A common mistake

So I received this email yesterday, and with Omega writing my last post, I thought it fitting that I post this today.

Miss Jen,

I was wondering if you could help me.  I married a wonderful vanilla woman who was open to D/s.  Over the past couple of years we’ve gradually been moving closer and closer to a TPE.  But lately it’s come to a complete standstill.

She got a new job and it’s really been stressful for her.  She comes home stressed and tense but it seems like whenever I try to help her, it just makes it worse.  Whenever she starts venting and I try to help her it just makes her more annoyed.  I’m at a point where I really just don’t know what to do.  I almost wish she’d just quit her job.

Thank you for anything you might be able to provide.

Sigh

Alright, so I know that you’re trying to help, and your heart is in the right place, and all your intentions are pure.

But you’re making a huge mistake here.

Don’t feel bad, pretty much all men make this mistake.  And since I’m in a good mood, I figured I’d take this opportunity to tell all the men who make this mistake why they need to stop doing what they’re doing.

The thing is, all you men want to swoop in like knights in shining armor and solve all our problems.  And cool, that’s admirable.

But you’re going about it in completely the wrong way.

There’s this show I watched when I was a kid, and one particular scene stuck with me.  A girl was locked in the bathroom, the door was jammed, so she called for help.  Her parents came and said, “Have you tried the knob, honey?”

She said, “Of course I’ve tried the knob!  I’m not an idiot.”

So then the repairman-superhero came and asked what was the matter.  The parents explained that the door was jammed, their daughter locked inside.  So the repairman walked up to the door and said, “Have you tried the knob, honey?”

I didn’t know why it stuck with me, but now as an adult, I get it.  It’s funny, but what most men don’t realize is that it’s funny because it’s true.

Picture this for me:

A young maiden is out in a field, picking flowers and putting them in her basket.  Suddenly, a group of cruel men run up to her, hold a knife to her throat, and tell her to give them her purse, with all her gold, or they’ll rape and murder her.  She’s terrified, she drops her basket.

But then, the valiant young knight comes riding into view, galloping on a magnificent steed to save the day.  He quickly dismounts and picks up her basket, then sets to picking flowers, filling it up the rest of the way.

The men take the maiden’s gold and run off.  And then, the knight hands her the basket, filled with flowers.  “Here, milady,” he says cheerfully.  “I’ve filled it for you.”

“Have you lost your mind?” she shouts.  “How was that supposed to be helpful?”

The knight is offended.  “See if I ever help you again.”

Now picture something else:

Stephen Hawking has agreed to teach a math class to a group of young students.  After his first class, he is annoyed at how little they know, and he vents to his friend.

“I have to start all the way from the beginning,” he says.  “They don’t even know the prime numbers through 100.”

His friend tries to be helpful.  “Oh, well I could help you find the prime numbers if you want.  It can’t be that hard.”

“What?  Are you insane?  Do you not know who I am?  I’m Stephen-fucking-Hawking.  I know the prime numbers up to a thousand.”

“Geez, I was just trying to help.”

And one more:

A young woman is driving through Amish country and gets a flat tire.  A young Amish man, completely unfamiliar with cars, comes to her aid.

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s a flat tire.  So annoying.”

“Well, have you tried turning the car on?”

“What?  How would that help?”

“Don’t they pump up the tires automatically?”

“No.”

“Oh.  Well what about using a straw to blow air into it?  That would work, right?”

“No.”

“I see.  Well what about replacing it with a wooden wagon wheel?”

Now the woman is irritated.  “Look, stop pretending you know more about this than I do.  I’ve already called a tow truck.  I’m annoyed because I have to wait so long, but I’ve already solved the problem.  I don’t need your help.”

Yeah these scenarios are exaggerated, but that’s literally how ridiculous you all sound when you try to help us solve our problems.

Because the thing is, we don’t need your help.

To the gentleman who wrote this email, I’d say your specific situation is the third one.  Do you know the ins and outs of your wife’s job?  Do you know everything about it?  Do you know it better than she does?

I’m going to assume you don’t.  So you “trying to help” isn’t helping.

It’s demeaning.  Fuck yeah, it makes the situation worse.

We’re not idiots and we’re not children.  We know how to solve our own problems.  We don’t need your help.

Whenever I’ve had this same identical conversation with any man, it’s always been the same.  He, trying to be helpful, suggests obvious things that even a child would’ve tried.  Or completely irrelevant things.  Or he tries to pretend he knows the situation better than I do.

Kazander is very good at very many things, but he is particularly bad with this, no matter how many times I correct him.  It’s a habit 38 years in the making.  It doesn’t break easily.

Most recently, I couldn’t find the TV remote in the bedroom, the spawn has the habit of moving it to random places.  So when Kazander texted me to ask how my day was going, I told him I was annoyed because I couldn’t find it.

He replied with, “Have you looked under the bed?  Or with the spawn’s toys?”

Oh wow, you know I never thought of that.  I would’ve just stood there in the middle of the room like an idiot if he hadn’t suggested those things.

Yeah dude, that’s demeaning as fuck.

Of course that’s not the way he intends it.  The last thing he wants to do is disrespect me.  He genuinely thinks he’s being helpful.  He’s trying to help me.

I get it.  And yeah, it’s sweet that he tries to help me.  Still, he’s going about it in entirely the wrong way.

Stop it.  All of you.  Just stop it.

Want to know how to handle it when your wife vents to you after a hard day?  Easy.  Remove all the suggestions and replace them with, “Damn, that sucks.”

You want to help her?  You want to be the knight in shining armor?

Say it with me: “Damn, that sucks.”

When your wife/girlfriend/literally any woman vents to you, that is your mantra.  And build on it if you need to.  I mean, make it your own.

“Damn, that sucks.  I’m sorry you have to deal with that.  It’s got to be rough.”

That’s how you do it.  Don’t belittle her by trying to solve her problems for her.  That’s not what she wants.

She wants support.  She wants empathy, or at the very least, sympathy.  She wants to know that you’re there for her.

If she wants your help, she’ll ask for it.  Until then, don’t offer it.  Just offer support.  Do that, and you’ll be shocked at how quickly her anger will fade.

So do that for a week.  And I’m serious, don’t make any suggestions.  Don’t “try to help” her.  Don’t try to solve her problems for her.

Hell, I’m a living example of how well that works.  Sounder is very good at the “Damn, that sucks” thing.  And it’s almost eerie how quickly he can calm me down when I’m annoyed or irritated, or flat-out enraged.

When I need his help or his advice, I ask for it and he readily gives it.  Other than that, he generally sticks to the “Damn, that sucks” thing, and even I’m continually surprised at how effective it is.

Stop “trying to help” your wife and actually help her by giving her what she wants.  Do that for a week, and then let me know how it works.  Tell me it doesn’t make a huge difference in your marriage, in her ability to cope with the stress of her new job.

Babies lower libido

Jen,

You mentioned your kid having an impact on your sex life and I was wondering if you could help me with a bit of an issue with me and my wife.

We both identify as switches and our play often encompasses a wide spectrum of different kinds of power dynamics.  Most people don’t get it but we’ve been together almost five years and it’s always worked great for us.

Six months ago we had a baby.  Our first.  And I couldn’t be happier.

But my wife’s sex drive tanked after she had the baby.  It still hasn’t come back even a little bit.  And nothing I do seems to help.  I’ve been taking on more and more of a Dominant role hoping to get interest and it really hasn’t worked.  About half the time she just isn’t interested at all.  The other half she’ll engage but the play is always really short and just sort of bland.

We’re definitely in a rut.  I don’t want to pressure her or anything.  I know she has a lot on her plate but I just don’t know how best to help her.  Any advice you may have would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Oh, dear.

Well, I don’t know your wife, so I can only speak for myself, but you’re not going to like my answer.  Hell, even I don’t like my answer.

And the answer is…..

There ain’t shit you can do but wait it out.

After I had the kid, my libido outright disappeared.  From what I understand of other women’s experiences, that’s relatively normal.

Because think about it.  Take away the physical crap, and the fact that it takes months to feel yourself again physically, but let’s just look at the hormonal stuff.

Because hormones play a pretty big role in libido.

For months, her body was affected by the baby.  And most guys don’t really get just how much the baby affects the mother.  I mean, a lot of people have heard that if the mother is injured or sick, the fetus will send stem cells to the affected area of her body (this is horrendously oversimplified, btw, but that’s the gist of it), but that’s just one thing, and that doesn’t really affect her in the day-to-day.

She’s literally got foreign DNA in her body.  The body, as a general rule, doesn’t like foreign shit in it.  Which is why rejection is such a big deal for organs or implants or literally anything put in it that was not in it when we were born.

Of course we have progesterone to help deal with that, but the higher amounts of hormones in our bodies, coupled with the hormones produced by the fetus, is a big burden.

Over 9 months, those hormones build and fluctuate as needed.  It’s a gradual thing, and it adjusts depending on how far along the pregnancy is and a number of other things.

But then, she has the baby, and it’s the sudden absence of the baby’s hormones, plus the more or less sudden cessation of the production of her hormones, and just as it took months for the hormones to build and help her body normalize while she was pregnant, it’s going to take months for her to adjust now that the baby is born and go back to normal levels.

There’s nothing you, or she, or anyone can do about it.  There does not exist a quick pill she can pop, there does not exist a sex therapist or psychiatrist or whatever who can fix her hormones.

I know what she’s feeling right now.  Pretty much every woman who’s had a kid knows what your wife is feeling now.  It’s not great.

Because we’re not idiots, and neither is your wife.  We know that there’s something off, we know that we have no libido, we know that our partner isn’t happy with what’s going on, and we know that there’s nothing we can do about it.

What sucked sweaty, hairy rhinoceros balls was how long it took for my libido to come back.  Granted, there were a couple of other things that contributed (one or two of which I’ll get into here), but it was a good solid year, maybe even a year and a half, before my libido started getting back to normal.

Don’t want to wait that long?  Tough.

Well, there may be some things you can do.  But I make no promises.

First of all, stop trying to get her interested.  Stop it.  Just stop.

Sex is not a part of your life right now.  At all.  Just accept it and move on.

Why?  I’m happy to tell you why.

Because she knows that you’re unhappy, she knows that she’s letting you down, and every time you mention it, every time you come on to her and her stomach turns (because yeah, no matter how hot you are, no matter how much she loves you, that’s about the reaction), and she’s faced with the decision whether to fake it to satisfy you or to be honest and let you down again, it’s going to be a step backward, and it’s going to put her in a bad mood, and it’s going to take longer for her libido to come back.

Because right now, on a subconscious level, she sees sex as a negative thing, because of all the baggage that’s attached to it right now.  Because every time you try to engage her, she feels hugely pressured, and it’s just another reminder that she’s not herself and it’s almost like her body is betraying her.

She feels pressured to be the person she used to be, when she’s still trying to figure out how to live in her new body.  It’s an unnerving and uncomfortable experience, and it lasts months.  The more pressured she feels to be who you want her to be, the longer it’ll take for her to feel normal again.

