by contrary training from other Doms. Also, there’s the question of availability. If a sub is dividing his or her attention between more than one Dom, they will not always be available when needed.

I, for one, realise that this can be very unfair on the sub if, as in my case, the Dom is already in a committed relationship with somebody else. This allows for compromises which can lead to a much more realistic and fruitful time for all concerned. In my experience the relationship between Sub and Dom can be as deep and meaningful as any other.

Some couples do manage to have lasting, life-long arrangements, but they have to come up with their own rules for living, often through years of trial and error.

For me, there is only one ironclad rule: Do Not Judge.  With this in mind, always be prepared to listen and learn. Be flexible and open minded. What works for one person may not work for you, but you can always learn from it.

I would like to end with two salutary thoughts for career dominants. These situations are rarely considered or spoken about, but they are important.

Firstly, when submissive guys are swearing allegiance to me, I remind them of two exceptions ot my authority. This always generates a laugh, but it’s a fact that Mothers and lovers outrank Masters! Know who comes first in your life and respect each in turn.

Secondly, when a Dom invests time and effort in training a sub, the attachments can run deep. It often happens that the sub will later find the person that they want to spend the rest of the their life with. This can be a hard transition for the Dom, and the sense of loss can be quite profound. Personally, I love it when a sub that I’m fond of finds a partner and goes off with them to start a new life. I’m genuinely happy for them, but that doesn’t mean that the loss is easy to bear.

Now if that’s not a plot for a new novel, then I don’t know what is.

In the next posting we will look at this idea from the sub/slaves point of view.

The Master’s Voice #12: The Collar

In last week’s ‘Day in the Life of a Slave‘ post my alpha slave mentioned that he usually wears a collar while he’s with me. A collar is a pretty familiar symbol in the BDSM world. In fact, there’s a pretty good chance that a particular image came to mind when you read the title of this post: a black leather collar with a metal ring used to attach a chain or leash, much like an oversized dog collar.

Collars are used in a multitude of situations in the BDSM world. They can be an accoutrement in bondage or general Dom/sub sessions, a public sign of submission or ownership at events, or a simply a symbol between a Master and his slave. The meaning of the symbol should be fairly obvious!

As I’ve said before, elements of a Master/slave relationship extend beyond just play sessions. My alpha slave doesn’t just wear a collar in the playroom – he wears it in all sorts of day-to-day- situations, from having breakfast to cleaning up the house. That might sound a bit surreal to you, but it feels perfectly normal to us. If it does seem weird, ask yourself why. After all, you likely wouldn’t find it strange for a slave to wear a collar during a bondage session in the playroom, so why is it strange to wear it in day-to-day life? That’s where the bulk of the Master/slave relationship takes place.

In fact, for my slave, wearing a collar is enjoyable because it’s such a simple yet effective reminder of his status as my slave even in the most ‘mundane’ of circumstances. It’s probably too trite a comparison to say that it functions like a wedding ring, but it is easy to see why people use that as an analogy; like a ring, the collar functions as both a simple accessory and as a representation for a particular relationship. (It’s also round, so I guess that helps as well…)

Some people arrange collaring ‘ceremonies’ to commemorate the official beginning of a Master/slave relationship. While I can see the appeal in that in some circumstances, alpha and I have a different approach. He never puts the collar on himself, nor does he take it off; I always do both of those things, which turns every time into a small ceremony in itself. It’s a continual reminder of what he means to us, and that’s where its true value lies.

img_9914_1230351I am always proud of my Alpha and the way he feels about wearing his collar. When he arrives he likes to bring his collar to me and there is some minor ritual in the way that I fasten it around his neck. Also at the end of the day I remove it before he sleeps. I see him wearing the leather band as he goes about the tasks of everyday life and it visibly defines the bond between us. I have previously mentioned that on our 10th anniversary together I locked a necklace on him, thus giving him a permanent reminder of his place and his Master.

Whether it is the traditional leather strap, a padlocked chain, a forged metal band, or some more discrete jewellery neck chain, the collar is the most significant item in the fetish gear toybox. This has come to signify ownership, belonging and control. The collar is a visible bond between the Dom and his slave but it is also a sign to others that this slave is the property of a Dom. 029 - Copy

There are protocols here although I see them abused by those who are untrained. For example many wear a padlocked chain as a fashion accessory and then wonder why other Doms show no interest in them. Availability is shown by an unlocked chain while the locked one declares that you are already ‘owned’.

