Start young and never look back

I’ve read three very interesting books recently that created this essay. I’ve been focusing more on my writing these past twelve months, but it has yet to reach a level of consuming passion. I may never get there, but after finishing the trio of books, I feel much less of a failure.

I picked up a copy of Kevin Ashton’s How to Fly A Horse on a whim, but I’m glad I did. His premise is that the creative process is a myth, and that every single person is creative; but what makes a successful inventor, discoverer or artist, is simply hard work and doing it over and over again. Writer’s block, among many other concepts, doesn’t exist. Kevin is also the creator of the phrase Internet of Things. The title refers to the Wright Brothers.

Kevin: The creativity myth implies that few people can be creative, that any successful creator will experience dramatic flashes of insight, and that creating is more like magic than work. A rare few have what it takes, and for them it comes easy. Anybody else’s creative efforts are doomed.

He goes on to use examples both ancient and modern to bolster his thesis. Along the way, he shows through studies and clinical trials, that as the number of participants goes up, creativity goes down. In fact, Kevin claims that creative cooperation peaks in kindergarten. I, like many of you, will agree with this premise. Anybody who has suffered through production meetings, brainstorming sessions and forced teamwork can readily attest to the fact that one person creating alone is the most successful. He closes the book with this:

Kevin: The chain of creation is many links longs, and every link—each one person creating—is essential. All stories of creators tell the same truth: that creating is extraordinary but creators are human; that everything right with us can fix anything wrong with us; and that progress is not an inevitable consequence but an individual choice. Necessity is not the mother of invention. You are.

Two autobiographies picked up on this theme: Yanni in Words, and Tom Jones Over The Top And Back. I found striking similarities in both men’s accounts of their artistic struggle to creative success. One similarity was passion for music, Yanni writing and Tom singing, and  another was the way that success drew sexual attention. The road is a soul crushing grind that never seems to end, but both of them used the creative and sexual fire to fuel their success.

Yanni: If you are the music, you can write the music. If you’re not the music, you’re outside, judging it. Judgment and creativity are opposites. Both are valid, but they can’t exist in the same place at the same time. To create, you have to become one with your creation and let it flow freely. You have to be in the zone. For me, I have to become one with the music. The instant I begin judging my creation, I find myself outside looking in, and the creative moment is gone.

Tom: But I was out, getting up in front of people and singing and, really for the first time, properly seeing the effect that my voice could have on a room full of people—noting how excited people and how that, in turn, excited me. I realized, with a new, even clearer urgency, how badly I wanted to do this and nothing else, as remote as the possibility of that still seemed. Let’s face it, the music business [in 1962] wasn’t exactly rushing to the valleys to sign up any Welsh pop group… The music business seemed to have plenty on its plate already. But you could dream, couldn’t you?

Both Yanni and Tom detail the long, arduous and sometimes dangerous trip to ‘overnight’ success from an upbringing of poverty. Both had loving and supportive parents, but the reality was, that their success was a steady roller-coaster of highs and lows and the only person who created the opportunities that brought them critical acclaim, was themselves. Both men had the unshakeable belief they were the best at their craft, and if only the right venue opened up, they would prove it to the world. This dogged ethic allowed them to fight and claw their way until the vision they saw as their due came to fruition.

The second connection I found in their words, was the early—and often—sexual relations with thousands of women. For Yanni, he states his first time was in a local bordello next door to his school in Kalamata, Greece. He was thirteen and a half.

Tom was sixteen when he impregnated his fifteen-year old girlfriend—wife at eight months, and stayed married until she passed in 2016. Tom never comes out and states he had sex with groupies—other publications have said so—but numerous anecdotes certainly imply that was the case. Yanni writes that one-night stands were his preferred method until he met Linda Evans. It is no surprise that the music industry, along with sports and film, have always been synonymous with sex and drugs. Most seem to cite the relentless pressure and grind of the creative process, along with the pursuit by willing females determined for a taste of the bright lights.

Tom: Bam! I’m on the pavement under a pile of screaming girls—taken down with a pace and efficiency that a pack of rugby forwards would have been proud to pull off. The people making the commotion outside the pub window were making that noise for me, and I didn’t know it.

Yanni: When I was on the road other girls would invariably show up, willing to share themselves for the night in very creative ways. If you’re young and away from home for two or three weeks at a time, it’s hard to resist walking into temptation. Mostly I didn’t.

