Power Exchange, BDSM and Mental Illness: How We Cope.

There are certain things that I think about, quite a bit. Especially in terms of Power exchange, Chief among those is self care and mental well-being of my slave and any other s-type I am currently involved with or protecting.

Sure physicality is a big part of everything, and it’s fun, cathartic, leaves some pretty spectacular reminders for a while, and is the primary focus of many a BDSM relationship.

But.

That’s not where Power exchange REALLY shines.

As a Master there are other things that create and encompass the power exchange. Recently my slave has been in one of her “lows” it becomes difficult for her to summon the will to function within a normal headspace. Things like dragging ass at work, reluctance to get out of bed, low self image, and a constant need for reassurance that I do infact love her and she is worthy of it. There is more but I think you get the gist.

There are however things you can do.

So in a normal non power exchange relationship as well as a power exchange the most important thing you can do is identify what you’re dealing with, as my slave is rather private about her struggles I will leave her illness as hers to tell – however if you put 2 and 2 together from here, as well as entries on her blog you get a fairly clear picture.

So after diagnosis (professional help is important here), In addition to therapy and medication (if applicable), what can we as Masters/Dominants do ?

Largely the onus is on the slave to follow through with Masters orders – For me, the primary is for my slave to take care of my possessions to the best of her ability, and most cherished of those is she, herself. So the slave should learn what she can about her illness, coping strategies, properly adhering to medication schedules, and other forms of self care during issues. Even the slave recognizing the onset of a low, or other issues can go a long way in offsetting potential damage.

So what do I do when my slave hits a low ?

Well, I will admit I am not as rigid in the power exchange as I would be when she is at 100% – this is not to say the power exchange disappears, however I may do a bit extra to reassure her that everything is OK, and that I still love and value her and her service. Ensuring to remind her to eat, shower (the power of hot water is not to be underestimated), basics that might otherwise go neglected.

That said, I have been known to call her out on behavior that leans towards her lows, and knowing her well enough to push the issue when I have to. Structure is important to people with mental health issues, and not straying too far from routine can go a long way in dealing with/shortening episodes.

Now I should add that these particular coping methods are how I and my slave deal with mental illness in OUR dynamic.

That said something you should keep in mind is that dealing with mental illness can be incredibly stressful for the Master as well, and after an episode passes, I highly advise doing something FOR YOURSELF to depressurize, refocus and recharge, so that the power exchange can continue with as little disruption as possible. It can be just as draining for the Master as it can be for the slave, and as I mentioned, staying as close to routine or normal as you possibly can is in my opinion the best thing you can do for both parties.

In the end making sure that the Master keeps the slave accountable for their actions, because mental illness is not excuse for a lapse in deference or service – there should be consequences to actions no matter the circumstances. Educate yourself on the illness in question – BOTH of you. It is an excellent opportunity for essays,  formulating coping mechanisms, and strategy. Read blogs of people who have the same illness, medical journals, documentaries, learn voraciously, because knowledge is power.

In the end both parties need to work at maintenance, and do so together, which, is the key to success in any sort of authority exchange (if not vanilla) relationship.

***These are my thoughts and my experiences alone, your results, methods and experiences will likely be different but I do hope at the very least I may have given some insight and perhaps a starting point for other dynamics who find themselves in the same boat that we are in.***

 

Regards,

 

Syn.

Consideration: Like Test Driving for Power Exchange.

I recently decided to bring back an old tradition very few seem to practice anymore, and I’m not sure why more don’t.

Consideration.

In a power exchange relationship or at least the more traditional D/s or M/s dynamics there used to be a period of consideration which may or may not include a collaring. For myself it did not include a collar – for me a collar is a VERY special recognition of my belief that you will fit well into the lives of not only Myself, but my slave as well.

So what IS consideration?

To me (and from much that I have read) it is a period where an S-type requests to be considered for a permanent position (and collar) with a dominant. Now I would think that a slave or submissive would also want to check out the dominant. Think of this consideration phase like a test drive or (if you’re old enough) going steady. The submissive would be given rules to adhere to ([different or less than] the rules she would have as a fully collared S-type within the Master’s house). It allows the Master to evaluate the submissive – and see if the fit would work within his house, as well as setting up a rough plan for how to improve upon, and integrate her skills to fit his needs.