You want to help her?  Take the pressure off of her.  Stop focusing on the sex.  It sucks that you’ll have to do without, and I get the impression that you’re monogamous, so going outside the marriage isn’t an option (*note* if you are monogamous, do NOT broach the subject of opening the marriage right now.  Yeah, she might be open to the idea, but more likely she’ll be hurt.  This is temporary.  You can go without sex for a couple months.  You’ll live, I promise).

Once she feels relief from that constant pressure and negativity associated with disappointing you, she should be able to turn her focus to herself, and figuring out her new “normal.”  The sooner she can do that, the sooner her libido will rise.

And help out around the house more.  Changing dirty diapers and waking up at 2 am to the sound of a crying hungry baby doesn’t turn anyone on, okay?

I don’t know if she works or stays home, but regardless, it’s exhausting.  And I don’t know how active you are as a parent, but just statistically speaking, mothers do most of the work.  They also do most of the housework.  If your wife is working, she’s got to do all of that with holding down her job.

If she’s not working, then most of the time she doesn’t even get to interact with another adult until you get home.  She has no escape.  She has no breaks.  She has no sick days.  She can’t ever step away.

She feels that pressure weighing down on her, and she resents the baby, she resents you, and she hates herself because a “good mother” wouldn’t feel what she feels.

I flat out hated Kazander for the first 5 or 6 months after the spawn was born.  He could get up every morning and go to work, and have discussions with grown ups, and for the first couple months I was breastfeeding, so I couldn’t drink, I couldn’t go anywhere without a pump, I couldn’t leave her with a sitter for an evening and just get out and relax, I couldn’t get a break.

And then of course I hated myself for hating him, and for resenting the spawn.  I knew I was being ridiculous for blaming him for everything (even though he’s the one who wanted her, while I was leaning toward adoption).  I knew intellectually that millions of women feel what I felt, and that it was okay, and it’s normal, and temporary, and everything would eventually be fine.

Intellectually, I knew all that.  It didn’t help me in the moment, though.

Working mothers also deal with guilt from a different place.  Because after maternity leave, they struggle with leaving the baby to go back to work.  Because if they breastfeed, they have to work pumping into their work day.  And there are a number of moms I knew who worked and breastfed, and particularly for those who had male bosses, there was always that fear that eventually the boss would decide accommodating her pump schedule was just too inconvenient.

I know a woman who works as a private secretary who would literally pump in the car, while she was driving, doing errands, so her boss wouldn’t decide it was too inconvenient.

Of course, in her case, her boss found out what she was doing and immediately put a stop to it, and firmly let her know that there was never any errand he needed her to run, there was never anything he needed her to do that could not wait twenty minutes.  She only had to pump once each shift anyway, so she had nothing to worry about.

And I’d go out on a limb and say that the vast, vast majority of male employers are the same way.  People generally aren’t assholes.  Chances are there’s nothing to worry about.  But there’s still that tiny nagging fear.

Many working mothers also feel guilty for leaving home.  They struggle with missing their kid, and missing such a big chunk of their kid’s day.

I mean, regardless of whether your wife works or stays home, it sucks.  She deals with all of that, all day, every day, and then she comes home and cooks, cleans, and takes care of the baby, and even without hormonal imbalances, it’s no surprise she has no libido.

So it sucks for you, in that you’ll have to just do without for awhile, but if you can suck it up and wait it out, and help alleviate some of that pressure, you’ll be able to cut down at least some of the time you’ll have to wait before her libido returns to normal.

And trust me, she’ll see the effort you’re putting in, she’ll see how you’re working to help her, and she’s not going to forget it.

Why I believe in astrology

So I was talking with an old online acquaintance the other day, when I mentioned astrology.  His response was:

I just don’t get it.  You’re so wise and educated about everything else.  You aren’t swayed by popular opinion.  You always go for objective facts in every other subject.  But you buy into this astrology and Tarot thing, hook, line, and sinker.  Even though the facts and evidence are mounted against it.  Why?  On some level you must know it’s bullshit.  Why do you believe in it?

The short answer?  Because I’ve looked at the objective facts and have formed my own opinion, regardless of the popular consensus among other educated people.

I’m not going to get into Tarot here, that’s a whole separate thing, but yes, I do believe in astrology as a tool that, as long as one recognizes it for what it is, is extremely useful and quite effective at achieving a specific set of goals.

I’ll use the hammer reference that is so often used in debates regarding gun ownership in the US.  If you’re not from the US, and not familiar with the reference, it goes like this:

A hammer is a tool.  It is neither good nor bad.  It can be used to build a house for a homeless veteran, or it can be used to bash someone’s skull in.  The result of either scenario is not due to the hammer, but the person wielding it.

Astrology can use a somewhat similar metaphor.  Because it is a tool.  It is neither good nor bad.  It is neutral.  It can be used reasonably, by a reasonable person, for constructive purposes, and it can be used unreasonably, by an unreasonable person, for destructive purposes.

And for the record, the facts and evidence are not mounted against it.

*If you’re a skeptic, and you are polite and respectful of those who choose to believe in it, then cool.  Carry on.  What I’m about to say doesn’t apply to you.*

Most skeptics I’ve talked to actually know literally nothing about astrology, aside from reading the occasional newspaper horoscope or daily horoscope on some free website.  They have formed their opinion knowing literally nothing about it.

Which is just as bad as wholeheartedly supporting astrology, knowing literally nothing about it.

Honestly, I don’t care.  Your opinions are your opinions.  And I’d say most of the skeptics I’ve spoken to have been polite-ish and respectful-ish of my conscious decision to believe in the validity of the practice.  And those who have not been polite or respectful, I honestly just shrug off.

The kind of person who forms an opinion on something they know nothing about, and then gives me hell for having a different opinion, is not the kind of person I’m interested in debating with.

Because you can’t win that kind of debate.  Meaning you cannot convince a willfully ignorant individual to let go of his ignorance.  And usually, willfully ignorant individuals are extremely unwilling to let go of their ignorance, and therefore I don’t bother wasting my time trying to educate them.  I honestly just don’t care.

But again, for the record, there does not exist a mountain of empirical, concrete evidence disproving astrology.  There doesn’t even exist a moderately large hill of evidence disproving it.

Most people who do a ten-minute google search and promptly assume they are experts in the field will quote the 1985 study by Shawn Carlson, showing that astrology was no better than chance.  And then, believers of astrology will answer with Professor Suitbert Ertel’s 2009 reappraisal of the data collected in the study, and his conclusion that (in layman’s terms) Carlson is full of shit.

They’ll then follow with Vernon Clark’s 1961 study showing that astrologers could match and identify personality traits in individuals with a rate of accuracy that was significantly higher than chance.  Some may then go on to quote Michel Gauquelin, who studied a few thousand celebrities from Europe and the US, looking for correlations between the positions of planets at an individual’s birth, and any concrete effects it had on their lives, such as choice of profession and independent biographical descriptions.

He found statistical abnormalities in the positions of planets visible in the sky at the time and location of the individuals’ births, for example the position of Mars figured heavily in professional athletes, Jupiter in actors, Saturn in prominent scientists, and the Moon in well-known writers.

Three independent groups in Belgium, America, and France scrutinized his study, looking for errors, and ended up replicating his result.  Whether they used the same group he did, or completely different groups, those same statistical abnormalities were there.

So I mean, for every study out there proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that astrology is bullshit, there’s another one proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there’s validity to it.  There is no mountain of evidence on one side or the other.  Using any particular study as the sole basis for one’s opinion in this subject is illogical and inaccurate.

So here are my thoughts on it, taking out personal experience (which, as someone who did/does this for a living, is extensive af).

Okay, so there are three main fields that focus on all that fancy space shit: astronomy, astrophysics, and physical cosmology (you also have sects of cosmology that are more mythical/spiritual/religious/philosophical, etc.  I’m not talking about that here, because that’s not recognized as a legitimate science the way physical cosmology is.  But for simplicity’s sake, I’m going to just take out the “physical” and call it cosmology, and you all will understand that I’m talking exclusively about physical cosmology).

At its simplest, astronomy is the study of all the stuff you see in the sky right now (or with a telescope).  All the celestial bodies, stars, planets, all the objects out there.

Astrophysics is all about asking why, about discovering the processes that made the stuff we see in the sky, and why those things we see do the things they do.

Cosmology focuses on the origin, evolution, and eventual fate of the Universe as a whole.  And in cosmology, there are three components that make up the Universe: radiation, matter, and dark energy.

Dark energy is pretty damn interesting, what we know of it, anyway, and the theories surrounding it range from really cool to really fucking bizarre.  All we know is that it is why the Universe is expanding at an accelerated rate.  The most common theory is that dark energy is an attribute of space itself, that space literally has its own form of energy, and the more the Universe expands, the more space comes into existence, the more dark energy is formed.  And the more dark energy is formed, the faster the Universe expands.

This means that dark energy permeates everything, interacts with everything, and has a pretty damn significant effect on the Universe, itself, and everything in it.  In fact, dark energy makes up the vast majority of the Universe, at about three quarters.

Cool, right?  Except we have no idea what it is, or, outside of pushing things away, what it does, and how it affects literally anything else.  And, as being about 75% of everything in the Universe, it’s reasonable to surmise that it does have some sort of effect.

One new theory is that dark energy governs time, the fourth dimension of the Universe (or spacetime, it’s really way more complicated than that, but we’ll call it time, this is already long enough).  Because, as fucking weird as it sounds, we cannot fully explain why time only moves in one direction.

Because the Universe (we think) operates according to the laws of physics.  I mean, as far as we can tell, that’s pretty constant.  But the interesting thing is that like, 99.99% of physics is completely time-reversible.  Meaning that it works regardless of the direction time moves.  To completely oversimplify it to a laughable degree, think of a planet orbiting a star.  Physics makes the planet orbit the star, and the only affect time has on the orbit is the direction.  Move time forward or backward, and the result is identical, aside from the direction of the orbit.  The past and future are symmetrical.

So if physics allows for time to move in any direction, why doesn’t time move in any direction?

There really isn’t a great answer for that.  The only real “explanation” is the second law of thermodynamics, which we also don’t fully understand.  It says that, as time moves forward, shit gets more complex and crazy.  This is, obviously, not time-reversible, and physicists reluctantly settle on it as the reason why the past and future are asymmetrical, and why time can only move in one direction.

It’s like a ruined orgasm, though.  It works, sorta, but it’s not satisfying, it’s just disappointing.

But dark energy could actually offer a more complete explanation.

So some really smart people with a metric fuckton of time on their hands decided to see if the second law of thermodynamics and dark energy could be related, because why the fuck not?

They created a little mini-Universe thing, consisting of a planet orbiting a star with a changing mass.  Super limited scope, but they didn’t even know if they’d find anything.

Well they found something.  If dark energy didn’t exist, the little planet just kept orbiting the star forever and ever, super boring.  And unchanged regardless of which direction time moves.  Run the simulation for billions of years, and the past and future are exactly the same.

But toss dark energy in the mix, and it pushes shit apart, which means that the planet would eventually be thrown out of the orbit, and go down a path it could never return from.