Tom: It happens for the first time on one of those nights in the Copa [in NYC] in 1969. I’m drenched with sweat. Just occasionally someone on a table near the stage will reach out with a white linen napkin for me. I’ll dab at my brow with it and then hand it back. Not this one woman, though. She stands, flips her dress up, steps out of her panties and hands them up to me.
What I do with the panties is, I dab my brow with them. And then I say, ‘You want to watch you don’t catch cold.’

Yanni: I just wanted to have fun and I was honest about it. ‘I’m not looking for a relationship, and I hope you’re not. I don’t owe you anything and you don’t owe me anything. If we do this, it’s what is for tonight. If it continues tomorrow, okay, but if it doesn’t, don’t come to me and say I’ve used you.’

Tom: There was sex in the [Vegas] shows, and there was sex around the shows. The air seemed to crackle with it.
Same thing at those big seventies tour dates. Best clothes. Perfume in the air. People getting revved up. A willingness to cut loose and let go. A general horniness in the crowd. The atmosphere alive with the possibility of sex—in a way that was definitely going to play out to the advantage of the band, the crew and beyond.
As somebody once said, I was the Pied Piper of pussy.

Yanni: I liked to choose my companions rather than the other way around.
The seduction had already taken place while she watched me play. She knew I liked her because I approached her, and most of the time she’d come with me. If I got turned down it didn’t make any difference because there were so many other possibilities. But I was never a pest; you could get rid of me easily.
There were more girls than any of us could possibly be with, sometimes five times as many as there were guys.
It was rock ‘n’ roll.

Tom: So I’ve got the singer-on-a-stage thing going for me, and then television comes along and adds a whole other layer. Never underestimate the extent to which people want to have sex with people who are on television.
I was going over as some kind of love god, and I was going over so strongly that occasionally I was even persuaded of it myself. The road will set temptations in front of you that are hard to resist.

Yanni: In each town I had a girlfriend or two. Not real girlfriends, just girls I knew. Or someone I’d just met. I didn’t mind having sex with a woman I’d known less than an hour. I was young, they looked good. Nothing else to do. Let’s have some fun. There was no judgment, and I never felt guilty. You’re just driving down the highway and you’re lonely; you meet someone who eases the boredom a little bit for the night. And the next day you get up and do it again.

Tom: I think he [Wyclef Jean] was wondering, what’s it like to be out and about with Tom Jones? What goes on? So the next time [late 2001] we were both in London, I took him to the Metropolitan Hotel in Park Lane, home of the Met Bar and Nobu and a regular stop-off for me. The place was crowded, as it often is, and we sat out in the foyer having drinks—
Pretty soon, a girl came over, and she wanted to introduce herself and say hello.
‘It’s very nice to meet you,’ I said.
And then, without further ado, right there at the table, she whipped up her dress and showed me the piercing on her clitoris.
‘Well, thank you very much for that,’ I said. And then she went away.
That was it. My legend with Wyclef was sealed. ‘Man, you go out with Tom Jones, girls show you their pussy!’ He told everybody he knew, meaning that my reputation preceded me, whenever I went with him.

In closing, I wanted to include a few more quotes about creativity from them both. And also a music video of Sir Tom Jones, at age 77, crushing the song ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ The Voice UK 2017′. In the end, what Kevin and Yanni and Tom have showed, is that creativity is simply a vision of what you want your life to be. It’s all up to you to get to work and create.

Tom: And through all of this, Ethan’s [Johns] message has essentially been simple and the same: just sing. And it might seem strange that a singer needs to hear that, but it’s a fact. Everyone who has had success is asking themselves: what’s my next success? What do I do next? It eats at you like that, until it’s actually eating into your voice.

Yanni: When I was younger I got in my own way by asking myself questions like, How long does a piece need to be? What kind of music should I write? The answer is to write what you like. The piece is going to be as long as it keeps you interested. If it bores you, cut it.
Society does everything it can to fill you with a distrust of yourself and others. We grow up in an environment where we’re laughed at or criticized for thinking that what we create could profoundly affect people and maybe make a difference in their lives—or be worth doing for nobody but ourselves.

Summer of Love

It seems that ’69 never really left the Bay Area. Besides snatching up all available housing and snarling local traffic, the explosion of high-tech industry is apparently sucking up all the available sexual partners as well. According to this article called, Silicon Valley’s Sexual Revolution, in the April 4th, 2017 edition of Wired magazine; what was once called ‘free love’ or ‘swinging’ is now officially morphed into Polyamory 2.0.

