Why am I here? Fostering successful Total Power Exchange by challenging BDSM porn narratives

To our detriment, living gets in the way of telling…

The bois and I have had a shit couple of months. Life happened, momentarily pushing the blog aside. Big mistake. While exploring BDSM dynamics and 24/7 power exchanges, this blog was also meant to demonstrate that Masters and slaves are legitimate people. Talking and relating is an easy way of doing that.

With life coming back from the ebb to the flow, I want to reframe, reintroduce and get down to the business of telling alongside the living.

The Ethical Dom was born out of a conversation with the boi slave (Mattie). Years of combined experience within BDSM and the Master/slave (M/s) lifestyle should never be wasted. We retain a level of anonymity due to lives outside these walls, though we can still share our truths with those who relate and those who wish to learn.

Through a growing acceptance of sex positivity, kink-based lifestyles have enjoyed more positive exposure of late. A number of voices speak out, sharing their D/s relationships with authenticity. We have a responsibility to share our stories, if we have the means and confidence to do so, showing a world stifled by social constructs that what we do is neither abusive or perverted; rather, ethical. We know and understand our play/life partners arguably better than any vanilla couple could ever hope to understand. I inflict extreme amounts of pain on slaves if I so choose, but the consent is alwaysthere. It’s only ever in pursuit of our relationship to pleasure from giving and/or receiving pain.

Reflecting on my goals after a difficult time, I looked at how I can fully seize the opportunities this site provides. Legitimising a misunderstood community can be achieved by tackling false narratives and confronting those who don’t understand with the not so sexy/mysterious truth. Truth: reality can be sexy and mysterious. How? Stop competing and live authentically.

Bursting Narratives

The Porn Narrative

I love porn. A good wank is never a bad thing. I lose myself in the fantasy; beat the bishop; I come back to the real world.

BDSM porn narratives are predominantly two dimensional. Cue, a helpless ‘barely legal’ twink, shaved and ready to be brutalised by an impossibly handsome Leather Daddy.

The leather culture I pay homage to in my lifestyle is severely watered down. It’s gear for gear’s sake and nothing more – no substance, the meaning of such uniforms has no place in a base sexual fantasy.

Porn also feeds antiquated views surrounding expressions of power. In the mainstream, the only recognised expression of power is one of Masculinity, of pure brute strength, along with oodles of money and the political clout that comes with that. It’s arguably an expression that is prevalent now more than ever in this, the era of the strongman.

What of the power in vulnerability? What of a more feminine version of power, strangled by limited social constructs, and begging to be deconstructed.

Sidenote: For those that misread this – masculine and feminine are two opposing social constructs that rule our thoughts on gender; the yin and yang of a person’s energies.

In reading that back, I have realised two things:

  1. I’m not railing against porn. I’m really not. I’m railing against those that not only watch it, but choose to forget that it’s a legitimate art-form designed to provoke through titillation. It provides a quick release, a momentary dalliance with unadulterated pleasure. People aren’t always smart enough to separate reality from porn. And the argument of who is responsible (producers and/or viewers) and to what degree is perhaps a blog for another time). A small minority of Doms and subs become fixated on recreating scenes that gave them that fantastic orgasm.Rather than thinking ‘how can I achieve that within the realms of possibility?’, they set themselves up for disappointment. It’s only after things go south that they realise they aren’t porn stars. You can’t tidy up a stunt in your real world dungeon by way of a smash-edit and a stunt performer (yes, those exist within porn movies also).

Oh, and the second thing I realised? I like to talk. No surprise there.

The Abuse Narrative

Not only is the lie of porn a little too easy, it’s also just a casual rape fantasy. I’ve met plenty of submissives who come to it by way of a physical manifestation of their need to surrender control. Some survivors of sexual assault have found somatic healing to be crucial in rebuilding their lives. In recreating their trauma within a BDSM scene based on trust, they literally rewriting their narrative within a consensual space. They can absolutely be a force for good when approached with consent and trust.