And obviously, this is not constant regardless of the direction time moves.  Move time forward, and the planet gets further away from the star.  Move it backward, and it gets closer.  The past and the future are now asymmetrical.  And because dark energy is always pushing things away, it requires that time only moves in one direction.  Time going backward would mean that dark energy is pulling things together, which is impossible (we think, we actually have no idea what dark energy is going to do in the future).

Dark energy must push things apart, and this only works if time is moving forward.  So dark energy, the thing that makes up the majority of the Universe, could literally govern the laws of time.

Now, this was one little experiment, with one little planet and one little star, so no one is getting too excited yet.  But it’s interesting to think about what other effects dark energy could have on the Universe.

But at the very least, even if it doesn’t affect anything, everything we experience from space passes through it.  Gravity, light, radiation, subatomic particles, literally everything.  It reaches everything, it touches everything.

So in that light, it’s reasonable to theorize that we could be literally and physically connected to the celestial bodies that figure prominently in astrology (as well as every other celestial body in the Universe).  Which means it’s reasonable to theorize that, to a miniscule degree, those celestial bodies and the energy they produce could possibly have a legitimate effect on us, particularly if they are visible to our part of the world at the time of our birth.

But that’s not the only thing.  There’s also dark matter, which is seriously fucking cool.

Here’s what we know about dark matter: if the laws of gravity are correct, it must exist.  We can’t see it, but we can see the effects it has on light around it.  It bends light around it, using gravity, but we obviously can’t see it the way we can see a black hole (which also bends light due to gravity).  We can also see stars orbiting around the outer edges of galaxies much faster than they should be able to.

We know that it doesn’t react with anything that we can see.  Just gravity.  So, while dark energy is pushing everything apart, dark matter is defying the laws of physics, holding things together in ways we can’t even begin to understand yet.

The most widely accepted theory is that it’s a massive particle that is just too light and too weak to interact with anything we can perceive and detect.  But if that’s the case, how is it holding normal matter (ie, planets, stars, galaxies) together even as force and dark energy are pulling them apart?

We can see that it’s clumped together throughout the Universe, and that in the very beginning of the Universe, it created a sort of scaffolding that influenced the location of normal matter as time went on.

Some theorize that it is evidence of extra dimensions, and suggest the existence of a “Hidden Valley,” an entire parallel Universe made up entirely of dark matter, existing right alongside us, completely imperceivable to us.

Some theorize that it connects everything, in one massive chain, to the literal center of the Universe, where the laws of physics, including gravity, originated.  It touches everything, permeates everything, connects everything.  That it is not limited by the fourth dimension, and harnesses the power and energy of the Big Bang, bringing it infinitely forward and backward through time, affecting everything it touches.

As wild as both these theories may seem, scientists literally cannot even come close to disproving them.  Not even remotely.  What’s more, we can’t even come up with a plausible reason why they couldn’t be true.  We just don’t know.

All we know is that it touches everything, and that it’s everywhere.  Just as dark energy is.  Billions of these particles (if they are particles) are passing through our bodies every second.

Dark matter and dark energy are these mysterious forces that simultaneously prove and defy the laws of physics, affect gravity and the energy holding us together, potentially govern time itself, and possibly hint at entire realities we could never hope to comprehend.

And I mean, this shit is real.  It is recognized science, these are widely known and accepted theories throughout multiple scientific fields.  And we have no idea how it affects us.

When you look at all that, and then take into account the radiation, light, particles, and literally everything else we’re exposed to every millisecond of every day, all the shit literally bombarding us from space, is it really that much of a stretch to think that the closest celestial bodies, the ones visible to the naked eye, just might have an effect on us?

To a point?

Cuz uh, I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch.  You know, because science.

Our personalities are incredibly complex and multifaceted.  No, that can not all be explained by the positions of the planets and stars when you were born.  No, you will not find all the answers in astrology.  No, it is not infallible.  And your Sun sign is only one part of your astrology birth chart.  There’s a lot more to it.  So it’s not 100% accurate.  My parents, a Leo and a Capricorn, are sort proof of that (I say sort of because they stayed together until my dad died, but they definitely weren’t all that happy together).

Hell, I’m a walking example of it.  I’m an Aquarius, and do well with Capricorns.  Consecutive signs are never compatible.  Now, there are theories regarding Aquarius and Capricorn combinations, and why those specifically might do better than other combinations (one of the most popular is due to the planet rulers.  Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, which represents discipline and structure, while Aquarius is ruled by Uranus, which represents rebellion and impulsiveness.  However, Aquarius is also co-ruled by Saturn, which may temper the Aquarius’ flightiness just enough, and give an Aquarius and Capricorn just enough that they can still relate to one another), but Aquarius and Capricorn should not work at all.  Aquarius is Air, Capricorn is Earth (Earth and Water go together, while Air and Fire go together).  Capricorn is negative (or feminine, or yin) while Aquarius is positive (or masculine, or yang).  And in this case, opposites don’t attract.  Negative goes with negative, positive goes with positive.  Capricorn is a Cardinal sign, while Aquarius is Fixed (Cardinal and Mutable go together, while Fixed signs usually do best with other Fixed signs).  Aquarius is flexible by nature, and considered to be the most “Mutable-ish” of the Fixed signs, but it’s still a Fixed sign.

It should not work.  At all.  Granted, it’s not the worst possible combination of the zodiac (that would be a tie between Aquarius and Cancer, and Aries and Scorpio), but it shouldn’t work.  Of course, I’ve got Virgo rising, which helps, but still.

It’s not infallible.  It’s not a science.

It’s a guide.  An eerily accurate guide to help people learn more about themselves, to inspire them to want to learn more about themselves, and reflect on who they are and how they relate to the people around them.  It encourages people to examine the way humans interact with one another, to examine what makes them who they are, and how to overcome their weaknesses.

And yeah, y’all.  It’s eerily accurate.  There are obviously exceptions to every rule, and Star Signs are only one part of our astrological chart (for example, my Sun sign is Aquarius, which makes me impulsive and insensitive, but I have Mercury conjunct Venus, which tempers that coldness with tact, politeness, and empathy due to an extraordinary ability to see and understand everyone’s point of view.  I also have every planet but one in Quadrant II, which makes me diplomatic and protective of those around me), but using astrology, we really can see clear, objective pictures of ourselves.  We can see our strengths and we can learn how to improve our weaknesses.

All I need is your birth date, and I have a pretty accurate idea of who you are.  Give me the time and place of your birth as well, and I know enough about you to truly creep you out and make you uncomfortable.

I did this for a living, y’all.  And I was damn good at it.  People would call me with relationship problems, I’d ask their birthday and their partner’s birthday, and before they could say another word, I could completely pick apart their relationship, telling them exactly what problems they were having, and why they were having those problems, and how to fix them.

Again, not infallible.  But I was right well over 90% of the time.

Still skeptical?  Alright, I’ll prove it.  Each sign has personality strengths, but those are easy and generalized, so I’ll do one better.  Just off the top of my head, here’s a list of common weaknesses for each sign, along with things each sign secretly worries about.  Scroll to your sign and tell me I’m wrong.

Aries:  Impulsive and quick to anger, and once you start, it’s hard to stop.  You’ll never shy away from a fight or an argument, even going as far as ending a relationship or friendship, but you often end up regretting it, and want those people back.  You pretend not to care, you pretend to be the strong, immovable one, but you can’t handle losing people.  The problem is that the regret and guilt set you off even more, which makes you even quicker to anger, and it’s a vicious cycle you don’t know how to stop.

Taurus: Stubborn to a fault, and impossible to reason with when angry.  You will push others away when angry, and won’t accept reconciliation.  You also tend to bottle things up, letting them build and build until you explode, and once that happens, you truly become a rampaging bull, and nothing and no one can stop you.  But deep down, you’re afraid that those you love just don’t want you around, or that they don’t love you the way you love them.  You’re steady, stable, and reliable, and put a great deal into your relationships.  But you worry that it won’t be reciprocated, and that instability is one of your biggest fears.

Gemini:  Argumentative and changeable, you’ll debate anything, anywhere, with anyone, but you don’t like being told you’re wrong, and can take it personally when someone doesn’t agree with you.  But deep down, you’ll adjust and change who you are to fit in with those around you, because being untrue to yourself isn’t as bad as being alone.  You’ll even take this as far as completely changing who you are around certain people.  You can’t handle boredom, and falling into a rut is something you truly dread.  Aquarius and Sagittarius are the signs most known for running when they feel trapped, but Gemini is right up there with them.  A dull routine will rot your soul.

Cancer:  Ruled by emotion, you can be pessimistic and insecure, and those emotions can become louder in your head than reason and rational thought.  But you try to hide it, because you think if others see that you’re upset, you’ll be disappointing them.  You pretend to be happy, taking care of everyone around you, neglecting yourself.  You never want people to think you’re too much trouble, and a fear of rejection or the unknown can keep you frozen in place.  You can also be spiteful, just as much as Scorpio.  The difference is that Scorpio has better control of their emotions, and is very deliberate in their vengeance, while you will lash out.  Even if you’re justified in lashing out, though, you’re generally gentler and kinder than Scorpio, and you’ll feel guilty afterward.

Leo: Not everything is about you.  You’re proud and have trust issues, and tend to blame yourself for everything, convincing yourself that you’re unlovable.  But you need to learn that you’re not the cause of every bad situation.  A bit on the melodramatic side, you work hard to cultivate a reputation as being the best, but this mindset that no one can do it as well as you can exhausts you.  You like being the leader, the protector, you like taking care of those you love, you take pride in taking care of those you love, but you don’t have to be perfect for people to love and admire you.  Everyone needs a break once in awhile, and you’re no exception.

Virgo:  As long as everything goes your way, you’re totally flexible.  You’re a perfectionist, and when people see you, they see someone who has their shit together.  Underneath, though, you’re less sure of yourself.  You have extremely high expectations of yourself, and worry that you won’t be able to live up to it.  You put an immense amount of pressure on yourself, and all that constant pressure makes it hard for you to stay positive, and you can get overwhelmed easily.  Spending time alone means getting lost in your head with a mind who looks at you and sees someone who can’t measure up to those high expectations.  So you avoid being alone if you can, because your mind doesn’t stop, it doesn’t have an off button.

Libra:  You need balance in your life.  Confrontation and anything that throws off that balance is something you avoid.  Often, you’ll outright lie to avoid an argument, and pretend everything is fine.  You’ll be untrue to yourself before causing any perceived stress to those you love.  Letting down those you love is the worst feeling in the world, and you’ll do anything to avoid it. But sometimes, making the right decision is hard.  You can become frozen when presented with a hard choice, spending more time analyzing what you should do, than actually doing it.  Your analytic mind can be difficult to turn off, and you fear making the wrong decision, particularly in love.

