Weekly Reader: October 18

Let’s be honest, sometimes anal sex is going to hurt.

There is a fetish for everything, and every fetish has a name. Like sideromophilia.

Sex-positivity is more than just an approach to sex, it is an approach to life too.

Sex education is about more than just sexual activities, it is also about the complexities of the people involved in those sexual activities.

Just WTF is sexuality anyway?

I have a question: Are you a slut?

Critical Reading Time! The Canadian Women’s Foundation released a report on sex trafficking.

The always amazing Thomas Millar educators us, yet again, as to why we can’t simply blaming alcohol for sexual assault.

Yet another thing that Focus on the Family completely misunderstands: Sex Education

Anxiety can ruin all the things, including sexytimes. Don’t let it.

Some desperately needed sex advice by two amazing poets.

Perhaps a better title for this is: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Receiving Cunnilingus

Before rushing into an open relationship there are some do’s and don’t’s you should know

Sex Education starts at child birth, whether you like it or not.

Good to go is an app to document consent… that could exonerate more rapists than it helps convict

Resource Guide: Asexuality

List: Of Yes/No/Maybe Checklists

[Featured Fetish] Degradation

Welcome to the Featured Fetish~!

Last week, I used this post to talk a little about a fetish that I like quite a bit, Financial Domination. However, in doing so, I knew that I was picking a topic that required not only a great deal of trust and communication, but also a 24/7 dynamic. Even in the best of times, these requirements can be hard to satisfy. Because of this, I likely excluded quite a few people last week. So, this week, I decided that I would talk about something a bit more accessible, and another fetish that I enjoy a great deal: Degradation.

As always, if you would like to hear more about my experiences, likes, dislikes, and fantasies around this fetish, hop on over to Verbosity at its Sluttiest for an in-depth look.

Risk Awareness:

Unlike many other fetishes, Verbal Degradation does not necessitate sexual intercourse, sexual touching, or even close personal distance. For this reason, Verbal Degradation is rather safe as far as BDSM fetishes go. However, this isn’t to say that degradation is completely risk free, but instead, that the risks associated with this particular fetish tend to be more of an emotional, rather than physical, nature. These rather emotional risks have been broken down into three categories below: Triggers, Landmines, and Long-Term complications.

Triggers:

The first of these, triggers, refers to an emotion, event, or situation that triggers a strong negative emotional response, such as fear, panic, dread, or depression. Often, triggers are associated with traumatic situations from a person’s past that still hold emotional salience today. Because of this, triggers are often extremely personal in nature. This makes it almost impossible for someone to tell what another person’s triggers are without open, honest communication.

While I would like to be able to say that there is a clear and simple solution to make sure that triggers will never effect you or your partner(s), this is just not the case. I mean, it is possible for a person to work through and deactivate their personal triggers, but usually this takes a great deal of time, personal inner strength, and a good therapist. Because of this, the preferred (short term) solution is just to simply avoid the situations that trigger the negative emotions. Obviously, this isn’t an ideal solution–especially considering the likelihood that others can accidentally trigger these emotional upheavals–for the most part, it manages.

That being said, there are some ways to make this plan of trigger avoidance more likely to be successful:

  • First, own your situation, know what your triggers are, and know what emotions your triggers cause. After all, if you don’t know this information, it will be almost impossible to avoid your triggers, let alone pick up after they hit.  
  • Second, communicate, communicate, communicate. The people around you cannot read your thoughts; so, if you know that you are triggered by something, let the people that you are involved with (sexually or romantically) know about it. This way, both your partner(s) and yourself can be on the look out for situations that could cause emotional pain.  
  • Third, have an exit strategy. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, your trigger is just going to show up to ruin your fun. Since you know how your emotions are going to respond (first point) and your partner(s) know that it is coming (second point), you can focus on healing. Build a strong comfortable space where you, and possibly your partner(s), can retreat to recover and recuperate.  
  • Lastly, respect the triggers of other people. This isn’t so much a path to making sure that your triggers never come up as it is just common decency and goodwill. After all, how much would you like it if someone who knew about your triggers purposefully or carelessly triggered them?

