Thursday, June 28, 2012

too hot

I wish I was talking about sex, but the title's really about the heat wave we are experiencing in the midwest.

Just south of here the actual temps are due to hit the 100 degree mark today, and we won't be far off ourselves.  The "heat index" here today is due to be 110 degrees, that's a measure of how hot it feels considering the temp and humidity.

It's dangerously hot.

This is the kind of weather that causes heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and for people without air conditioning who have underlying medical conditions, it can be fatal.

I had my own experience with heat stroke a few years back, and ever since I've had to be very careful myself in regard to the heat.  Last week I managed to make myself half sick while working with residents of a low income housing complex without air conditioning, so rather obviously I'm not being careful enough.

This week the a/c died at the building where I do my most of my volunteer work.  Many of the other businesses are just doing 1/2 days due to the heat, but my commitments aren't allowing me that luxury.

Whew, I just can't handle the heat anymore!  No matter how many bottle of water or sport's drink I consume, I feel washed out.  Just the blast of heat at the door letting the dog out is enough to send me reeling.

I'd been planning to take Serafina to a place called Wildlife Prairie State Park tomorrow, and we had plans to go out to friend's house Saturday for pool and BBQ.  I've had to cancel it all, I just can't handle the heat.

When it's too freakin hot to hang out with friends by a pool, there's really something terribly wrong . . .

I'd have a few select words for global warming deniers right now, but it's just to hot to bother!

FACTOID - In midwestern states like Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois, more people have died in the last 30 years from excessive summer heat than from all other natural disasters combined!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

like butters

Perhaps it's been too long a day and/or I've been downloading too much porn . . .

I had to do a double take and make sure it really was South Park and not another episode of Kink.com's Device Bondage!

something called sexy . . .

I'm not in the mood to editorialize today with my own writing, but it's an editorial nevertheless.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

TMI Tuesday - sweet summertime


TMI Tuesday 6/26/2012

1. Summer is a time to escape, kick back and chill. What is your favourite way to relax when the warm weather hits?
I'm not a mad dog nor am I an Englishman, so I do have the sense to stay out of the noonday sun.  Actually, I suffered an episode of heat stroke a decade ago, and since then heat has gotten to me far more than it did when I was in my youth.  My favorite locale to enjoy the summer heat is indoors with the air conditioning set near the 70 degree mark.

2. Have you ever been to a drive-in movie theatre? My first date was to a drive-in movie, what is your best memory of these classic outdoor theatres?
When I was 16, I went to a drive-in movie with a girlfriend named Denise who I only dated for a few weeks.  I didn't get any further with her than my hand on a breast over her shirt, but she was an outstanding kisser.  We necked pretty good through both movies of a double feature before the night was done.  It's strange that this particular night was my best drive-in experience, as I had sex with both of my ex-wives at drive-ins, including once when BlissfulTorment and I took LSD before a showing of the Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.  Somehow none of those other nights were as memorable as that movie date with Denise.

3. Have you ever had a summer fling? How did it develop and why did it end?
I guess the closest thing I've had to a summer fling was a tried experience with Blissful Torment and a guy named Larry.  Larry was our girlfriend Cherub's roommate and though he was essentially gay, he presented himself to Ms Torment and I as actually being bisexual.  One hot and sultry summer night Ms Torment, Cherub and I had one of our lengthy sessions involving spanking, bondage, and sensation play that culminated with me fucking the two girls in turn on cherub's bed.  At the same time, Larry was entertaining a boyfriend in their living room, which had a clear view of our activities.  I was told later that after seeing me fuck Cherub and Bliss, Larry decided he wanted in on a similar pounding.

Now as I explained in my 100 things about Michael post, I do consider myself "gender-queer" because I can get a kick out of dominating a dude, but I'm not interested in actual sex with a guy.  So, in the end, Larry was never going to get the fucking he desired, but it was fun playing with him alongside Bliss in her Mistress role.  The whole thing lasted a couple of weeks and included an outstanding scene (at the bottom of a YWCA swimming pool that had been drained) where she dominated Larry and I took pictures.  I've never seen a Hoyer Lift used for suspension bondage in a BDSM video, but I used it to suspend him in the pool by his wrists that night.

It ended because I wouldn't fuck him.  I am enough of a sadist that I allowed him to beg and plead for the privilege (repeatedly) before I told him no, and he did seem to enjoy the repeated humiliation at first.  He didn't seem to mind Ms Torment fucking him instead, at first.  But inside of a couple weeks, it finally dawned on Larry that I really wasn't ever going to tie him up and give him the screwing he wanted.

4. Board shorts and bikinis leave something to the imagination, but have you ever tried a nude beach?
I've never really had the opportunity, it's not like the Midwest is covered with nude beaches.  Serafina's terribly shy in some ways, so I'm not even sure she'd be game to skinny-dip in our friend's pool . . .

5. What are your thoughts on the Speedo and the Wicked Weasel?
I had to look up the term "Wicked Weasel" just to understand the question . . .


6. The warm weather is a great opportunity to “get busy” outdoors? Have you ever? Tell us about it.
As I said in a previous post, "The craziest place I've ever had sex was at an interstate highway rest area during the middle of the day with a group of nuns picnicking 20 or 30 yards away."  BTW - that's also my personal prescription for avoiding driver fatigue.

7. Sunrise or sunset? Which is your summer favourite?
Late summer sunset at the Grand Canyon is my all time favorite.

A couple of friends and I would sit in employee housing, smoking pot and drinking lightly until the clock hit the right moment, then we'd hop in my old Chevy and go racing out West Rim Drive to a special spot where we'd disappear over the rim on a faint trail, escape the crowds, and sit on a ledge, dangling our feet over the abyss, watching the sun set over the canyon rim.

8. What is the one summer delight that really quenches your thirst? How about your lust?
My all time favorite drink is simply a nice cold Coke.  To really quench my lust we'll need to get out some rope or restraints . . .

Bonus:  Summer is the time to participate in outdoor activities. Where would you most like to have sex :
– on the beach?
– at a picnic?
– camping?

I've previously had sex in all those places, but the one that sounds best would be a remote camping trip where I could keep Serafina naked for at least week.

Monday, June 25, 2012

You Make The Call . . .

I read several news stories on this topic last week and decided it was worthy of discussion here . . .


The Ruling
The Illinois Supreme Court recently ruled on the case of People v. Hollins, that a Stephenson County man named Marshall Hollins was guilty of child pornography despite the fact that his ongoing sexual relationship with an unnamed minor was perfectly legal under Illinois state law.  Mr Hollins conviction and sentence of 8 years in prison was therefore upheld by the state's highest court.


Background
In 2009, Marshall Hollins was 34 years of age.   While attending Highland Community College in Freeport, Illinois, he met an unnamed 17 year old girl and became friends.  Not long after meeting, Marshall and his friend began having a sexual relationship.  


In Illinois, 17 years of age is considered to be the legal "age of consent", the point where the law no longer considers a sexual relationship with an adult to be illegal.  Sex with any minor under the age of 17 is considered to be a form of Statutory Rape in Illinois, as state law does not consider youth (16 and under) to be capable of legally consenting to sexual activity.


In the course of their legal intimate relationship, Mr Hollins used his cell phone to shoot some pictures of them together during lovemaking.  The picture taking was very much consensual, and it should probably be added that the photos themselves, while revealing intimate acts, did not include images which showed either individual's face, nor any identifying tattoos or birthmarks.  Nor were the pictures ever published or shared publicly.


After Marshall emailed three of the photos he'd taken during their intimate tryst to his young lady friend, they were discovered by the undisclosed minor's mother, who promptly contacted law enforcement authorities.  When questioned by local law enforcement, Hollins admitted that he'd had sex with the girl and that he'd taken the pictures.  He also told them that it was his belief that the pictures were perfectly legal, since the age of consent in Illinois is 17.

