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Thursday, August 11, 2011

THE ART OF DOMINATION, THE POWER OF SUBMISSION: Switch It Up! Understanding The BDSM Lifestyle by Cassandre Dayne



Switch It Up! Understanding The BDSM Lifestyle by Cassandre Dayne

In my continuing journey, as it’s really become, to not only bring to my readers certain aspects of enjoying sexuality in ways that might seem to be a bit taboo to others. As an erotic writer, there are aspects of true kink that we can’t insert into our books and no worries there because the last thing I want to do in personify any activity that is truly horrific or against the law. BUT…there are sexy aspects to actual lifestyles that are whispered about and craved in secret.

Talking about BDSM is not new and not for me on this forum. However, the more I talk with Domme’s and Dom’s about their interests and then try and have discussions with others – whether writers or readers – I realize there are not only continued serious misnomers about the lifestyle but a fear that mentioning they might light to try a D/s situation is something akin to mentioning you have murderous feelings.

First of all I don’t think you can seriously write about BDSM without knowing something about it. That doesn’t mean you have to TRY everything but you do have to do your research. A pet peeve of mine are folks that attempt to write it and they think that playful spanking or aspects of pain such as a sadist would consider doing is the lifestyle. It’s not. It’s also not just about tying people up and having your way with them. On the flip side – it’s not about allowing the D to inflict and enjoy pain. That my friends is called sadism.

So…am I am expert? Oh God no. But I do talk and read and read more. I’m involved in an Internet group called FetLife. It’s a wonderful resource for learning about many levels of kink. Let me tell you, it there’s something you’re interested in learning about you’re going to find it there. From figging (the art of using ginger as a control method for discipline) to medical play, spanking to group sex – you can find a group or a group of people that share your hungers.

The people involved are from every walk of life including doctors and lawyers to mechanics and stay at home mothers. Before you snicker, you have fantasies as well, don’t you? Some feel confident to be themselves while others hide behind a mask. Their pictures may be of themselves in various stages of engaging in play while sometimes they are stock photos purchased and used but generally the pictures give you an indication of what they enjoy.

I’m also involved in several secret “rooms” on Facebook what have mostly writers with some readers that enjoy the erotic genre as well. I posed the question – have you ever been interested in experiencing a D/s relationship and if so, what drew you to the thought? Let’s just say it got very chilly in the rooms. Granted, it was early in the morning but it brought to light how people are so afraid of the concept. Now as the topic continued this morning – I’ve heard more realistic thoughts but so many believe that they’d prefer romantic sex than tying their partner up. There again, that is only a tiny aspect of some D/s relationships.

Another curious thing is that my books that sell tend to have aspects of BDSM in them. Spankdown is about a card game that I read on a real life, spanking site. Many people consider themselves “spankos” and hunger for discipline that includes spanking.

Whether you have a HOH (head of household) situation where the man or woman rules the roost and the other receive maintenance and/or punishment spankings or you occasionally engage in more of a play spanking – people really seem to enjoy. The card game gave you the number of spanks seen on the card. The two doubles the number of strikes. Yes, different implements are used. What’s funny is that people feel comfortable devouring the stories in the privacy of they homes but are cautious at admitting their needs either to their partner or friends. Well, I guess that’s what makes a fantasy, right?

When you join FetLife – you can be you or anybody else you want to be. I admit I use a cute pseudo on the site but folks know I write as Cassandre Dayne. And yes, I put on the site some things I life. It doesn’t mean I’ve done them all but I have no problems admitting that I crave having a dominant male over me. There. I said it. Horrible? No. In my real life I am very bold and bodacious. It comes across in my personality, my clothes and my sexual appetites. I dare say it probably comes across in my writing as well.

Does it mean I’m going to leave all that I have and run away with a dominating guy? No. It simply means I can enjoy playing out my personal fantasies on paper.

I also find that many men truly want a dominating female. Is this a product of our lifestyle in that men are traditionally the breadwinners and therefore feel the need to give up control? Perhaps. This is my opinion but I think that the way men perceive the notion is probably closer to reality than how women do. How so? The D/s lifestyle is more about control and not pain. The majority of women that I ask say – oh I’d love to be spanked but I can’t tolerate any other levels of pain. Men say they are intrigued by the thought of being helpless and unable to do anything. It’s interesting the difference.

I have several men friends that are comfortable enough with me to allow me into their psyche and their hungers and have shard their greatest fantasies regarding living a lifestyle with a Domme. They have various reasons why but basically they feel the need to give up control and feel free and alive. That’s really a huge part of the lifestyle – giving up control and it’s completely freeing.

Others try and achieve the lifestyle. If you are curious at all, I suggest you try the site. You can locate others in your area, have basic discussions and ask questions, find a friend or two and compare notes and also potentially meet someone. Now, here’s where I give the word or five or warning. Just as with every Internet site or sex club or every day life, there are predators so I caution you not to simply decide to meet someone. As with any developing relationship there has to be trust. I’ll get back to the trust word – which is huge in the lifestyle – in a minute.

I recently attended a conference in Louisville that was geared more toward the movie industry than anything but they had some wonderful panels for writers including erotic writers. I shared several panels with some great folks and learned a lot. One panel I was asked to be on was BDSM. Now…there were two or three on the panel that openly said they weren’t sure why they were on the panel in the first place. They had barely written a scene in one of their books and they truly hadn’t done any research.

That’s part of the problem writers – research before you put it out there. Whether you’re trying to put a scene in that includes a playroom full of apparatuses – including the “X” cross (St. Christopher’s cross) or a spanking bench or even whips and canes – you need to really read on how and why they’re used. If you put something out there on paper I can guarantee someone is going to try it and people can get hurt. You’ve read about forms of asphyxiation and people use that in some heightened levels of BDSM – not something I’m interested in but if you write about the act you better know what you’re talking about.

I shared the panel with an every day Domme – who is a writer as well as shares her life with a man, her sub that she calls her slave. She was very concerned that the wrong message was put out to the masses and while by the end of the panel she realized I certainly had at least done my research, she offered to continue my education. Since then she has friended me on FetLife, sent me a copy of her highly respected non fiction book, At Her Feet, and has answered question after question for me.

Tammy Jo Eckhart’s comments at the show really sunk in with me. BDSM is about trust and control and a contract. What I found interesting after I left is that I had questions, mostly from men, that wanted everything from a quiet drink to having me wield a whip – there is that sexy connotation that some people have. I’m not sure the majority of people would call BDSM romantic; but then again, perhaps for some it is. For me personally I hunger for a strong man that understands me both sexually and emotionally. For me personally discipline would be involved but punishment comes in many forms, not just whips and chains – another misnomer.

What I want to leave you with today is the word TRUST. This is the most vital word that you’re going to hear and you have to trust your partner implicitly or you’ll have a miserable time and not be fulfilled. In truth you and your partner negotiate and talk about how far you want to go with your lifestyle before you ever consider engaging and then in a sense a contract is entered into. We’ll talk about all phases in an upcoming blog.

In part two of my new series on engaging and learning about the lifestyle, I’ll give you a bit more of the nitty gritty about what you can expect. I hope you’ve enjoyed and while the majority of my books only give you a glimpse of the lifestyle, it certainly has opened some of my reader’s eyes.



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~ Lady Gina Kincade, The Mistress
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  1. Brilliantly written. I really enjoyed reading this and will await the next part with baited breath

  2. Great blog ma'am! Very informative