Saturday, May 31, 2014

The fine line between domination and abuse

One area that a Domme has to be very careful about is keeping all D&S play and femdom lifestyle interactions with her subby properly grounded. This isn’t always easy, especially if your sub encourages you to be cruel. For him it is all a part of his fantasy, it is some kind of dark hidden desire within him that wants to be treated harshly by a woman. I don’t mind playing the “Cruel Bitch” from time to time but the key word there is “playing”. That’s not who I am as a person, although a part of me enjoys being a little sadistic with my hubby occasionally. But I am not by nature an abusive person. I love my husband and even when I treat him harshly, I mostly do it for him. It satisfies some unusual need. It brings him pleasure in a perverse way. I’d be lying if I said I understood it all. I do not but that is who he is and what he needs to achieve sexual arousal. And the flip side to this is it provides the woman numerous benefits and perks. It can be a wonderfully satisfying lifestyle for all involved but there must be give and take.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself when I look at my marriage. I have lots of vanilla friends and family members who have rotten marriages and relationships. Some have ended in divorce and others are headed there. These women call me up and tell me of their problems and how lucky I am to have such a good marriage. If only they knew the half of it. After all, I not only have a husband who worships and adores me but he does the majority of the household chores, he submits to me making the decisions, he surrenders his paychecks to me, and he allows me to see other men socially, including having sexual relations with them if I so choose. It really is almost too good to be true.
But as with anything in life, nothing comes free or easy. A man like my husband has special needs. You don’t get the submission without the domination. If I have learned anything it’s that if I neglect dominating him, his enthusiasm for submission wanes. Some women say “Well then he is not a true submissive because a true submissive would submit to you no matter what.” Perhaps in theory but it doesn’t work that way, at least not for us. My husband is a great submissive, very obedient and eager to please. But he is not a robot. He has a soul, a very sweet soul, and he needs to be dominated in order for him to achieve fulfillment in being submissive. If I didn’t “play” with him, meaning if I didn’t dominate him in ways that arouse him sexually, then it wouldn’t be give and take. And if it’s not give and take then what is it? It would be abuse, would it not?
I don’t mean to ramble on here but I think about this from time to time. I’ve met women in this lifestyle who were very abusive to their husbands. It’s not for me to judge because I am sure the husband probably encouraged his wife to be that way but over time the D&S play more or less ceased and it became an abusive lifestyle. I witnessed women treating their hubbies very harshly, slapping them around, kicking them, locking them up in small cramp spaces when they were not needed, and cuckolding them without including them in on the fun. I question whether these women had any feelings at all for their husbands. Perhaps at one time they did but the love seemed to wax cold and all that was left is pure contempt. This one couple we met I could tell the wife disdained her husband. And it wasn’t some public humiliation scene they were engaged in that I misread. It is how their marriage evolved. She talked to him like he was dirt. She had stripped him all of human dignity and he basically existed to make her money and clean her house. If that’s what he wanted, more power to them, but it’s uncomfortable to watch.
He was feminized but she didn’t even bother to make that fun for him. She never dressed him up. He had to do that on his own. The poor guy was trying to make his lot in life exciting, dressing like her maid, wearing a self-installed chastity device, calling his wife names of endearment like “Princess” and “Goddess”. He thought he was being a good submissive, and he was, he was an excellent submissive. However, the poor guy was abused and he had the unhealthy looking whip marks and cigarette burns on his skin to prove it. But more than the physical abuse, he was carrying around the emotional scars. He wasn’t even allowed to look at his wife in her face. She forbade him to even look upon her … ever. If she caught him, she would slap him hard across his face. He always had his head downward and he didn’t look happy. Yet he was the one who contacted us. They wanted to meet other couples so she could show others how she had emasculated and degraded her husband. She thought they had a great femdom marriage. She didn’t like me at all because I refused to treat James that way. She said I was too nice to be a Domme.
I think about this couple, and others like them that I’ve met over the past 16 years, when I am being “cruel” to my hubby and it helps me keep things in balance. James needs this (domination) but he doesn’t need that (abuse) and it takes a wise woman to know the difference. And like I said, that isn’t always easy. It comes with trial and error but above all it comes with maintaining the love within the relationship. If I ever felt disdain for my hubby, I would end the relationship out of fear that it could turn into abuse.
Take the other night for example. I had placed James in the confinement room, bound and all alone in the dark, being punished for neglecting something I had asked him to do for me. He had an excuse but I wanted to teach him (and that is the purpose of punishment, to teach a man) that when life throws up a barrier, the dedicated submissive will still find a way. He will seek to please his Mistress even if the task proves to be difficult. I felt James gave up too easily on the task.
Therefore, he was being punished. After his confinement for several hours in restrictive bondage in an uncomfortable position, I released him and took him to my bedroom. There I administered 90 strikes of corporal punishment with my cane collection, 10 each from each cane, 2 wooden canes and 7 Delrin canes.