The police and State's Attorney disagreed with his assumption, Marshall was then arrested, then tried and convicted, in Stephenson County for the crime of Child Pornography.  He was later sentenced to a prison term of 8 years.

Legal Arguments
I'm not an attorney, and while I can usually "translate" legalese well, putting it into understandable terms for most people, I find it best to provide a summary of the arguments made on Marshall Hollins' behalf that was part of a write up on this story at AVN:

As the case worked its way through the illinois court system, Hollins argued that the child porn statute, as applied to him, violated his due process rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as similar rights under the Illinois constitution, in the following ways: (1) that application of the statute to defendant does not bear a reasonable relationship to the public interest to be protected because it denies consenting adults the right to engage in private sexual activities of their choice; (2) that the statute violates the Illinois Constitution’s privacy clause, which provides greater privacy protections than does the United States Constitution; and (3) that when viewed in the context of the Illinois sex offense statutes, the statute failed to give defendant fair notice his conduct was criminal.

Frankly, those are pretty good arguments. Although there have been cases where guys have posted sexual photos of their ex-girlfriends online, Hollins was no vengeful teenager, and there was no expectation that anyone would see the photos except him and A.V.. Beyond that, both Hollins and A.V., who were having regular sexual relations, consented to having the photos taken in the privacy of Hollins' bedroom as part of their legal sexual relationship—and he had no reason to believe there was anything wrong with taking the pictures because, after all, they were already having sex!

Sadly, the Illinois Supreme Court didn't see it that way. It ruled that, under the "rational basis" test, Illinois had properly prohibited minors from being photographed in sexual situations to protect them from sexual abuse and exploitation, and that, "Raising the age to 18, even though the age of consent for sexual activity is 17, is a reasonable means of accomplishing this legitimate government purpose as it aids the State in enforcing child pornography laws."

So the Supremes (state version) essentially ruled that age of consent has no bearing on child pornography laws, that sexual pictures of a minor are illegal even if the relationship itself is within the limits of the law.

Question
Do you agree, or disagree with the legal decision?
Should Marshall Hollins spend time in jail for taking pictures of a legal sex act with a 17 year old?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Lustful Wednesday!

On Wednesday I had been cleaning and fixing little things and I realized that Master would be home shortly.  I love to meet him at the door when he returns, but often I am not sure exactly when so I might be off in another corner of the house when he walks in.  He always responds like he is happy to be home in secure surroundings, and that is precisely my goal to provide the secure, clean and happy home for My Beloved.

This time was a little different, I had come to a place where I was finished and had no desire to start one more little thing.  So I bathed and groomed and instead of what I would otherwise put on, I wanted to surprise him.

I went to my "special" closet and pondered,  I could don a corset and nothing more than high heels. . .
I could select sexy lingerie, He always appreciates that. . . .
Instead I chose the Maids Outfit.
It has a most prickly crinoline, and I put it on .  It scratched and prickled right away,
I pulled the dress on pant's style, and had a little trouble getting the zipper up all the way in back.  I got it but I had to struggle a bit.
Then I pulled on the arm-band sleeves.  I was feeling sexy now.
It also came with a number of accessories, a hair piece, lacy collar tie, and ankle or wrist ties.  I decided not to wear the fishnet stocking with their lacy bands and wear only high heels instead, as I wasn't sure how much time before Master arrived and I didn't want to risk tearing them.

I waited. . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . ..  . . .and waited some more.  I poured a tea and sat down to read.  All at once I heard a car door!! Could it be?  YES!! I sprang up and stood at the top of the landing and said simple "Hello Master!"

I heard him suck in his breath a bit in surprise and he answered back "Hello Slut!!"  I knew I had not let him down!!  He enjoyed me as much as I enjoyed his rapt attention.  I asked him if he had anything that needed dusting urgently, while I brushed the feather duster across my breasts seductively.  I think he just grinned from ear to ear and I am sure I heard him groan slightly.

Well I could write a lot more, but I always like to leave the rest to the imagination!!  I can tell you that the rest of that day seemed to go on forever!!  Just heavenly!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

