Sunday, January 27, 2019

Alpha Tips

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alphacumdumpbreeder: Inspire Before You Require

True submission is inspired before it can be required. It is inspired not by who you claim to be but who you actually are.

Being Alpha is more than just being confident in what you expect. It is leadership, guidance, wisdom, responsibility, knowing and setting boundaries; and it is both self-discipline and discipline of others.

When submission is inspired, there is no need to protect a facade of ‘perfection’ because: 1) no one is perfect 2) sometimes you are going to get it wrong. You are. But inspired submission follows you through it, not because you are perfect, but because you have already inspired their loyalty.

Demanding compliance and barking orders is perfectly fine as long as the submission it demands is rooted in inspiration. Otherwise, it eventually leads to internal eye rolls from those whose submission you have forgotten is their choice to give.


Communication for Doms

Here are some ‘pearls of wisdom’ for new Doms on how to establish a healthy Dom/sub connection. Some of these pointers pertain to more intense play, but are good suggestions regardless of the type of play.

1. Communicate. Probably the most important skill to learn as a Dom, is how to effectively communicate. As the leader it’s your job to keep communication an open, two-way street. Subs often shut down or disconnect. It’s not because they are being defiant. Sometimes it’s part of their subspace experience, and sometimes they’re overwhelmed by what’s happening. They may perceive what you are doing as abuse, or relate it to a moment of abuse in their past. It can happen at any time, even when doing something you’ve already done before with no problems. Here are some tips to developing good habits to facilitate communication between you and your sub.

2. Be yourself. Even though Dom/sub relations are technically ‘role play’ most people want to play with real people. Especially in the beginning, subs want to know an authentic, personal side of you, and know that you are someone they can rely on, and they can trust.

When a sub offers himself to you it is a big deal, and he’s offering himself to YOU, not some fictional character. He wants YOU to lead him through any challenges and adversity. He needs your help. If you’re trying too hard or doing something that’s way out of character, then rethink your strategy.

Your sub will see how uncomfortable it is for you and his confidence may waver. So start slow and easy. That being said, if you’re trying something new and it’s backfiring or turning into a clusterfuck, just stop, say that it’s not working out, and laugh it off. Bonding comes from sharing both successes and failures. Handling failures well is just as important as enjoying success.

3. Establish endpoints, and checking in: Unless it is your lifestyle, it’s a good habit to establish things I call ‘endpoints’ and ‘checking in.’


An endpoint is simply defining the beginning and ending of a BDSM scene. Create a time, before and after a scene, for physical contact and communication. Be positive, affirming, calm, relaxed. Smile, use touch, eye contact, and say something like, “we’re gong to have a really good time today all right?” or “You did a great job today, thank you.” Simple common courtesy. And listen to what your sub has to say.  Treat it like a ritual. Subs respond very well to this kind of consistency. It only takes a minute and it does a world of good towards building trust and camaraderie.

Checking in: Checking in can happen within a scene or can be used as a transition between scenes. It’s basically a short rest period - less than 30 seconds - where you ease up on stimulation, when a sub can regroup, verbalize his condition, think things out, relax a little, get ready for more. Think of it like a little chunk of aftercare inside of a scene. It’s a good time to re-establish a connection, check in with the sub and see how he’s doing. Speak with a comforting tone, be encouraging. Ask him “how are you doing?” Over a very short time he’ll become conditioned so that when he’s in this ‘safe zone’ he knows he’s physically safe from harm, and will come to relish those times and bond with you over them. It also serves as a reality check, allowing the sub to momentarily assert control if he wishes. When you’re ready to start up again, just say, ‘you ready?’ and listen to his response.

4. Handling meltdowns and catharsis. It will happen eventually. Especially if you’re involved with punishments or endorphin rushes, S&M and longer, more intense scenes. A strong emotional release….crying, or anger or fear. Grief, heartache, anguish, passion, joy, gratitude. A hundred emotions and powerful feelings all culminating together and overflowing. It’s like an unstoppable force that grabs hold of your body and doesn’t let go. At that moment, it can go either way:  It can be a powerfully positive cathartic experience - something life-changing that your sub will be eternally grateful for. Or it can be devastating to him - something that will leave him scarred, erase all the trust you’ve built,  and fill you both with regret.

The most important thing you can do as a Dom at that moment, is BE THERE. Stop extraneous stimulation. Make it quiet. Be physically close, but not obtrusive. If you do make physical contact, make it firm contact, like an anchor he can hold onto. Don’t be overly consoling…you don’t know what he’s thinking right now. Just be there, and say the words, “I’m here with you. I’m right here.” Say it just a few times, not over and over. Try not to say things like, “you’re ok,’ because he’s not. Instead, say “you’ll BE ok.” “I’ve got you.” I’m with you.” Realize that this is HIS experience, not yours. He needs to handle this himself. But he needs you there to witness it, and honor it, and honor him. By being present with him. That is all.

When the time is right, when things settle a bit, tell him “I’m going to untie you now and then we’re going to go rest for a while.” Expect another emotional release to return at some point, and again, use firm steady touch, like an anchor. Go lay down for a while with him. Cover him with a blanket. Warm him with your body. Hold him close and let him have his experience. When he is still, give him some time by himself to rest. He might fall asleep for a while. That is normal. When he wakes again, he might be really happy and energized, or kinda dazed and confused, or exhausted and hungry. Your boy just worked very hard for you. Be a good mentor and tend to HIS needs.


Beautifully written. A true ALPHA is a MAN who knows HE must lead and not just order. Owning another human being, for five minutes or a lifetime, comes with the responsibility to care for what is HIS.


Omg yes. Communicate. It’s a two-way street to get where you want to be.


Words of alpha wisdom.


Very well written and equally wise. These are points not only for Dom/Daddies but for sub/boys to read. It is good to know what to expect and to be prepared for certain things that should and others that could happen.

#4. Catharsis happens even in casual settings. Something as simple as a compassionate touch can trigger unresolved or underlying tensions and results in a break down or an explosive release. The more intense the session the deeper that effect can reach. This is an important component of being a Dom/Daddy.

How you handle it determines your ability to help them cope with what they are feeling.
Within the context of Dad/boy roleplay D/s there is a wide range of things that can crop up, and most often it is a cathartic release. The first time a boy is truly ‘broken’ so much floods them that there are often tears and sobbing. There is so much anxiety and pressure and desire that gets wrapped up in the idea of being with Daddy that it can overwhelm a boy. It’s not your fault, but it is yours to help them through. 

Errors in Thinking that Create Anxiety

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onlinecounsellingcollege: 1. All-or-nothing thinking: Looking at things in black-or-white categories, with no middle ground (“If I fall short of perfection, I’m a total failure.”)

2. Overgeneralization: Generalizing from a single negative experience, expecting it to hold true forever (“I didn’t get hired for the job. I’ll never get any job.”)

3. The mental filter: Focusing on the negatives while filtering out all the positives. Noticing the one thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right.

4. Diminishing the positive: Coming up with reasons why positive events don’t count (“I did well on the presentation, but that was just dumb luck.”)

5. Jumping to conclusions: Making negative interpretations without actual evidence. You act like a mind reader (“I can tell she secretly hates me.”) or a fortune teller (“I just know something terrible is going to happen.”)

6. Catastrophizing: Expecting the worst-case scenario to happen (“The pilot said we’re in for some turbulence. The plane’s going to crash!”)

7. Emotional reasoning: Believing that the way you feel reflects reality (“I feel frightened right now. That must mean I’m in real physical danger.”)

8. ‘Shoulds’ and ‘should-nots’: Holding yourself to a strict list of what you should and shouldn’t do and beating yourself up if you break any of the rule

9. Labeling: Labeling yourself based on mistakes and perceived shortcomings (“I’m a failure; an idiot; a loser.”)

10. Personalization: Assuming responsibility for things that are outside your control (“It’s my fault my son got in an accident. I should have warned him to drive carefully in the rain.”)


Healthy Master-slave Relationships, Defined

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alphabreakers: I have seen lots of blogs where slaves are given inhuman names like slut, whore, faggot, worthless piece of shit and many more. The term faggot is used so often that it has become a second name for homosexual people.

A Master & slave relationship is not about abuse and degradation. It’s about serving someone because you want to, not because you have to. If your master is forcing you to do something which will hamper your well being, it's a clear indication that he is insecure about himself. 

A true master will never subject his slave to inhuman torture because a slave is not an object to him but a prized possession. A master will train and discipline his slave with reward and punishment but not to the extent that he forgets that a slave is a human.

Alphas, they have an aura about themselves. They dont need to force you to do something, their gaze is powerful enough to make submissive male submit. If someone is forcing you to do something, he is not an alpha and if he is not an alpha then what are you doing with him anyways. You will know when you meet a true alpha, your instincts will guide you. Stay safe

Some General Rules for Good Beta Boys

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perfectmaster79: Obey Your Alpha Fully

This means going beyond the letter of what he says & getting to the spirit of it. Any slave can follow orders. You should expect more from yourself. At times, that may even include…

Feel Free To Question

One big difference between a beta & a slave is that a beta is expected to think for himself. That means you’ll have questions sometimes. Ask away. If he doesn’t feel like explaining it, he’ll say so. If your question bugs you, he may punish you for asking. If he tells you to just shut up & do it, you will. But always keep yourself open to him, including staying intellectually bright & available. One important caveat to this is how you behave in public. In front of others there should be no questioning of what he says. This is because…

Respect Is Primary

He shouldn’t have to come up with elaborate rules to display your submission to him. It should be clear at all times, though it may be casual & unobtrusive, that you respect & surrender to his superior masculinity. However, without a set of rules to govern every situation…

Expect The Unexpected

You’ve spent the last couple weeks hanging out with him like a buddy? That doesn’t mean that tonight he isn’t gonna suddenly get off on embarrassing & humiliating you, or rough you up a little & tell you to just take it, or do whatever the hell else he wants. Variety is the spice of life. Be ready to be his buddy, bitch, lover, partner, servant, or wingman as the situation and his mood dictate. And no matter what position you’re in at the moment…

Be Proud Of What He’s Made Of You

He’s put work into developing you the way he likes you. It’s taken some thought & planning on his part to figure out how you can best meet his needs. Be proud of him for the work he’s put in, and remember to…

Be Thankful

You get to be part of something bigger than yourself & he deserves thanks for letting you in on it. You can express your thanks through affection, gifts, maintenance, praise, & service. Be creative. Surprise him. Make him smile. But while you enjoy your bond with him…

Jealousy Doesn’t Look Good On Anyone

There will never be reason for him to be jealous because your sexuality will be decided by him. But there should never be a reason for you to be jealous either. The whole point is him enjoying his masculinity, which means as long as he’s having fun, it doesn’t matter if it’s with you or someone else. So long as he’s developing some part of you for his enjoyment, it doesn’t have to be the sexual part of you.