When I was done, James’ buttocks were bright red and striped and he was most repentant. Was I being abusive? Perhaps, if you didn’t understand the dynamics of our marriage you would probably come to that conclusion. But I didn’t stop there. I could have put him back in the confinement room for the rest of the night for him to dwell further on his punishment. Instead, I allowed James to worship my body.
When I administered his corporal punishment I was wearing only a silk bathrobe, nothing underneath. I dressed like this because I knew punishing him would more than likely get me aroused (yes, I have come to enjoy dominating my hubby almost as much as he enjoys being dominated, a wonderful byproduct of this lifestyle). After his punishment, I soothed his sore bottom with cool aloe then I had him kneel before me. I disrobed and took his head and placed it against my wet pussy. I sat on the edge of the bed, reclined back on my elbows and allowed him to worship me to orgasm. I could tell James was very excited. I could tell James was in that special place, a place he goes after he has been dominated or humiliated. It is a place where he is at peace and all is right with his world. How could I ever deny him this place? How could I not take him there?
Yes, it is a fine line between domination and abuse. And I would be lying if I said I always stayed on the proper side of that line. I try but there have been times when I have crossed that line but I have recognized it and was quick to get things back in balance. I can play rough at times and he likes that, he needs that, but what matters most is the heart. My heart is in the right place and as long as there is love, a.k.a. loving female authority, I am free to explore the deep, dark caverns of his submissive heart. I am still learning of him, and learning about me. There is a spiritual component to this lifestyle that I do not understand but when we experience it, like the other night, it transcends sex.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Psychopathia Sexualis

Directed by Bret Wood 

Starring:  Ted Manson,
Daniel May,
Jane Bass,
Daniel Pettrow,
Kristi Casey,
Lisa Paulsen,
Veronika Duerr,
Rachel Sorsa  

Release: 2006 

Length: 98 minutes 

Richard von Krafft-Ebing was a German psychiatrist who spent the first years of his career working in asylums. Eventually he became disillusioned with the institutional approach and switched his focus to education, becoming a professor of psychiatry at the Universities of Strasbourg, Graz and Vienna. 

Although he published numerous articles throughout his life, Krafft-Ebing is best known for the book, "Psychopathia Sexualis" (Psychopathy of Sex), which was first published in 1886 and eventually became an international best seller.  

“Psychopathia Sexualis” was actually Krafft-Ebing's second book.   His first, "A Textbook of Insanity", was published in 1879 and contained an elaborate system for categorizing mental diseases that earned him a reputation as a masterful classifier.   

Though Krafft-Ebing is best known for beginning the study of sexual behavior, his work in psychiatry, criminology, and forensic psychopathology also helped advance psychology as a clinical science. He was also a forensic psychologist who investigated the legal and genetic aspects of criminal behavior and was often consulted by the courts as an expert witness. 

“Psychopathia Sexualis” is widely regarded as the first modern pornographic book and is particularly notable because it was written intentionally as medical science. Krafft-Ebing went to great lengths to describe the technical terms in Latin and was successful in transforming what many would consider an interest in sexual deviance into scientific inquiry and compassion. The extensive catalog of sexual positions and non-procreative sexual activities identified names and descriptions for acts that were considered unspeakable, sinful and criminal. His work re-named these behaviors as “sexual perversions” and influenced recognition of Sexology as a new branch in the study of psychiatry. Krafft-Ebing also coined the terms "heterosexual", "fetishism", "exhibitionism, "sadism" and "masochism".

Krafft-Ebing coined the word "masochist" from the sexual desires of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, a well-known novelist of the time who was said to enjoy being humiliated by women.  In 1869, Sacher-Masoch wrote "Venus in Furs", a novel about a man with strong masochistic desires, including the desire to be whipped by a woman while her body is adorned in fur.  