There is a growing trend within porn that deals with consensual non-consent (CNC) to include a scene that’s akin to aftercare. Sub/slave is all smiles about what just transpired on screen, but it lacks the nuance of the real world. I find the need for these scenes to feed a conflict of opinions on my part. On the one hand, I love that they can be used to highlight such an important part of a D/s CNC dynamic. I can’t help thinking they are tacked on though, the majority of viewers may be too ignorant to separate the fantasy from the reality. Thus also amongst these are the people who label an entire community as demonic and perverted.

The porn industry while not being solely responsible for the abuse narrative that is prevalent in misconceptions of kink, hasn’t always helped. It deals with BDSM in heavy handed strokes. A short clip of roleplay that looks abusive without the nuances of negotiation and aftercare attached.

When you develop your opinions on the basis of weak evidence, you will have difficulty interpreting subsequent information that contradicts these opinions, even if this new information is obviously more accurate.

— Nassim Nicholas Taleb “The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

All minority communities are demonised in some way by ignorance. There are indeed abusers within BDSM. Why? Not because BDSM attracts them, but because abusers are within every single community.

Abuse is endemic in global society. And let’s not forget that rape fantasy. Even to those who would deny it, may be enticed by its taboo nature – the couple or group engaging in consensual D/s dynamics is far from sexy to a mass audience.

A BDSMer can’t discuss this now without referencing Fifty Shades. But we’ve been there and done that. This is a blog for another day, but Fifty Shades is a scapegoat of sorts. In allowing it to swallow the discussion we perhaps forget the many other instances of such damaging tropes.

Photo by Nong V on Unsplash

Kink pathologised

Kink within and outside of BDSM has been pathologised for decades, and continues to be so. Psychologists debate the relevance of the DSM.

…it is not merely a scientific or medical document. It is a manual that reflects traditional mainstream societal norms and values. It may be a medical and psychological manual, but it has also been influenced tremendously by politics, morality and religion.

— David M. Ortmann, Richard A. Sprott “Sexual Outsiders: Understanding BDSM Sexualities and Communities

With all these narratives proliferated by mainstream society, it’s easy to see how those growing up kinky think they are broken in some way. The stigma causing untold problems in their approach to relationships and sex.

Telling my story. Our story.

Busting through these narratives is continuously achieved by fetish and kink communities coming together to tell our collective and individual stories.

There are now a few fantastic sites, providing resources that speak up about the benefits of kink lifestyles. A growing chorus of people speaking their truths. Not only that, but they are doing what kinksters do best – approaching it with responsibility and a sense of liberating fun. Still quick to acknowledge risk, because it is inherent in our lifestyle – it would be foolish to deny that. But remaining aware of the risks means we can engage on a Safe, Sane and Consensual level.

So why add my voice? Because we speak in numbers. And our truths, while falling under one umbrella, are all uniquely our own. Authentic people living authentic lives is. The more of us that stand up to be counted makes it easier for those who struggle to escape mainstream narratives.

Promoting a pragmatic approach to BDSM

Promoting a pragmatic approach to BDSM helps deconstruct myths and pathologies.

24/7 is at the heart of everything I do as a Master, and everything slaves do under my control. I approach it as a state of mind. The term 23/7, which I only discovered recently, seeks to contextualise Total Power Exchange (TPE) as entirely possible while living in the real world. When my bois step out into the real world they still feel owned. It’s a mentality. I have no interest in locking them in a basement 365 days a year. Maybe for an intense, prolonged period, as part of a session, but ultimately, things would get very boring very fast.

The Total in TPE is and must be up for scrutiny. We can’t be so bent on binary thinking, black and white, no grey areas. The grey areas can be the most exciting parts of such a dynamic. Let’s entertain the redefinition of once solid definitions. And in doing so separate fantasy from reality, providing the ability to live our fantasies with truth. I blend my fantasies into reality by way of ethics.