Get Ready To Grow

You’ll probably learn new things about yourself as you serve your Alpha. He may help you develop skills you’d have never explored on your own. There are, of course, the basics he shouldn’t have to worry about…

Take Care Of Your Health

A sick beta is a burden. Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep (except on those occasions when he doesn’t let you- then make up for it later.) You wanna keep it in good shape because…

He Gets It All

Every inch of you is his and should be available to him anytime. He deserves the best. That may or may not mean that everyone else (or anyone else) knows about it because…

Men Deserve Their Privacy

Once initial expectations have been set, don’t go whining for more than he has for you. If he’s married to someone else, you’re never gonna get treated like his spouse. If it’s understood that he dates other people, he may fall in love with them. It’s up to him whether or not the other people in his life know about you or not, & whether they know about your service to him or not. Alphas have a lot of people who want to be around them. It’s up to him to balance who can best meet his needs & desires, which comes down to…

Love, Honor And Obey But Stay Out Of His Hair

Of course he should have the ability to find out where you are & what you are doing when he wants to, but he has more important things to do than to supervise you 24 hours a day, 7 day a week. Be a man. Think for yourself. Make him proud. Make his day. Love, honor & obey. All glory to the Alpha.

Good Manners for Kinky Folks

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thegayboybible: I imagine a lot of men will skip past this post, but etiquette in kinkster circles is important because every alpha I’ve ever known is big on respect. Point blank, you need to learn what is considered polite when dealing with fellow kinksters. If you’ve found the alpha of your dreams and he’s talking and interested you don’t want to lose him because you said something rude without realizing it or without thinking about it. While you may not always know why an alpha went silent on you, reading through what’s below should at least help eliminate behavior as a cause.

In General:

- Remember you are here to SERVE: You are serving an alpha. That means your focus should be on him. When I hear “What would you do to me?” That’s a real fast turn off. It implies that you’re here to jack off or that you’re focused on what you’ll get out of it. I have spoken to a number of subs who assure me this is just so they know what they’re in for. Fine, I’m sure that’s true for some folks out there, but try this instead. First, have a conversation with the dominant, get to know him, and be attentive to him. Much later in the conversation if you’re sure you want to play, ask him “what are play sessions like with you generally?” There is no reference to self in this question but it still gets the information you want.

- Learn someone’s title and use it: If you meet someone for the first time and their preferred title is not apparent, then introduce yourself and use your preferred title, and then ask for theirs.


  • “Hi! I’m sub Ethan! What do you like to be called?”
  • “Hi, I’m faggot Sebastian! How may I address you?”

Titles are usually pretty personal and at minimum it lets you ask why they chose that title to kick off a conversation.

- Be mindful of whom you taunt: Some men will taunt dominants to make them act in a more intense fashion. Some dominants enjoy that kind of mouthing off from submissives but me and others do not. As a dominant I have to maintain a large degree of self control to play safely and respect your limits and pain tolerance.

You taunting me I feel is disrespectful and challenges my self control. I’d rather drop all the toys and walk away than I would engage in that kind of play. In short, do NOT engage in taunting with a dominant you do not know. Respect the fact that a first time play session is often about finding boundaries and exploring, do not expect that they’ll immediately jump into intense play but do be vocal about whether you’re enjoying it or not. Give constant feedback.


- Full profile: Have a full profile! That means face, body, ass and/or dick, pics of past play experiences, text about yourself and what you’re looking for. It is 2015, pics are mandatory get as many as you can and be sure they’re representative. Now, if you’re not out, well then it is ok to tell someone you’re not out, and offer to send a face pic once you’ve seen their face pic so you can be sure you’re not sending it to someone you know.

-Trading Pics: When you want to see someone else’s pics, offer up at least one of yourself first in addition to asking. Don’t wait to be asked, do it automatically as a courtesy. Because of guys who will ask to see your pics and automatically block me, i offer to exchange pics on a one to one ratio. I send a pic of whatever they send me.

No one gets to see my dick unless they send me a pic of their dick or ass first. That way if I’m going to be blocked i can at least see who was so inconsiderate to do that. Speaking of which, it’s ok to politely say ”Thanks so much for trading pics. I’m sorry, but it turns out we’re not a match after all. I wish you best of luck in your search.” and part ways amicably rather than blocking and coming off like a dick. Men talk, it’ll catch up to you eventually.

- If you say you will show up, show up: Everyone complains about flakes, so don’t be one. Never agree to show up if you have no intention of showing up or might not be able to make it. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t show. One of the amazing things about kink is that MOST fantasies can be realized!!! Don’t miss out jacking off at home and being sad when you had someone who wanted to play and you flaked out on them.

I’m also going to be honest and admit, early on that I too flaked on a few guys. The 3rd time it happened, I stopped and thought about why it was I hadn’t hooked up with him or the other two men who had contacted me and been interested. I realized that I was feeling rather neutral on each of them. They weren’t ugly, or rude, but nor was I especially aroused by them. I swore to myself that being aware of the cause I would fix that behavior. Now, when I am neutral on a boy, I don’t commit to meeting up unless something about him really grabs my attention.

Lastly, if something does come up unexpectedly and you really truly cannot make it. Explain what’s going on, admit it makes you sound like a flake, and then ask if it would be possible to schedule another time. If possible do it right then and there, be aggressive about narrowing down a day and a time to meet up that works for you both. When the day comes, send a short message just confirming you’re still on, and then show.

- Respond to messages: Some guys sign online and they have so many messages they can’t possibly respond to them all. MUST BE NICE ;)! For the rest of us, let’s be honest and polite with each other upfront. If someone takes the time to message (and they are not rude) you should respond because it’s what you’d want from someone you are into. When I’m disinterested in the person messaging me, I let them know. If I’m not digging them at all then I’ll write: “Sorry, but I’m afraid we’re not a match. Best of luck in your search :)!”

If I don’t want to play, but they sound interesting: “I am sorry, but we’re not a match. I am still interested in speaking with you though if you’d like.” And include whatever it was in their profile that drew your attention. Worse comes to worse a new friendship with a fellow kinkster is a valuable thing. Keep in mind that many men don’t make it clear why exactly they’re messaging, even if you’re not into them they may have a question about a kink you enjoy or someone you know. Don’t jump the gun on rejecting anyone until you know they want sex and you don’t.

In the dungeon:

- DO NOT interrupt someone else’s scene: It is usually OK to watch quietly so long as you are not distracting the people playing. If you see someone doing something that is dangerous, find a dungeon monitor and ask them. It is a dungeon monitor’s job to step in if someone is behaving dangerously, not yours. Dungeon monitors often know the players pretty well and you might be surprised how at a glance someone’s scene and say “oh he’s done that 30 times its fine.”

- It’s OK to ask someone about their scene after they’re done: If someone did something particularly amazing in a scene, it is OK to ask if they would like to play with you. It’s also OK to ask about how they did what they did, or where they learned to do it. It’s sometimes OK to ask how they mitigate the dangers in what they do if you’re curious but tread carefully as some alphas have delicate egos and may take that question personally.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

How to Build a Cohesive Local Community

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I wrote these articles and recorded these audio lectures back in 2011.  The information here has WORKED, and continues to work, years later.   I'm an idealistic man, but there is a huge amount of practical information in here that can help OTHER idealistic community leaders, all over the world.  — Papa Tony


My goal is to give step-by-step instructions on building true community. What kind of "community" am I talking about?

Being sweet. Everybody together, being accepting, supportive, affectionate, relaxed, joyful, effective, unified and satisfied. If you have been following my writing elsewhere, you will know that I will be providing actual, PROVEN and successful tips on how to accomplish this in your own area of the world... No matter how dysfunctional, toxic or horrifying your local community has been, up until now. I'm quite aware of the pitfalls.

Things WILL get better, if you're ready to get to work. You have my word on that.

In order to move along with each section, I will have to identify the problems that prevent the good things from happening, first. This may appear to be standard-model bellyaching, but it's not. I promise. Each article will be in parable form, leading to an idealistic and true conclusion.

What qualifies me to write about community? I've been doing this sort of work since 1981, when I became president of a car club, and I realized that the old paradigms didn't work any more. I've been intensively experimenting and observing for three decades. I have hosted over 3,000 social  events in my lifetime, and have created twelve affinity-groups that are still around.

I'm also a gay leatherman who created an organization called FetishMenSanDiego in 2010, using the techniques and philosophy that I will be describing. It's not a club, it's a "Smart Mob". We don't have by-laws, boards of directors, elections, paperwork or membership dues. In fact, we don't spend any money at all, other than on a website. We're using free resources to get our message out.

We're currently at 1,100 members on multiple social networks, but mostly through an email list, and things are going beautifully well. QUANTITY is nice, but QUALITY is nicer. I'm proud to say that San Diego's local fetish community is sweet. Really sweet, and all of the other adjectives listed above. Why do I keep stressing that? Because it's what we humans need, more than anything else. We don't need any more "HAWT PARTEES" - There are plenty of those around. We don't need more protocol, or divisions, and we sure as hell don't need any more reasons to stay online.

The Internet Has Made Us Socially Awkward

Having 3,000 "friends" on something like Facebook is like eating styrofoam. It's very filling, but not very nourishing. Human beings are basically Troop Monkeys. We're Pack Apes who need to feel a sense of welcome, belonging, respect and acceptance. The Internet does not, and never will provide that, so we will be going in a different direction. Humans crave body-language, touch, pheromones and proximity, not plain text and images. We need HUGS, dammit!