Many of Krafft-Ebing’s ideas were shadowed for years after Freud shifted the view of homosexuality to be defined as a psychological problem. The Catholic Church was also disturbed by Krafft’s attempts to draw a connection between sanctity and martyrdom with masochism and many found his research morally offensive at the time. Despite the controversial nature of his work, Krafft-Ebing pioneered an approach to exploring and classifying sexuality that was accepting and sympathetic.  

So what does all of this have to do with a movie review? Writer and Film Director Bret Wood attempted to bring to life Krafft-Ebing's notorious and groundbreaking taxonomy of sexual variation. In his 2006 movie “Psychopathia Sexualis” Wood depicts sadomasochistic rituals, vampirism, same-sex attraction, lust murder and fetishism through a series of dramatizations.  Krafft-Ebing is played by Ted Manson and we see him interviewing patients, dissecting corpses and attempting to diagnose what he believes are mental and sexual disorders.

The book “Psychopathia Sexualis” had 238 case histories. This left Brent Wood with the unenviable task of choosing a dozen or so for his movie version of the book. He chooses to include the sort of sexually deviant material that made Krafft-Ebing's book well-read and notorious. There’s the case of the French sex killer Emile Fourquet (Patrick Parker). There's the tale of Jonathan (Daniel May), a proper young man of some means who develops a blood fixation and abuses the family maid until his mother (Jane Bass) has him committed.  

There is the case of a famous episode of necrophilia (a sexual fetish characterized by a sexual attraction to corpses) from Krafft-Ebing's book. It is recalled by puppeteer Caglios (Rob Nixon) in a command performance staged for a rich baron (Greg Thompson).  

There's the story of a young gay man (Daniel Pettrow) whom Krafft-Ebing tries to “cure” of his homosexual desires with hypnosis.
And there is the long narrative thread where the Governess Lydia (Lisa Paulsen), a long-repressed lesbian tutor whose desires are awakened by young student Annabel (Veronika Duerr).  Krafft-Ebing believed that "woman is passive . . . if properly educated, she has very little sexual yearning". Lydia would rather spend her life alone than give in to her urges, even when her new charge, Annabel Lindstrom, reciprocates enthusiastically.   

What about Femdom? The movie depicts the Femdom tale of an aristocratic gentleman who likes to be trampled by scantily clad prostitutes. I call this a Femdom scene based on what we know today about the male desire for female domination. However, Krafft-Ebing classified this as male masochism and believed it was an abnormal sexual desire. Interesting enough, Krafft-Ebing saw women as basically sexually passive, and recorded no female sadists or fetishists in his case studies. Behavior that would be classified as masochism in men was categorized as "sexual bondage" in women. 

So what are we to think about a highly regarded psychiatrist who believed that women did not enjoy sex? Time, education and the advancements in the field of psychiatry has proven Krafft-Ebing wrong in many of his diagnosis, including homosexuality and the male desire for female domination.  

To his credit, Krafft-Ebing was sincere in his pursuit to understand the correlation between the human mind and the human sex drive. Perversion can exist if the human mind is not sane. However, Krafft-Ebing had tunnel vision and he saw through the glass darkly. His research was flawed by categorizing genuine expressions of sexuality (such as Femdom) along side actual acts of perversion (such as necrophilia).  

Be that as it may, Bret Wood was intrigued by the fact that many people read Krafft-Ebing's book "Psychopathia Sexualis" not because they wanted to learn about mental illness. People of his day read his book because it was full of actual cases of sexual deviance. The Science community believed it to be a groundbreaking and important book but the general population read it for its shock value. Wood thought perhaps a 2006 audience would view it the same way.  

Despite this film's low budget, Wood's images are evocative. Wood seems fascinated by Krafft-Ebing's efforts to scientifically dissect and categorize the vagaries of carnal desire, but his larger point is elusive. There is some titillating imagery among the Victorian corsets and knickers in this erratic film. However, this is not an erotic film.  

There are scenes that are not for the squeamish, and I don’t mean that in a good S&M way. Stories of serial killers, psychopaths, male sadists who want to injure women and fringe fetishes (such as the man who pays a prostitute to stomp a chicken to death in front of him) are not a good mix with tales of forbidden yet erotic desires (Femdom, Lesbianism, etc). And that is the problem with both Krafft-Ebing's research and with Wood's film. Perhaps one or more of these stories would make an interesting movie in and of itself, but as a series of dramatizations, as seen through the eyes and analysis of Krafft-Ebing, the movie comes up short.  