In the reverse, it is also a chance for the S-type to check out how the Master does things, and see if he would be a good fit for her goals as well. After all – a babygirl would have one hell of a time with a disciplinarian focused dominant and would not flourish, which if they’re both astute, they should realize quickly. It is also a chance for the submissive to prove to the Master she could also settle into a pecking order with other S-types and blend into service with them with as little disruption as possible.

For these reasons alone I think it is more than worth waiting to collar an S-type. How many times in vanilla life (or other kinky dating) did you get through  a month or two of dating and realize you were completely incompatible ? Probably made it difficult (or at least awkward) to break it off I’d assume?

If both parties go in KNOWING that this is the equivalent of a test drive, then there should be less hard feelings should one party decide the arrangement won’t be for them.

Now the consideration phase should still include things like first meetings, safe calls, and negotiation without any power imbalance. Setting guidelines amicable to both is paramount so that the consideration phase can have as high as possible of a chance of succeeding.

Most will also Adhere to this being a time when the S-type is essentially “off-limits” to other Dominants, as they are considering moving into a heavier commitment with the Dominant who is considering them. Some also impose a set period of time for the consideration phase, with renegotiation able to happen at the end of that period. Renegotiation could either be another consideration phase, or moving into a training collar.

To some this may seem antiquated or like “too much work” – however to me, and at this point in my life I have decided that it is neither. I have my slave, and I love her dearly, she proved, bled and earned her collar through service, hard work and PROVING she wished to give her all to me. Why should I accept less from a potential partner ? For one who truly wishes to join her and I on a journey, we will give her our all, so she should be prepared to pass the consideration period, and give as much as we will give in return.

Too many times I see “velcro” collars.

Oh you’re owned by so-and-so?

oh, that was last week ?

So you’re now owned by So-and-so?

Oh, that was yesterday ?

Today you’re owned by someone else?

This does not show me a true desire to submit, Defer and need anything but a fashion accessory around your neck for an ill percieved “status” symbol.

So why would I waste my time? I certainly wouldn’t waste yours.

 

In Leather,

 

Syn.

The Perfect Storm (Or: But wait! There’s MORE!)

You know that Movie from 2000 The Perfect Storm ? No? you should go watch it, seriously, because I’m about to use a part of the ending from it as a comparison, and I don’t want to be THAT dick that spoils a really good movie for you.

*********

So at the end of the movie there’s a Scene where a MASSIVE wave has overturned the Andrea Gail and George Clooney’s character is in the wheelhouse and pushes Mark Walberg’s Character out and to give him a chance to survive, while retreating into the darkness ?

I can kind of empathize with Clooney at this point.

Now I’m not intentionally trying to be melodramatic, but today has been one of those days where the water just kept rushing in, and more and more keeps piling up.

So what’s going on you may ask ?

First off, dot and I are fine, dealing with everything but realistically our relationship is as strong, if not stronger than it’s ever been .

On another relationship front, things aren’t so good. Today dot and bubs ended their relationship. Now I have known for some time that dot was feeling used, and unnoticed by bubs, and I tried to tell bubs as such without overstepping into a territory that would force them into a relationship. However, there was no follow through on certain things from bubs, and dot, being very logical and of no time for that sort of thing ended up pulling away to the point where she ended things earlier today.

Which leads into me.

I am now at a junction, bubs and I haven’t been doing well from a TPE standpoint at all – and I have discussed the things she needs to work on, however these things have come to a head and it compounds with her BPD escalating, her thinking the thought that she is now going to lose me, because the triad we had searched for never really stabilized.

My issue is this – Recently I have felt as though the last 3 months have just gone in one ear and out the other with bubs, simple concepts I would expect someone under consideration to grasp and execute are just NOT THERE. Or my word is taken as a suggestion not an order, even after punishment and re-evaluation,  the same mistakes are continuing to be made. SO now I have some thinking to do.

But wait! There’s MORE!