Scorpio:  Yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone knows that Scorpios are the darkest sign, the most vengeful and spiteful, the ones who will use that stinger without hesitation when threatened.  This is not news (perhaps the fact that more serial killers are born under the sign of Scorpio is news, but I’d bet money that not a single Scorpio is surprised by that).  But what most people don’t realize is that all that venom hides arguably the most sensitive heart of the zodiac. Unique among water signs in that, while you’re ruled by your emotions, you have incredible control over them and will hide, not letting anyone get close, and using that stinger to push them away.  You don’t trust easily, and you don’t trust many, and allowing people to see that vulnerability means giving them the power to hurt you, and that terrifies you.  As loving and sensitive as you are, you crave that fulfilling relationship with someone you love and trust.  But the problem is that you’re so afraid of being betrayed, you’re so afraid of losing who you are, you’ll just instinctively push people away.  You’re worried that this habit will keep you from ever finding that kind of love, but you don’t know how to fix it.

Sagittarius:  So commitment is a thing.  Also, emotion regulation is a thing.  You are intimately familiar with neither of these things.  Explosive and impulsive, you’re pretty open and wear your passions, rather than your emotions, on your sleeve.  Because of your openness, it’s really no big secret that your biggest weakness/fear is commitment.  It’s not that you’re unfaithful, though.  You’re the archer, and a centaur, and you embody both the horse and the hunter.  Wild horses can’t be tamed, and hunters need room to roam.  Being pinned down, losing your passions, losing who you are, is scary.  But what fewer people know is that your openness and your generosity lend to a forgiving nature that can often be taken advantage of.  You wonder if people will ever appreciate you, or if they’ll just continue using you.

Capricorn:  Everyone knows that Capricorns harbor a fear of failure, that’s pretty well obvious in the sign most widely associated with workaholics and ambitious climbers of the career ladder.  But there’s a whole different side that no one knows about, because you’ll do anything to avoid showing them.  Judgmental, condescending, and antisocial, this is easily the most misunderstood sign of the zodiac, because you don’t make it easy for people to get to know you at basically any level.  Stoic and steady is good, but there’s such thing as too much of a good thing, and you tend to not have a lot of deep connections with people.  But while your poker face is convincing, it’s still just a poker face, and you feel deeply and passionately, and can get lonely and moody.  But a fear of rejection, judgement, and abandonment keeps you from reaching out.  The goat never gets tired on the way to the top, and can handle immense amounts of stress, so you’d rather deal with it alone than risk being hurt.  Just as fiercely protective of those you love as any Leo, you have a habit of taking that too far, thinking you can protect everyone you love from everything bad in the world.  You’ll do anything to avoid putting a burden on the people around you, and feel guilty if you think you have.  You think you’re doing the people around you favors by keeping your struggles and your pain to yourself, and you don’t realize you’re pushing them away.  Because of all this, you worry that you’ll always feel isolated, but you don’t know how to fix it.

Aquarius: Oh dude, so many.  We all know about the fear of, and disdain for conformity, and the lengths to which you’ll go to break free of it.  There are even Aquarians who deliberately buck against the expected Aquarian attitude, just because they hate being put in a box.  But you’re pretty good at disguising your true self, so people don’t often know the rest.  You’re often cocky and overconfident, elitist, and unapproachable.  Impulsive and creative, you have great ideas and can create extremely specific plans, but get bogged down in the details, and then get bored, and then move on to something else.  You can’t finish a sandwich.  You actually enjoy being alone, one of the most comfortable signs with getting lost in your own head, so that combined with your detached and aloof attitude makes people feel like you don’t want them around or don’t care about them.  Also, emotions are things.  Like, they actually exist.  Maybe show them once in awhile.  You’re the master at hiding what you’re feeling, even better than Capricorn, Cancer, and (the most widely recognized master of hiding) Scorpio.  But there’s a reason for that.  Capricorn is Earth, and Cancer and Scorpio are Water.  They have better relationships with their emotions than you do.  Emotion is your biggest, most far-reaching weakness.  Your defense mechanism when you can’t handle emotion is to lock it up and pull away, but while this allows you to function, and you’re arguably the best sign in a crisis, able to stay calm and think quickly and creatively, it’s a double-edged sword, because you worry that you don’t actually feel emotion the way people are supposed to.  You’re so used to burying it, you feel like it’s muffled and muted compared to everyone else.  You wonder if you’ll ever feel emotion the way people are supposed to.

Pisces:  You need to be reassured in a relationship.  Extremely sensitive and tender-hearted, you put everything you are into a relationship.  But an avoidance of confrontation, combined with that sensitivity, means that it’s easy for people to take advantage of you.  You’re very self aware, so you likely know when it’s happening, but fear of confrontation and losing those you love will keep you silent.  You’re notorious for daydreaming, creating elaborate alternate realities in your head when you’re struggling with the world around you.  That self-awareness has limits, though, and you’ll often deliberately delude yourself into thinking everything is just fine, rather than dealing with the truth, because dealing with the truth is stressful, and you’d rather be taken advantage of than be alone.

So yeah, there’s validity to this shit.  It’s not all bullshit.  And I’m not going to discount something based on the opinions of people who know nothing about it.  They think that believers of astrology look at it as a science, when it’s not.  They think that believers of astrology worship it like a religion, when they don’t.

Astrology speaks to us.  It gives us a window into who we are.

At its core, that’s all astrology is.  It’s not a science or a religion.  It’s a language.  Its purpose is to communicate.  It’s up to us whether we want to hear the message, and what we do with it.

Topping from the bottom

I realize that topping from the bottom is frowned upon. But why? I know everyone is different. But ultimately the goal  is the sub has to get what he wants. Yes I know that the domina is in charge and is responsible but is the sub always supposed to be silent about what’s happening?  I would think some subs get off just on being submissive,, but I think most like certain things.  Is this one of those bdsm philosophy things,. Or is it something  else?

Alright, so those not familiar with BDSM and D/s relationship dynamics may not know what “Topping from the bottom” is, or why it’s one of the biggest relationship killers out there.

But before I get into that, there is a slight issue with semantics.  Because there are occasionally specific situations in which something is discussed and agreed upon beforehand.  This is usually called “bottoming from the Top,” but different people say different things.

Generally speaking, “Topping from the bottom” is when a sub uses manipulative, deceitful, or passive aggressive methods to get what he wants.

Why is that bad?

Well let’s use a vanilla equivalent.  You’re married.  Your wife makes dinner every night. It’s something she likes to do, and with your work schedules, it makes sense, so she does it.

But she makes pork every night.  Without fail.  And you actually don’t like pork very much.  The first week or so, you just dealt with it because it’s what she wanted.  But as time goes on, it’s becoming a problem.

You have three options:

1.  Stay silent forever, while resentment slowly builds and turns to anger, and before long, you despise her and hate your life.

2.  Say, “I love your cooking, but I’m actually not a huge fan of pork.  Could we try chicken at some point this week?  Or maybe steak?  Whichever you’d prefer, really.  I’d be happy to help if you’re not sure how to make it.”

3.  Say, “Great.  Pork again.  What a surprise, since that’s apparently all you know how to cook.  And since it apparently never occurred to you to ask what I want.  You know, ever.  How about branching out, huh?  Or does your culinary prowess not extend to birds or cows?”

I’ll just come out and say it; Option 1 is unacceptable, and there’s not a whole hell of a lot out there that will piss me off more, or piss me off faster, than discovering my partner has had an ongoing issue they chose not to tell me about.  So we’re just going to throw that one out.

Technically, both 2 and 3 will solve the pork-every-night problem.  One solves the problem in a constructive, mature way, and the other is selfish, disrespectful, demeaning, makes your partner angry and defensive, and causes a great deal more problems down the line.

Topping from the bottom is Option 3.  It’s a childish, selfish, immature way to handle any given situation.

But there is this comment, which caught my eye.

But ultimately the goal is the sub has to get what he wants.

Absolutely not.  At all.

This is a mindset surprisingly common among male submissives (I have yet to meet a female sub with this mindset) and now seems as good a time as any to set the record straight.

No, the ultimate goal of a Femdom is not to have the sub’s wants and desires met.  Not even a little bit.

I’m serious.  That cannot be even remotely a priority in his mind.  At-fucking-all.

And I cannot stress this enough.  It’s something that is so hugely instrumental to the success of a Femdom relationship, and it’s something that a depressingly high number of submissive men just don’t get.

And this mindset kills relationships faster than anything else I’ve seen.  Even I can’t save a relationship from this mindset.

Now, I specifically look for it, and will not even enter into a relationship with a man who thinks this way.

Why?  Because when the sub’s focus is on his wants, his desires, his comfort, his happiness, then his focus cannot be on his Dominant.  What’s more, it stains and tarnishes everything he does.

Because every effort he makes to serve her is with the expectation of, and entitlement to, a reward.  His kinks and desires are forefront in his mind, and pleasing his Domme is merely a means to an end.

It’s a selfish kind of service, contingent upon what he wants, his moods, his libido.  It’s done at his convenience, on his time.

No.  God, no.

His focus cannot be on himself.  At all.  That’s not the way a D/s relationship works.

Now, does that mean he must stay silent?  Of course not.  In fact, I expect my subs to speak up, and am annoyed and irritated (if not flat-out angry) if they don’t.

Subs are people.  They have wants and desires.  They have their kinks, they have their likes and dislikes.  A responsible Domme knows what her subs like, what they want, and makes sure they are fulfilled.  It’s a relationship.  It’s give-and-take.  She can’t neglect her subs.

But she’s human.  She’s going to fuck up.  When she does, it’s the sub’s responsibility to tell her.  And it’s the sub’s responsibility to be tactful, polite, and constructive when he does.  Whether she’s neglecting a kink he loves, or focusing on something he hates, or an act causes an unexpectedly strong reaction, anything.  It’s his job to tell her.

Of course, if he tells her, and she doesn’t adjust, then that’s on her, not him.  That’s not something he can control, and it may be time to consider leaving the relationship if his needs aren’t being met.

But his job is to serve her.  Period.  End of story.  That must be his goal for any relationship with me (I obviously can’t speak for every Domme, but for the life of me, I can’t think of a single 24/7 dynamic where that would work), if it’s going to last.

It goes back to my favorite quote:

A sub sacrifices control for freedom, and a Dominant sacrifices freedom for control.

The whole point of a Femdom relationship is that he serves her, putting her needs unequivocally above his own, trusting that she’s going to take care of him.  That’s why it’s so important that the Domme be held to high standards, and that she be in complete control of herself, because if he’s not focusing on his needs, and she’s not focusing on his needs, there’s a problem.

And he puts the ability to meet his needs and his wants in her hands, understanding that sometimes, she’ll meet every desire, and sometimes, she’ll withhold it all.  Accommodating his desires is completely at her discretion, and she is under no obligation to tell him if/when/how she will accommodate his desires.  And should she decide to withhold them, she is under no obligation to tell him why, for how long, or what she’s working toward.

Should he start getting concerned, of course he’s welcome to discuss it with her in a constructive and polite manner, rather than topping from the bottom, and then it will be her responsibility to reassure him, comfort him, and remind him that she will take care of him.  But even then, she’s under no obligation to tell him anything about what she’s thinking.  Because that’s not the point.