The internet makes it easy for each one of us to bring people closer (for sex, usually), but it doesn't make it any easier to KEEP THEM CLOSE. That's the biggest lack in our current society.

We crave the esteem and welcome of people who like us for who we are, as we are, right this very moment... Not after we finally get younger, or get a shapelier body. The person inside the externals is starved for recognition and affection. Every one of us is TIRED of being judged on irrelevant details that say nothing about the person inside. Think of the self-help workshop exercise where you fall back and people catch you. Imagine a lot of that happening, and soon. We've all been waiting for a better day to show up.

It's our job, as community leaders and volunteers, to make that day come, and RIGHT AWAY.

Honey Traps

I often run into people who beseech each other for help in figuring out how to approach new people, for the purpose of inviting them to be a part of the community, without appearing to be a predator.

I've been extremely successful in this endeavor. The group in San Diego that I started fourteen months ago has almost 1200 followers, and nearly ALL of them have been added ONE AT A TIME. I can't stress that enough - Simply printing cards or flyers, or mass-emailing, or posting it online is nothing, compared to the personal approach. We are all fed up with impersonal invitations. We've been burned too many times with spam, viruses, and every other kind of crap coming at us from every direction. These people have raised our threshold for bullshit so high that any sane person would assume that nobody could ever break through the average person's cynicism.

Let's assume that I'm going to approach you at a bar event that I've created. I'm HUGE (six foot five, even taller in my big boots, 280 pounds, gray-bearded and hairy, and usually in uniform or leather). To the average person, I look nine feet tall and six foot wide. Despite all of this, when I come up to strangers to let them know about my group, I have a consistently high success-rate. Out of 100 strangers, approximately 90 of them will gladly give me their email address. Out of those people, after I have added them to my weekly email list, ONE will unsubscribe. Everybody else sticks around, and likes what they receive from me.

People think that the most important currency is money. In 2011, it's not. It's CREDIBILITY. No amount of money will buy credibility. It has to be earned the hard way. I have the confidence to approach strangers and enroll them in a sweet, joyful common dream, because I have kept my word for decades. The average stranger doesn't know that for a fact yet, but they are intrigued enough by my affectionate, respectful and confident demeanor to give me a chance.

So, let's say that I'm at a public event (usually one that I created for this purpose), looking for new people to sign up for FMSD ( I call these events "Honey Traps", which is a term that I am using as a metaphor - They are events that are attractive enough to drag individuals away from their damn computers. 

The average person sits in front of FaceBook, Fetlife, Recon or some other endless distraction, but has a firm conviction that everybody else is having more fun in the real world than they are. EVERYBODY has that idea in their heads, and doesn't understand how few people are having fun in the non-virtual world. We're all lonely, disconnected and losing our ability to feel like we're part of something real, and bigger than our concerns, insecurities and considerations.

I look around me at these events, looking for someone who is clearly wearing their favorite "suit of armor". They are broadcasting "I'm shy", or "I'm not interested" or "I'm just passing through". Those are the folks that I make a beeline for. Other people might call them "Attitude Queens". I don't - I understand that "Attitude with a Capital A" is just shyness. I can handle that, and here's how… This is my standard script for approaching strangers:

I approach the stranger, stand quite close (about two feet away), where they can clearly see me and can't pretend that I'm part of the furniture. I pointedly look them right in the eye, and say "Excuse me, have I spoken with you before?", while wearing a pleasant, (but not excessively pleasant) smile, and slightly upraised eyebrows. My demeanor is clearly communicating polite and courteous interest. They usually have a slightly startled reaction to this, saying "No, I don't think so". I'll then ask "are you a San Diegan?" If they say no, then I tell them a bit about our group, and show them a few pictures from previous events, and then move onward to the next guy. If they say yes, then I continue with the script.

Remember, many of these events are NOISY - Loud music, chattering people all around. This gives me cover for moving in closer and making actual, physical contact with them. I touch their solar plexus with the back of my hand, while introducing myself, and asking who they are, and a few other polite questions to break the ice. This is 100% effective in initiating physical contact, because no matter how shy or cynical that person is, they have been programmed their entire lives to shake hands to show that they are nice, well-raised people who don't have any weapons. 

I'll say "I'm Papa Tony, and I host many of the leathermen's events here in town." I'll release their hand, and whip out my iPhone. I''ll show them group pictures (see here for examples) that clearly show happy, satisfied crowds of people who obviously share traits with my guest of the moment. These events are diverse, full of big smiles and don't follow any common rules of the "I'm Hot and You're NOT" philosophy.

I'm now paging through photos for the enjoyment of the person in front of me, and drawing QUITE close - Close enough to rest my hand on his shoulder while I'm flipping through pictures one-handed. That way, I can talk in a normal, comfortable, just-between-nice-guys voice, because I'm so close - My mouth is maybe ten inches away from his ear, and I'm using my Indoor Voice. Closeness COUNTS. In our current culture, we have learned that somebody who stands at a distance from us is not a trustworthy person. Spammers like to hide. Abusers like to hide. Nice people are close by, and have no fear about other nice people in a polite society.

Example: Let's say that you see a stranger shoving his way through a crowd, and when he gets to you, he says "Get the fuck out of my way, ASSHOLE!" Chances are pretty good that he's going to get a big dose of ASSHOLE in response. That's not a side of us that we prefer, but our internal, hard-wired Fight or Flight response demands that we do SOMETHING in a stressful situation. 

 Now, delete that example, and imagine somebody coming up to you and treating you as a thoroughly respectable, intelligent, pleasant and enjoyable person, right from the very first instant. You're being approached, not for the sake of money, or power, sex, or any other other onvious, predictable reason, but because somebody wants YOU, of all people, to be a part of an actual, visually-appealing, thriving community of nice people, who get together often in public.

By this time, my target of interest (and possible new brother) is intrigued, despite multiple layers of well-earned cynicism. I continue to destroy his defenses: I'll say "We want all ages, all colors, all body-styles and all levels of experience. The only kind of people that we actively and aggressively discriminate against… Is GRUMPY PEOPLE!". This is usually good for a laugh, but they always look at my face and see that I'm being quite authentic in this statement.

I will then set the hook - I'll be showing him the pictures, and I'll say "You would fit right in". And, clearly, he would. Everyone is tired of being judged by externals. Even the world's prettiest/most-perfect men and women are sick of the social "A-List" game of perfect teeth/hair/muscles/tits/whatever providing us with varying levels of social status. It's an empty philosophy, but we never know when it's time to let go of it and just be happy like a bunch of uninhibited three-year-olds. By looking at the pictures (and grabbing the phone from me and zooming in closer to see everybody better, my new brother is losing his defenses fast.

I'll say "The nicer you are, the more friends you deserve - This is normal human behavior, but it fell apart somehow for gay men. We've fixed that". I tend to get rueful agreement from my new buddy.

I'll go further, and demolish his preconceptions like my life depends on it. I'll say "Listen to the people around you". He'll stop, and listen seriously and intently. I'll say "Everybody sounds really happy, don't they? You can't fake that kind of happy." He'll have to admit that yes, everybody else sounds like they're having a rocking good time. 

 I'll tell him "You deserve to have just as good a time as anybody here. I'm the host of this event, and you have my word of honor that no one here will ever treat you shabbily. If anybody DOES, you bring it to ME, and I will take care of it right away. I take full responsibility for the safety, success and well-being of everybody at this event, and you can count on me. Just go up to people and chat, and they'll all be nice to you. I know most of the folks here, and they aren't meanies, or tweaking, or spiteful."

I'll mention that I have nothing to sell him, and never will. I don't make a penny off of this, and neither does anybody else. In today's society, this is unheard-of… It seems mythological and theoretical. EVERYBODY wants a piece of somebody else, wants to treat us like walking wallets, and they have cunningly learned to hide it until they have tricked you somehow. And yet, here's this big galoot who is saying that he wants your actual, non-virtual and physical presence at a series of upcoming events. Nothing more, as long as you're a pleasant, well-socialized grownup.

Then, I say that I have an email-list that tells people what events are coming up, so that they know about them BEFORE each event, instead of hearing about it after everybody else had a great time. I'll ask "Would you like to be on the mailing-list?" This is Decision Time. I'm being the very epitome of a forthright, pleasant, respectful and clearly idealistic human being, and now, I need them to step up and deliver their half of the social contract. Just listening, or tolerating, or being a disinterested observer isn't enough - They have to make a commitment and be responsible about it. Like I said earlier, it's nearly always a slam-dunk… People can't get on the mailing-list fast enough.

I have created a web-page that is perfectly designed to be used on a Droid or iPhone's web-browser, using a free utility that allows me to sign people up for the mailing-list ON THE SPOT, without delay. I hit a bookmark icon on my phone's main page that brings me directly to that page, tap the field that asks for the email, and hand the phone right over for their data-entry. While doing so, I say "You have my word of honor that you will never receive any spam as a result, and if you don't like the mailing-list, just click on the link at the bottom and you'll be unsubscribed immediately". When they are done, they hand it back to me - I always have a pair of reading-glasses with me, in case somebody needs a pair for accuracy. I insist that they check the address one final time, and then tap the "Submit" button.

Nowadays, my success-rate is so high, I can sign up a total stranger within three minutes, and I will do it over and over and over, all during the event. I do not sit with my Good Buddies, chewing the fat. To me, that is exactly the wrong thing to do. I have a task to perform, and nothing will distract me from it. If I am going to be committed to creating real, honest and solid community, then I have to extend the hand of friendship to every new face that shows up. The moment that any affinity-group stops welcoming new people IN A CONSCIOUS WAY, then that group is dead. D-E-A-D. Our newest members are our group's future, and if we force them to bounce off of our indifference, then we may as well close up shop. The group will get older, and less relevant, and wither away.