Landmines:

Much like triggers, landmines can completely derail a scene and cause a surprising amount of emotional fallout. Unlike triggers, however, landmines are not issues that one can really be prepared for. This is because landmines, as defined, are just that: unexpected and unintended emotional explosions set off by a trigger that was previously unknown.

Due to the unexpected nature of these emotional reactions, it is just about impossible to disarm these before they happen. Because of this, the best course of action is simply to have practiced safety checks in place. This means that all parties should be comfortable and confident with the check-in process, and all partners should have clear, comforting, and respectful aftercare sessions ready, should the scene need to end.

Long-term complications:

The goal behind degradation, and many other forms of humiliation, is to make the submissive party feel small, embarrassed, and generally squirmy. In scenes which only last as long as the sexual activity does, these feelings often have little to no lasting impact. This is because the aftercare after the scene, and the time between this scene and the next, can be used to build the person back up to feeling like they are amazing, wonderful, awesome, and cared for again.

However, in more long term, 24/7-esque situations, constant degradation and humiliation can slowly undermine the confidence and self-esteem of the degraded partner. This is because in some of these dynamics, aftercare isn’t used unless a scene is particularly intense. So, often, little things, like passing comments, name calling, or even condescension, can be passed without having time or energy put into making the truth explicit or clear. Over time, this can slowly build to the point where it could be detrimental to the emotional well-being of the submissive.

Consensual:

After that surprisingly large section on Risk Awareness, this section is going to be rather short and straight forward: Consent and communication are must-haves.

As with everything else that we do in.. everything.. if you are doing something to another person, consent must be given. And, as usual this consent must be explicit, clear, continuous, and context specific. When it comes to degradation, this means that, before you start trying to degrade or humiliate someone in this way, talk to them and get their permission; This means that, should this permission change, for whatever reason (including because of triggers or landmines), that change is respected and the scene stops; And, lastly, this means that consent to call someone “boy” does not mean that you necessarily have permission to call someone “cunt.”

Enjoyment:

As usual, when it comes to the enjoyment of this fetish, there are no right or wrong answers. The goal is to make this fetish your own and find what works for you and your partner(s). That being said, I know that it is always easier to find what works when you have ideas and options open to you that you may have never thought about. Because of this, I have included a few thoughts below:

  • Use tone of voice to your advantage! If you are the Dominant person in a scene that includes degradation, using the right tone of voice can really make things feel more real and more natural. I mean, think about it, if you are telling someone that they are “worthless whore” in the same way that you are telling them that you love them, there may be a problem. Some of my favourite tones in a degradation scene are usually those of condescension, disgust, or anger.
  • Include other fetishes! I think that this one is obvious enough. Don’t be afraid to mix fetishes, just because your partner is all tied up doesn’t mean that they won’t enjoy being called a whore (assuming consent for that has been given).
  • Include the public! This doesn’t mean that you have to go outing yourself or your partner. In fact, I would argue that wouldn’t be a good idea. But, what you could do on your next trip to the mall is sit down with your submissive partner, lean in so that only they can hear you, and degrade them. (Again, consent first, people) Not only is it a nice juxtaposition to the standard of whispering sweet nothings, but it could also turn into a nice little scene, to which no one is the wiser.
  • Combine this with body writing! How much of an added effect could this have if the words were written, right there, on your submissive partner’s body? Watch them squirm and dash off to the shower after the scene is over. Tease them about the outlines of the words still being there.

As always, if you would like to share your experience, pass along some tips and tricks, or simply tell me off for being so verbose, please do so in the comments below. Until next week live long and be kinky. *watches her partner grimace at that

[Featured Fetish] Financial Slavery

[Image] A jar of money (american bills)

Photo by: Tax Credits

Continuing on the discussion that I started over at Verbosity at its Sluttiest, I will be talking about some of the finer points of getting the most out of a financial slavery dynamic. While I would usually aim conversations on fetishes and the like at beginner’s and experienced kinksters alike, for this fetish, this is really hard to do. The main reason for this is because of the sheer level of trust, communication, and forethought that is needed to engage in this fetish in a safe, consensual, and enjoyable fashion. However, since I strongly dislike ruling people out of conversations, I will try my very best to make this as open to as many people as possible.