There is also a big difference in the importance of a collar worn for the duration of a BDSM session and one worn on a more permanent or long term way. Of course in ‘pup’ play the collar is purely a tool for control and the sub would assume the role of a pup as soon as the collar is attached.

When you meet the Dom who is right for you. I hope he will place his collar around your neck. Yes His collar. Wear it with dignity and pride.

The Master’ Voice #11: A Day in the Life of a Slave.

Today’s post is told mostly by my alpha slave whom some of you have met. A few months ago we marked ten years together which is something I am so proud of him for. That is not just for ten years of serving my exclusively, but for the amazing young man he has become and continues to grow as. Over to him:

This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while, the kind of resource I wish I’d had back when I first started looking into the world of submission. I’m going to attempt to describe a day in the life of a slave – specifically, a day in my life with Master Tim.

I’ve cautioned readers before that a lot of what I write here is based on my own personal experience and shouldn’t be taken as universal truth. I’m sure there’ll be people reading this who don’t recognize themselves in what I’ve written here, or whose concept of submission is radically different to mine. If that’s the case, please do leave your thoughts in the comments section. It would be great to hear from people with different experiences!

With the disclaimer out of the way, let’s get started! What follows is a brief overview of what an average day as Master Tim’s slave is like for me.

First of all, I should point out that I don’t live with Master Tim, but in the space of a year we do spend a lot of time together. When I’m not with him we communicate with each other daily (actually several times daily!), but this is going to be an account of a day when I am staying with him.

On a normal day, he’ll usually come and wake me up sometime around eight or nine o’ clock. The first order of business for me is to make coffee or tea for both of us and then prepare breakfast. This is something I’d do for myself anyway, but I enjoy doing it for him. When breakfast is over I usually tidy up the kitchen and empty the dishwasher so that he doesn’t have to worry about it.

If that all sounds tediously vanilla, let me introduce something a bit more ‘BDSM-ish’. When I’m at home with Master Tim I wear a leather collar most of the time. (And when I say ‘most of the time’, it includes when I’m doing such exciting things as having dinner or watching TV. If this seems strange to you, you’re probably looking for a different submission experience to me!) However, it tends to irritate the skin around my neck, so I ask him to put it on me after I’ve had a shower.

This is one of those things where real life and fantasy don’t necessarily coincide. Ideally I’d like to wear it all the time, but occasionally that’s not practical. Of course, it would cause some problems if I was to wear it around outside, so I don’t do that. I bring this up only to highlight the fact that the mundane facts of life do sometimes intrude on our idealized versions of reality. In this regard, being a submissive is no different being any other kind of person. Sometimes you have to make compromises! To mark our recent anniversary Master Tim locked a stylish black necklace on me. Only he has the code and I have happily worn it ever since, as a constant reminder of him.

After breakfast, I’ll usually accompany Master Tim on whatever else he’s doing throughout the day. I’ve always tried to be a useful companion to him, which for me means enhancing his everyday life rather than expecting him to cater exclusively to me when I’m with him. I look for ways to assist him with things, even if it’s something as simple as tying his shoelaces, or carrying the shopping from Tesco.

When we’re out and about together I like to maintain my role in subtle but important ways. For example, where practical I always walk on his left hand side just a short pace behind him. I also open doors for him and carry any bags or shopping that we take with us or gather while we’re out.

Again, this might all sound painfully boring to you, but to me it gets right to the heart of being the particular kind of submissive known as a ‘slave’. I can think of no greater expression of submission than striving to be someone who enhances my Master’s life whenever I can.

That includes anything related to sex, which I haven’t mentioned yet. I believe that I should make any kind of sexual activity as pleasureable as possible for Master Tim – which isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy it as well. I do, a lot! But I think that a part of choosing to submit as a slave is to always have your Master’s pleasure in mind – regardless of the circumstances.

By now you hopefully see why I’ve been harping on about keeping compatibility in mind when you’re seeking out a Dominant/submissive relationship. If you’re looking to be a full-time slave, there’ll be a lot of times when you’re not doing typically ‘BDSM’ things. You’re unlikely to find what you’re looking for if you don’t meet someone who you enjoy being around. Thankfully, I’ve been very lucky in that regard!

-Alpha Slave

The Master’s Voice #10 Seeking the Perfect Sub.