He’s supposed to trust her even when he doesn’t understand why.  He’s supposed to serve her with the understanding that she could spend an entire weekend accommodating his every desire or fantasy if she wants to, or she could lock him in a dog kennel and leave him there the entire weekend, completely ignoring him.  It’s completely up to her.  Responsible Dommes understand that there needs to be a balance, and that every relationship is give-and-take, but that’s her job, that’s her focus. Not his.

That’s the ultimate goal in a Femdom relationship.  For the sub to serve the Domme, meet her needs, put her wants and desires about his own.

Because a well-served Dominant is happy Dominant, and a happy Dominant is an attentive Dominant.

Why idiots are idiots

So this was the original answer I’d written for the comment left on my Feeding the Troll post.

It’s no secret that many within the Maledom and the vanilla world are less than accepting of male submission.  Attitudes range from indifferent disinterest to impassioned disgust.

The article I linked to described one Dom who curled his lip at a male submissive, and said, “I want to say, ‘be a man!'”

And again, my response to this is the same as my response to BBWs who deal with those who look down on them: who the fuck cares?

But when you look at where this attitude comes from, you realize that the mindset is so much more legitimately harmful than just one guy being a judgey asshole.

Now, I will give some men a bit of a pass on this, because in a few very rare cases, there is actually a legitimate reason for the discomfort.  I know this because I feel the exact same discomfort in seeing a woman dominated by a man (and while I know intellectually that submissive women consent to and enjoy sessions, and can handle seeing a BDSM session with a male Dom and female sub, to this day, I still cannot watch male-on-female rape fantasies, or even rape scenes in movies).

I mean, trauma can happen to literally anyone, man or woman, Dominant or submissive.  No one is immune.  And if a male Dom has experienced trauma at some point in his life, then yeah, I can give him a pass for being uncomfortable with watching it.

Being uncomfortable with watching it and feeling that a submissive man is “letting their team down,” however, are two very, very different things.  And come from two very, very different places.

First of all, it feeds into toxic masculinity, which actively harms all men, across all ages, social, economic, and religious backgrounds, and all races.

I’m actually serious.  We’re only just discovering that men are more prone to depression, simply because until only very recently, all the data we had was on diagnoses of depression.  And since men aren’t allowed to have feelings, of course they’re not allowed to acknowledge depression, much less get it diagnosed and treated.

Men are literally three times more likely to commit suicide than women.  In no small part because you can’t have feelings and be a “real man.”

But the problem is that men are biological human beings.  Biological human beings have human brains, and human brains produce strong emotions, whether those human beings have a penis or a vagina (or both, or neither).

Toxic masculinity is such a fitting name.  It’s seriously toxic.  It is literally killing men.  It is poisoning them from the inside out, and actually killing them.

What’s more, it’s an attack against femininity, as well as masculinity.  Because to these people, FemDom situations are seen as, at best, a joke, and at worst, completely unrealistic because of the belief that a woman could never be capable of leading a man.  And for a man to allow such an inferior being to be in a position of authority over him shows a failure as a man.

But this mindset that submissive men “aren’t real men” demeans women, too.  Because it feeds into that mindset that dominance=masculinity, and submission=femininity.

Which is where you get the idiots like the one who wrote that message, telling me that I’m not a “real woman” because I’m not submissive, and Star isn’t a “real woman” because she doesn’t want a Dominant man.

It’s an attack against masculinity, yes, and a fucking brutal and archaic one, but it’s also seen as a gender stereotype, in which submission is a feminine trait and femininity is inherently inferior to masculinity.

Which is not exclusive to BDSM, by the way.  It’s exactly why my daughter is allowed to and encouraged to like “boy” things.  People are proud of her when she talks about Superman, or how much she likes watching The Avengers or Deadpool (yeah, I know, I know.  Don’t feel like getting into the why-I-let-my-5-year-old-watch-Deadpool discussion right now).

My best friend has a son, whom I adore.  And it broke my heart when my friend told her preschool-age son he couldn’t have a babydoll that he wanted.

I said to her, somewhat angrily, “What are you worried about?  That he’ll grow up and want to be a dad?  The unmitigated horror!”

She said, “No, it’s not that.  Everywhere he goes, he’ll be ridiculed if he carries a doll around.  What’ll happen when he goes to school and the kids find out he has a doll?”

And I mean, I was just so heartbroken.  She’s teaching her son that femininity is shameful.  That a real man, a strong man, must not want or like or appreciate anything even remotely feminine.  Otherwise, he is not a real man.

My daughter is allowed to like cars, and superheroes, and dinosaurs, and the color blue (and dark blue is actually her favorite color).  She is allowed to like masculine things, and take pride in the fact that she likes masculine things.

My friend’s son is not allowed to like dolls, or kitchen sets (despite the fact that the vast majority of professional chefs are men, and it’s very much a male-dominated field), or princesses, or the color pink.  He is not allowed to like feminine things, and if he does, it is shameful.

Has no one wondered why that is?

Do any of you in the US remember how the entire country went fucking ballistic when a magazine showed a picture of a mother and young son, and the boy’s fingernails were painted?

Everyone thought it was just terrible to allow a happy little boy to express himself howeverthefuck he wants, whether it’s “boy” or “girl” stuff.

God forbid a little boy has the inner strength to tell society, “Fuck off, I’m doing what I want to do.”

We can’t have boys growing up to be strong men who are confident and sure of themselves, and accepting of themselves as well as other people who may not fit the current societal norms.  That’s just unacceptable.

We need sheep.

Seriously, those people disgust me.  Because they’re not going ballistic when a girl does something masculine.  Only when a boy does something feminine.

And none of them have stopped to think why.

Wanna know why?  I’ll tell you why.

It’s because you think femininity is shameful.  Pretty it up all you want, you can’t hide the truth.  You don’t mind women exhibiting masculine behaviors because masculinity is seen as a positive thing, and the girl who shows masculine behaviors is seen as “strong,” and “tough,” and “just fucking great.”

Because she is rising above the “inferiority” of femininity and making herself better.  That’s why you see the car mechanics girls and the karate girls and the chess genius girls on the talk shows.  They’re rising above their station, and they’re worthy of attention.

You never see feminine little girls get that kind of attention.  You never see the youtube videos of the little girl who sews intricate princess dresses from scratch go viral the way the videos of the little girl football player who runs circles around the boys do.  You never see the little girl with incredible knowledge of fashion get on the talk shows the way the black-belt karate girls do.

Because femininity is shameful.  It’s tolerated in girls, because I mean, they’re girls.  Most of them can’t be expected to rise above their biology.

So we accept it in girls.

We sure as hell don’t encourage it or celebrate it the way we do masculinity, though.

But for boys, it’s even worse.  Because they had the great fortune to be born male, they’re held to higher expectations.  Masculinity isn’t a “bonus” for them, that makes everyone fawn over them the way they fawn over girls.  It’s an expectation.

It’s special when a girl rises from the inferiority of feminine behavior.  It’s expected for a boy to do it.  Because he’s better than that.  Because he’s a boy.

And should he lower himself by wanting to exhibit feminine behaviors, then he’s confused, or just going through a phase, or maybe there’s something developmentally wrong with him.

But if a parent actually allows and encourages that kind of weakness in a boy?  Especially a father???

It’s just unspeakable.  It’s a father’s job to teach his son how to be a man.  It’s a father’s job to teach him that he isn’t allowed to like feminine things, because he’s a man, and men are above something as shameful and weak as femininity.  It’s a father’s job to teach his son that femininity is something to be ashamed of, and even a hint of any sort of feminine behavior will make him less of a man.

It’s a father’s job to teach his son how to be a real man.  And create another generation of sexist, misogynistic pigs.

Go ahead, tell me I’m wrong.  If any of my followers buy into that stupid shit, that boys shouldn’t be allowed to be feminine, go ahead.  Tell me your reasons.  Tell me how you pretty it up, how you convince yourself that you’re not a sexist, misogynistic pig.

My best friend is no exception.  Because she is perpetuating the idea that femininity in a man is shameful, and her son must hide these desires and impulses (such as a desire to be a parent.  I mean, the horror of a little boy fantasizing about growing up and protecting and caring for his child, and being a good father!  It’s the stuff of nightmares, and it’ll destroy society as we know it), and that such things are worthy of ridicule.  She is actively teaching her son that femininity, and all feminine roles and behaviors (such as child-rearing), is something to be tolerated (but not celebrated) in a woman, and looked down upon in a man.

Whatever her reasons are, when you boil it down, that’s what you have.  She views femininity in her son as shameful, so she must protect him from having those shameful attitudes and behaviors discovered.

It’s because, regardless of whether you’re a boy or girl, masculinity is seen as a positive thing, while femininity is seen as something to be ashamed of.

And when you add that attitude to D/s, you see the exact same thing.  To these people, submission is seen as feminine, and feminine = inferior.

I mean, the entire thought process is wrong, because Dominance and submission are not inherently masculine or feminine.  One has literally nothing to do with the other.  But that’s a different argument.

So I mean, the Dom mentioned in the article, who buys into this kind of attitude, is actively harming both men and women.  Including the women he may own, associate with, or play with.  Because how can you respect someone you see as inferior?  How can you care about, protect, and love someone you think could never be on your level?

And we cannot deny the strong probability that much of the discomfort at seeing a submissive man comes from the same place as the discomfort of seeing a female Dominant: they see it as a threat to their own masculinity.

In those cases, the men are not confident enough in who they are.  They are afraid of and intimidated by strong women, and unable to confront and accept their fear, so they push it off on others.  They choose to believe that only weak men can be submissive.

Because that’s easier to accept than being confronted by the fact that submissive men don’t share those insecurities, and that submissive men are confident enough and sure enough about who they are, that they’re not intimidated by strong, powerful women.  They can hold their own with such women.  They can meet her strength and intensity fearlessly and without hesitation, while these “Doms” cannot.

And again, this is not something that is exclusive to BDSM.

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Exhibit A: I submit President Petulant Child completely intimidated by and unable to handle German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Here we see him utilizing the “If I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist” defense. He looks like a scolded child.  I like to imagine it’s because she told him he’s the USA’s Hitler.  Except, you know, orange.  Although interestingly enough, his face is quite pink in this picture.  Because he’s that intimidated by her, the color literally rises in his face.  Which, by the way, I find hilarious.

And I also just want to take a moment to go on a tangent, because I haven’t seen anyone else notice this.  But look at their body language.  She’s got her leg crossed toward him, her shoulders rotated toward him, and is leaning toward him.  Her hands are relaxed, there is space between her fingers, and she is looking directly at him, her head in a neutral position (she is neither leaning her head down, looking up at him, nor holding her head up, looking down at him).

Meanwhile, we see that the Child in Chief’s hands are together, his fingers close together, and pointing down.  He is also subtly leaning away from her, his lips are tight, his head slightly lowered, and his eyes downcast.

And I want to take a minute to talk about what that means.  Her body language conveys confidence, engagement and self assurance.  The fact that she’s leaning toward him, while he leans away, is a display of dominance, most noted by just how much she leans toward him.  She is displaying signs of feeling completely comfortable and sure of herself in his presence, while he is showing multiple signs of insecurity.