Financial Slavery:

Financial Slavery refers to a number of different activities and dynamics which all revolve around a Dominant’s control, management, and use of their submissive’s funds. Because of this large variability in the possible structure of these relationships, this could take the form of anything from the very simple (having the submissive purchase goods for the Dominant as a sign of subservience) to the seemingly extreme (handing over complete control of financial matters to the Dominant).

As can be imagined, some of these different dynamics can be seen in stereotyped non-kinky relationships. However, in these situations, the financial control isn’t done with any thought being given to the enjoyment of the parties involved; Rather, it is usually done out of some sexist assumption, socialized gender role, or one partner’s inability to care about financial realities. Meanwhile, in the kinky lifestyle, some of these same dynamics can come into play without the invocation of financial slavery. This is because, unless one finds the active and explicit control of their funds (or those of another) arousing, this is not a fetish, but instead merely a financial reality.

Risk Awareness:

As with everything that we do in BDSM, as well as in life in general, there are risks involved with this dynamic. For the most part, however, the risks are relatively minor until the dynamic moves to the more extreme levels of financial servitude. Before that point, the main thing to watch out for is overspending and general carelessness with the financial situation of the submissive party. Should this happen, all hell could break loose, obviously.

At the more extreme levels of financial domination, other, more serious risks can arise, including the damage to one’s credit rating and gaps in employment history. For the first of these, the cause could be something like the carelessness that I mentioned above, but it could also be from chronic under use of credit services. For example, should a slave be forced to live on an allowance for an extended period of time, the slave’s credit cards could go completely unused. Over time this can damage the slave’s credit score and make it harder for them to use credit, should they need to in the future.

In a similar vein to the risk around credit score problems, employment history problems could have a long-term impact on a submissive’s life. In some situations, Dominants who take financial control of their submissive’s life may choose to use their power to make the slave a stay at home submissive. This shift, while sometimes useful or impossible depending on the context pulls the submissive completely out of the workforce, sometimes for a very long time. While this can work out very well for a relationship, this could also end badly should the submissive ever need tor return to the workforce. This is because, while they submissive may have been super busy tending to the family, the home, and the whims of the Dominant, the submissive now has no recent references or employment history to rely on when looking for a job.

Consent:

To me, financial slavery is one of those fetishes that is deep in the wilderness of the “Power Exchange” forest. It is not something that is usually considered to be one’s first steps in the lifestyle or even into control play. Instead, it is usually the more experienced traveler of BDSM who makes it to this remote, and rather extreme, fetish. Because of this, having to say that consent is mandatory seems a bit condescending. However, should it stop one abusive asshole, it will be completely worth it. 

So, above and beyond anything else, having both parties willingly and without pressure agree to this sort of dynamic is a must. Without that free, clear, and changeable consent, this isn’t BDSM, this is abuse. Again, while that may seem really strongly worded given the target audience, I feel that it is needed, especially since so many abusive people use the control of money to control their victims and to stop them from leaving a dangerous, or possibly deadly, situation.

Now that I have that out of the way, I feel that it is important to mention that financial domination involves the exchange of a large amount of control, and for a dynamic such as that to be successful, a great deal of mutual trust is needed. To gain and maintain the level of trust needed for this type of fetish, open and honest communication is a must. Much like consent before it, I can’t stress enough the importance of communication, especially around the most difficult topics and the most challenging times. Without this communication, a dynamic that exchanges as much power as this is, at best, doomed and, at worst, dangerous.

Enjoyment:

As is the case with most fetishes, the enjoyment is really in the eye of the beholder. If control and power exchange are not activities that you would rate highly, it is not likely that you will enjoy financial slavery at all. However, should you enjoy the ideas of power exchange or its realities, there is a good chance that you could find financial domination interesting, erotic, and arousing.

Beyond that, however, the only tip that I have for you is a vague one: Make the dynamic your own. Your dynamic, much like your personality, is something that is unique to you. After all, what this dynamic looks like for someone in the role of the bratty submissive seeking attention or discipline is going to be completely different from what this dynamic looks like for a strict Dominant. There is really no right or wrong way to engage in the lifestyle, nor is there a right or wrong way to engage in this fetish.

And with that, I will leave you and yours to your kinky business~