So, what about the folks who DO NOT sign up? What if their cynicism is too awesomely impervious? No problem. "Invitations can be accepted, denied or renegotiated". I never attach my ego to trying to enroll 100% of the people that I approach. It is impossible. I wish them well, I mention our Web site (while pointing to it on our club banner, hanging in obvious display) and step over to the next person. I have seen those same people come to our events over and over, because they wanted to see whether my fancy talk had any actual credibility.
So, one more time, let's talk about Credibility with a Capital C. LEADERS PROVIDE. We keep creating these "Honey Trap" events, and take group pictures periodically. Why? Because no amount of words can convey the awesomeness of a successful, joyful and satisfying event as well as group pictures can. No amount of money, or trickery, or bossiness or manipulation can make a big, diverse and deliriously happy crowd look like a bunch of Labrador Retrievers with a tennis ball. You want to document your successes, even if they start out small. That's still better than the big, echoing emptiness that is usually the default when somebody is looking for heartfelt community in the real world.

Boy Scouts, Traffic Cops and the New A-List

This portion is written in response to feedback that I've received so far.  I'm severely tempted to use a lot of alternating gender pronouns, but I can't see how to do it properly.  I'm a gay man, writing about my own gay leathermen's group. I am clearly writing this series for the possible benefit of men and women of all kinds, and I don't dismiss that. I can't see a way to be authentic about my efforts with my group while keeping it fully gender-neutral, so please forgive me for this, and try to walk around a bit in my Size 15EE Wesco Engineers!

It's important to note that, when creating community, you NEVER want to try and add every possible person to a new affinity-group.  It's an exercise in frustration for the inviter and the invitee, and it muddies the vision for the target demographic.

Focus like a laser on what you see as the overall vision of the group - If it's your goal to create a group for people who fit a strict criterion, go for it - You have the right to do so.  Don't be surprised if other people outside of that target group feel slighted, ignored or insulted, and want to yank things closer to their own goals.  You will have to be clear and open in your motivations, and answer lots of questions from others outside your group before things will calm down.

I'm going to describe the many, many men in FetishMenSanDiego's membership in a very visual way - Think of over 1,100 men in a big, round, closely-gathered crowd:

On the outermost edges, we have the guys who only show up at events if there is a good likelihood that they will get laid, or get drunk as cheaply as possible. That's fine - They add value in their own way.  Those are the guys who show up at the biggest events, hoping to get their goodies and go home. They are great additions for a nice Parking-Lot Party, where men cruise with their shirts off and act Really, Really Single, with a dense haze of testosterone floating over everyone's heads. The more the merrier!

Moving inward in that circle, we have the majority of members: Nice, well-socialized grownups who crave community and a nice time away from their computers; singles and couples - Lots of couples. You can count on them to be attentive, polite and friendly when somebody needs to make a public announcement. They have a great time, they feel like they are part of a thriving community, and they get enough value to come back to future events as time permits.  You can spot them by the roars of happy laughter and chatter that signify a crowd that is secure and comfortable.

Then, we come to the crucial, central core of the group - The Golden Core.  In any affinity-group, whether it's for Stamp Collecting, Quilt-Making or Kinksters on Parade, there will always be the 10% of members who make 90% of the difference in the success of that group. As a community-leader, it's YOUR MOST IMPORTANT JOB to watch for those people, and to know what to do about them.

I've been president and/or founder of any number of clubs in the last thirty years. I've intentionally put myself in the position of being a Capital "S" Source - When there's an event, and when somebody asks "Who's in charge here?", then everybody in the building pivots around and points at me. That suits my nature.  However, I have become very desensitized to the daily process of people asking for things. I get emails, text messages, phone calls and personal requests, and after a while, it just becomes background noise. I do it as part of the job, and nothing more.

Yet, I've got one hard-wired trigger that INSTANTLY puts me on red alert.  If somebody says "How can I help?" then my head snaps right around, and my senses go to fully-powered status.  I start asking leading questions, in order to start zeroing inward until I've figured out what this very special guy's secret superpowers are. I might ask:

- What do you like about having a brotherhood of people like you?

- Have you ever volunteered before?

- Has anybody ever thanked you for what you do? How do you feel about that?

Obviously, those are generic questions, and in real life, I would be much more focused on the responses that I get in order to know the best question to ask next.  The most important question to end up with is:

- When are you available for coffee?

When you take this new, shining star of a natural volunteer out for coffee, really interact with them. Take the time to get to know them. Build friendship based on open, honest communication.

Why? Because you never, ever want to let folks like this drop back under the radar and be lost to your new group. They are the crucial component that guarantees a happy future for your new club/organization/posse.  Don't try to do everything by yourself. Build a team with the goal of working yourself out of a job.  Count on retiring from your work someday, leaving behind a thriving group of cooperating individuals who all have different tools in their toolboxes that might make up for the lack of tools in somebody else's toolbox.

One person may be a perfect Accountant for the group, because they think in exactly that way (I sure don't).  They might be a perfect Sergeant at Arms, or Go-Fer, or Julie the Cruise Director, or Idea Fountain, or any other kind of Dependable Volunteer.  Your job is to recognize them early, pay attention to their behavior in public, and then thank them lavishly, often, and publicly whenever possible.

People who want to do good work for the community are hard-wired to be that way. They aren't necessarily doing it for a Thank You, but they are absolutely not doing it for a Fuck You. Folks who want to give from the goodness of their hearts tend to become targets of opportunity for Users, Abusers and Sociopaths. They are easy meat, so they learn to become self-protective, as they should. Your job is to convince them that you understand them because you share their nature, and that the more fully-self-expressed and kind that they are in your group, the more approval they will receive. They will also be surrounded by an ever-growing group of fellows just like them.

I call these people Boy Scouts, because they are Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly.. and so forth. They are adults, long-since grown-up, and Mommy and Daddy aren't forcing them to be that way. They've made a decision on their own that they are going to be kind, and giving, for the rest of their lives. They are worthy of extra helpings that will help their light to really shine in your group, so, make sure that they get those extra helpings. They deserve to have doors swing open for them that nobody else even knew were available:

- Vouch for Boy Scouts in public. If something about them is true, necessary and kind, say it in a crowd, in their presence. Whatever good name you've built for yourself in your work should be given away freely in the form of confirming the good character of folks who have proven their worth. Your credibility becomes their credibility, on the spot.

- If there is an out-of-town event that a local Boy Scout wants to attend, set up free lodging for them with folks in the target city. Which folks do you contact in this quest? Leather titleholders. Why? Because they are a self-selecting group of people who tend to keep their words, follow through, want to make a difference in the world, and already have a basis for trust among themselves. They already have a network that allows them to say "You know, the person you want to talk to is So-and-So, because they have the information that you need."  By telling them "There is a great volunteer in our group who needs a helping hand", you're much, much more likely to create the possibility that all folks involved will build new, lasting and deep friendships. This also will open the door for folks from THAT city to come to YOUR city and crash on your couch during big event weekends. What fun!  I do that at every opportunity.

- Introduce them to other locals who share their personal philosophy, which they will know because you will explain the merits of both people while they both listen during your introduction. It's too easy for communities to degrade into what I call the "A-List" Philosophy, where the people who have the most-perfect physique, or the nicest clothes, or the most money, or some other external thing, are the only ones worthy of respect, desire or friendship.  Your job is to gather together people who agree that integrity, authenticity, kindness and full self-expression are the qualifications for the New A-List. The nicest thing about the new A-List is that it is ATTAINABLE without cosmetic surgery or other artificial means.  You just basically have to be a decent human being.

- Most important of all, as I said before, observe the actions of your local Boy Scouts, and thank them.  Always be authentic… Don't blow smoke up their kilt. If somebody is going to be kind enough to endure four hours behind a coat-check counter at a big event, make sure that they know that their efforts are appreciated, needed and add value to the event.  That person will be a lot more likely to help out again in the future. NEVER let an opportunity pass without noticing and reacting in a kind way.

- Never "spank" anybody by giving negative feedback. It's counter-productive.  I used to do it all of the time, and everybody was stressed as a result. Now that I gently ignore problems, give private time-outs for outrageous mishaps, and warmly praise desired behavior, everybody is uniformly happy and secure. We never, ever have Drama Explosions.

At every event that I'm involved with, I promise that it will be a Guaranteed Safe Space. Nobody will treat anyone else shabbily, or act out in a harmful way. By putting my ass on the line, over and over, I'm assuring everyone that somebody will take full responsibility for the safety, well-being and success of everyone at that event.

My goodness. That's an awful lot to promise, isn't it? Wouldn't that be burdensome?

Not for Traffic Cops, like me. My definition of a Traffic Cop is somebody who is hard-wired to be responsible, protective and actively willing to step in if needed, even if nobody asks, and even if we have no formal job to do at somebody else's event.

Here's a great example: Some tweaked-out straight guy came into the local gay leathermen's bar and started randomly throwing punches, without saying a word.  He was thrown out of the bar, but sneaked back in later on and started up his bad behavior again.  Six of the two hundred guys in the bar gathered around the troublemaker and immobilized him. We didn't yell at him, or hurt him, or even try to engage him in conversation, We just held him immobile until the cops arrived.

The other 194 people stepped back and let us do our thing.  That's fine - They don't share our deep-down dedication to keeping the peace. But, I made certain to notice who came rushing forward when the need was strong. ANY event is a happier place when Traffic Cops are in the building. Folks can subconsciously relax, because they know that problems will never get out of hand.

Just like Boy Scouts, complimenting a Traffic Cop for being who they are is like praising them for breathing.  it's just who they are, on a fundamental level. They still like to hear it, though, so don't be stingy.  By noticing, identifying, acknowledging, supporting and nurturing these people, you will attract more and more like-minded people.

So what about the people who don't fit into those two categories, yet? What of the shy newbie who shows up late and unprepared at one of my events, expecting something else and feeling a bit overwhelmed?

He's going to stand a little taller, and puff his chest out a bit more, unconsciously, because he'll see all of these incredibly secure, joyful and loud people all around him, and he's going to want very badly to fit in. He's hungry for better days, surrounded by people that he can depend on… the opposite of Internet Flakes. He can tell that these people really like and trust each other - If somebody were to fall backwards suddenly, many hands would rise to catch him and keep him from harm.