100 things 'bout Michael

It's way too much information 'bout me . . .
  1. I've had moderate to severe asthma since childhood.
  2. I love pussy, but I am very much allergic to cats.
  3. I'm a dog person, not a cat person.
  4. I have no children.
  5. I currently spend 30 hours a week volunteering.
  6. I used to volunteer to coach 5th and 6th grade flag football.
  7. The football teams I coached never finished lower than 2nd in our league.
  8. One of the boys I coached in football went on to have a fair career in the NFL.
  9. Baseball was my favorite sport as I was growing up, both as a spectator and to play.
  10. I didn't hit my first homerun in an official little league game until I was 13 years old.
  11. My first little league homerun was a walk-off grand slam in a sudden death tournament, I was carried off the field on my teammates shoulders.
  12. I was once "scouted" at age 15-16 by the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals.
  13. My favorite baseball team is the Minnesota Twins.  The St Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds are also teams I generally cheer for.
  14. My favorite football team is the Minnesota Vikings.
  15. My favorite basketball team is the Chicago Bulls.
  16. I was once a member of Mensa.
  17. I quit Mensa after a single year because playing bondage games with my first wife was a far better way to spend Saturday nights than hanging out with a bunch of certified (and certifiable) geniuses.
  18. I was an only child.  I suppose I still am . . . 
  19. Serafina and I met on a message board about medicinal herbs.
  20. Serafina is my 3rd (and final) wife.  The first was a youthful mistake, the second a devious plot, and the third time is the charm!
  21. Serafina is my best friend, in addition to being my slave/wife.
  22. I once spent college student loan money on a pair of ADS Studio Monitor Speakers.
  23. I never graduated from college.
  24. The ADS Studio Monitor Speakers are still (30 years later) the best home speakers I've ever heard.
  25. My favorite clothing is all 100% organic cotton.
  26. My favorite flavor of ice cream is "Chocolate Chocolate-Chip" by Haagen-Dazs®.
  27. I love music of many kinds: rock, jazz, folk, blues, goth, punk, classical, and much more . . . 
  28. I still have several hundred LP records in addition to my CD collection.
  29. My favorite band is Dead Can Dance.  
  30. Other musical favorites include: Pink Floyd, Bauhaus, Peter Gabriel, the Who, Talking Heads, The Cure, Miles Davis, Traffic, The Band, Bob Marley & Bob Dylan.
  31. Best music from my collection you've probably never heard: Brian Eno - Another Green World
  32. My favorite album is Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.
  33. Favorite "new" musical artist for 2012 - John Fullbright.
  34. I was a drummer in our High School Band, when they didn't have me playing the piano.
  35. Although I was an accomplished pianist who was trained to sight read classical music, I haven't played a piano (or keyboard) in 30 years.
  36. I'm a sex abuse survivor, the abuser was my piano teacher.
  37. Outside of Serafina, I usually prefer to be alone, rather than in the company of friends, relatives, etc.
  38. My favorite "place" in the world are the "Canyons of the Colorado River" from just outside Grand Junction, Colorado up to the slackwater of Lake Mead (more aptly called Lake Merde) ignoring the retched Lake Powell (aka Lake Foul).
  39. My favorite author is Ed Abbey.
  40. I once embraced the Earth First! philosophy of radical environmentalism in defense of our planet.
  41. As a very young child I used to relish the act of pulling surveyors stakes.  This isn't even a childhood memory, I was too young to remember, it's a story from my parents.
  42. Back in the 1990's, I married my ex in Moab, Utah, while vacationing at Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
  43. I lived in Grand Canyon National Park for a year in the 1980's.
  44. I vacationed at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (it was a National Monument at the time) for an entire month in the 1990's.
  45. I was an avid backpacker in my teens and twenties.
  46. I backpacked through 60 miles of wilderness going from end-to-end on Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior.
  47. In my youth I also was an avid spelunker, in my late 20's I probably spent a day a week in caves. 
  48. I smoked tobacco for 15 years, but quit forever in 2000.
  49. I quit smoking because I was diagnosed with Emphysema in one lobe of my lungs.
  50. My doctor of 15 years often forgets I have lung disease because my lungs sound so good today.
  51. I threw up (severe vomiting episodes - at times almost cartoon like projectile style retching) nearly every day for more than 5 years, enduring endless endoscopy and other procedures, including having my gallbladder removed.  
  52. My reoccurring vomiting episodes were caused by stress, and the episodes almost entirely ended when Blissful Torment (my ex-wife) left my life.
  53. My favorite color is black.
  54. I'm an avid reader.  Before Kindle came into my life, I added a large bookshelf full of new books every other year.  
  55. The vast majority of the books on my Kindle are about sexuality.
  56. The majority of books in my physical book collection are scholarly studies on the Second World War.
  57. Books about baseball history are the second most common subject in my library.
  58. If I'm not reading about World War II or baseball, I'm studying natural history, geology, agronomy, or similar environmental sciences.
  59. Although I have more than an entire bookshelf of books about kink, sexuality, and BDSM; those subjects all together are only in 4th place among topics found in my personal library.
  60. I'll never forget our nation's bicentennial, 1976 was the year I lost my virginity.  
  61. I was 13 years old when I lost my virginity.
  62. Three different women have given me the gift of being their first real lover.  
  63. I'll never forget hearing over the radio that John Lennon had been shot and died, it was my then girlfriend's first time having sex, and she'd asked me to tie her up for the experience! I was 17.
  64. I love floggers best of all my kinky toys.  Serafina and I counted the floggers on display in our playroom, the tally was 17.  There are a couple of others tucked away in a travel case, and I just commissioned three more.
  65. My favorite flogger maker is Snake Pit Leather Works, who produce by far the best quality floggers I've ever seen or used.
  66. For 15 years my ex-wife and I lived in a poly-amorous relationship where we were involved with another woman (or two) at all times.
  67. The craziest place I've ever had sex was at an interstate highway rest area during the middle of the day with a group of nuns picnicking 20 or 30 yards away. 
  68. I worked for a decade as a community organizer.
  69. I spent a year training under a world famous chef at a 4-star restaurant, and another 5 years cooking for a living.
  70. I spent 15 years in government service as a politician's Chief of Staff.
  71. As a youth, I worked as an umpire and referee, de-tasseling corn, and as a cemetery groundskeeper.
  72. My primary sexual interests revolve around BDSM.  It's been like that since the dawn of my own sexuality.
  73. I still get a thrill every time Serafina calls me Master, it's like hearing music. (Yes, I know how narcissistic that sounds.)
  74. Obviously, my BDSM orientation is Dominant/Master.
  75. I'm a bit of a sexual sadist who enjoys gently pushing limits.
  76. When I was younger I did occasionally "switch" and play submissive for my ex Blissful Torment, and a couple of her different girlfriends, including Cherub who has made a couple of guest posts here.
  77. I have no desire to have sex with men, but consider myself "gender-queer" because I can potentially dominate a person of either sex.
  78. My ex (Blissful Torment) and I once had a live-in "houseboy" for something like 6 months.
  79. My collection of adult and BDSM toys more than fills two rolling toy trunks from For Your Nymphomation.
  80. I drive a Toyota 4x4 pickup truck.
  81. I consider myself to be a Christian Buddhist, but am more spiritual than religious.
  82. I was an atheist throughout most of my teens and twenties.
  83. I attended an exclusive private college prep school during junior high and high school.
  84. My favorite movie is Apocalypse Now.
  85. I was kicked out of my parents house at age 17, given 5 minutes to pack, and told to make an appointment to come back and get what things couldn't be packed in 5 minutes.
  86. I was no longer living with my parents when I graduated from High School, but Mom showed up at my graduation, took my diploma to "look at", and then left with it.
  87. For a decade I was a caregiver for my sick Mother.
  88. I occasionally battle moderate depression.
  89. Mom never forgave me for sneaking my girlfriend in through my bedroom window when I was 17.
  90. I never was caught sneaking my girlfriend in through my bedroom window, but had confessed doing so to my parents when I was in my 20's.
  91. My favorite vegetable is broccoli.
  92. Apples are my favorite fruit.
  93. I'm 48 years of age.
  94. In all honesty, I never thought I'd live beyond the age of 40.
  95. There is a ring in my left nipple.
  96. My nipple piercing was done in Canada, the first time I went to visit Serafina.
  97. I suffer from degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis in the lumbar region of my lower back.
  98. Chronic back pain has turned me into an insomniac.
  99. I still don't know what I want to be when I "grow up" . . . 
  100. Samadhi, my chosen name, is a Sanskrit word meaning "sweet transcendental bliss" and/or "a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object."

Friday, June 22, 2012

today?

Apparently it was some kind of national holiday today, but no one told Serafina!

Simply the Best - A Vendor Review

Snake Pit Leather Works Makes the Finest Floggers
A matched pair of crushed cowhide floggers for Florentine style flogging
I've never tried to hide my love of floggers on these pages, it's a passion I'm proud to wear on my sleeve, as well as wield with my hands. I love a well balanced and effective tool, and I love the great variety of available flogger materials to be found today. I also love the effects I can create with my floggers, the ooohs and ahhhhhs I can elicit from my Serafina.


And, it should be noted that I've sampled the work of a fair number of flogger makers. Hanging in my flogger rack, you find the work of close to 10 individual artisans, 6 of them established and well known flogger makers who's work you could purchase online today.

At IML 2012 I looked at quite a few others, handled their work in person, going as far as taking some test swings right there in the convention center (everyone was doing it . . .) with Serafina as a test subject. Quite obviously, I not only love floggers, I study them, I dream about and covet them, I know them well.

With that said, I'm sure there are individuals with more flogging experience, or a more varied collection of floggers and cats than I have today, I'm not trying to compete with anyone. I just want to establish my basic credentials to judge the available range of flogger makers a BDSM enthusiast can find online today.


And, with all that experience under my belt, I'm here to tell you that there's one flogger artisan artist who's work simply stands ahead of all the others I've had the pleasure to experience - Snake Pit Leather Works. Yes, I still occasionally sample the work of other flogger makers, but in my heart and mind, it is Snake Pit Leather Work's floggers that I dream about and covet today.

Nancy, the wonderful proprietor of Snake Pit Leather Works who creates flogger art, very obviously puts not only great skill, but also a lot of pride, and (I believe) a measure of love into her craft, and it shows. As I said in the title, her work is simply the best.


I currently own three Snake Pit leather Works (SPLW) floggers: an absolutely beautiful Purple Mamba made from bullhide, a delicious Snake Bite from waterbuffalo leather, and a very special deerskin Snake Dancer that Nancy conspired with me to create. I also have three more SPLW floggers on order, a uniquely beautiful matched pair of crushed cowhide floggers for florentine style flogging, and a "Boris", a very special flogger made from wild Russian boar skin.

Nancy's workmanship is outstanding, the braiding of her flogger handles is the tightest and most artistic I've experienced. I count more than 50 different handle styles available on her site, and I know there are at least a few more in her repertoire that aren't shown, as both my Snake Bite and my Snake Dancer have handles that aren't displayed on her site.


SPLW floggers are made from absolutely top quality materials, so they are beautiful to both behold and to use. To my hand they are beautifully balanced. In use, they are wonderfully effective tools to create a superb flogging experience from both the giving and receiving perspective.

Serafina adores it when I use most any flogger on her, but that's especially true when I'm using our SPLW floggers. I like to have her give a respectful kiss to each flogger before they are used upon her, and I have to admit, SPLW are more worthy of this ritual than most of the rest of my collection. The only other floggers which remotely rival Snake Pit Leather Works products for beauty are those made by Adam and Gillian, and their signature handles are so very different from an SPLW handle that it's like comparing apples and oranges; there's no direct comparison possible, but both are certainly tasty!