For the readers of my blog, the best chapter in the film (Chapter 6 on the DVD) is the section on Masochism. Here you will witness a very brief scene of a woman whipping a man, emasculating him through what we today would call pony play, and trampling him by standing on his humbled body (the prostitute looking disinterested the entire time, playing to Krafft-Ebing's analysis that all women are passive and have no interest in such activities but are merely doing it for money).

This leads to the dramatization where three prostitutes at a brothel play out a fantasy scenario for a paying male client who desires to be dominated. The experienced prostitute admonishes the novice prostitute, “Follow my lead and don’t look at him, don’t say a word. And for God’s sake, whatever you do, don’t laugh”. (Again playing to the theme that women could not possibly enjoy dominating and controlling a man.)  

Once the male client is lying on the floor, eyes closed, the two women circle him (wearing corsets, fishnet stockings and ankle high leather boots) then proceed to stand on him, one at time and then both together, until he rings a bell to signify his unspoken safe word.

Next enters the third prostitute, dressed like Marie Antoinette in a wig, white corset, white boots and wearing a mask. The other women leave the room while the Antoinette figure begins to whip the male client with a dozen long-stem roses until he uses his safe signal by ringing his bell.
You might find this scene to be erotic but I doubt it. The client is made out to be a weirdo (and I might add a wimp since he rings his bell before his session has the chance to get interesting). Perhaps this Krafft-Ebing case study was undeniably of a peculiar man but I wonder what would Krafft-Ebing think today were he to browse the internet, where thousands of women are making a living offering professional domination be it over the phone or in person. Would he view the innumerable male clients of these women as all being worthy of his book? Imagine that, an immeasurable number of men just like Leopold von Sacher-Masoch? 

And what would he say of all of us dominant women that achieve sexual arousal and wet pussies when we are sexually dominating the men in our lives? Would he still hold to the belief that women are passive and have little interest in sex? 

I know I should not be too hard on Richard von Krafft-Ebing because he was living in a different time and in a different society. He was sincere in his research and he did groundbreaking work in the area of forensic psychology. He attempted to diagnose some very difficult and in some cases quite disturbing sexual acts. Freud was wrong in many of his theories as well but his work was still highly influential. The same can be said for Krafft-Ebing.
So what is my overall opinion of Bret Wood's attempt to make “Psychopathia Sexualis” into a film? I must confess that I found it to be a fascinating film to watch. I would not classify it as erotic or entertaining but it kept my attention for the nearly 100 minutes.  

It really comes down to your motivation for watching this film. If you want to be entertained or if you want to have your D&S senses aroused, you will be disappointed. However, if you are seeking an educational experience, to view fetishes through the mind of the famous Richard von Krafft-Ebing, you will probably find this film worthy of your time. For me, it's a split decision.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars


Thursday, May 8, 2014

The reopening of the Confinement Room

This past weekend hubby prepped the confinement room, mopping the rubber floor, washing down the rubber walls and ceiling, and cleaning my fetish clothes, whips and toys that were stored in there.  



The weather has finally warmed up enough that we can start using the room again. So last night, I locked James in the room for almost four hours after dinner. As I wrote before about the room, I really believe it is good for James to spend alone time in the confinement room. I notice a difference in him when he emerges after spending hours detained in there. Inside his little prison there are no distractions. There is no television or radio to occupy his mind. He must confront his thoughts. He must mediate on me. He must confront the truth about our marriage and my active social life that does not always include him.
It is precious to watch his facial expressions when I order him to be confined in his little dark, soundproof room with the rubber floor, the rubber walls and the rubber ceiling.

Summer is coming and the warmer weather means more use of the confinement room. It is a place I can physically discipline him by paddle or whip while he is bound to a wall.  
Or do some deprivation-play as he is in bondage via his wrist and ankle cuffs, tied by rope to the various hooks on the walls, ceiling and floor.

Perhaps gagged, perhaps blindfolded, perhaps with earplugs to add to the sensory deprivation. Perhaps with a butt plug or dildo securely inserted into his body.

Or just locked in there like a prison cell, as he was last night, free to move around the small space but still totally enveloped in the darkness and lack of sound, with only the smell of rubber from the walls and floor, mixed with the smell of leather, latex and PVC from my clothes that hang in there.


Then there is the technology. The intercom that I can communicate with him, if I choose, or force him to listen to what takes place in my bedroom, should I ever decide to bring someone else home with me some night. And there is the surveillance camera attached to the ceiling where I can view him from my laptop, tablet or iPhone. He has no idea when I might “spy” on him. The camera is infrared so I can see him even in the darkness.