She is completely dominating this situation, and she knows it.  The fact that her hands and fingers are relaxed shows that she’s comfortable and secure, and space between her fingers is a sign of dominance, confidence, and even a territorial attitude.  She knows damn well that she intimidates the ever-loving fuck out of him, and she doesn’t have a single problem in the world with that.

But the most pronounced thing is the position of Prima Donald’s hands.  That position is called “Steepling,” and when fingers are pointed upward or outward, is the single most obvious display of confidence and self assurance.  So much so, that it’s the one position that doesn’t need to be taken in context with the rest of the body language.

His fingers, however, are pointed downward, and the steeple is upside down.  This is one of the most obvious signs of insecurity, and even fear.  When combined with the rest of his body language, it’s more than clear that he simply cannot handle her confident, dominating energy.

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And one more, because I just love this picture.  I love the expression on her face.  You can see that she’s totally thinking, “Holy hell, this is one pathetic, desperately-overcompensating manchild.  It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.”  Also, you see that her head is tilted slightly upward (now looking down at him), with the condescending smirk and her hands clasped together with thumbs out and fingers interlaced, which shows frustration and annoyance.  By this point, she has lost any semblance of respect for him as a man.  She sees him as pathetic, weak, and beneath her, and sees this whole thing as a waste of her time.  Meanwhile, he’s clasping his hands together, fingers not interlaced, which is a self pacifying gesture seen when one is uncomfortable or nervous.  And his head and eyes are still lowered.  I know nothing about Chancellor Merkel, but I’m instantly a fan.

So I mean, that’s a relatively common thing.  Insecure men are easily and often intimidated by strong women.  Insecure male Dominants will act the same way the Jersey Shore reject acted in Chancellor Merkel’s presence: avoidance, belittlement, and attempts to push the insecurity and discomfort onto others.

Or perhaps they harbor their own submissive feelings, but lack the inner strength to break free from society’s expectations (which, as I will explain later, is more likely than you might think.  Male submission is way more common than the average person realizes).  Perhaps they resent submissive men for possessing the strength they lack.  I’ve actually known a fair number of these men.  They’re quite common.

They’re drawn to BDSM because they have those desires, they have those fantasies.  But they are too weak to accept themselves, and societal norms dictate that they must be Dominant, because they’re men.  So they fall into that mold.

They know it doesn’t fit, though.  They know they’re unhappy, they know there’s something missing.  And when they see a submissive man, and are confronted with that man’s ability to be himself, to feel comfortable in his submissive skin, and to feel fulfilled in that role, it breeds resentment.

And because they believe that submission=femininity and femininity=inferiority, so submission=inferiority, they are uncomfortable with the idea of a submissive man being stronger than they are, so they choose to warp their mindset to protect their ego, and see the submissive man as weak.

I’ve had the unimaginable honor (and it was an honor, just ask him yourself) of speaking to one of the more vocal of these assholes, a man here in town well known through all local groups.  Everyone knows this guy’s name.  Everyone knows what a psycho he and his cult members are.

And I was lucky enough to learn firsthand just how easily intimidated he is by any woman who is not a complete doormat, and how badly he handles feeling intimidated.  His ego and his self image are so fragile, all I literally have to do in order to threaten him is exist.  That, he sees as a personal threat to who he is.  And when I politely but firmly refused to call him “Sir,” he just didn’t know how to handle it.  The only thing he could think of to do was to get hostile.

But he’s one guy, and the group he runs is small.

His is one of the most well-known names in town, but he and his followers comprise a wholly insignificant percentage of the local community.

These people are not the majority.  They’re just the loudest.  And, like with pretty much every large group in the history of humankind, the loudest are usually the craziest 0.5% of any given population.

But because they’re the loudest, most assume that they speak for the majority.

They don’t.

And what’s more, submissive men are actually in high demand.

They’ve done studies and polls with vanilla straight women, and found that literally a quarter of them prefer a more submissive partner.

And relationships are significantly more successful when there is a clear power dynamic (although it doesn’t matter which partner has the power).

You will always have people who say that women are meant to be dominated, and that to deny that is to deny evolution.  You’ll always have people who say shit like the stupid bitch said.  But the numbers are consistent, and the numbers don’t lie.

This study looked at two samples of BDSM kinksters, one in California, and the other in the Netherlands.  And there, they found some interesting things among women in liberal US culture, as opposed to Dutch culture (which I’m not saying is oppressive, I’m just saying that you don’t get much more socially liberal than California).

In both samples, the number of men who identified as exclusively submissive were about the same.  33% of Dutch men and 26% of American men identified as submissive.

Which in itself is a big deal, m’kay.  When submissive men make up a quarter to a third of the BDSM population, it might be time to retire the stupid stigmas.

But they found that only 8% of Dutch women identified as Dominant, while 30% of American women identified as Dominant.

So that was interesting (but misleading, but I’ll get to that).  And it showed that a significant number of men in the kink world are exclusively submissive.

There was another poll done with sexual fantasies that found something pretty interesting, as well.  While more men entertained dominant fantasies than women, and relatively few women entertained Dominant fantasies at all, the number of men who entertained submissive fantasies was much higher than expected.

Men like the male-submissive fantasy more than the male-dominant fantasy; 66% of men have submissive fantasies at least half the time.

Well over half of men have these fantasies.  Literally the majority, m’kay.

So why are they so badly ostracized?

You mentioned it yourself: The media.  But mostly because people are sheep.

The media generally sucks, but you do have massive outlets like Cosmo Magazine writing multiple articles about pegging, about Femdom power dynamics, and about toxic masculinity in regards to sexual desires (like pegging, or wanting to be submissive).

And millions of women are reading these. I mean, granted, Cosmo’s audience is late teens and early twenties, so the already-established bigots aren’t seeing them, but it’s my experience that all you can really do with bigots is hope they don’t reproduce before they die, anyway.

You also have the Huffington Post, who published a very-watered-down-but-still-decent article about the stigma surrounding submissive men, and how we as a society need to stop judging them.

This article looks specifically at powerful men in positions of authority, and how such men often have these desires.  They touch on the psychological effects of professional and social power, and how it tends to lead to a reduction of inhibitions and a decreased need for social conformity.  It cites a couple of different studies that show statistics on powerful men who are sexually and/or romantically submissive, and how these men are less sexually inhibited, and also put less weight on current societal gender norms, in no small part because of the effects of power on the human mind.

So not all media is bad.  And the more we speak out about male submission, the more we educate the public, the faster that stigma will fade.

Still, though, the single piece of advice I have for all submissive men who are unsure is to go to a munch.

I’m serious, and there’s a very real reason for it.

Because the very few men who actually do go to munches and events, depending on the group, are practically fucking celebrities. The first group Kazander and I joined was a mixed group, but mostly male Doms and female subs. There were 5 female Dommes who regularly attended.

Want to know how many male subs regularly attended? Including Kazander?

One. Kazander.

And he was always so popular among the Dommes. I mean, they all knew he was owned and never “tried anything” with him, they were all mostly awesome women. But he never wanted for women’s attention while he was there.

And don’t get me wrong, I adore my husband, but I can also admit that he is no Brad Pitt.

But try telling those Dommes that. Because it’s just that rare for a submissive man to come to a munch.

Groups that are exclusively Femdom do have a lot more male subs show up. But the vast majority are in their 60s or older. Which is awesome, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and I’ve made some great friends with them, and have thoroughly enjoyed playing with one or two of them. They’re fantastic men.

But, while I was the youngest Domme in that group, it wasn’t by much. And as a 29-year-old Dominant who generally prefers men in the 40-50-ish age range, give or take a few years, I was just shit out of luck. The entire time I helped run the group, not a single sub under 55 ever showed up.

Not one.

And there were quite a few Dommes in their 30s, who may have preferred a sub closer to their age. Can you imagine how popular a man in that age range would be if he went to one of those?

I’ve had a couple of male subs tell me that (again, it depends on the group.  Some groups suck, some are awesome) it’s actually a huge ego boost to go to a munch. Even if it’s a mixed group and there’s just a handful of Dommes, chances are the vast majority of them either don’t have subs, or their subs never go with them.

We’ve all heard that stupid saying:  For every Dominant woman, there are 100 submissive men.

And yeah, that’s true on the internet. Among the men who message a Domme wanting to know her bra size before her name, and asking her to talk down to them while they jerk off before asking how she’s doing.

And when you look at studies like the one above, citing 8% of Dominant women against 33% of submissive men, it can be misleading, and further the notion that there are significantly more submissive men than Dominant women.

I’d even say the 100/1 ratio is conservative.  Based on the messages in my Twitter, email, Fet, and Facebook accounts in the last week, I’d venture that it’s actually closer to double that.

But I swear to you, that’s not even remotely true in real life.

The demand for submissive men is just laughably high. But because so many men see bullshit like this bitch’s comment, and think it’s the majority, they don’t go to munches. Or maybe they’ve had a bad experience in one group with a male Dom or female submissive, and allow that experience to color their perception.

They don’t go, and it’s so goddamn rare to see a Domme with a submissive man.  For example, of all the Dommes I know of here in town, of all the women I’ve seen at the play parties and munches, and have spoken to, want to know how many have a collared male submissive?

Three.  Including me, m’kay.  That ratio of submissive men to Dominant women is not 100/1.  I’d venture a guess that it’s closer to 1/100.

You don’t understand.  They are nowhere to be found.

Both of the mixed groups I belong to, by the way, are nothing but respectful of submissive men.  Kazander and I were married by a male Dom in one of those groups.  Kazander and I have had enjoyable conversations with more than one male Dom in the other group.  And one of Kazander’s really good friends is a submissive woman, who always asks where he is when I go to the play parties without him, and asks me to tell him she misses him.

That is the majority, okay.  Even in most mixed groups.  There are assholes in every group, but the vast majority of male Doms and female subs are completely normal people.

That is what you can expect.

Not psycho-bitch.  Hell, the sheer level of craziness, and the novelty of such craziness, is why I decided to publicly humiliate her.

Dominant women are here.  We’re at the munches, we’re at the play parties, and most of the time, we don’t have a sub of our own.

Because so many of them are just too ashamed to be seen with us.  Because they hear the craziest 0.5% and think it’s representative of the majority.  Because they buy into the bullshit.

We want you. We want you around. We’re going to treat you like a fucking king when you show up, because we want you around.

There are, at least in Vegas, wayyyy more than twice as many Dommes as there are submissive men. And from things I’ve been told, that seems to be about the norm across the country, with some exceptions.

So seriously, I know it’s easier said than done, but don’t let the psychos turn you off from who you are.

There are people who aren’t going to want you.  There are people who aren’t going to respect you.

But there are so many who do.

Feeding the Troll

So I’ll just come out and say it. I don’t like submissive men. I don’t like anything about them. I don’t talk to them, I don’t associate with them, I don’t befriend them, I don’t want anything to do with them.  I don’t like when they approach me at events and try to talk to me. I don’t want them.