In the previous post I considered one particular type of submissive but they are not my only ‘type’. I’m often asked both by Doms and subs to define my ideal sub. What is it that I’m looking for when I’m recruiting? Maybe my criteria are not the most obvious choices, but for me they are the factors which will lift a new sub out from the crowd –  and believe me, the crowd is huge! There really are way more subs than Doms out there, both male and female, so a Dom can afford to be choosy and the sub needs to stand out as unique.

The most attractive feature to me is the right attitude. Yes, of course I look for a certain submissiveness but it needs more than that. Some submissives come looking for another man to take control of them and their lives because they are unable to manage their own affairs. I drop those like hot bricks. If you are unable to manage your own life then you are certainly not going to add any value to mine. Sadly, there are Doms out there who will swoop on the helpless and take advantage of them for their own selfish pleasure, so beware.

Another part of the right attitude is open mindedness. By that I mean a readiness to learn and a desire to experience new things.

Many of my peers express surprise at how much I enjoy working with novice subs. They see them as hard work but I see them instead as eager, fresh, hungry, grateful and mostly unpolluted by bad habits. Don’t get me wrong, I see many subs who are very experienced and very good. They, however, happen mostly to be the ones who originally came to me as novices and years later they are still returning and we are able to ‘play’ together with the ease and familiarity of a pair of well worn but comfortable shoes. Oh, and a good sense of humour and some level of self awareness are essential qualifications too.

It has often been my experience that older and more experienced subs come to the negotiations with a fixed agenda and a wish list of the things they need to have done to them. They will try to lead from the bottom in a way which leaves no room for a versatile and creative Dom to lead or dominate effectively.

The biggest turn on for me with a novice sub is the feedback I get both verbally and non-verbally as they experience something new for the first time. I expect every sane sub to come with limits, but in our negotiations I try to identify two types as we discuss them. First there are the hard limits, which must be respected without compromise. Secondly there are the ‘soft limits’ and these are carefully stored away for future investigation. Soft limits are the ones which elicit responses like ‘I’m not sure’, ‘not yet’ or, ‘I’ve not heard of that one before’. These soft limits often define the areas to be explored as trust is built and limits are being expanded.

One big difference between casual one-night-stand encounters and and the well-prepared repeat visits is that the former will almost always be the only encounter. First play-dates are often the clumsiest with fears and anxieties ensuring that things do not always go smoothly. The sub is eager to please but nervous, so when the Dom attempts to impress by going through the entire toy-box they will probably experience sensory overload and be too timid or embarrassed to return again.

I prefer the laid back approach and my main aim for a first session is to leave the sub wanting another one! In just the same way I hope I have left you wanting the next episode of this blog series!

The Master’s Voice #9: BDSM and Sexuality.

Yesterday’s post on here was presented in the form of an interview with one of my long-standing heterosexual subs. That, as expected, generated a great deal of feedback which was mostly very positive. The hottest thread of the conversation was no great surprise, as it’s a conversation I’ve been fielding for many years. It took the form of comments or questions such as “He’s not really straight though is he?” or “He’s gay/bi but just doesn’t know it yet,” or even “He’s just too scared to admit that he is gay.” and worst of all, “when he is tied up you should just fuck him. That will sort him out.” Are you serious?

I now want to dispel a few myths and clarify this whole gay vs. straight question in BDSM. I know that there are some who will never agree with my statements here but they are based on forty years of experience, discussion and observation.

Of course I understand the excitement of the whole idea of a gay man having sex with a straight guy. It is the stuff of fantasy and porn and I’m sure the same exists for the ladies too. The first myth to be dispelled it the notion that BDSM and sex are interdependent. Of course they can be and they often are, but they certainly do not have to be. They are two very different things and I believe that in essence they are not related. The need to submit. The desire to give oneself to another is far more basic than the desire for sex. If a heterosexual man has a powerful desire to experience submission, debasement, humiliation or emasculation, then surely there is no more extreme form than submitting to a gay Dom.

Of course sex can play a part in that loss of control. For some the fear of sexual use adds something to the feeling of submission. Some straight guys will even allow sex as part of the BDSM package either because they see it as the Dom’s right, or that they deserve it to happen in some way. Of course, it must be understood that even in these latter situations, the sex is still consensual and must never be otherwise.

I have learned to always keep two important ideas in my mind . I think in ‘grey scales’ where every individual sits on a line somewhere between black and white but rarely at either extreme. In the contexts we are considering here, the two lines are:

A) The Dom/sub scale where one end is 100% Dom and the other is 100% sub,

B) The gay/straight scale where one end is 100% gay and the other is 100% straight. Maybe true bisexuality lies midway between these two but it could be seen as a whole new greyscale of it’s own.