So, I've been bragging about the floggers themselves, but I've not yet managed to comment on Nancy's customer service skills. We all know that some artists are difficult to deal with, they have a passion for their craft but don't necessarily enjoy interacting with their customers. I know of at least one well known flogger maker who's email responses to customers tend towards one single monosyllabic word, it feels a bit like corresponding with a caveman.

That's definitely not Nancy of SPLW. She's a delight to work with, and she's always there to make sure I'm 100% satisfied with everything she makes. It's a true pleasure dealing with SPLW throughout the entire purchasing process.

I consider SPLW prices to be reasonably priced. To be fair, the prices might seem a little high compared to some other flogger makers, but that seems to be more of an indication of the time and effort put into these products that anything else. It's mostly true that an economy flogger with a plastic handle will feel the same on the receiving end of the toy, and that's going to be good enough for some people.


That's not good enough for me anymore. I want to enjoy some of the finer things in life, and that's especially true when it comes to BDSM and adult sex games. Just as I don't eat at McDonalds and I don't buy furniture from Wal-Mart, I'm not going to purchase economy floggers from Amazon.com either.

When I make any significant purchase, my outlook is the same, I look for quality first, followed closely by an appreciation for functional beauty. That's why Snake Pit Leather Works is currently my first choice when I want another flogger to add to my collection, they make works of art that are functionally beautiful.

1. DISCLAIMER - I, Michael Samadhi, have never asked for nor received any free product, goods or consideration from Snake Pit Leather Works in return for this review, nor for any other reason. Michael Samadhi and SpiritualBDSM.com are not affiliated with, not associated with, nor endorsed by Snake Pit Leather Works in any manner.  This review was simply written from the perspective of a satisfied customer who'd like to share my good fortune and experience in finding an outstanding flogger maker.

2. DISCLAIMER - All images in this post are property and copyright of Snake Pit Leather Works. They are used here for educational and review purposes only.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

there are perverts to satisfy wherever you work . . .

Maxine Holloway - a webcam model suing Kink.com 
Last night, while reading news online, I ran across an article on a brewing controversy over a change in how Kink.com will pay the webcam girls who perform live shows - Is Porn Darling Kink.com Ripping Off Its Webcam Girls?

The SF Weekly story begins:
"For connoisseurs of BDSM porn, San Francisco's Kink.com has built up a reputation that makes them the sadomasochistic equivalent of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Fans of the company's sites look to them not only for high-quality porn that caters to a wide variety of fetishes, but for an explicit ethical code. As cultural messages directly equating "sex work" with "trafficking" become stronger, Kink.com has established itself as the Good Guy of porn, where the models are there because they want to be and are able to stay safely within their personal limits."
The basic premise from there is simple, Kink.com has been paying it's webcam performers a flat rate of $150 for a four hour show with bonus commissions if their performances brought in more than $500 from private shows.  But, Kink.com claims that policy is causing them to lose money, so they now plan to pay on a commission only basis, and some of the models are upset enough that they've filed a class action lawsuit against the pornography giant.

Under the new payment model, which is planned to go into effect July 1, 2012, performers will receive a 30 percent commission for shifts below $300, 40 percent between $300 and $1,500, and 50 percent if they bring in more than $1,500 on a shift. Under the old payment system, webcam workers were guaranteed $150 for a four-hour shift if they generated $500 or less from private sessions, while additional commissions ranged from 30 to 50 percent for revenue generated that exceeded $500. 

In reporting on this story, I should disclose that I'm not exactly the kind of guy who would enjoy webcam performances.  I've subscribed to a number of different Kink.com sites over the last year: The Upper Floor, Wired Pussy, Sex and Submission, Public Disgrace, Device Bondage and Hogtied.  My standard practice is to subscribe to a site, download all the movies and pictures that are available for later enjoyment, before proceeding to cancel that site, subscribing to another then in turn.  

In general, I'm enjoying the Kink.com sites and their videos.  Serafina and I watch them together, and while some portray more extreme activity than she might enjoy, I find that they are good for inspiration.  They also serve to generate discussion with Serafina, as she'll sometimes ask questions about particular positions and techniques as we observe them.

I'm aware that the Kink.com site has live webcam performers, they are advertised on banners on almost every available page.  I've dropped into a room for a moment or two upon occasion, when bored or curious.  With that said, Kink.com has never profited from my presence, as I'm not willing to spend money to take a model into a private session.  It has little or no appeal to me.

If I wanted to instruct a submissive, tell her what to do and watch as she complies with my requests, I'd do it with my Serafina.  In all honesty, if I was single I'd not be terribly interested either, as I'd be looking to find a partner rather than spending my time plugging money into the video equivalent of the old coin operated live peep shows.

When I have dropped in for a quick peek, I've mostly encountered pretty obviously bored performers, girls who inspired neither my desires or my dominance.  There are exceptions, Rain DeGrey coming to mind as an example of a vivacious individual who's very obviously enthusiastic about BDSM and her job performing it live.  If I were into webcam performances, she'd be the kind of model who could attract my interest, but from what little I've seen, she's the exception rather than the rule.

With that in mind, and also considering the Kink.com payment plan for webcam models was unique and more generous than the industry standard, it's easy to understand why models would be upset.  A lot of the performers won't generate $150 in commissions for their four hour shift, they will likely make less for their work, perhaps far less. 

Here's the problem from the business end of things, no profit making company can be expected to continue operating a venture at a loss, and Kink.com's CEO is quoted in the story saying:
"The product is not profitable in its current form. We're losing somewhere in the range of $30,000 to $50,000 a month, and it's because of having these model minimums in place.  There's no other cam company that does that. The business is incredibly competitive and cutthroat. The webcam sites all compete for models by offering them better and better deals. Our deal was to compete by offering them a minimum. Unfortunately, that didn't work for us, so we're reverting to what the entire industry does, which is commissions only." 
In my online journeys, I've run across individuals from the San Francisco BDSM community who have told me of their high opinion of Peter Ackworth (Kink.com CEO), people who had no reason to misinform me or deceive me about their personal impression of the man.  One is a sweet submissive lady who I respect greatly, so I'm pretty comfortable in accepting her high regard of Peter as being both sincere and accurate.

I'm very confident we're not talking about a Darth Vader like CEO, as the SF Weekly story pointed out, "Kink.com has built up a reputation that makes them the sadomasochistic equivalent of Ben & Jerry's ice cream."  My own experiences with Kink.com as a customer have been overwhelmingly positive, far better in fact than my experience with companies in what would have appeared to be more wholesum lines of work.

Considering that the models themselves admit that kink.com's previous method for compensation was more generous than the industry standard, and considering my (admittedly brief) experiences in observing some of the webcam performers general lack of enthusiasm for their work, it's my personal belief that Peter Ackworth's decision to move to pay models on commission seems pretty reasonable and fair. 

Perhaps my perspective is off because I live in the midwest, a place where a lot of people get paid little more than minimum wage.  Perhaps I'm jaded because I don't personally use any company's webcam services.  And I have to disclose that I've never earned money at that rate, even when satisfying the tens of thousands of angry constituents that make up a legislative district, a task that would seem to be the equal (in my eyes) of satisfying a few perverts in four hour shifts.

So I say, "Suck it up girls".  If you don't like working for commission, pretty girls can always find work as waitresses and hostesses in the food service industry.  I've worked in that industry, and to with total sincerity, I think you'll find you've got it better where you are at.  To be honest, there are perverts to satisfy wherever you work, get used to it!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

It's my birthday too - TMI Tuesday 6/19/2012



"Being under the sway of the element of water also makes you highly caring, generous and intuitive. You are highly evolved, even spiritual — the water signs are karmically developed and refined in spirit."