Yes, I welcome the reopening of the confinement room.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The importance of legally protecting yourself in this lifestyle

I received an e-mail from a woman who asked a most important question. “Do you ever fear that your husband might have a change of heart about being a cuckold and in the process suing you for divorce on the grounds of adultery?”
I probably should have covered this before now but thanks to the wise advice of my mentors many years ago, James and I took some steps in order to provide me with legal protection should an unforeseen or unfortunate accident occur during a D&S session, or should my hubby choose to divorce me (which he would tell you will never happen because he is madly in love with me).
I have in my possession (and my attorney has copies in sealed envelopes) three signed handwritten letters from James. In the first letter, he confesses that our D&S lifestyle is a mutually agreed upon lifestyle. James makes it perfectly clear that he introduced this lifestyle to me, that I was a reluctant partner at first, but he persuaded me that he needed this in order to obtain sexual and emotional fulfillment. He says that in his eyes, I do this for him.
In the letter he admits that he encourages me to spank him, whip him, engage in sadomasochistic practices and adhere to a dominance and submission lifestyle where he willfully submits to me. The letter makes it perfectly clear that James not only consents to all that we do, but he emboldens me. The letter also mentions how we have tried our best to become educated about all health and safety issues but we both understand that some of these activities are physical by nature with some risks, yet James still consents to these activities and encourages me to practice them on him.
We did this letter prior to us embracing cuckolding. Once James became my cuckold, I had him write a second letter where he made it clear that he consents to and encourages my sexual affairs with others as a part of our D&S lifestyle. James confesses that he gains sexual arousal from me being with other partners, and as a result he encourages me to be with other partners. Once again, it is all consensual and in his eyes, I do this for him.
The third letter involves our finances. Right now, James’ paychecks are direct-deposited into an account that only I have access. I keep James on an allowance and he must gain my permission if he needs any extra funds. There are other financial dynamics to our marriage that I do not wish to share on this blog but they involve our other possessions, our house, bank accounts and investments. In the letter James consents to our financial arrangement and what he is entitled to should we ever separate or get divorced. All I will say is that our financial arrangement heavily favors me, and at the same time affords him some protection. We also have a Will. James has consented to all of this.
With all three letters, I had a witness present when James signed them. And as an added layer of protection, it was a different witness each time. In other words, the person who witnessed James sign the cuckolding confession was different than the person who witnessed him signing the first letter, who was different than the person who witnessed him signing the financial letter. So nobody could ever accuse me of colluding with another person. The financial letter was accompanied with a legal document drawn up by our attorney involving our finances. My attorney is a woman that knows we practice an alternative lifestyle but as far as I know, she is not involved with the lifestyle. She does not know all the details of our lifestyle but she has enough knowledge to provide legal counsel and she has in her possession copies of James’ letters of consent.
Is this all necessary? Definitely for the finances. The other letters are not so much legal documents but are there to protect me should something unfortunate happen. Say, God forbid, James had a heart attack during an intense D&S session, or say something went wrong and he ended up in an emergency room. Another e-mail I received was a man who warned me against spanking James’ balls too hard because I might severely injure one of his testicles. He said the hospital might inform law enforcement. That’s why I have the letters. Even in 2014, where there are all kinds of alternative lifestyles, some people might not understand. I have a friend who works at a hospital in San Francisco and you should hear about some of the patients who come in.
One guy came in with a wine bottle stuck up his ass. Another guy came in with nails that were hammered into his cock and balls and when the Mistress tried to pull them out, one of them caused a bad injury. You can just imagine what goes on out there.
We try our best to practice safe, sane and consensual but accidents do happen. So if you practice this lifestyle, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have your sub handwrite a consent letter. Even if you don’t want to have someone witness him signing the letter or even if you don’t want to involve an attorney, it’s not a bad idea to have a letter from your submissive in your possession so you can prove that this lifestyle is consensual. And if you are married and practice cuckolding, I would definitely recommend a letter where your husband admits that he has consented to you having sex with others.
Most submissive husbands will find the exercise of writing the letter and signing the letter in your presence to be very exciting. James had a noticeable hard-on when he wrote the first letter. It is in a way an exercise in humiliation, to confess to society, if need be, about his willful submission to his wife. Slave contracts have always been popular within the worlds of BDSM and D&S. Consent letters are kind of like a slave contract only more official.