I believe that each individual sits in their own unique position on each of the scales and no two people will be the same. This for me is both the challenge and the excitement in the whole process. Every person I encounter has their own unique story. Everyone has their own set of needs, desires, experiences and limits. Perhaps this is best explained if I introduce you to some of the non-gay subs that I am proud to know or have known over the years. I am disguising their names but they will recognise themselves and some will recognise each other where they have met with me.

1) Pete: (see picture) Young, successful, wealthy, fit, entrepreneur. Pete liked to be used in rough roleplay scenes where he was ‘forcibly’ stripped and dominated up to and including ‘forced’ sex and mock ‘rape’ scenes. Pete identified as straight and he would arrive with his own video camera to record the session for replay to his girlfriend in their own kinky sex sessions!

2) Bob: Happily married very masculine guy who identifies as straight/bi. Visits once a month for utterly submissive sessions including humiliation and full D/s sex. After almost 20 years of this we have few limits.

3) James: Happily partnered straight guy who likes to submit and worship his Dom. At first this was completely non-sexual but over several years more and more sex was introduced at his request and it is now a regular part of each session. Ever since the first session, James has a tendency to ‘vanish’ after each visit for varying periods of time. This possibly allows for feelings of guilt to be resolved before he gives in to the need and calls again.

4) Harry: Bi guy who lives with his long term female partner and child. Harry is a successful business man in a position of great power and responsibility. Harry likes to escape periodically in order to experience intense bondage, and moderate pain. Sex is seen as the right of the Dom to take as part of the domination.

5) Al: Married guy who identifies as bi but believes that if he’d had access to the internet earlier in his life then he may not have married but chosen a different path. Al is a kinky sub but has a strong sense of duty and is genuinely devoted to his wife and child so would change nothing now.

6) Terry: First appeared as a 19yr old straight lad seeking use as a leather and bondage sub only. After about two years he started to ask for sex to be included in the sessions but during this time he met the girl of his dreams so he retired from the BDSM life to get married and have children. Fast forward several years and Terry was exploring kinky sex with his willing wife. He now identified as bi and not only came out to his wife but told her about his one time Master who he wanted to see again. Not only did he return as a very fit and sexy 32yr old but it was with his wife’s full knowledge. I even chatted with Terry’s wife on the phone and on one occasion I sent phone pics to her during a live BDSM session with him.

7) Ropesub: You have already met him when I interviewed him for Master’s Voice #8. This bondage sub identifies as completely straight but he is partly turned on by the fear of gay sex. He depends on the certainty that I will never break his trust.

This list is not complete but I hope that it paints a useful picture. There are no rules other that consent and labels rarely fit. We must abandon outdated and irrelevant roles and instead treat each person as a unique and special individual.

It is worth mentioning here that of the seven guys listed above, five of them had first sought out female Dominatrixes. In each case they mentioned the same reason for turning to gay male doms. They all found themselves serving Dommes who they saw as physically weaker than they were and so some part of the much needed control was missing. It was only when they gave themselves to male Doms that they felt physically dominated. I do not believe that to be a universal state at all but it was what worked for them.

In conclusion I can only urge that we forget traditional labels and start seeing ‘people’. Then the opportunities for mutual fun and satisfaction are endless.

The Master’s Voice #8: Tie Me. Tease Me.

The main body of today’s post will take the form of an interview with a sexy guy who has served me as a bondage sub for many years now. This allows me to introduce two new topics to the series and I will be expanding on both of them in the future. First is the fun to be had with bondage and bondage subs. The second is the hot topic of straight (heterosexual) subs giving themselves to gay Doms. The lead character in today’s blog post is an enthusiastic bondage sub who is a fully paid-up straight male with no interest at all in m/m sex.

Rope Sub (RS) has visited regularly for several years and is a highly intelligent and articulate guy who lives with his long term girlfriend who knows of his kinky desires but who has no interest in them at all. As far as I am aware she has no idea what he does with me and so discretion was one of the most important factors in our meetings from the start. For that reason I never contact him directly, nor do I know his name or address. This adds to the whole scenario for him and our confidence in each other after so many years, renders such details irrelevant. Rope Sub was happy to be interviewed for this blog and so I posed a few simple questions and here is the result.

Mr T: What makes you submit to a gay bondage Master?