I am also watching two families implode, my leather family is having their own struggles with BPD, their other partner and things in general.  I feel rather helpless thinking I should be doing more to help, but also knowing I can’t until things settle with them all. Not to mention their partner who is basically my sister is training her three girls and dealing with their recent issues and fuck-ups still haunting them, and dealing with that.

But wait! There’s MORE!

Work is having an issue with a young man who works for us who doesn’t know better than to discuss with clients how fucking wasted he got last night, etc, and even after telling our manager repeatedly, she refuses to take action to discipline or fire (which is the only real choice). This drives me fucking crazy. I’ve talked to the kid, but being unable to discipline him, it goes in one ear and out the other. At work, sadly I am a dog without teeth, nothing more than my words. And no matter how I approach it, I’m stuck bailing out water with my regulars because of this irresponsible jackass child and the weak person in the authoritative position to correct it.

But wait! There’s MORE!

As of tonight we may be hosting someone from the community as a “couch-guest” for a while – They fucked up with the lease on their apartment, and as such will be homeless in less than 48 hours.  Now bear in mind, we currently ALSO have dot’s oldest and her partner staying with us until they find a place. So a 2 bedroom home could possibly now have 5 people (and 4 cats) living in it for a while.

But wait! There’s MORE!

As of 4PM this afternoon (as I found out from my father in the last 20 minutes of work), My mother was admitted to the hospital because of her recent injury.  She has found herself unable to move or walk very well from a pinched nerve in her lower back – My mother is 73 and also recently tore all the ligaments in her leg due to a blackout/fall some months ago. She is currently settled in the hospital and on an IV rehydrating from lack of water, and also being treated for a lack of nutrition – due to not being able to sit and cook and the like. My father didn’t know this because mom never said a word to him or I. She was more worried about being a burden to people than being healthy, which is out and out destructive pride.

But wait! There’s MORE! (sort of)

There are some other things going on of note that has contributed to the day, however I will discuss those at a later time, because they deserve more attention and examination than a paragraph in an already comprehensive entry.

I’m feeling rather overwhelmed today (and really for the last few days and weeks), but writing was high on my list of priorities to get this out of my head….

I’m not sure of solutions or much of anything at this point, I just needed to put it in words so I can dump some of the stress, refocus and re-arm.

Regards,

 

Syn.

Fear and the Disciplinarian.

Recently as you may be aware, we have taken on a third into our dynamic. bubs is still new in the kink/Power exchange world, but is currently under consideration to be my submissive.

I can’t help but feel as though this is a test from whatever force you believe is directing us on this floating rock.

A test I feel as though I am barely keeping my head above water on.

I got incredibly lucky with dot – she had been in the lifestyle for many years, and was long since trained as a submissive when she met me, and as she reminds me she has the slave heart she has always been submissive minded, it is something you are born with.

With bubs she is new, and honestly I’ve never “trained” a submissive before…. So this is all undiscovered country with me. I’ve done my best to guide her towards making better choices, and teach her as much as I can about power exchange – along with trying to teach her how to be more assertive in life, and make healthier choices.

I suppose I take for advantage (in a way) that dot and I have come very far from where we were at bubs’ age, we’ve put in the work, had less than stellar pasts and come out of the other side of our crucible, stronger and with many more life lessons to draw on.

In a way I am envious of bubs…at her age I wasn’t quite done making my mistakes yet, and the spectacular ones were just starting to pile up. I think if I had come into the community earlier I might have found the part of me that was missing sooner….but as they say – everything happens for a reason.

Now, why do I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water in this situation ?

Part of this is my own doing.

bub’s and I had a conversation some time ago, about me not being as strict on her as I should (can) be, and I vowed that in order to be authentic and truthful to her I was going to tighten up and be as much of a disciplinarian with her as I am dot.

This has not been the case.

Up until now I’ve been scared… scared of scaring bub’s off because I can be a pretty demanding hard ass. I do it out of love but it can be way too much for some people, and I can’t help but think it was that raw part of me that scared off the hellcat as well…. I voiced these opinions to both dot and bubs and I was assured that was not the case.

So now what ?