This is our basic, deep-down, human need, in a nutshell. Your job as a community leader is to make sure that this happens, often. In my own case, I create an ongoing series of Guaranteed Safe Spaces, where anyone who shows up can relax as soon as they enter the room. They can see that they are surrounded by people who take community very seriously, and are willing to work to make it happen. The whole team is doing what they are good at, simultaneously, and working as a single unit.

These people didn't drop out of the empty air, or just show up and get to work at random. Somebody has to be the one with the Big Dream.

I've just uploaded the following audio lectures::

Part Two: Men in Crowds

The men of the Palm Springs area are eager for better days for their community, and wanted to know how San Diego has been accomplishing so much, while enjoying so much brotherhood. I offered to share what we have learned in the last 28 months since FetishMenSanDiego was created, so I came up and gave the talk.

Rather than staying stuck in "Complaint Mode" in San Diego, we have been able to break entirely free of old ways of doing things, and are reaping the benefits. It is my wish that we all share what we learn, while treasuring all ages, colors, body-styles and experience-levels, and keep trying new things. We have wonderful new tools, so let's start the next phase!

Here are some more articles on the same topic, written as the years went by.  It is my wish that others may benefit by studying them:


Hundreds more articles like this can be found
at the Kink Mentoring Archives… Spread the word!

How Could Slaves Consent When They Had Given Up All Rights? - Consent can be withdrawn at any time by the person consenting (explained further below). Subs always control whether or not they submit to a dominant, and they can make decisions at any time.

CONSENT and BDSM: The State of the (U.S.) Law - BDSM activity, even where clearly consensual, can be and frequently is prosecuted under state criminal laws dealing with assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault or sexual abuse.

Guide to Consent - Consent is one of the biggest themes of BDSM—if you don’t know that, you really need to read up before you pick up a paddle. BDSM is built on a system of “safe, sane, and consensual.“

Guide to Consent

Hundreds more articles like this can be found
at the Kink Mentoring Archives… Spread the word!

submissivefeminist: Consent is one of the biggest themes of BDSM—if you don’t know that, you really need to read up before you pick up a paddle. BDSM is built on a system that is referred to as “SSC". “SSC" stands for “safe, sane, and consensual.“

Let’s break that down further:

Safe: Safety means understanding the risks of the activities you engage in with your partners (or even solo!). It means reading up on the subjects you’re interested in or talking to people who have experience in those areas. It means making your partner(s) aware of any physical, medical, or psychological limitations you have. It also means that all parties involved are aware of the risks of what they are going to experience within a scene.

Sane: “Sanity,” in this context, is going to be defined by the official distinction between things like masochism/sadism and Sexual Masochism/Sadism Disorder. That difference is made by establishing a healthy mindset on one’s behaviour in regards to BDSM. To meet the standard of being “psychologically healthy" when it comes to S&M, the subject must not experience distress over their urges that affects their daily life and all partners of the subject must be consenting to their activity.

Consensual: This covers all other aspects of consent, including an excitably expressed “yes!“ in regards to sexual activity, regardless of one’s personal relationship with their partner. Remember that an absence of a “no” does not equal a “yes" and intimidation for a “yes" equates to assault. Also remember that all drugs and alcohol revoke one’s ability to consent to sexual activity. Always play sober to avoid problems!

So, now that the basics of consent are established, here are some helpful tips when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship:

Always keep open communication with your partner when it comes to safety concerns, regardless of whether or not you feel it’s relevant. 

Before anyplay takes place, you should require that limitations and a safeword is established. If you don’t want a set “safeword,“ remember that “no” and “stop" are always safewords unless specifically stated otherwise.

Discuss consent in the context of your relationship. Let your partner know that you are continuously respecting their rights by asking for consent before you engage in sexual activity.

That last one tends to trip people up. Even though consent should be your number-one concern, some people are nervous about turning off their partner by talking about it.

First point, if your partner is turned off or annoyed by the idea of you respecting their consent or establishing your own—RUN. This is a huge red flag that cannot be ignored. No sane person should ever get upset that someone wants to discuss consent in a sexual relationship.

If you really don’t know how to bring it up, try these simple phrases that can be used, even in the context of a D/s:
  • “Do you like that, little one?”
  • “Show me how you like it, Sir.”
  • “Would you like me to…”
  • “What would you like to do to me, dear?”
  • “Tell me what’s on your dirty mind, girl.”
  • “Master, how would you feel about…”
Consent is not only mandatory, but it can also be used in a way that makes play more fun, like instructing your shy submissive to tell you everything they want done to them or asking your Dominant if they would like to engage in certain activities. Consent can be sexy, but it’s always necessary, regardless. Keep that in mind.

CONSENT and BDSM: The State of the (U.S.) Law

Hundreds more articles like this can be found
at the Kink Mentoring Archives… Spread the word!

dominantlife: BDSM activity, even where clearly consensual, can be and frequently is prosecuted under state criminal laws dealing with assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault or sexual abuse. Such criminal prosecution can arise in various circumstances, including:

  • The BDSM “scene” turns out to be more intense or painful or harmful than the submissive participant anticipated, and she or he goes to the police.
  • Injury is caused that is sufficiently serious or sufficiently visible that it is brought to the attention of the police by an observer, by hospital personnel or by a friend or relative of the submissive participant.
  • The police raid a BDSM event and observe conduct that they interpret as unlawful.
  • A BDSM relationship ends, leaving the submissive partner with bad feelings, and he or she complains to the police about assault or abuse.
  • Someone with a grudge against a participant in the BDSM scene or relationship makes a complaint to the police.
  • Or pictures, videos, emails, film or sound recordings of BDSM conduct somehow come into the hands of the police.
The Critical Issue: Consent

The nature of the criminal offense here is that one person causes physical harm—injury and/or intense pain—to another person. It is important to understand that the law sees this as causing harm, not engaging in mutually beneficial conduct. This means that the law treats BDSM as violence, not as sex. That explains why the issue of consent is different in BDSM cases than in rape cases. In a rape case, the sex act is not viewed as criminal unless it can be shown that one party did not consent. In a BDSM case, however, the causing of physical harm is, in and of itself, criminal. The question is whether and to what extent the law will allow such criminal conduct to be excused by the fact that the injured participant consented to have harm done to her or him.

As long as courts and lawmakers put BDSM practice in the same category as criminal assault—which is a view that the “Consent Counts” campaign will try to change—it is not surprising that they will be reluctant to allow consent as a defense to anything more than minor harm or injury. And sure enough, that is the pattern shown by the court cases, even where a court is interpreting a statute that seems on its face to allow consent to be a defense in any case where there is “serious” injury. Moreover, the courts’ reluctance to allow consent as a defense is undoubtedly influenced by the general public’s misunderstanding of and adverse reaction to BDSM as a “perverse” or even “immoral” practice.

The State Statutes—Consent as a Defense

The definitions of assault, abuse and other such crimes involving infliction of physical harm, as well as the provisions (if any) dealing with consent as a defense to such criminal charges, are matters of individual states’ laws. There is no federal law in this area. The laws vary from state to state, and many state laws on assault do not mention consent as a defense.

There are, however, a number of state assault statutes that do provide for consent as a defense. Such statutes invariably place limits on the consent defense, both in terms of the degree of harm and in terms of the way in which consent is given and the types of people who cannot legally give their consent. Many such laws closely follow the language of the Model Penal Code’s (MPC) section on consent:

§ 2.11. Consent.

(1) In General. The consent of the victim to conduct charged to constitute an offense or to the result thereof is a defense if such consent negatives an element of the offense or precludes the infliction of the harm or evil sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense.

(2) Consent to Bodily Injury. When conduct is charged to constitute an offense because it causes or threatens bodily injury, consent to such conduct or to the infliction of such injury is a defense if:

(a) the bodily injury consented to or threatened by the conduct consented to is not serious; or

(b) the conduct and the injury are reasonably foreseeable hazards of joint participation in a lawful athletic contest or competitive sport or other concerted activity not forbidden by law; or

© the consent establishes a justification for the conduct under Article 3 of the Code.

(3) Ineffective Consent. Unless otherwise provided by the Code or by the law defining the offense, assent does not constitute consent if:

(a) it is given by a person who is legally incompetent to authorize the conduct charged to constitute the offense; or

(b) it is given by a person who by reason of youth, mental disease or defect or intoxication is manifestly unable or known by the actor to be unable to make a reasonable judgment as to the nature or harmfulness of the conduct charged to constitute the offense; or

© it is given by a person whose improvident consent is sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense; or

(d) it is induced by force, duress or deception of a kind sought to be prevented by the law defining the offense.

Model Penal Code § 2.11

For our purposes the key provision in section 2.11(2)(a), which allows consent as a defense to the infliction of bodily injury where the “injury…consented to is not serious”. Thus the question that courts must decide in any given case is what is meant by “serious” injury. And on this point, the MPC offers in Section 210.0 (3) a definition that, if courts would only apply it literally, is quite helpful in the BDSM context:

Section 210.0 Definitions…

3) ”serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serous, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

Read literally, this would allow consent as a defense to most forms of BDSM practices. Breath control and certain other play might be seen by a court as creating “a substantial risk of death”. And scarification and some other forms of “extreme” or “heavy” scenes might be found to cause “serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of {a} bodily member or organ.” But a literal application of the MPC standard would permit consent as a defense in most assault or abuse prosecutions based on BDSM practices.

The problem is that the courts—not just some courts; all courts—consistently classify as “serious” almost any injury, no matter how slight, and even in some cases interpret the causing of significant pain, even with no physical injury, as “serious injury” to which consent cannot be given.

The Cases—Courts Refuse To Accept Consent as a Defense

To date, there is not a single appellate court decision anywhere in this country that has accepted consent as a defense in an assault or abuse prosecution arising from BDSM conduct. The following overview, from Consent to Harm by Vera Bergelson, 28 PaceLaw Review 683, at p.691, is a good summary of the case law:

Since any harmful act that does not fit into the “athletic” or “medical” exception is, by definition, criminal, unless the inflicted injury is not serious, assessment of the seriousness of the victim’s injury determines the outcome of many cases involving consensual harm. A typical penal statute classifies bodily injury as serious if it “creates a substantial risk of death or causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” Pursuant to this definition, any short-term, non-life-threatening injury should not be deemed “serious.” Yet, as the MPC acknowledges, the assessment of the seriousness of harm is often affected by judges’ “moral judgments about the iniquity of the conduct.” Courts tend to inflate the risk and harmfulness of an activity they want to denounce. For example, any injury caused during a sadomasochistic encounter has been consistently classified as serious.