By Julian Sancton: In Silicon Valley, love’s many splendors often take the form of, well, many lovers. For certain millennials in tech—as well as, rumor has it, a few middle-aged CEOs—polyamory holds especial appeal. Perhaps that’s because making it work is as much an engineering challenge as an emotional one, requiring partners to navigate a complex web of negotiated arrangements. (There’s an app to keep track of that, obvs: The Poly Life.) Some enthusiasts even claim it’s the way of the future. “If life extension is possible, we might have to think about relationships differently,” says one Valley-based polyamorist. “It’s pretty hard to have an exclusive relationship with someone for 300 years.” True that—but balancing multiple LTRs takes just as much dedication and discipline (if not more).

The article goes on to list six bullet points including this little nugget: 4. Don’t be a letch: You shouldn’t go to a get-together hoping to hook up. These are not orgies. (Though tech-nerd orgies do get pret-ty wild, what with the color-coded bracelets signaling what you’re cool with doing/having done unto you.) And stick to your age bracket—restrictions are enforced to keep things comfortable.

I have nothing against polyamory, I was involved with my wife and another woman who lived with us for two years and we parted amicably, but I have some serious questions with the way the article *nudge-nudge, wink-wink* casts shade on the entire scene with more than a hint of California crunchy granola vibe. I mean, hasn’t Silicon Valley been rocked with sexual harassment claims from female engineers? And don’t all the major tech companies have a distinct lack of gender balance, in fact, steeply tilted towards males in both status, numbers and pay? Not to mention, a whitewash of upper management with the occasional token person of color or Asian.

One of the arguments against gay marriage is that once it was legally established, and same-sex marriage turned out not to be the end of the world, polyamorists would be pushing for legal bigamy next. We all know how that has worked out for the Mormons, although there are plenty of current cultures who practice bigamy for the elites. On the other hand, it was fifty years ago that the United States Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that biracial marriage was in fact legal. Society changes all the time, for better or for worse. Not too long ago, BDSM was firmly in the closet.

If the show Mad Men, unveiled the sordid ’60s chain-smoking sexual predators that stalked the secretarial pool in pressed white cotton button-downs, then today’s online hostility towards women in tech has been enabled and abetted by the same companies that seek to control every single aspect of our lives. I for one, don’t want apps watching in my bedroom or stalking me through targeted ads. The Internet of Things markets bold promises of inter-connectivity yet lags far behind in sensible security. Our entire online existence is at the mercy of hostile hackers who are constantly stealing identities and money from companies too cheap to protect their customers.

There is a serious and pervasive lack of respect for women in all areas and strata of society. The tech industry, along with the online juggernaut players are just that: players who give lip service to the rights of their employees and consumers while generating nothing physical that betters society. The profits are stashed away for a rainy day all the while politicians of all stripes scream at each other and let the country fall apart by doing nothing constructive. All the cute articles about polyamory aren’t going to change that equation into a positive app.

The SoulMate app

For Time Magazine, May 29th, 2017, Ada Calhoun wrote an essay called Searching for a soul mate is futile. The ideal partner is the one you create. Based upon her book, Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give, in her essay she uses quotes and commentary to advance the idea that even if soulmates exist, they do not happen in a blaze of light but rather by hard work over decades. [All italics in blockquotes mine]

The concept [of soulmates] dates back at least to Plato’s Symposium. Zeus, seeking to humble humans, split us in half, forcing us to wander in search of our other half: “So ancient is the desire of one another which is implanted in us, reuniting our original nature, making one of two, and healing the state of man.” While romantic, this has done an awful lot of damage — creating impossible-to-meet expectations, making people think that a happy, healthy relationship isn’t good enough, tricking people into holding out for “the one.”

[J.R.R. Tolkien] acknowledged that soul mates are pretty good in theory: “In such great inevitable love, often love at first sight, we catch a vision, I suppose, of marriage as it should have been in an unfallen world.” “Only a very wise man at the end of his life could make a sound judgment concerning whom, amongst the total possible chances, he ought most profitably to have married. Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might have found more suitable mates.” Tolkien blamed our “soul mates” obsession on the Romantic chivalric tradition: “Its weakness is, of course, that it began as an artificial courtly game, a way of enjoying love for its own sake. . . It takes, or at any rate has in the past taken, the young man’s eye off women as they are” — that is, “companions in shipwreck not guiding stars.”