Time to actually tighten up and start expecting more, if I fail to be the Master that I am, then I am not being authentic. That won’t gives bub’s the -real- me, and thats not fair to her…. Nor is it fair to dot because I don’t let her get away with anything, I should expect no less of anyone else joining our house.

Moving forward I WILL be tougher, not overly so, but I will make it comparative to what I expect of dot, it is fair, and to do less would lessen a TPE structure I have already built, and another one I am hoping to continue to build.

 

Regards,

 

Syn

Trust, Submission, and Leaps of Faith.

Trust is an odd thing, it takes a long time to build, but can be achieved in small measures with a leap of faith.  Some believe Trust is earned, and others still that trust should be given freely until it is time to distrust that person.

In the context of Power exchange and Dominance and submission, (as well as for my purposes speaking from the left side of the slash) I am going to  talk about a leap of faith.

**Please intersperse the respective power exchange identifiers with whatever you wish dynamic/gender (or non-gender) wise – for the sake of this writing  I will be using Master/slave in a male Master/female slave combination.

In a TPE there are two choices – Either the slave trusts her Master to work for her best interests or she does not.   This is not to say she can’t question if the need for clarification is strong, I encourage questions, because everything I do concerning those in my care has a very good reason.  If the word of the Master has been agreed upon as final, then arguing further after a definitive statement is Insolent and cause for either discipline, or if grievous enough termination of the relationship.

Now, at the beginning of any TPE, a Master should assume a learning curve and be somewhat lenient. A little more so if the slave is new or inexperienced.

That said:

The onus here is on the slave to trust her Master implicitly in that what he does or orders is with her best interests at heart.  If the slave wishes to earn some autonomy to make her own choices then showing good judgment in caring for her Masters property (herself and his other belongings) is the best way to do it. Many Masters wish to micromanage to a level of minutia, however many still do not wish to be burdened with choosing two outfits, two meals, or a haircut for he and his slave. I for one, don’t know a goddamn thing about female fashion – So I let my slave dress herself for the most part unless there is a particular outfit I want to see her in. However  she EARNED that right through smart and adult choices and measured reactions to situations.

Now the other side of the coin – If mentally the trust is there, then it should extend to all things, including the physicality of S&M play.

Some would argue this is mental as well, and I would agree wholeheartedly – however the slave must trust the Master to know when enough is enough – generally endorphin rush and subspace (slave space) can lead to the slave disregarding her physical limitations and end up taking more pain than is safe to handle. I have been told by many a masochist that the urge to take and take and take can outweigh the need for self preservation. The slave must trust that when the Master says no more, it is because he doesn’t want her to be unable to move, or sit, or function the rest of the week – a bedridden slave due to a severe beating will be unable to perform her duties, or carry out tasks, both special and mundane.

Finally trust leads to consequence.

Consequences for failing to trust ones Master can take many forms – one of which is punishment from her Master as I mentioned earlier.

Then there are the unintended consequences  – An example: The slave knows that she can ask for play from another Master (who may be adept at something her Master is not) and as a reward receive permission to do so.  So the slave wanders off to have her pussy tortured. Now bear in mind this is all with her Masters say so…. because he felt to reward her. You would also have to understand that should the Master require the use of his slave for sexual gratification, now her pussy is either unusable or painful enough that penetration causes issues, and As such she is unusable by her Master for that purpose for the next few days.  (this scenario becomes more evident if it is a slave or submissive who has to safeword due to pain).

Trust in your Sir to know your physical limitations sometimes better than you do, his JOB is to ensure you are healthy (mentally emotionally AND physically), happy and sound.  With that said the end game goal is to know how to achieve these things on your own, even if you are uncollard, or unowned – it just helps to have someone there to watch over you and ensure that if you fall of the path to these things you get right back on.

In the end Trust in a Power Exchange is something that At first requires a leap of faith to surrender control, however by constantly  trusting your Master more and more great things can be achieved, and massive growth for both partners is possible, along with the relationship.

 

Just a few things I’ve been rattling in my head, I could clarify more, however for now I just want the thoughts Out there.

 

Regards,

 

 

Syn