TMI Tuesday 6/19/2012


1. What star sign are you?
I'm a Cancer, the Crab.  I'm very close in personality to the classic description of individuals born under the Crab sign, especially so when it reads: "You are basically cautious, prudent, and untiringly persistent in going after whatever you desire most."  That, and the post's opening quote sound like apt descriptions of Michael Samadhi to me . . .  (Yes I did just refer to myself in the third person.  No, this isn't an episode of Sienfeld.  Michael wants you to just pretend it never happened.)  However, to a great extent, I wonder if this isn't a self-fulfilling prophecy - see question 2.

2. Do you believe in horoscopes?
No, I don't.  I grew up in a home with a Father who studied Palmistry and Astrology, so I was immersed in the theories at an early age.  I wonder if I match the classic description of an individual with the astrological sign Cancer because I was told so many times as a youth that I was a "classic" for my sun sign.  It's my belief that children tend to grow up to become what they are told they will become by parents and other authority.  Call a kid a brat, he'll be a brat, tell them they are a nerd, and they usually grow up as one . . . Tell a child they are a classic for their sun sign, and you shouldn't be surprised if they end up fitting the description as an adult . . .

Sexy Uncle sam
3. When is your birthday?
I wasn't born on July 4th, but I'm not terribly far off either.  My dog was born on the 4th of July, and he's a classic Cancerian personality . . .

4. What’s the worst birthday gift a partner has given you?
My ex-wife gave me a Green Bay Packers t-shirt.  It's not that a t-shirt is the lowest monetary value gift I've received, one girlfriend woke me up with the words "Happy Birthday" written in lipstick across her chest, a cheap but memorable gift indeed!  The real problem is that I'm a Minnesota Vikings fan, and there's no team I dislike more than the Packers, and that we'd been married for a decade.  To understand this phenomena, how someone you'd been together with for over a decade wouldn't even know your favorite sports team, read my post about Narcissists - Ubi Est Mea.

5. Are you organised when it comes to other people’s birthdays?
Isn't that why Facebook was invented, to remind me to tell my friends, "Happy Birthday"?  Seriously, I used to be much more organized before Facebook became like a crutch and allowed my brain to be filled with different useless information.

6. How do you normally celebrate your birthday?
Sex.  Hot kinky sex.  It's my favorite way to celebrate all holidays.  (See also question #1 where I'm described as being "untiringly persistent in going after whatever you desire most.")

7. If you could be one age again what would it be? Why?
I'm currently 48, and it's been the best year of my life.  Despite losing my Mother last summer, the time I've spent since then with my Serafina this last has been closer and more intimate than any other I've shared or experienced.  I'd want to experience that again more than anything else.  

Second place would be age 13, when I hit my first Grand Slam homerun, and then lost my virginity the same summer.

8. What would be your ideal birthday treat?
It's might sound redundant, but the answer is "Sex.  Hot kinky sex.  It's my favorite way to celebrate all holidays."

Bonus: Tell us your best birthday memory?
I'm planning on making it this year with my Serafina!

Bonus, Bonus: May we see you in your birthday suit? (post a photo)
He looks kinda chapped from overuse after a birthday party!

Monday, June 18, 2012

outstanding home suspension frame . . .

My name is Michael, and that's my Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand!
Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand assembled for our personal New Years Eve party
Just a few days ago I wrote about the Tetruss II portable suspension frame, and found it somewhat wanting in terms of usefulness in a home dungeon. Today, we'll be looking at a much more stable and useful alternative, the Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand.

Rather than being a purpose made item expressly designed for BDSM, the Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand falls into the category of "pervertables", items designed for a different real world intent that are repurposed for a more kinky use. In most cases I find that BDSM specific items are usually best for my style of play, so this swing stand might be called "the exception that proves the rule", an odd turn of phrase I've never been completely comfortable using until today.

I first became aware of the usefulness of the Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand at Fetlife, where a dominant named MrEllen posted pictures of it in use as a Shibari suspension device. At the time, I was researching alternatives to creating a suspension hard point that was a part of my home's architectural framing, as I wasn't completely convinced that my roof joists were constructed to carry much more weight than was already loaded as a part of my main floor's ceiling.

I'd already researched purpose built items like the Tetruss II (we also saw a similar sling/suspension stand by a different manufacturer demonstrated at IML2012) and wasn't completely convinced of their usefulness in my home dungeon. I was also aware of home built frame designs, such as the various plans available from Sartan's BDSM Workshop.
Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand over a queen sized mattress.
The reddish 'ramp' as well as white tiger print wedges and cover are gear from Liberator.com.
We found that none of those items have the inherent attractiveness of the Cypress Swing Stand, with it's beautiful combination of gracefully curved arched pieces. The ugliest of all is the Tetruss, it's bare aluminum tubes come unfinished, full of scratches, marks and blemishes from the combination of sloppy machining and poor packaging. From a distance it looks a bit like some getto-styled contraption pieced together from spare parts of a tent frame. It's a bit sturdier than that, but certainly no more attractive.

If constructed properly, I believe all of the bondage and suspension frames featured at Sartan's site are likely to be more stable and safe than a Tetruss. Even with bare wood, they wouldn't be any less attractive than a bunch of aluminum tube, and with a little care put into finishing them up nicely, they have the potential to be as attractive as the skills of the maker allow.

I really don't think anything I could have made myself would match the strength and beauty of the Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand, however, it's beyond my own carpentry and home manufacturing skills. The swing's listed capacity is 450 pounds, while it's own weight comes in at about 100 pounds, at least that's the listed shipping weight.

Made from multiple layers of cypress wood, the Roman Arc Swing Stand is designed to hold the weight of two people and a swing. So, I expect it's strength will more than suffice for supporting Serafina in suspension for many years to come, likely the rest of our lives.

Cypress is an exceptionally durable wood, it's said that the first doors of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, which lasted more than 1100 years in place before reconstruction in 1500's replaced them were made of cypress. It's also said by some scholars that Noah's Arc was constructed from cypress, although that's by no means absolutely certain, in anyone's account of the great flood, there are many unanswered questions.

It's also an aesthetically pleasing wood, it's honey yellow tones and interesting grain being among the wood's attractive qualities. While we have debated applying a stain, as the cypress wood of the swing stand comes unfinished, we ended up deciding that any stain we might apply would only detract from the wood's natural beauty. For our purposes, a light sanding and a coat of clear varnish will suffice to make this stand a beautiful and aesthetic addition to our adult play space.

The whole thing assembles quickly and easily. If (for example) the Tetruss takes 5 minutes to assemble, this isn't much more extensive, with about a 10-15 minute construction time for Serafina and I. It took us longer to understand the instructions than it did to actually put it together, a very easy build.

The entire assembly can easily be moved around a room by two people of moderate strength, so despite it's strength, the Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand isn't immovable by any means. It can be broken down into three fairly large sub assembly's for transportation in a truck bed, so to an extent it is portable.

We love our Roman Arc Cypress Swing Stand, it's finding a permanent in our "sacred space" and adult playroom, along with our Dungeon Bed, my flogger and adult toy collection, not to mention some sweet gear from Liberator. We hope to have that space completely re-decorated and complete very soon!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Greek Goddess of "universal remedy"

I've written before (on multiple occasions) about a Tantus, a company who makes top quality adult products that are manufactured here in the US.  Back around the first of this year, I even wrote a post suggesting one of their "objets de plaisir" to my dear friend Cherub, when she asked me for a product recommendation.

Far too many sex toys are made in China, where a repressive regime not only has a general lack of environmental and health/safety regulations, filters the internet to prevent it's citizens from reading unapproved news and information, but also where the forced labor of political and religious prisoners plays an essential role in the manufacturing economy.

That's not the case with Tantus, who manufacturers their toys right here in the US.  They pay their employees a living wage, and are very much responsible and enlightened members of the community where their products are manufactured.

One of the other great things about Tantus is their very progressive attitude towards not only towards the health and safety of their customers, but also towards their community. Hallelujah!