I want a real man, a strong man who can make me feel like a woman, because as much as you may enjoy pretending you like being the one in charge you can’t fight evolution. We are animals. We have instincts. We have evolved to find that alpha male attractive because he’s our best chance at furthering the species.

We don’t live in caves anymore so people don’t feel those instincts as much. But when you get down to it we both know that if we were living thousands of years ago submissive men would’ve died out and would’ve never been able to reproduce.

I mean I’m a feminist so I believe that a woman has the right to choose her own life. If you want to be with submissive men then that’s what you want. I just don’t understand how any woman could want that.

No woman can feel complete unless she has a strong man protecting her. Women need men to complete us. We have a literal hole inside us that only a man can fill. And that is symbolic of what it means to be a man and a woman. He is designed to fill, and she is designed to be filled. No matter what no one can deny that.

Some random ignorant twat

O00h, this is going to be so much fun.

So let me make sure I’m understanding you correctly.  You’re saying that only Dominant men can be real men, and only submissive women can be real women.  What’s more, only straight Dominant men can be real men, and only straight submissive women can be real women.

Okay, awesome.

I mean, first of all, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.  Submissive men don’t want you, either.

A submissive man wants a real woman, who is capable of challenging him and holding her own against him, instead of automatically just bowing to him and giving in.  He doesn’t want some weak-willed doormat who will just do whatever he says.  He wants a partner who will drive him to be the best version of himself.  Meek, timid, weak little girls bore him.

Wait, but am I making a metric fuckton of (incorrect) assumptions about submissive women?  And what those women have to offer their Dominants?

Look at that, I sure as fuck am.  Just like you are.

I’m doing it to prove a point.  You’re doing it because you’re an idiot.  Subtle differences, you know.

But there is one sentence I said up there that is completely true.  Submissive men don’t want you.  Like, honestly.  They don’t.  If they approach you at events, it’s because they’re trying to be civil, and polite, and friendly, and respectful.

Which, just based on that, makes them exponentially better submissives than you could ever hope to be, and their behavior reflects favorably on their Dominants, while your behavior here does the exact opposite.

I’m serious, I would be ashamed if anyone I owned ever did anything like what you’ve done here.  That relationship would end so goddamn fast, and I’d do everything in my power to distance myself, my name, and my reputation from that kind of psychosis.

I can only assume that you are either owned by as ignorant an asshole as you are (and unfortunately, I do know one of those here in town.  He’s an entertaining guy), or that you’re unowned because every sane Dominant man gets one peek at your special brand of crazy and runs far away, before you have the chance to ruin his reputation.

And honestly, it’s my firm belief that there’s a special place in hell for every submissive woman who gives submissive men shit for being who they are and wanting what they want.

I mean, fuck, you know what it feels like.  I have no doubt you’ve gotten at least some indirect flak, at the very least, from feminazis about being submissive, about “contributing to the Patriarchy” or some ridiculous shit.

You know what that feels like, to be told you shouldn’t want to follow your partner’s lead within a romantic relationship.  You know what it feels like to be told you shouldn’t be who you are.

And yet, you’re turning around and doing the same damn thing to submissive men (and gay people of all genders and orientations, but don’t worry, I’ll get to that).  I mean, that’s just a remarkable level of hypocrisy.

So yeah, you’re just an idiot.  And I can say with relative certainty that any sane Dominant man would be ashamed to be associated with such a backward, psychotic, sexist, homophobic, bigoted bitch.

I mean, don’t just take my word for it.  I have quite a few followers who are Dominant men,  and I urge those men to weigh in here and speak for themselves.  This psycho has no reason to listen to anything I say, because I’m not a “real woman,” apparently.  But she would likely put more weight on the words and opinions of “real men.”

So gentlemen, comment here and tell her yourselves.  She has shown that she will likely not listen to a damn word I say, but perhaps she’ll listen to you.

Oh, and the whole fill-or-be-filled thing is just hilarious.  I mean, I’m sorry, I just had to laugh at that.  That is literally the single stupidest argument I have ever heard for male supremacy.  And I’ve heard plenty of stupid arguments.  None have ever even come close to that, though.  You definitely win that contest.

Someone get this bitch a trophy.

So gay men, who have zero interest in “filling” a woman, aren’t real men?  What about trans men?  Chances are, any given trans man probably has a vagina (since ftm sexual reassignment surgery doesn’t boast the success rate and levels of safety that mtf sexual reassignment surgery does).  Is he “not a real man” because he doesn’t “fill a woman” with a flesh-and-blood penis?

And what about trans women?  Are they not “real women?”  Or are they only “real women” after they’ve completed their transition, and have a vagina, and are straight?

And what about gay women, who have zero interest in “being filled” by a man?  Are they not real women?  Can they never be satisfied or feel “complete?”

You know, I was just with Star yesterday, and she certainly seemed satisfied and complete to me.  I didn’t see her just yearning for a man’s cock to fill her.  And I didn’t see her suffering for lack of a man’s cock to fill her.

Know what I saw?

I saw a confident, vibrant, passionate woman who is sure of herself and knows exactly what she wants, and goes after what she wants.  I saw a woman who doesn’t need to mask her insecurity with misogyny, misandry (I’m actually impressed how you’ve managed to write a message that is filled with both), and homophobia.

She doesn’t need to do that shit.  Because she’s not insecure.  She’s not uncomfortable with who she is.  She’s not unhappy with who she is.  In short, she’s not a judgmental, prejudiced, ignorant, bigoted cunt.

Unlike some people, apparently.

And you know who else isn’t insecure?  Sounder, who I saw this evening.  I didn’t see a weak-willed man who would’ve died out if we still lived in caves (I was actually impressed by that line of logic, too, by the way.  That’s another one I’ve never heard before.  And here I thought I’d heard all the toxic-masculinity, sexist, uneducated, small-minded, anti-submissive-man bullshit.  So I learned something today).

I didn’t see an insecure asshole who needs to push his self image issues on to other people.

Know what I saw?

I saw a confident, self-assured, dynamic man who doesn’t need to go around bragging about what an “Alpha Male” he is, because his actions speak for him.  I saw a man who puts others first, without hesitation, a perfect, chivalrous gentleman, protective and caring, who has an inner strength that never ceases to astound me.

Hell, he’s a sissy, and he’s more of a man than those idiots who run around shouting from the rooftops about their Alpha Male-ness.  No matter how much I feminize him, no matter what I do to him, he will always be more of a man than the type of psychotic Dominant who would approve of your behavior.  He will always put those little boys to shame.

I feel sorry for you, because you’ll never know what a real man, Dominant or submissive, gay or straight, can be.  You’ll never witness the strength, dignity, and compassion that a real man possesses.  All you’ll ever know are the stupid, small-minded, ignorant idiots like you.

That’s not a man, that’s a child.  And you’re not a woman, you’re a scared, insecure little girl.  I pity you.

Because Star is more of a woman than you’ll ever be, and Sounder is more of a man than you’ll ever get.

D/s and depression

Domina Jen

I’d first like to introduce myself, my name is (*edit, we’ll call him Jake from State Farm, because that’s what’s been stuck in my head all day, and he asked to keep his real name anonymous), and I’d like to let you know up front that I’m a male Dominant, relatively new to the scene, I’ve only been really active for a couple of years or so.

I know I’m far from your target audience but your blog is wonderful and I’ve learned a lot from reading it.  It’s quite a bit more honest and open than places like Fetlife.  If you don’t mind, I’d like your advice on a minor situation.

I’m in a relatively new full-time D/s relationship with a wonderful girl who is also a bit newer to the lifestyle.  We’re both sort of learning as we go.

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety off and on throughout my life, was diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder about ten years ago, and have more or less managed it on my own with little or no help from a professional or medication.  I like to think I’m very self aware and I know my patterns, and the last couple of weeks or so, it has been much harder than usual to manage, and I’m worried that it’s starting to affect my relationship.

I’ve gone all this time without needing to see a doctor or take medication and I really don’t want to break that streak, but I think I might have to.

As of now, my girl doesn’t know.  We’ve only been together about four months, and I’m worried about how this will impact our relationship.  I know I need to tell her, do you have any suggestions for how that conversation should start?  And I know you’ve talked about Dominants being held to high standards, how does mental health figure into that, and should I take a break from the relationship for now?  I really care about her and don’t want to end the relationship, but I’m very worried about hurting her unintentionally.  She deserves the best of me, and I feel awful that I’m failing at giving her that.  If you’re willing, and have time, I’d be extremely grateful for any advice you might give.

Thank you in advance,

Jake

Oh hell…

Well Jake, you’ve stumbled into one of the hardest, most complicated, most convoluted, and ultimately unfair aspects of D/s relationships.

Yes, Dominants should be held to a very high standard.  It’s not supposed to be easy all the time.  It’s supposed to be a challenge, it’s supposed to challenge us to be the best versions of ourselves.  Our subs give us the most precious gift one human being can give another, and they deserve our best selves.  We can’t fail them.

But we’re still human.  We, like all humans, have moments of weakness.  We have moments of doubt.  We have moments where we stumble and fall.  When that happens, it’s our responsibility to make sure we don’t take our subs down with us.

It’s a delicate balance, though.  Because we can’t (and shouldn’t) shut our subs out, and we need to be as trusting of them, and allow ourselves to be as open and vulnerable with them, as we expect them to be with us (much, much easier said than done).

And yes, you do need to tell your sub.  It’s important for subs to understand that we are human, we are going to fuck up once in awhile, and we should not be placed on any sort of pedestal.

This is something I actually learned the hard way, with one of my very first adult relationships.  My primary sub at the time was a very sweet girl a year younger than I was.  She was strong, but a bit fragile and sensitive, and I was 18 or 19, and stupid, and reckless, and dumb, and about as emotionally mature and wise as you’d expect someone that age to be.  I didn’t realize that she’d started to idolize me, and put me up on this pedestal in her head (she was 17 or 18, and about as emotionally mature and wise as you’d expect someone that age to be).

Or maybe I did, but just liked the ego boost, and didn’t realize why it was a bad idea.  It was a long time ago.  I don’t remember.

And, as was inevitable, I fucked up.  I made a mistake (I was so dumb back then), I made a bad judgement call that caused her to feel like I’d let her down.

She was upset because her parents were super pissed off when they found out she was dating me (she’d only recently come out to them).  I consoled her, I supported her, and then I assumed it was over.  She turned to me for support, and I gave it, and then (I thought) we moved on.

Again, I was an idiot, in a whole lot of ways.  But I went out the next night with a bunch of friends, while she stayed home.  The next day, she was inconsolable.

It was insensitive, and cold, and self-centered, and just basically stupid and mean.  I don’t try to defend it.  Yeah, I could say I was a dumb teenager, but that’s just a cop-out.  I was an asshole.  I wasn’t intentionally trying to hurt her, but my intentions didn’t matter.  I’d let her down.

A vanilla relationship might’ve survived something like that.

She was crushed.  Completely devastated.  Her image of me was shattered.  And I was young and dumb, I didn’t know how to fix my mistake.  Our relationship ended because I’d let her build me up in her head, and I didn’t see it, didn’t think to adjust it, and didn’t know how to fix it.