R.S:  For as long as I can remember the idea of being tied up and helpless excited me, long before I knew that these urges were sexual. For many years I believed that I wanted bondage with women, and to a great extent that remains true, but only with myself as the dominant party. However, I found it unsatisfying to be tied by women, and once I started researching the issue online I discovered that all the male bondage imagery that really excited me was by gay bondage tops. My early experiences with male tops, who were all gay, were under the strict condition that there not be a sexual element to the play. This seems odd, as bondage play for me is inherently sexual. However, I remain straight (in that I am not attracted to men) and did not want the play to go too far. Gradually I relaxed my strict limits and was tied naked, and then one day a top began teasing my cock while I was tied. This was scary but felt good, and I realised bondage with men could contain a sexual element without it going too far. Of course, I then met you. Before you I had only met other tops once or twice before they moved, I moved, or they wanted to push my limits further than I was comfortable with. Regular sessions with you enabled me to build up trust and enjoy the sessions more. For me, submission is only possible through the exacting application of effective ropes and gags, which you are able to provide. And of course, you make teasing my cock into an art form, so I’m always begging for more! Consequently it has been a long and complicated road to get to the point where I willingly submit regularly to a gay master, but I’m so glad I have arrived now! The key point I guess is that I can only submit through strict bondage and merciless cock teasing, which you provide!

Mr. T: What’s going through your mind on the way to a session?

R.S: The journey to a session is always a strange period. It takes at least 45 mins to drive to you, and during all of that time I am excited at the thought of what the session may involve, what your plans for me are. On the other hand, the mundane details of driving to you also intrude. In my regular life the idea of allowing another man to strip, bind and gag me would be totally incongruous, so it is important I try to block the mundane details out so I can stay in ‘bondage mode’. For this reason, I often play with my cock in the car to keep myself hard, and never have the radio on. I am focussing, or trying to focus, on getting to you as fast as possible so you can put me in bondage. After that, my nerves and normal life will fall away and be replaced only by a love of the ropes, and of being bound in them by you. The 5% of me which needs to be kept roped up and gagged is a very important part of me, and you keep it well and truly satisfied. Really looking forward to making more sexy pics and videos with you too (anonymous of course), really go to town on me with the ropes, as always I shall be trying to escape.

Mr. T: Does it bother you that when others see those pics they question whether you are really ‘straight’?

R.S: Hehe I love that some people doubt that I am straight, I guess that is inevitable! In the early days I met some bondage tops who didn’t want to believe it either and tried to push my limits or even force me to have sex with them. Right from the start you have never questioned that or tried to change it. Knowing that you could take advantage of me is part of the thrill. Knowing that you won’t is what lets me completely submit to you. In fact sometimes I feel guilty after our sessions that I am being unfair not allowing you to use me fully!

Mr.T: You know I disagree with that! The fun goes both ways and I get as much out of tying up a struggling, good looking, straight sub as you do being on the receiving end.

What are your thoughts during a session?

R.S: During a session my nerves (Yes I still have nerves!) fall away and the overwhelming feeling is of being excited and aroused. Two things are uppermost in my mind. (1) Imagining how I look (the aesthetics of restraint are very important to me) and (2) the physical sensations I am experiencing. Obviously this includes the feel of the restraints, gag and hood/blindfold, but also the feel of your hands on me. The things that arouse me the most are rope bondage and gags, so real highlights of the session and feeling the rope being applied, and the times when you gag me, especially when I try and resist and you force the gag in. Despite being straight I have a big oral fixation and love having a gag rammed into my mouth and buckled tight, the bigger the better! As the session continues I am quickly reduced to total submission by your bondage, your teasing of my body and your words. I like that you are physically strong and can force me into the bondage, as this adds to the feeling that choice and free will have been taken from me. Also, being straight it adds to the feeling that I have been taken prisoner by a predatory gay man for his nefarious wishes, which is a very compelling scenario for me! By the end, when you have me rock hard and begging through my gag for release, you have broken my will completely and I am yours. My cock felt like it was going to explode last time.

(It’s hard to concentrate at work now when all I want is to be roped up on your bed….)

Mr.T: HeHe I seem to remember it pretty much did explode! How do you feel when you leave or later on at home?