28 Pace Law Review 683, 691
An early, and typically bad, example of a pure “consent is no defense” ruling is People v Samuels, a 1967 California decision. In that case, Martin Samuels was convicted of assault based on his conduct in a film of an apparently consensual BDSM scene. The court not only rejected the consent defense, but also appeared to hold the view that any such consent would be “some form of mental aberration”:

Even if it be assumed that the victim in the ‘vertical’ film did in fact suffer from some form of mental aberration which compelled him to submit to a beating which was so severe as to constitute an aggravated assault, defendant’s conduct in inflicting that beating was no less violative of a penal statute obviously designed to prohibit one human being from severely or mortally injuring another.

People v. Samuels 250 Cal.App.2d 501, 514, 58 Cal.Rptr. 439, 447 (Cal.App. 1967)
The Samuels decision was cited as recently as 2006, in People v Febrissy. In that case, the defendant’s lawyer sought to invoke the doctrine enunciated by the Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas, which held (in a sodomy prosecution) that, absent a compelling societal interest (and moral disapproval is not such an interest), the government cannot make private consensual sexual activity a crime. That argument was rejected.

An argument based on Lawrence v. Texas was also rejected in the Nebraska case of State v. Van, 268 Neb.814 (2004). Van was convicted of first-degree assault on the basis of an extended imprisonment and extremely intense BDSM/torture of a gay male submissive. The submissive initially consented to practices that were quite intense, but the evidence was in conflict as to whether he later withdrew that consent. On appeal, defendant Van argued that this was a case of “two adults who, with complete and mutual consent, engaged in sexual practices common to their homosexual, BDSM lifestyle” and as such was protected under Lawrence v. Texas.

Rejecting that argument, the court made three points. First, it noted that the Lawrence opinion contained a phrase that its doctrine only applies “absent injury to a person”. Second, the court emphasized that the evidence on the issue of consent was not clear-cut. Finally, and most fundamentally, the court held—citing the other decisions discussed in this paper—that consent is not a defense to a charge of assault:

Our statutes defining first and second degree assault include no reference to consent…This court has held that “all attempts to do physical violence which amount to a statutory assault are unlawful and a breach of the peace, and a person cannot consent to an unlawful assault”.

In most BDSM assault cases, the testimony of a complaining witness (the injured person) is central to the case, and often there is conflict on the issue of consent between the defendant and the complaining witness. However, even where both participants agree that the acts in question were consensual, the courts have held that consent cannot be a defense. Thus, in Commonwealth v. Appleby, a 1980 Massachusetts case, the court said:

“Grimm’s consent to assault and battery upon him by Appleby by means of a dangerous weapon cannot absolve Appleby of the crime…”Commonwealth v. Appleby, 380 Mass.296, 311, 402N.E.2d 1051,1061 (Mass. 1980).

In Iowa v. Collier, there were wildly differing accounts given of a BDSM incident, but the judge refused to let the jury consider the question of consent. The Appellate Court upheld the conviction and ruled that consent was not a defense. Significantly, the Iowa law on assault was in most ways similar to the Model Penal Code.

Provided, that where the person doing any of the above enumerated acts, and such other person, are voluntary participants in a sport, social or other activity, not in itself criminal, and such act is a reasonably foreseeable incident of such sport or activity, and does not create an unreasonable risk of serious injury or breach of the peace, the act shall not be an assault.

I.C.A. § 708.1
The court’s moralistic tone in rejecting the consent defense is a good illustration of the type of thinking that seems to underly most judges’ handling of BDSM assault cases:

The foregoing discussion compels us to conclude that, in the present case, the legislature did not intend sadomasochistic activity to be a “sport, social or other activity” under section 708.1. We are hesitant to give a precise definition of this term and believe it is more appropriate that its meaning be interpreted on a case by case basis. However, it is obvious to this court that the legislature did not intend the term to include an activity which has been repeatedly disapproved by other jurisdictions and considered to be in conflict with the general moral principles of our society. In fact, the statutory provision in question specifically excludes activities which would “create an unreasonable risk of serious injury.” There can be little doubt that the sadomasochistic activities involved in this case expose persons to the very type of injury deemed unacceptable by the legislature. Were we to follow defendant’s broad interpretation of “social activity,” street fighting, barroom brawls and child molestation could be deemed acceptable social behavior, since such conduct is considered acceptable by some segment of society.

State v. Collier 372 N.W.2d 303, 307 (Iowa App.,1985)
People v. Jovanovic was a New York case involving an intense scene between a man and a woman who had previously engaged in extensive Internet discussion of their BDSM interests. The scene apparently went bad, and the woman went to the police. Mr. Jovanovic was tried and convicted of assault, sexual assault and kidnapping. The Court of Appeals, although it reversed the convictions on evidentiary grounds, very explicitly stated in a footnote that consent, while available as a defense to the charges of kidnapping and sexual assault, was irrelevant to the assault charge:

There is no available defense of consent on a charge of assault under Penal Law §§ 120.00[1] and 120.05[2] (contrast, Penal Law § 120.05[5] [where lack of consent is an element]). Indeed, while a meaningful distinction can be made between an ordinary violent beating and violence in which both parties voluntarily participate for their own sexual gratification, nevertheless, just as a person cannot consent to his or her own murder (see, People v. Duffy, 79 N.Y.2d 611, 584 N.Y.S.2d 739, 595 N.E.2d 814), as a matter of public policy, a person cannot avoid criminal responsibility for an assault that causes injury or carries a risk of serious harm, even if the victim asked for or consented to the act (see, e.g., State v. Brown, 154 N.J.Super. 511, 512, 381 A.2d 1231, 1232; People v. Samuels, 250 Cal.App.2d 501, 513-514, 58 Cal.Rptr. 439, 447, cert. denied, 390 U.S. 1024, 88 S.Ct. 1404, 20 L.Ed.2d 281; Commonwealth v. Appleby, 380 Mass. 296, 402 N.E.2d 1051;Iowa v. Collier, 372 N.W.2d 303).

People v. Jovanovic 263 A.D.2d 182, 198, 700 N.Y.S.2d 156, 169 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept.,1999)

It is important to note that the Jovanovic court cited the Samuels, Appleby and Collier decisions, confirming that the prevailing view is that there is a settled precedent, established by a series of decisions in state courts across the country, that consent is no defense to a charge of assault arising from BDSM practices.

A Few Rays of Hope

Despite the consistent refusal of state courts to recognize consent as a defense to BDSM-based assault prosecutions, there are reasons to hope that a long-term, carefully planned Consent Counts campaign can reform this area of the law.

For one thing, the U.S. Supreme Court has created a doctrine of privacy that, at least in some areas of sexual behavior, now insulates consenting couples from criminal prosecution. While the doctrine ofLawrence v. Texas (mentioned earlier in this paper) has not been applied in the BDSM context, the principle of privacy is a powerful one that works in our favor.

The Model Penal Code’s quite favorable definition of “serious injury” also has the potential for use in changing the trend of court decisions. At the very least, it gives us the starting point to argue that the consequences of BDSM should be treated no differently from other injury-causing activities.

Finally, while no decision has yet explicitly accepted the defense of consent in a BDSM-based assault prosecution, at least two courts have reversed convictions on evidentiary grounds in ways that suggest that the consent of the “victim” may have played a role in their thinking. Thus, while the Jovanovic footnote states that consent is no defense to assault charges, the court’s reversal of the conviction was based on failure to permit the use of evidence of consent, and the court reversed not only the sexual assault and kidnapping convictions (for which absence of consent is an element of the offense), but also the assault conviction.

And, a recent Rhode Island decision, State v. Gaspar, reversed a BDSM assault conviction on evidentiary grounds that related in part to the issue of consent. While the court did not discuss the issue of consent with any specificity, the decision contains the following assessment of the central issue in the case:

The evidence adduced at the trial of this criminal case included testimony concerning a multitude of unconventional sexual practices but ultimately presented only one question for the jury’s determination: did the events of the night in question constitute a mutually consensual sexual encounter between two adults or a brutal sexual assault?

State v. Gaspar 982 A.2d 140, 141 (R.I.,2009)

This is, in fact, the core issue we face in the Consent Counts campaign: Can the courts and society be brought to understand what we in the BDSM community know to be the case—namely, that what we do “constitutes a mutually consensual sexual encounter between adults” and is not “a brutal sexual assault”? If we can get that point across, then perhaps we can persuade courts and legislatures that injuries caused by BDSM should be prosecuted only when not consensual or when the injury is so severe (the Model Penal Code definition) that it constitutes an abuse of BDSM practices.

Other Legal Models for BDSM Cases

Prosecutions that grow out of BDSM incidents are generally brought under the assault statutes. This is one of the reasons, perhaps the major reason, that courts rebel against allowing the defense of consent. The essence of the crime of assault is the attack on one person by another. The concept of consenting to such an attack is, to some extent, counter-intuitive.

Some cases arising from BDSM incidents, however, have been prosecuted under the criminal charge of battery. Battery, unlike assault, does not necessarily involve an attack by one person against another. The crime of battery is injurious touching or striking of one person by another. Thus, in battery cases, there is an issue as to the context in which the injurious touching or striking occurred. As the Court of Appeals of Indiana stated in Helton v. State, 624N.E.2d499(1993) at 514, n.22:

Consent is connected with the harm or evil sought to be prevented; therefore, if the victim consents to the defendant’s touching, that touching is not rude or insolent and should not be considered unlawful unless it meets one of the exceptions to the general rule.