Ethics

Consent

A Master/slave lifestyle is one based on the concept of voluntary servitude. Surrender of power on slave’s part is entirely consensual. Consent, though obscured, is ever present through the entirety of a Master/slave relationship. We navigate Consensual Non-Consent, keeping everything Safe, Sane and Consensual throughout.

Protocols

This isn’t Fifty Shades; it’s not a five minute rape fantasy on Pornhub. Protocols, the rules we abide by, the etiquette a Master instils in slave, are adaptable and malleable. To keep the dynamic from descending into something less consensual and more abusive, I mix them. Doing so also keeps things interesting.

High protocol

  • ‘yes, master, is that 2.568 cm to the left or the right?’

blended with low protocol:

  • ‘yes, master, is this adequate?’

and a little bit of downtime

  • ‘Hey, Boss, how was your day?’

There’s no quicker way to kill the dynamic than to maintain one strict dogma throughout. I’ve seen it multiple times – new Masters thinking they only need to work with high protocol. Even Master’s get bored of high protocol. And it’s not only boredom that sets in – a Master should always be aware of mental health within their stable.

Success maketh slave

Slave needs strength and determination; successful slave is a productive slave. I need my bois to achieve success outside the house. Slave may be submissive but that isn’t always passive submission.

Bend don’t break slave

A mantra I use ad infinitum. We talk of “breaking” our slaves, but in “breaking” we never actually break them. Any “breaking” is always undertaken with an awareness of risk – lasting physical and/or psychological damage is not what we are here for. You can be a sadist and come out the other side with your empathy intact.

Exposing our ethics demonstrates that the narratives formed in the mainstream (from a combination of damaging tropes and wilful ignorance) can be combated through common sense. Talking about these ethics also facilitates a more nuanced discussion surrounding the philosophies within our dynamics.

Photo by Warm Orange on Unsplash

Exploring the Philosophy of Master/slave dynamics

Introspection helps us grow and helps us define not only who we are today, but also who we were and who we will be.

The concepts we explore in a Total Power Exchange include a lot of relationship dynamics that wider society refuses to acknowledge: power, control, order… It’s in the constant struggle for equality on a base level that most couples hit a snag. I would argue, having experienced both worlds that I see more equality in a Master/slave relationship than I have had as one half of a vanilla couple. Easy for me to say perhaps, but even boi slave has said the same. Equality indeed does exist in a Master/slave dynamic, albeit obfuscated. A prominent example: slave makes what is arguably the most powerful move in a dynamic where it seemingly holds no power at all: the choice to submit.

I’m interested in ownership of Mind, Body and Soul. Within which there are grey areas which I am more than willing to explore.

Teaching Beginners

We all get off on the sexy idea of the BDSM community being somewhat clandestine. This isn’t a secret society. They do exist. It’s just not what I’m about. I prefer the vision of an accessible community, where we open our doors and say ‘come explore’. Let yourself discover whether this is a lifestyle you would entertain. You won’t find anyone forcing you down the rabbit hole, just guiding you. Those that decide to stay learn a hell of lot about themselves. And those that decide it’s not for them? They learn just as much.

Coaching

I have coached a number of people throughout my day job in finance. It wasn’t until boi slave pointed it out that I realised the coaching skills I utilise at work informed the way I train my slaves, and vice versa.

It makes me feel old saying this, but between the boi slave and I, there is 40+ years combined experience within this lifestyle. We have knowledge and experience that should be shared in an open forum.

What I offer isn’t therapy, it certainly isn’t business coaching, but between me and the boi, we can offer help in starting and improving dynamics. And I have no interest in keeping that practice to myself and a few select, self-important others.

Welcome Back

So that’s it. I’m back. And I’m ready to start over. To represent myself and what this blog will be. I’ll expand on all of the above in due course, my mission and what I see this place becoming. And life will get in the way, but when it does, I’m going to blog about it. Because that’s what this is – an average stable and a Master living a perfectly average life.

More importantly than that, we are here to have fun. Collaborate, enjoy, engage – I’m getting better at that.

Be good,

The Boss and the bois

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