I guess it should be obvious by now that I heartily endorse Tantus and their products.  I've put my money where my mouth is on this topic, it's reflected in my toybag. The majority of insertable adult plugs and silicone dildos in my collection were manufactured by Tantus.

That's why I'm excited to post today about the Panacea Vibrator, a limited edition adult toy being used as a tool to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.  Although we don't really need another insertable toy in our collection, I've ordered one for the Samadhi toybag, primarily to support the company and the cause.

To provide you with all the details, here's the Tantus news release:
Tantus offers a "Panacea" in the fight against cancer

Sparks, NV -- The Tantus Panacea, available only as a Limited Edition on the Tantus website, was created as part of Tantus' participation in the 2012 Relay for Life fundraiser. 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the Panacea will go to the American Cancer Society. The Panacea is modeled on the classic Tantus Goddess Vibe, with an updated dual-color look. Due to the production process, no two toys are exactly alike. The Panacea is the perfect toy for the serious Tantus collector, those new to adult toys, and anyone who wants to support the fight against cancer.

"Relay for Life is vitally important to the staff here at Tantus," said Jenna Clark, Marketing Manager. "We're a small company, and the employees are a tight-knit group. We know each other's families and histories. We have survivors on staff, and relatives who have been diagnosed. Putting company energy into this initiative fit our core values perfectly. At heart, the staff at Tantus is a family and giving back to the community is a part of who we are."

All Tantus Toys are made from Tantus' own unique blend of Ultra-Premium Silicone. The superior quality of Tantus silicone makes all Tantus Toys hypoallergenic, non-toxic, phthalate free, heavy metal free, odorless, boilable, bleachable and even dishwasher safe. These factors combined make Tantus Toys the safest and most pleasurable toys on the market. A toy from Tantus is meant to be used and with minimal care Tantus Toys can last a lifetime.
Once again, I'd like to applaud Tantus for being an enlightened company, and for making outstanding products.  I'd also like to thank them for the opportunity to be a part of their contribution to the American Cancer Society.

Finally, I'd like to applaud Jenna Clark, who is Marketing Manager at Tantus.  I exchanged several emails with Jenna a few months back when I first wrote about Tantus.  She's a delightful individual, and the only reason I didn't keep in better touch was because I didn't wish to burden her already heavy workload.

I was very pleased to learn that she's intimately involved with this charity effort by Tantus, but taken aback and very saddened to discover that she has a very personal reason inspiring her involvement . . .

"Navigating my daughter's cancer treatment was the hardest thing I've ever done. And I never would have gotten through it without the kindness of friends, family, and employers. I was also humbled by the help we got from people who didn't even know us - total strangers who made it possible for me to focus on her treatment. I wish I could thank them, even now."
--J. Clark
Tantus, Inc.
Jenna and her daughter will be in our prayers tonight, as will be all cancer victims and survivors.  Whether you support this fundraiser, or whether you find a different way to help the cause, please give time and/or financial assistance to the fight against cancer.

Cancer touches far too many lives . . .

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tetruss II review

I apologize for the inconvenience, but the Tetruss II review has been relocated.

It's now found at: MichaelSamadhi.com.

prominent pornography purveyor provides proper payment protection

In reflecting upon my recent post about our experiences with a webhost with a customer service department that does most anything they can to avoid actually serving the customer, I realized how much better I'm treated by the folks at Kink.com.

When I sign up for a site at Kink.com, the procedure is simple and streamlined, and I get access to everything I purchased within moments.  When I decide to cancel a subscription, it's just as simple.

With Kink.com, nobody tells me I have to fill out a support ticket with my request, there's no smarmy punk-assed customer service rep to deny my request and quote a cold and calculated corporate policy designed to maximize corporate profits charging for an unused and unwanted product.  My provider of kinky adult entertainment treats me far better than a webhost who won't let me go.

Yeppers, it's 100% true, a prominent pornography purveyor provides proper payment protection, while webhost Jumpline (perhaps more correctly named host-i-cant) grabs every one of my dollars they can while refusing to even honor a request to remove my account.

I guess that's good news for the kinky, pornography isn't a sleazy business anymore.  Nope, now there's another industry preying on consumers . .

Buyer beware, the sleazy business these days is webhosting, and the poster child is Jumpline!

I'd say that Jumpline sucks ass, but being on the receiving end of that experience can be pleasant.  Dealing with jumpline never is . . .

Jumpline, set my people (and my websites) free!


SOUNDTRACK - Let's Lynch The Landlord by the Dead Kennedys

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You can't cancel a product?

Are you looking for webhosting?

Well, whatever you do, don't purchase it from Jumpline (formerly Hostican) as the suck the proverbial polluted ass when it comes to requests for any kind of service, especially if your request is to shut down an account.

The back story is simple, this blog is simply powered by blogger rather than any kind of 3rd party web hosting company simply because our experiences with hosting companies has been a tale of absolute wretchedness.

Jumpline is by far the worst of the bunch.  Twice this year they have charged our credit cards for accounts we requested be taken down.  We even challenged one through my credit card company, and the assholes at Jumpline told my credit card company that the original contract I "signed" when I took their hosting services gives them the right to renew my account every time it expires without providing me with any choice or recourse, unless I cancelled within 30 days of the account's renewal.

So it should have been simple to ask them to simply remove the accounts so this doesn't happen again, right?

Well, when you put in a support ticket asking for a site to be removed, they flat out fucking refuse!

You can't get a hosting package cancelled, and they renew them automatically when they expire, so it's a perpetual charge machine that there's almost no way of escaping.

Here's the worst one of all.  There was a hosting package purchased by my Mom who passed away last year.  A few days ago we got a bill from a credit card of hers that we'd already asked to be closed, a bill with charges for web hosting from Jumpline.

When we called Jumpline to tell them that they were charging a dead woman, they essentially said - tough shit, take it up with your credit card company because we don't reverse charges under any circumstance, and they only close a hosting package if you request it in a small 30 day window once every year or two.

So the moral of the story is that Jumpline has terrible practices, terrible customer service, and if you ask to have a hosting account removed, they will refuse.

Like I said,  they suck the proverbial polluted ass, and I suggest strongly that if you are looking for web hosting, go anywhere but to Jumpline.

I've included a screen shot of their customer service refusing to shit down an account except under, just so you know I'm not exaggerating . . .

SOUNDTRACK - Nazi Punks Fuck Off by Dead Kennedys

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

a moderately good looking corpse

My stated ambition as a youth was yo live fast, die young, and leave a moderately good looking corpse . . . 

Since it's already too late for that . . .

Drama King

I'm feeling rather blue and down today.  For the last few days everything has been a struggle.

When everything is a struggle for me, it usually means one of  means one of a few different things . . .

  1. It really is just a rough patch of time - life's like that, as some days are easier than others, and there are  (of course) occasions where a few bad days string together randomly
  2. I was feeling so very good about the DungeonBed purchase, as well as the visit to IML, that a little bit of rebound was almost inevitable.  
  3. I'm exhausted and sore - I suffer from some chronic arthritic conditions as well as Fibromyalgia.  Laying a new floor and painting, bringing home our dungeon bed, and assembling our dungeon bed, were all very strenuous activities which have caused significant increases in my arthritic pain.  When I hurt I can't sleep, and when I can't sleep it makes me hurt even more.  It's a viscous cycle that makes me feel a bit like I'm circling a drain, getting sucked deeper and deeper towards oblivion.
  4. I'm depressed - I've never been to the "so depressed I can't get out of bed" state, but I've been close once or twice in my life.  I thought those episodes were behind me now that I have quit working in politics, not to mention having a wife who's truly supportive of my interests - a first for me!  But, I also have to recognize that the sense of  "circling a drain, getting sucked deeper and deeper towards oblivion" isn't just a phenomena related to pain and lack of sleep, it's also a sign I might be circling into a cycle of depression.
  5. It's just a sign of the times.  The world really is going to hell in a fucking hand-basket.  
Like the commercials say, "depression hurts", so it's my experience that not only do #3 and #4 go together like a fist inside a glove, they also pack a mean nasty punch.  