The exceptions to the general rule (in Indiana) that consent is a defense to battery, and specifically is a defense available in cases “involving sexual overtones”, are as follows:

(1) Where the defendant goes beyond acts consented to;

(2) Where it is against public policy to permit the conduct or resulting harm even though it is consented to, as, as where there are no sexual overtones and the battery is a severe one which involves a breach of the public peace, as well as, an invasion of the victim’s physical security;

(3) Where consent is ineffective as where it is obtained by fraud or from one lacking legal capacity to consent;

(4) Where a deadly weapon is employed;

(5) Where death results; or,

(6) Where the battery is atrocious or aggravated. [Helton 624 N.E.2d at 514, citing Jaske v. State, 539N.E.2d 14, 18 (Supreme Court Indiana 1989).]

The concept here is that touching or striking, unlike an attack, is not inherently criminal. (Similarly, the conduct underlying the offense of rape - sexual intercourse - is mutually pleasurable conduct when consensual, and becomes criminal only in the absence of consent.) Thus, when that conduct is consensual, even where some injury is caused, it is more palatable to find that such consent prevents the conduct from being a criminal offense.

Our communities certainly do not view BDSM as an attack by one person on another. Rather, we see BDSM as mutually pleasurable conduct, the details of which are negotiated in advance and generally subject to agreed safe words and other protections. If we could persuade courts to adopt that view of BDSM, we might also persuade them that such cases are not appropriately prosecuted as assault, but rather as battery. Thus consent would normally be a defense—as is true in battery cases with “sexual overtones”—subject to the exceptions listed above.

This would not necessarily eliminate the moralistically motivated tendency of courts to seek reasons not to allow consent as a defense, however. In Govan v. State, 913 N.E.2d.237 (Indiana Appeals Court 2009), the defendant (Govan) was convicted of both assault and battery, based on a BDSM incident in which he “punished” the victim (A.H.) by branding her with a hot knife and whipping her with an electrical extension cord. The appellate court rejected Govan’s argument that A.H.’s consent was a defense to his conduct. First, it ruled that consent could not be a defense to the assault charge. Second, although the court acknowledged that consent was a valid defense in a battery case having “sexual overtones”, it found that the use by Govan of a knife invalidated the defense:

Turning to the case at hand it is undisputed that it involves sexual overtones. Notwithstanding those overtones, A.H.’s consent is not a defense to the crime because Govan’s actions involved a deadly weapon,…namely a knife, and therefore A.H.’s consent is not available as a defense to battery. Govan, 913 N.E.2d at 242-243.

In summary, one approach that could increase our communities’ access to a consent defense would be to persuade the courts that BDSM incidents should be prosecuted, if at all, under battery statues rather than as assault. Even in battery cases, however, we need to find ways to deal with the moralistic prejudices that lead courts to stretch for reasons to reject consent as a defense.

The DSM Criteria—Changing Psychiatry’s View

It is important to note that, in parallel with the Consent Counts project, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is working to change the way BDSM is understood by the psychiatric profession whose views influence the attitudes of the public and the courts toward our communities. Until 1994, BDSM was classified in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the “DSM”) as a form of mental illness. With the adoption of DSM IV in 1994, this classification was modified so that today BDSM—along with cross-dressing and fetishism—is a mental illness if it is determined that you are suffering “clinically significant distress—i.e., your BDSM behaviors: 1) are obligatory, 2) result in sexual dysfunction, 3) require participation of non-consenting individuals, 4) lead to legal complications, or 5) interfere in social relationships.

The Association is currently engaged in a new revision, referred to as DSM V. NCSF is actively involved in this process, working to further reduce, if not remove entirely, the stigma attached to BDSM. Importantly, this new revision may result in a distinction between consensual and non-consensual BDSM. This, of course, would be consistent with and would give impetus to our political and social advocacy in the Consent Counts project.

Copyright, NCSF, 2010. NCSF grants permission to reproduce this document, provided it is reproduced in its entirety and distributed free of charge.

For more info on BDSM, professionals, the law, the DSM and more, please go to

Coping Tips for Long Distance Relationships

Hundreds more articles like this can be found
at the Kink Mentoring Archives… Spread the word!

psych-quotes: 10 Ways To Survive A Long Distance Relationship

Long distance is tough, there’s no doubt about it. But it can be made less painful with these tricks:

1. Break it up. Say, for example, they’ve gone away to college in another city. Rather than thinking of it as four years apart, break it up by focusing on the next time you’ll see them. Maybe that’s only a month or two from now for thanksgiving. Doesn’t that sound way more manageable?

2. Embrace multimedia communication. No, you can’t see each other in person and that sucks. But you can text, email, Skype, send snail mail, etc. The more ways you utilize to talk the more fun and variety you’ll have in staying in touch.

3. Make plans to look forward to. Don’t just focus on seeing each other over Christmas. Make some fun and special plans for that time. This will give you something to look forward to and you can have fun talking about it and planning it together.

4. Use visuals. Send him a selfie of your new haircut instead of just emailing him about it. Or send her a picture of your new car. You’ll feel more like you’re right there with each other.

5. Mail packages. That’s right, snail mail. It’s fun to get mail and it takes that extra bit of effort to put a package together and send it which will make the recipient feel that much more special.

6. Have TV/movie dates. Just because you can’t cuddle on the couch that doesn’t mean you cant both watch the same movie while you’re on the phone or watch a TV show together and text through the commercials.

7. Make a relationship playlist. Listen to it when you miss each other or when you want to get psyched for their visit.

8. Keep busy. The time apart is guaranteed to drag by if you sit at home by yourself. Throw yourself into school or work and spend lots of time with your friends. If you keep your schedule packed they’ll be back before you know it.

9. Send quick messages. It’s great to talk on the phone for an hour every night but it’s also fun to send and receive little notes or texts throughout the day. Send funny thoughts, photos or just tell them that you’re thinking about them.

10.Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Use your time apart to remember all the great things that you love about each other. When you see each other again you will be even closer together than you were before and being together will be awesome.


Getting The Most Out Of A Long Distance Relationship 

1. Make the effort to stay in touch – Text, call or skype every day, if you can. It’s important to be part of each other’s daily life. Also, send each other letters, thoughtful cards and little gifts to show the other person that they’re always on your mind. That helps to keep the fires and romance alive.

2. Be open and discuss what the boundaries will be if you’re going to be living far away from each other. For example, will the relationship be casual or it is serious? Is it going to be exclusive or is it non-exclusive? What are your short and your long term goals – and how will these impact the relationship?

3. Despite the fact you’re miles apart, get creative and find things that you can do together. For example, you could see the same movie then discuss it on the phone; or, you could read the same book, or join an online group. Also, give your partner something that reminds them of you so you’re always there is spirit – even when you’re miles apart.

4. Recognise the benefits of living your own life and pursuing your own interests, and doing things you love. Enjoy being with your friends, and having time to yourself, and following your passion, and finding your true self.

5. Don’t try to control the relationship. At the end of the day, it all comes down to trust - and choosing to be loyal and committed to each other. Also, being jealous and suspicious usually wreaks relationships. Don’t interrogate your partner or monitor their moves.

6. Try to visit each other as often as you can. Figure out how this can happen, how often, where, and when.

7. Remember that you’re still in a relationship. You could have gone your separate ways - but you both want to be a couple!

How To Make Long Distance Relationships Work

Communication is Key

Phone calls and video chat apps such as Skype and the iPhone’s FaceTime are key to maintaining healthy long distance relationships. Both partners should get a laptop, tablet, or smartphone to keep regular visual contact with each other.

Trust Each Other

This may seem like a no-brainer, but avoiding jealousy in a long distance relationship is very important. After all, it’s impossible to know who your significant other is hanging out with at any given time. As tough as it may be, you have to be supportive of your partner’s social relationships; they can’t become a shut in just because you can’t go out together.

Do Things Together

This may seem like an impossibility with distance looming between you, but distance dates are actually possible. Use online communication to do things together such as cooking the same meal at the same time, watching the same movie at the same time, or sitting outside and looking at the stars together. Online dates are a great thing for distanced couples.

Visit Frequently

Doing things together virtually is great, but it’s no substitute for true togetherness. Take turns visiting each other, or meet halfway as often as possible to restore intimacy in your relationships. Scheduling these regular visits, even short ones, should be a priority in managing your relationship.

Stay Positive

The loneliness of a distance relationship can sometimes feel more depressing than that of being single. Stick with it - things will get better.

Plan for the Future

Talking about the future and making plans for how and when you will eliminate the miles from your long distance relationship can help make the separation more bearable.Appreciate the Distance
There are some positives to a long distance relationship. You can appreciate your partner more (absence makes the heart grow fonder), and you avoid all those petty fights over little things. It’s also great for couples who need a certain amount of personal space.

Provide Personal Comfort

Give your partner a personal object to wear, carry around, or cuddle with for those moments when the distance just seems too great.

Be Supportive

Be there when your partner needs you. Even if you can’t be there physically, be available to talk on the phone, chat online, or video call. Being part of a relationship means providing emotional support, even when its inconvenient. You may not be together physically, but you’ve made an emotional commitment.

Long Distance Relationships - Tools To Cope


Long distance relationships pose their own unique set of challenges and test one’s ability to form a close relationship. They are not for the faint of heart. Trust is paramount. Communication is essential.

Forming that close bond can be a test of stamina, patience, understanding, trust, loyalty, commitment and stopping the relationship from becoming stagnant. To keep it entertaining, and a little more exciting, W/we have come up with some ideas we would like to share with those of you currently in, or contemplating, an LDR.

Installing Skype is absolutely recommended and your favourite IM program is a must have.
If you have a smartphone you can add these for when you are on the move, at work or just generally away from a PC. Technology is right at your fingertips so use it to its potential.

Communication is the foundation of any relationship. In an LDR it’s the key to success or failure. To help overcome the distance we have comprised this list of how an LDR can be made a little easier to deal with and, hopefully, a bit more exciting and to give some ideas on how to avoid the relationship and time spent together from becoming tiresome.

Watch movies together

o   This can be done in numerous ways but we have discovered that iTunes, the laptop/pc DVD player or downloading is the best way. (DL at your own risk)

o   Try and keep with the same format as movies can and will go out of sync.

o   Obviously both partners need to have a copy of the movie.

o   Hint. Skip the opening titles (as they can vary) and pause at the very start of the movie, count down 3-2-1 go…


o   There’s something for everyone on here. From documentaries, TV shows, clips… it’s all on here. W/we use this all the time. Sync at 3 seconds and you’re good to go.

o   Hint. Right click the video and ‘copy link URL at current time’ and send it to your partner. All set to watch with minimum hassle!


o   This may not be to everyone’s liking or interest but if both partners have it, use it.