R.S: Once you let me come my mind becomes very peaceful as I savour the pleasure I have just experienced and I remain very calm while you begin the (often lengthy!) process of untying me. Once I come my need for bondage evaporates but I still feel under your control until the gag is removed, which for me marks the real end to the session. Thereafter my everyday life comes crowding back into my mind and I seek to head off as quickly as possible. This is not because I do not want to be with you but because the other 95% of my mind, seemingly aghast at what the 5% has just done, demands I get back to normality very quickly. However, I am always keen to see the pictures/video of the session, which allow me to relive the session in my mind until we can meet again. I like being one of your boys, even if not as committed as some!

Mr.T: Just as well since I like having you as one of my boys and as I have said before I do not see your limits as a handicap.

R.S: Hehe I meant more that I only make fleeting visits unlike some of your other boys. I wonder if I will ever meet them!

Mr.T: Would you like to?

R.S: I’m not sure really. As I say the one time I was tied up with another guy it was a bit strange, plus I might want your attention all to myself!

Mr.T Greedy boy! Lol

R.S: When it feels so good I feel justified in my greed!

I should say that RS is a very good looking young guy with the most incredible baby blue eyes which I imagine could get him into all kinds of trouble! His love of the ropes and the aesthetics of the tying gives me the opportunity to practice my rope skills particularly the art of Shibari. As you see by his comments, he worries that I will be left unfulfilled but that really is not the case. If anything I enjoy working on him knowing that the ropework is so satisfying for it’s own sake but also that my efforts can get a straight guy so turned on that I can have him begging for sexual release. BDSM can be, and often is enough on its own and sexual release is not essential. It is all about the consensual power exchange.

The Master’s Voice 07: The First Meeting.

We’ve looked at why you should negotiate with any prospective Dom about your limits, and why it’s important to lay a lot of groundwork before you decide to meet with someone. I wish I could say that everything after that point is nice and straightforward, but of course, it isn’t. (You may be starting to detect a theme here.)

You’ve no doubt read a lot of the standard advice when it comes to meeting someone from the internet for the first time, but I’ll repeat it here anyway just in case. These guidelines are designed to keep you safe, so think long and hard before you choose to ignore any of them!

1) Meet in Public. This one is a no-brainer. Be very cautious if someone insists on meeting you in their home or in a secluded spot – there is no conceivable reason why someone should demand that you meet them for the first time in a park at night, just to use one obvious (if unlikely) scenario. If someone wants to meet in a strange place, ask yourself why that might be.

2) Be specific about why you’re meetingGenerally speaking, your first interaction with a Dom will involve more talking than playing. As with the previous point, remember that they should be trying to protect themselves as well by making sure you’re the kind of person they want in their home (or wherever else it is you’ll eventually end up). An over-eagerness to get you into a private place so they can tie you up as quickly as possible might be a sign that they’re not going to respect your wishes once they have you in a vulnerable position.

3) Have a way out. Ideally, you’ll want to tell someone where you’re going when you meet for the first time and make sure that they’re expecting to hear from you at a specific time. If that’s not possible, then at the very least make sure that you can contact someone if need be during your first meeting. This goes hand-in-hand with meeting in public.

Apart from just safety, though, there are some other things to keep in mind when arranging an initial meeting. I’ve been harping on about the fact that when you meet a Dom or a Master, you’re also meeting a person, and it applies here as well. If you meet in a coffee shop (which is an excellent place to do it, by the way), what will you talk about? Do you have any questions you’d like to ask? Have you thought about what questions they might ask you?

If you’re only planning on meeting for occasional rounds of BDSM play, then all of this might seem like something you don’t have to worry about – after all, it’s not as if you’re on a first date. But if the person you’re meeting has any aspirations towards being your permanent Master – if you consider yourself a slave, in other words – then this first meeting will be almost exactly like a first date.

By this point you’ll have be finished with the negotiations and limits-setting stages (I hope), but remember, it’s not too late for either party to realize particular meeting isn’t entirely what they’re looking for. This could be something as general as a personality mismatch, which definitely does matter in the BDSM world, or something as specific as a previously-unmentioned fetish which is a must-have for one person but a complete dealbreaker for the other. As always, the important thing to keep in mind is that you can leave at any time if you feel uncomfortable. It’s not as if you’ve committed to anything. (And actually, even if you have committed to something, you can still leave.)

But I don’t want to dwell on the negative too much. Your first meeting with a Dom or Master should be a wonderful experience even if you do nothing but get to know each other face-to-face after previously chatting online. Whether it’s the beginning of something more long-term or just a once off meeting, for many subs or slaves it will be the culmination of years of fantasizing and dreaming. Stay safe, lay the groundwork and try to ignore the butterflies in your stomach!

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