[Ada Calhoun] I love that: companions in shipwreck. True soul mates are made, not born. This tracks with what I see in long marriages. It took time for many of even the most loving couples to feel like kindred spirits. It wasn’t something that happened in the first hour, or even in the first year. It took time, and patience, and commitment.

Our old notion of soul mates is not helpful. “The ‘real soul-mate,’” Tolkien wrote, “is the one you are actually married to.”

As a writer of spanking fiction, the soulmate meme is a quite handy one to utilize. The valiant and virile knight storming the citadel and capturing rescuing the dainty and virginal princess from the clutches of the wicked fill-in-blank villain. The hardened and stoic loner melted by the bratty runaway. The overworked executive swept away by the dangerous and mysterious sugar daddy. The list is infinite.

Ada’s point however, is that waiting for your soulmate to arrive on a white horse; or show up on time for a first date, is not a strategy likely to succeed for a lifetime. No matter how many points of compatibility the online dating site promises, or how many ‘perfect’ matches align with your stars, receiving a rose means nothing in the long term. You have to create love out of lust and household chores.

The flip side of course, is that if it were that simple to create a soulmate, then there wouldn’t be so many divorces. Sometimes marriage can’t be salvaged. Sometimes the reasons for getting married created a situation where soulmates were never even possible. Sometimes, out of the millions of possible soulmates, the partner chosen wasn’t the right one and moving on is the best thing to do. Staying married to someone who is not a partner in any sense should not preclude starting over and searching again.

What about D/s then? Was kink part of the initial lust that attracted you to your current partner? When did you feel that they were the “one”? What I find so fascinating about D/s is how often it comes on later in life, either with the first soulmate, or after ending sometimes multiple marriages and/or relationships. It seems to me that those people who are inclined to D/s and spanking, are much more determined to seek out compatible partners than those who drift along in a vanilla haze.

If you are not currently in a D/s marriage, but wish to be, then all the time in the world will not be enough if your partner is not interested. Believe it or not, there are those that aren’t attracted to spanking. I know, seems inconceivable that if asked, someone would turn down the opportunity to spank their spouse; but in that case, a little judicious research and show-and-tell, may tip the scales in favor of a trial run. If you have a stable marriage/relationship with your partner(s), then an open and honest dialogue about your desire to spank or submit to a spanking, may be the start of something special. If the answer is still no, then is the rest of the package worth keeping? That is a decision only you can make.

So, as Ada states, can you create a soulmate in D/s through ‘time, and patience, and commitment’? Duh! Of course you can! Just shake the stardust from your eyes, unfurl the mainsail and steer clear of the rocks.

Bring me a unicorn!

This post was triggered by something I read in the June, 2017 edition of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Dated May 9th, the letter to the editor written by Channing Tatum, stated his desire that when his daughter is older: “I don’t want her looking to the outside world for answers.” Two paragraphs stood out to me in particular.

Channing Tatum: “We all know that every one of us is different and has a unique road map to our heart. We learn how to navigate it by leaping into love with both feet and giving our full selves without expecting anything in return. So I guess if there’s one thing that I think men wish women knew, it’s just that they alone are enough. When more women start to truly feel this power in themselves, the world will become so magical, it makes my head hurt.”

Channing Tatum: “We live in a society that has trained men and women to play certain kinds of roles for a long time, and the beauty of this amazing moment we’re living in is that we’re finally starting to break free from those roles. Women, especially, are realizing that they no longer have to conform to certain standards of social and sexual behavior, and this changes what they need from men and the role of men in general.”

Now, I’m not a regular reader of Cosmo, although back in the day—before internet—it was one of the few mainstream sources of sexual information. I find Cosmo’s coy euphemisms for genitalia and sexual acts to be annoying, and although the magazine embraced non-vanilla long before the general public did, the support as always struck me as ‘kink-lite’: low caloric and leaving you hungry for more.

Like some publications aimed at women, the double standard of positive articles empowering women to be independent, successful, strong willed and sexually [but not in a skanky way] free, are then submerged by an advertising tidal wave of rail thin girls modeling un-affordable fashions in size zero made by impoverished females in dangerous sweat shops.

The specific observation I thought of to this letter, was would he be so supporting of his daughter’s choice if she decides to be submissive to another? The gap between spanking as a means of injecting kink into a vanilla relationship, and the conscious choice to be spanked by a Dominant partner still seems a step too far for many. In some ways this mirrors and echoes the disdain that many feel for women who choose to be a housewife and stay-at-home mother. Or even worse, a working mother with kids in daycare.