Read a book

o   A simple and inexpensive way to spend time together. One partner reads out loud to the other. Books, iPad, kindle or even magazine articles… use your imagination.

Play a game

o   Trivial pursuit, chess, monopoly…any board game can be played over Skype.  Again, use your imagination.

Share a meal together

o   Home cooked, take-a-way or fast food. As long as you share it together the choice is endless.

o   Open a joint tumblr account and share thoughts, post messages, ideas or anything you want to share with your partner.

PC or Laptop

o   I think a lot of LDR couples may overlook the very thing they are communicating with. Send links, clips, stories, music videos… anything of interest, share it.

Communication & commitment

o   One advantage to being in a LDR is there’s plenty of time to talk and get to know your partner. There’s no pressure to get physical.

o   People may think that in LDRs there’s a lack of communication. That is in fact false. Since there is no “physical contact” people can learn more about each other and really get to know what makes the other person tick. For example, Daddy and I don’t have to guess each other’s likes/dislikes or moods. We know exactly what W/we want.

o   Having a computer between the two of you shouldn’t make anything different. This may sound like a contradiction buts it’s still okay not to force a conversation and just enjoy one another’s company. Just be natural.

o   There’s no need to ‘tie’ yourself to the computer. You can still be online and do your thing! (Sometimes I may write, kitten may draw or do arts and crafts) It’s about spending quality time together.

For the D/s side to LDR we have come up with some of our own practises and some new ones too:

Rules,  discipline &  general guidance

o   Rules and discipline can be maintained over Skype. Whichever rules can be monitored via video should be enforced. (Example; My girl has a rule to keep her room tidy and clean it once a week)
o   Punishments. (Example; If written lines are given as a punishment they can be viewed).
o   Use the technology as much as you can to remain consistent.
o   Choose her outfits, underwear, footwear, etc.
o   Choose which color nail polish or lipstick she should wear.
o   If you cannot be there to choose her underwear, have her hold them up a pair at a time and screenshot each item. This way you will have her entire collection at your disposal to choose from. Send her a picture of the day’s choice/s.
o   Choose her meals. (Example; She can give you a choice of three)
o   Health and fitness can be monitored over Skype.
o   Assignments, tasks, etc. can also be monitored.
o   Bedtime curfew can be enforced.
o   Make sure she has her stuffies and read her a bedtime story.
o   Sleep together over Skype.

Remember that Skype can be your eyes and ears into your partner’s world. You can help to decide on new outfits, purchases, home decor or new furnishings, etc. Treat it like you are actually there with them and be involved in decision making and offering help or advice.

Dom’s, have your girl buy a dice. There are so many applications for using this as a tool for discipline. (Blank off #3 which will count as 0 and use it as required)

Orgasm control & discipline

o   Have her roll it as and when desired. The corresponding number could be total orgasms for the day.
o   Number of days with no touching.
o   3x rolls could be number of spanks, etc.
o   Using your own personal touch and imagination can produce limitless uses and make her feel closer to you.

Trust and communication are essential for a successful relationship. Without either of these in place the relationship is doomed for failure. Make every effort to stay in contact with your partner and as often as time allows. Skype every day, if possible, and make every effort to stay in contact during the day, something such as a quick ‘thinking of you’ or ‘hi, how are you?’ can make all the difference to your partners day. Use all available media and technology to communicate.

Text, call, email, IM, send photos or a video message. 

It’s so important to be part of each other’s every day routine and life. Remember special occasions and send cards and gifts. Send your partner a gift to give them a physical reminder of you, something to touch, to hold or to look at. Sending a personal item for them to hold or cuddle can be comforting for those times when the distance can be a little overwhelming. A few examples of what to send:

  • A mug or coffee cup
  • Tie or cufflinks
  • Stuffies
  • Hand written letter
  • Framed photo of yourself
  • An item of your clothing (hoodie, sweatshirt, scarf, plaid shirt, etc.)
  • PJ’s or a ‘onesie’ to wear and sleep in

Do not try to control your partner or question their every move. Give them space to live their normal life outside of the relationship. If you cannot trust your partner and become jealous or suspicious of them this will pretty much guarantee the end of the LDR. Don’t constantly demand to know their whereabouts, what they are doing or who they are with.

Trying to monitor them constantly will only show your lack of trust you have towards your partner. It all boils down to loyalty and commitment.  Your partner chose to be in an LDR and accepts the challenges a distance relationship brings with it. There’s a fine line between jealously and envy. You may envy your partners friends who can visit them anytime or call to arrange to meet for a coffee. But if you are jealous or annoyed with them, your relationship will suffer and deteriorate.

Family commitments, appointments, time with friends, etc. all need to be maintained and encouraged for both partners. If you feel the need to be constantly ‘online’ with your partner for fear they will disappear then you are not living in a trusted relationship. Learn to let go and let them have their freedom. You should be confident and secure in the LDR to know they will always come back to you.

Plans for the future in a committed LDR? Discuss when you are planning on meeting. Set a target date/time of when and where and how often this will take place.

Be supportive and make the effort to be there when your partner needs you. Try and make yourself available to offer comfort and support, especially when the distance can become an emotional strain. Sometimes just making yourself available for your partner is all that is required. Knowing the other person is ‘there’ can be very comforting and reassuring.

If both partners have a demanding schedule then it would be advisable to keep a diary or online calendar. Don’t suddenly spring a prior arrangement on your partner when you have both made plans to spend time together. Trust me, this is very annoying and brings unnecessary strain to the relationship. Again, without wanting to sound contradictory, there may be times when a ‘spur of the moment’ family commitment occurs. This can and does happen, don’t get upset with your partner. I can assure you they will be equally as disappointed as you are!

Not often mentioned in any LDR essay is time difference. For those couples living in different countries this is one of the most difficult, and sometimes stressful, parts to a LDR. Even a few hours’ time difference can be difficult to work around. How both partners deal with this is up to them to decide. There is no right or wrong way to advise on this or approach a solution. Manage your time; be prepared for late nights or early mornings. W/we have a system that works for us.

Week days, we have a bedtime set for these nights but at the weekend it’s more flexible. It is very easy and tempting to stay awake when you should be sleeping but I can guarantee you this… you will become constantly tired if you continue in this way and your sleep will be disrupted. Find a system that suits you both and stay within the agreement.

Contemplation: Sticking With Plans


It’s something that I finally realized as a major problem LDR couples face as “discrimination” from the outside world that includes family and friends is the concept of LDR couples having plans and spending time with each other.

I use the word “discrimination” because in many cases even though an LDR is acknowledged as a “real” relationship, there is always that feeling that LDR plans can be treated as secondary to “real life” plans. Some friends can be good about it no doubt, but then there is almost always that odd friend or family member who just takes it for granted that a person in an LDR can’t possibly have a specific plan or routine to spend time with their SO (Significant Other).

It’s not something you can easily overcome, but it’s also not something that should be left unacknowledged. I wouldn’t be surprised if individuals within the relationship themselves tend to overlook the importance of making plans and going through with them. I personally don’t think that LDR plans ought to be any more fluid or flexible as real life plans and/or treated any differently.
My advice is to think about it this way. Treat and think of LDR plans to talk, spend time together the exact same way you would treat a plan with an SO In Real Life.

I think this is an inherent weakness of an LDR but it can be overcome with recognition and communication.

The Long Distance D/s Relationship


I’ve been asked many times to give my opinion or offer advice on how to negotiate a long distance Dominant/submissive relationship. I’ve been reluctant to write this piece because I’ve never been in one. However, based on the volume of LDR-related questions I receive, I thought it was worth while to compose this.

Is this what I want?

I want you to ask yourself this question: Why do I want to be in a LDR? I don’t have a quippy, canned response; but LDRs come with far more challenges than short-distance relationships, so it follows that you ought to be very clear why you’re choosing in to an LDR.

When you choose a LDR, you are choosing OUT of a close-distance possibility. You may not be aware of the possibility, but you’re closing the door on it. You’re choosing to occupy your energy, attention and focus on someone else. You’re going to miss out on other opportunities.

Ask yourself how important physical touch is to you. Technology is amazing; but you can send text messages every five minutes and skype every night and still not ever touch the person you love. Is that really what you want?

If, after reading all of that, you’re still 100% committed to driving down this road, read on.

I’m writing these tips from the Dominant perspective, so if you’re a submissive, I suggest you share this article with your partner. My tips for negotiating a long-distance, D/s relationship are all based around structure and accountability – not that different than my advice for a close-distance relationship.

How Do I Structure My Relationship?

Create Boundaries and expectations. Will you see other people IRL ()In Real Life)? Online? Be clear and explicit, or feelings will be hurt.

Create scheduled check-in times. I recommend three levels: text, phone, and Skype. During a work day, I recommend a minimum of 3 text check-ins and one phone check in. For example, I would expect my girl to text me 3 times during the day, once before 10AM, once before Noon, and once before 4PM. 

One of the check-ins must be a picture of herself. The phone call would be scheduled – for example, 6PM for at least 20 minutes. The Skype would be at bed time. Side note for Dominants – you need to setup check-ins for yourself as well. Your partner needs to know when s/he can expect to hear from you. Building trust is about consistency; this is NOT a one-way street.

Weekly Date Night. Set aside a night each week that’s just about you and your partner. No distractions, no other obligations, just two laptops and quality time.

Undies control. I’m a big believer in this for close-distance relationships too. Doms – have a photo-catalog of your submissive’s undies on your phone, and pick them out each day. This way you will have control over the fabric touching your most precious possession’s most tender parts each day. Submissives- this is a great way to remind yourself who’s in charge, but also to feel close to your Dominant.

Bed time and wake-up time. If you’re in love, you want that person to be your first and last thought of the day. What better way to do this than sending a picture of you in bed to your Dominant to show you’re obeying his schedule?