Since then, I’ve been more careful.  Her age had a lot to do with her putting me up on a pedestal, but she’s hardly the only one, and there have been people much older than her throughout the years who have tried.  And I’m not (usually) an idiot anymore.  I know better than to ignore it, or to not do anything about it.

I’m telling you this because you’re new-ish, and your sub is new-ish, and particularly in your situation, it’s very, very important that she keep her feet on the ground and that she not put you up on a pedestal.  She needs to be very, very aware of the fact that you’re not perfect, and you’re going to make mistakes.

It’s up to you to make sure she understands that.  You’re the one responsible for setting the tone of the relationship.  It’s crucial.  Make sure she understands it, not just logically, but emotionally as well.  Because if you don’t, and her picture of you is shattered to the point that she can’t recover, that’s going to be on your shoulders.  Just as my relationship ending was on mine.

Okay, so the subject of a Dominant with a mental health issue is a slightly loaded one, at least for me, anyway.  I’m sure a lot of people won’t agree with me, but I’ve discovered that a lot of people are really, really, remarkably stupid (that’s not just one link, by the way.  Each word is a separate link to people being really, really, remarkably stupid.  Just in the past year or so).

Right, so I recognize that everyone’s brand of D/s is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for anything, and a lot of this is my personal, strongly-held, based-in-facts-and-common-sense opinion.

Still opinion, though.

I don’t know you, and I have no idea what kind of relationship you have, so I’m going to do a lot of speculation, and project a lot of my own type of D/s onto your situation.  Take what you will of it, discard the rest.

Depression and anxiety are a couple of real sons of bitches, man.  They can fuck shit up pretty good on their own, and combined, they’re just fucking nasty.  And they don’t discriminate, no one is immune, it can affect anyone.

Dominants included.  Hell, even myself included.  The brain is the most complex organ in our body, and disorders of this particular organ are common across race, creed, social status, economic class, etc.  If you have a brain, you’re susceptible to disorders of the brain.  It happens.

The first step is accepting that it happens, that there’s nothing you can do at the moment to change it (well you can, but that’s not exactly what I mean, and I’ll get to that.  What I mean is you can’t just snap your fingers and not be depressed anymore), and that it doesn’t mean you’re weak, or in any way less.  Would you consider someone who has asthma, a disorder of the lungs, weak?  Fuck no, you wouldn’t.  So don’t think of yourself that way, because you have a disorder of the brain.

Does it suck?  Yeah.  Can you snap your fingers and make it go away?  No.

You really do need to accept it, accept this part of you.  You’re carrying a lot of self blame, thinking that you’re letting your sub down because you have these disorders, and that needs to stop.  Again, you set the tone for the relationship.  You’ve got to let go of that blame.

There’s just no option, you’ve got to do it.

Of course, I know that’s easier said than done, especially with depressive and anxiety disorders, but truly, there is no alternative if you want to be a Dominant in a D/s relationship.  Buckle down, grit your teeth, and get it done.  It’s not going to be easy, and you’ll backslide a bit, and it’s going to suck, but you can do it.

Now, there is a bit of a controversial edge to this subject.  Because BDSM relationships are known for being really, really intense.  Your sub is so vulnerable to you, so open to you, so yielding and accepting of everything you say and do.  With that kind of openness, that kind of vulnerability, you’ve got to be so careful.

A sub sacrifices control for freedom, and a Dom sacrifices freedom for control.  You don’t have the freedom to lose your cool.  Your influence over her is too great, the potential to hurt her is just too much.

A Dominant must, mustmust be in control of himself before taking control of someone else.  With mental health problems, that gets difficult.

Does that mean someone with mental health disorders can’t or shouldn’t be a Dominant?  Eh, that really depends on the individual, but yes, I do believe there are instances where someone is simply not mentally sound enough to take control of another human being.

I don’t think that’s the case with you, but you’re a better judge of that than I am.

The first step is figuring out how to manage it.

Again, you can’t snap your fingers and make it go away.  But you can take steps to manage and treat it to the point that it doesn’t necessarily have to impact your relationship.

*Note*  I am not a doctor, take any advice I give with a grain of salt, and talk to an actual doctor.

I know antidepressants are no joke, man.  SSRI’s are some serious shit, and come with a pretty nasty set of side effects.

But if you’re getting to the point where you can’t manage it on your own, you need to, at the very least, talk to a psychiatrist.  Maybe you don’t need SSRI’s.  Maybe you can do okay with something like 5-HTP or SAM-e (seriously, talk to a freakin’ doctor though).  Or maybe you only need a low dose SSRI for a few weeks, and then you can wean yourself off and be fine managing it on your own again.  I mean, you never know until you talk to a doctor.

But you’ve got to manage it.  If you’re a victim of that toxic masculinity bullshit, with the mindset of “real men don’t need a shrink,” ditch that shit now.

Real men handle their shit.  Real men don’t lie to themselves about what they can and cannot (or should and should not) handle on their own.  Real men aren’t too much of a pussy to ask for help.

You’ve got shit that needs to be handled.  Recognize that managing it on your own is not currently working to an acceptable degree.  Get the help you need, not just from a stranger on the internet with a blog, but from a licensed professional capable of prescribing medication (if necessary).

Hard truth time: Not managing it and being a Dominant is not acceptable.  At-mother-fucking-all.

And sure, there will be people who will disagree with me.  There will be people who think I’m being unfair and discriminatory to Dominants with mental illnesses.

Honestly, those people can suck it.  You don’t have the right to be fair when you’re the one who made the decision to take control of another human being.  If your sub opens themselves up to you, lets you in past their defenses, past their walls, and you unintentionally hurt them because of an untreated mental illness that you knew about, you’re an asshole.

And you’re an abusive asshole.  You knew better.  You knew you needed treatment.  You didn’t get it.  And because of it, you caused another human being, who trusted you, serious harm.

No, that is not, and will never be acceptable.  Dominants are better than that.  You have to be better than that.

And no, it’s not fair.  Submissives don’t necessarily have the same problem when it comes to a mental illness.  They can lean on their Dominant in a way that their Dominant may not be able to lean on them.

But submissives don’t get off easy, either.  They have their own responsibilities to meet in the relationship.  The problem is that meeting those responsibilities makes them more vulnerable to be hurt by a Dominant who is not in complete control.

A submissive must put his (or her) Dominant first.  The Dominant’s needs come first.  Period.  That’s a hell of a lot harder and a hell of a lot more complicated than it sounds.  It’s not easy to do, and in doing it, they trust that their Dominant will take care of them, and make sure their needs are met.  The ability to do that may be negatively affected in a Dominant with a mental illness.

If a submissive isn’t focusing on her needs, and her Dominant isn’t focusing on her needs, that’s a problem.

A submissive is also expected to open up for his Dominant.  Vulnerability is the name of the game.  There is no part of himself, no piece of his mind that is off-limits to his Dominant.  This is an extremely, extremely difficult thing to do.  It takes a lot of trust, a lot of courage, and a lot of strength.

And it doesn’t take a lot to irreparably shatter that trust.

You cannot be in control of someone else if you’re not in complete control of yourself, and if you’re suffering from depression and anxiety, you’re not in complete control of yourself.  You’re at the whim of the chemical imbalances, faulty mood regulation, and seratonin deficiencies in your brain that are fucking up your perception, your motivation, your mentality.  You cannot control it.

You can’t be dealing with all of that, not manage it, and be in control of someone else.  It’s unethical and dangerous.  You can cause serious mental and emotional harm not only to your sub, but to yourself.  Don’t do it.

Does that mean you need to break things off with your sub?  Not necessarily, again it depends on your situation.  If you’re taking steps to manage it and she’s aware of the situation, and aware that there’s the possibility that you may say or do things you shouldn’t, or aren’t feeling “like yourself,” and you both agree to keep things going, then great.  Go for it, I mean it.  PDD is a very treatable condition, anxiety can be worked around, it’s a very doable situation for a lot of people.

There is hope, and you’re far from the first Dominant to face this sort of situation.

I’ll say that again.  There is hope, and you’re not alone.  This can be done.

So after you decide to manage this and deal with it, you’ve got to talk to your sub.  Which won’t be an easy conversation.  It needs to happen when you’re both calm and in neutral moods (don’t start this conversation if she’s had a bad day at work), and don’t have anything on the agenda for the evening.

Sit her down, in private (don’t do this in a restaurant or at a bar or whatever), and be direct and calm.  She can handle it.  You can start off by telling her the same way you told me.

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety off and on throughout my life, was diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder about ten years ago, and have more or less managed it on my own with little or no help from a professional or medication.  I like to think I’m very self aware and I know my patterns, and the last couple of weeks or so, it has been much harder than usual to manage, and I’m worried that it’s starting to affect [our] relationship.

You can start with that.  Write it down and read it to her if you have to.  Or write it down and have her read it while you sit next to her.  Don’t feel dumb if you have to do it that way, I have literally done that before.  I can organize my thoughts better in writing, and when I’m struggling to say something that needs to be said, writing it and just letting them read it has worked when I’ve been unable to put it in words.

Let her know that you care about her and don’t want to lose her, and you want to be the Dominant she deserves.  Let her know that you’ve got an appointment with a doctor, and you’re going to get it under control.  Ask her to be patient with you while you get it figured out.  Ask her what steps you can take to assure her that you’re there for her.  Ask her what she needs from you.  And if there’s anything you need from her, now’s the time to ask her for it.

So in summation:

Step 1: Get it under control.  Call a psychiatrist today and set an appointment.  Do this and take a concrete step forward.  Trust me, you’ll struggle to find the motivation to do it, but it’ll feel good once you’ve done it.  It’s an accomplishment, and one that will set everything else in motion.  It’ll make you feel good.  Do it.

Step 2:  Talk to your sub.  Write down what you want to say beforehand so you don’t get flustered and forget.  Keep it short and simple.  Read it to her if you have to, or have her read it.  Do whatever it takes to let her know what’s going on, because you owe it to her as her Dominant.  Answer her questions honestly, let her see your vulnerability, even if it’s uncomfortable.

Step 3:  Go to your appointment.  Tell your sub when it is.  If you’re worried about finding the motivation to go, ask her to hold you to it.  Give her the ability to withhold something from you (something that you want) if you don’t go.  Hell, have her drive you.  Just get there.  Do whatever it takes.  Because you owe it to her as your Dominant.  Let her become your motivation.  Let caring for her and being the man she deserves keep you moving forward.

Step 4:  Be honest and frank in the appointment.  You’ve been diagnosed with PDD, so I’m guessing you’re familiar with psychiatrists.  Great.  Push yourself to be as honest as possible about what you’re feeling and what you want.  Make a realistic plan for the immediate future, whether that involves drugs or other kinds of therapy, or both.

Step 5:  Follow the plan.  It’ll take time before you start seeing significant improvement, and your motivation will falter.  You’ve dealt with this for years, you know it’s not going to be easy.

But you’ve dealt with this for years, you know that you can.