You’re doing what to yourself?

There are so many more perceived roles for women and men in the post-industrial world, yet a lot of people aren’t comfortable with gender-neutral jobs. What if someone doesn’t want to break free from tradition? What if a man wants to be a plumber? What a woman wants to be a nurse? What if they got married? What if the nurse wanted to be spanked by her plumber? What if she decided that he was the Head-Of-Household and had the final say in all matters? What if she chose punishment as a means to allow him control of her actions? What if she freely gave up all rights to her body and allowed her Dom to use her without restrictions?

Is that the kind of freedom Channing Tatum was talking about? To voluntarily submit into a role that millions of women around the world have forced upon them by tradition? How is that good thing?

Doesn’t it follow though, that if men and women are free to choose roles that are non-traditional for themselves, then choosing to be traditional is also okay? If a modern, educated, self-aware, confident woman has the right to look to herself instead of the outside world for what turns her on and brings her happiness, why is submission even an issue? If being a spanked submissive is the role she chooses to play, then why keep searching for that unicorn?

A Unicorn can refer to a man or a woman and is often used to describe the perfect catch or perfect partner. A Unicorn is a mythical creature, someone amazing who is hard to catch or simply a very rare find.

Unicorn: A bisexual person, usually though not always female, who is willing to join an existing couple, often with the presumption that this person will date and become sexually involved with both members of that couple, and not demand anything or do anything which might cause problems or inconvenience to that couple.

In the venture capital industry, a unicorn refers to any tech startup company that reaches a $1 billion dollar market value as determined by private or public investment. The term was originally coined by Aileen Lee, founder of Cowboy Ventures. A unicorn [also] refers to a phenomenon that occurs in human resources when those who are responsible for hiring candidates have impossible expectations. This stems from a mismatch between the expectations of the employers and who is available for hire. In other words, human resources is looking for a mythical candidate (i.e. a unicorn), rather than facing reality.

Break a Little

“Cause every time I see your face
I break a little”
And every single night you stay
you take a little”

These lyrics are to the song, “Break a Little” by Kirstin Maldonado who is a member of Pentatonix. This song is from her debut solo EP.

In missy’s recent post Being Nothing, she talks about being broken into nothingness.

So I suppose that I don’t actually want to be nothing. I just want to be none of the conscious me and I want to become something that is the other me – the unknown, the undeveloped, the restricted, the reserved and the held-back. I want to let go completely and go even further than I have gone with that before.

I do realise what it will take of course. It will take for me to be completely broken. I don’t think that for me this will come through pain, or for that fact through pleasure, although we have come close. I believe that for me the answer will lie in humiliation. I think that to break me, Sir will have to reduce me to even less than he has before.

For nora however, in her post about resolving conflict, she carries forward her theme that what she wants from her Daddy is to be broken of her bad habits.

Prior to D/s, we typically did not handle conflict well. My approach to conflict was to just “solve” everything myself. If I couldn’t solve it, then I would blame my husband for whatever it was, because surely it was his fault (please sense my sarcasm here). My husband’s approach to conflict, and to my style in approaching conflict, was to avoid it. He used humor a lot to try to lighten the situation, which drove me nuts and produced even more conflict between us. There were periods in our marriage where we fought, and engaged in conflict, a lot and we were both very dissatisfied with the results.

I am happy to report that in five months we’ve had one fight. That fight was one of those stupid fights, over something inconsequential. I was so wound up and was refusing to submit to my husband in the moment. Believe me, my bottom paid the price the next day. But, if my husband needs to soundly spank me in order for me to behave like a rational adult, then so be it. It works for us and we are so much happier.

Breaking a mirror equals seven years of bad luck, breaking bone is painful, breaking up—as the song above says—takes a little bit every time. Breaking a promise or vow leads to disappointment and regret. But breaking is not all bad. After all, to get an omelette you have to whip up some broken eggs.

There are lots of broken people in the world: I doubt anyone is free of pain, I’m certainly not. Some people need discipline in order to thrive. For those in D/s relationships, spanking sits front and center as the means to break through old hurts, to change patterns and behaviors that are harmful to self and others and break down the barriers we learn to erect as broken children.

“Cause every time I see your face
I break a little”
And every single night you stay
you take a little”

To someone in a stable, loving, respectful D/s relationship, those lyrics are empowering, not fragile glass that shatters at a glance. For a submissive they mean that every time they see their Dom’s face, a little piece of self-hatred breaks away. Every single night the Dom stays focused and determined to rise above the past shame and pain of broken souls, a little bit more self-doubt is taken away.