To a certain extent, I find myself agreeing with #5, the world is pretty fucked up, and I find myself feeling a bit like a Jim Morrison lyric, "the future's uncertain and the end is always near . . . "  Which brings me to the solution.  I need to take my slave in hand, and play with her hard, every day of our upcoming three day weekend.  

It answer's #1, as there's nothing better to get over a rough patch of time than some rough sex!  It takes care of the second possibility as well, as there's nothing there that some good use of our new bed won't completely resolve.  

Numbers #3 and #4 are also resolved by some extended attention to my slave/wife, as the endorphins released by a great BDSM session are a sure cure for both pain and the blues. Thinking about #5, I return in the same vein to my youthful nihilistic leanings, and will ape the aforementioned dead rock star in saying . . . 

"I don't know what's gonna happen man, but I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames."

SOUNDTRACK - American Night / Roadhouse Blues by The Doors

SPECIAL BONUS - for anyone who remembers the early 1980's Rolling Stone magazine cover that read, "JIM MORRISON - He's Hot, He's Sexy, He's Dead!!!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

TMI Tuesday - the most edition


1. What sex position have you been in the most times?
In a single lovemaking session, it's not uncommon for us to cycle through a number of different positions, but it's most common for us to finish with nice face to face intimacy in the missionary position.

2. What book have you read …?
When I was younger, I read the Lord of the Rings trilogy at least once a year throughout Junior High and High School, so they've been read from cover to cover at least 6 or 7 times.

3. What movie have you watched …?
Back in the early '80's I had a video disc player but only one or two movies in my collection to be played, so the movie Apocalypse Now received a huge number of screenings.

4. In the last week, who have you texted … ? (no names, list the relationship or type of person)
Although I have a smart phone, I'm not much for texting.  I've not sent any texts in the last week . . .

5. In the last week, what food have you eaten …?
Roast Beef - Late last week our storage freezer decided to die.  There were two large sirloin roasts that had thawed but were still below 40 degrees internally, so they were immediately thrown in the oven.  There's now no escaping roast beef in the fridge!

6. Today, which website have you visited …?
Facebook and GMail are the only sites I visited this morning before picking up my TMI Tuesday questions to answer.

7. When dining out, where have you eaten …?
Lately I've been eating a lot of my lunches at Subway.  I tend to be pretty streaky, being very loyal to one lunch spot for while until I'm tired of it, then move on to another.  Last year, the answer would have been Culvers.

8. Which sex toy have you used …?
Three answers come to mind, clothespins, leather wrist restraints and rope.  Take your pick from among the three, as there's no denying they all would vie equally for the top spot.

Bonus:  Is there something you’d love to go back and relive in your sexual past?
Not really, as I'd like to think that the best is yet to come.

Monday, June 11, 2012

"breaking" a submissive . . .

I've seen a number of posts recently on the topic of "breaking" a submissive, a subject on which I have many of my own thoughts to share.  However, before inflicting my opinions upon you, my dear reader, I'd like to begin by quoting another dominant I've grown to respect greatly.

Here is Omega's opening comment from the Power Exchange where he penned a post called Breaking the Girl.  It's as good an introduction to this topic as any I've seen:
It conjurs the image of a wild horse, the animal being roped. She struggles, fighting wildly against it. Eventually calming, only to have a rider on her back. The sensation, odd at first she bucks fiercely trying to knock the rider off. After several times, she calms, relaxing into it, accepting the rider. Eventually it sinks in, she intrinsically understands it is hopeless to effect a change.
She becomes dependent on her owner, who feeds her, washes her down after a ride and she remains fiercely loyal to her owner. The horse is broken, but has gained a greater purpose in service to her owner.
It is important to keep reminding one self; women are not horses.
As was once said in a hit song, "I second that emotion."  Let me reiterate, "It is important to keep reminding one self; women are not horses."  I'm a dominant who's also a bit of a sexual sadist, but I don't believe in tearing people down to build them up, and I don't believe in breaking submissives.  If that's your kink or your style, there's not a lot we can expect to have in common.

As Omega said, "The topic of breaking another conjures such great visceral responses."  I just want to make it clear that I am myself reacting viscerally, for a number of reasons.  If ya don't like what I'm saying, you are welcome to look elsewhere for your reading material, as this is one topic where I will not negotiate or debate.

Back in December I wrote a post that touched on this subject, where I said:
I have to admit watching a proud woman who is my equal kiss my boots is a far greater charge of excitement for me than were it done by a woman who was kissing them not out of honor, respect and devotion, but instead was slavishly attending my boots because she felt inferior.
Meh, sorry, being served by the downtrodden is no charge at all.  Nobody can give me proper respect if they have none for themselves.  I can't have any fun reducing someone to writhing like an animal, begging for pleasure, and then begging for the same pleasure to stop, if they are already surviving like an animal.
If a slave is somebody who has been totally devalued, I'd not want to command them, I'd want to shelter and protect them until they felt valued and human.  My style of domination isn't depersonalizing, in fact quite the opposite, it's expressed by continually pushing for growth, empowerment, and enlightenment within the rituals and devotions of submission.
I guess that's as good and succinct a comment as any I'd pen today on the topic.  So, with that in mind, I won't try to reiterate the points again, instead I'll attempt to illustrate with short story from my life.  It is very recent, and it's very raw in my psyche, because it involves an individual I've come to care about deeply, despite never having met in person.

Yesterday, Serafina and I were messaged by a dear friend who's been experiencing ups and downs in a long distance relationship with a dominant.  Our friend was devastated, she'd been crying, and she really needed a friendly shoulder.  I'd planned to hitch Serafina up to our new dungeon bed last night for a figging and a flogging, but plans for fun don't trump the real life needs of an individual we care about.  Meaning that instead my slave/wife spent two hours on the phone consoling our friend, who believes her relationship with her dom guy is over.

Our friend was destroyed by what had happened with her love, you might even say that for a moment, she felt broken by the turmoil, angst, and separation.  I'm not trying to say she was "broken" in the sense used in posts like "Breaking the Girl", where the discussion is more about dominants and submissives who fantasize and romanticize the act of breaking a submissive, instead I'm trying to make a correlated point.

My point is simply that there is no honor in "Breaking the Girl".  It's no accomplishment.  It's nothing to be proud of doing.  It's not even that hard to do, to break someone once you've asked them to put real faith in you.  It might be said that a submissive trusts a dominant in much the same manner as a child initially trusts a parent, in that the trust makes them very open and vulnerable.

It's not difficult to hurt a vulnerable person, it's not hard to break a vulnerable person.  Obviously, something that's not difficult to achieve is no real achievement, if you can understand that kind of logic.

Our friend was hurt simply because she was vulnerable, she was open.  She loved her dominant as a submissive lady should, he didn't return or repay her in kind.  In the end, it seems from my perspective, that he acted like a coward, becoming distant, rather than admitting that his compartmentalized life was designed for short illusive relationships.  She could never belong to him as long as he belonged to his wife . . .

Returning to my more personal commentary rather than a story about a friend. I have to add that a psychiatrist friend of mine calls me a "Master of the Obvious", as I often speak about things others have in front of their faces, but fail or refuse to note for themselves.  My writing, however, tends to be a little more obtuse, so I want to make sure today's message is crystal clear . . .

I can completely understand a person wanting to be "broken" in a very specific manner, as a part of a cathartic release, as a personal challenge, as part of a shamanic type ritual, or perhaps a few other scenarios involving a quest for personal growth or fulfillment.

Such activities must be approached with respect, and must have carefully planned preparations, a limited duration for their fulfillment, not to mention help with recovery from the ordeal.

That's different from breaking a horse, and it's different from truly breaking a submissive.

To "break" a girl as a regular planned part of bringing about their submission, to break them in the sense of creating a quivering creature that is kept in her place with dependence and fear, to make her obedient like a trained animal, isn't exactly a recipe for a better slave.  It's quite the opposite in fact.

In the end, it just seems like a recipe for creating post traumatic stress disorder.


POST SOUNDTRACK - I Second That Emotion by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles

Friday, June 8, 2012

Ubi Est Mea

It's said that all power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.  So, with that in mind, how does a dominant avoid the corruption and personal decay that can accompany the wielding of power?

Well, as a beginning, it's an absolute necessity to know thine enemy.  So, it's essential, at least in my slightly less than perfectly humble opinion, that dominants study and understand the human tendency towards becoming narcissistic.

If everywhere you look you find faults in others, but you fail to see the very same human tendencies and behaviors in yourself, you are either perfect (I've never met this individual and don't expect that I ever will) or you are a narcissist.
Narcissus by Caravaggio (Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome)
This essay's title was originally proposed by columnist Mike Royko as a potential motto for Chicago.  Ubi Est Mea is Latin, the phrase translates to mean "where’s mine", an apt description not only of that city's machine politics, but also as a phrase that very well describes the basic attitude of a narcissist.

At times in my life I have been surrounded by narcissism, so much so that I almost began believing that such behavior was actually the norm.  It's not a pretty way to look at life, so I'm thankful to have been rescued by a wonderful and thoughtful woman who you, my dear reader, know as Serafina.

To define narcissism for the purposes of today's essay, we'll head on over to Wikipedia, where we read:
Narcissism is a term with a wide range of meanings, depending on whether it is used to describe a central concept of psychoanalytic theory, a mental illness, a social or cultural problem, or simply a personality trait. Except in the sense of primary narcissism or healthy self-love, "narcissism" usually is used to describe some kind of problem in a person or group's relationships with self and others. In everyday speech, "narcissism" often means egoism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others. In psychology, the term is used to describe both normal self-love and unhealthy self-absorption due to a disturbance in the sense of self.
So let's be clear, there's a certain amount of narcissism we all need to properly survive in this world, essentially that's the measure of self love that we must have in order to make healthy choices for ourselves.  Beyond that point, however, as a person becomes almost entirely focused on self, it becomes a disorder.

When involved in any sort of a relationship with a narcissist, (be it familial, platonic friendship, or romantic love) it's hard to see the forest for the trees, as individuals overwhelmed by narcissistic desires are very good at manipulating people and situations in order to fulfill their own desires.  It took me years to break patterns of behavior I'd adopted in order to survive while surrounded by narcissists.  And, in some ways, it's still a struggle for me today, everyday, to break the chains that held me down.

I'm convinced that my ex-wife, the woman I call Blissful Torment here at the SpiritualBDSM blog, was a narcissist in the classic sense.  To further explain what I mean in saying that, I'll again revert to the ubiquitous Wikipedia:
The word narcissism comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus. Narcissus was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. As punishment, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus "lay gazing enraptured into the pool, hour after hour".
My former partner was a beautiful woman, and she knew it.  She never tired of mirrors, and she loved staring at her own reflection as she went about nightly rituals involving herself, things like brushing or curling her own hair.

Now please don't get me wrong, there's nothing the matter with having a healthy sense of self worth and self love, and there's nothing wrong with caring for one's appearance either.  The act wasn't wrong in and of itself, but it did serve as an important clue I might have caught and recognized in terms of her relationships with others.

I might have caught on when Ms Torment told me of her past relationships with men.  Her theory was that most men used and abused women sexually, so she became determined to turn the tables.  She set out to use men for sex as she pleased, with little or no regard for their feelings or emotions.

She told me that I was different, and I convinced myself despite all evidence to the contrary, that I really was going to be different enough from most other men, that I'd elicit real change in her behavior.  Little did I know at that time, how difficult it can be to avoid being trapped in narcissism's web of destruction.
I found this picture of a cheating Ms Torment (circa the 1990's) on tumblr about a year ago.
The sleeping bag, pillow and wife I recognize as being mine at the time the photo was shot, but the semen of multiple men which covers her face and chest, quite obviously, was not.
Supposedly, the reason for Ms Torment's attitude towards men, was a part of her personal past.  At a young age, she and a brother had discovered pictures of her father engaged in a series of intimate acts with a series of different women, none of them her Mom.  She confided in me that it was the most devastating thing she'd ever experienced.  Isn't it ironic that she turned around and did the exact same thing to me?

Sadly, it was something I should have expected, because in the end, that's how narcissists work, they tend live a "consequences be damned" lifestyle, and they leave a wide swath of destruction in their wake.  When you hitch up with one, it can be a fun filled ride, but make no mistake, sooner or later you'll end up in that destructive wake yourself, unless of course you start cutting your own . . .

With that in mind, I write this essay today to publicly acknowledge that during the time I found myself sharing a bed, a home, and a life with a narcissist, I too fell into destructive patterns which caused harm to the feelings of others.  It was all too easy . . .

You see, at the end of her life, my Mother was also very much a narcissist.  And, it's Serafina's observation, that Mom actively encouraged narcissistic behavior among the women in my life.  I suppose it was a sort of divide and conquer theory, as she probably figured it was easier to use my wife's behavior to influence and control me than to try to do so herself.

If you think that being surrounded by a dedicated cadre of female narcissists was bad enough, consider that I also worked for a narcissist individual when I worked in government.  It's clear to me now in retrospect, that most elected officials are themselves narcissists.  It's an inherent flaw in our republican form of democracy.  In a representative form of democracy, narcissists are the individuals most likely to be called to what we currently call "public office".

Why are we surprised when politicians say one thing to get elected, then do something else upon taking office?  To a narcissist, promises need only be kept if the consequences of breaking the trust are going to be greater than they wish to pay.  Their word is only as good as their current inclination.

And that's exactly how I got drawn into destructive practices and relationships.  Because I cherished my former wife, far too many times I took her side in conflicts with friends, family, and other lovers.  I was an active participant in the destruction left in her wake.  By the time she was done, the only thing worth salvaging was my relationship with Serafina.

My ex told me once that she'd hate me forever for choosing Serafina over her, as this was perhaps the only important point where I'd stood my ground and told her she couldn't simply do as she pleased.  The relationship with Serafina was saved simply because I finally developed the moral turpitude to say to Ms Torment, "No, you can't have your way this time, other people's lives are at stake, enough is enough."

As a dominant, falling into destructive behaviors can far too easy.  After all, dominants tend to be "large and in charge," and as a group we tend to be rather controlling, as that's often our nature.  As dominants, when we fail to stay balanced, we fall prey to "Top's disease" which can be described as: "The tendency for dominants to develop a sense of infallibility or omnipotence."

That definition brings me full circle back to the concept of narcissism.  It is my personal belief that Top's Disease is really just another descriptor, a synonym if you will, for a dominant who's become increasingly narcissistic.  When anyone, dominant or otherwise, reaches the point that they honestly believe in their own infallibility, they are headed down a path of destruction.  It's not pretty to live, or to watch . . .

It's not just direction, leadership, and/or control that submissive's truly crave, it's also strength of character as well as responsibility.  Sadly, responsability is a trait that seems to be particularly lacking in individuals consumed by their own sense of self worth.

So, just as we may prescribe particular rituals for the wonderful submissives who give us the ability to exert our dominance, exercises which reinforce and reassure them in their submission, we must also find and practice appropriate rituals ourselves.  We must continually develop and deploy strategies which keep ourselves grounded, sensible, and realistic in our own behaviors and expectations.

It's been said that the cost of liberty is eternal vigilance.  I'd like to posit that we must, as dominants, pay a similar price in return for the wonderful benefits we enjoy in our position of authority.