For women like missy and nora, breaking a little more each day has lead them to peace and happiness and joy.

If you would like to read my spanking newsletters at my other blog, Byron Cane Spanking and Erotic Fiction, the June, 2017 newsletter #2 is now posted at this link.

Domination in Lycra

My favorite professional sport to watch is cycling. What does that have to do with spanking? Says the curious reader.

It you don’t follow sports, then you may be unaware of the link between Dominance/submission and athletics. Headlines such as: Yankees spank Red Sox in the rubber match; Chelsea whip Manchester United in the rain; The Patriots take the Giants to the woodshed. In cycling, a common phrase is: Stamped his authority over the peloton.

The Giro d’Italia—the first of three Grand Tours, the third being the Vuelta a España, finishes this weekend. My favorite event of all is the second Grand Tour, the Tour de France in July. They all run for three weeks, and have two overall themes: Great racing and amazing aerial photography. The organizers use the races as one giant tourism campaign.

Cycling is the ultimate team sport. In each race there is a designated GC—General Classification—rider who wears the number 1, 11, 21, 31, etc, and is supported by the other riders in order to finish as high as possible in each stage and overall. The actual leader of the team though, is the directeur sportif who follows behind in a vehicle constantly monitoring the race and directing the strategy. A rider can win and be successful through sheer talent, training and discipline, but without a strong team who can protect and guide their GC rider, breakaway and/or designated sprinter day after day, victory will be elusive.

There have been a lot of posts recently from many different bloggers writing about the nuances and the struggles of D/s in daily life. In an individual cycling race there can be only one winner, but as in relationships, the strongest team will always be more successful. The trophies and the colored jerseys may go to individuals, but it is the team that celebrates together at the end of the day.

The Dominant in a D/s relationship is the leader; the road captain, the one to whom homage is paid in champagne toasts, but who also has the complete responsibility for the success of D/s. A submissive cannot fail. They are simply following the direction of the Dom, and if a wrong road is taken, if there is a crash, if insufficient energy is supplied and attention not paid to details; it falls upon the Dom to accept responsibility for the failure to communicate and lead the way to safety.

During a 150k-200k stage race, the average professional cyclist burns 1,000 calories per hour, for a race that takes 4-6 painful hours to complete. The body though can only process an average of 1,500 calories during that time, so in order to maintain weight, they need to consume, on average, 8,000 calories a day. Hydration is even more important, with an average of 1 Liter of fluid every hour of racing. The monitoring of proper nutrition is the ultimate responsibility of the directeur sportif, who uses the radio, feed zones, domestiques and soigneurs to direct a mobile dining service and support staff that is moving at 40k an hour on the flat, and up to 80k downhill.

If we equate a D/s relationship to a team race, then the more control the Dom exerts, the less likely mistakes will be made in terms of feeding the power exchange. The submissive role is as a domestique. They are the ones who ride at the front, providing shelter from the wind and other riders, fetching bidons and food from the the team car, pacing their leader around road furniture, over long flat roads and up steep hills and snow capped mountains. The domestiques sacrifice their own ambitions, energy, even their own bikes if needed, in order to support their leader and give him/her the best chance to win. One-by-one they ride, until they can barely pedal another stroke, the entire team keeping their leader at the front, dropping off when spent.

Sounds kind of one-sided doesn’t it?

Sort of how most people view the entire concept of Dominance and submission. All about foot rubs and peeled grapes: lounging around while your frightened servant scurries to meet your every deviant whim and dark desire. Demanding obscene sexual favors constantly, and then, when not satisfied with the effort, spanking and punishing until the submissive is broken and left at the side of the road while the Dom cruises arrogantly past in cushy splendor and comfort.

In any human endeavor you will find people who abuse their authority, who punish unjustly, who only care about themselves and even seek to destroy for the sheer joy of inflicting terror upon the innocent. I will never justify D/s that is all about gratifying the Dom’s desires and ignoring the submissive’s needs.

That is not being a team leader. That is not winning. That is not about celebrating the tight bonds of love and respect developed over time through hard work and constant training. Like in cycling, or another sport, or writing a novel, there is no substitute for effort. Nothing in life comes easy, least of all an intimate relationship built around the bottom and the willing heart.

A D/s relationship lasts a lot longer than three weeks, and takes an incredible amount of energy to get through each and every day. We may quail at the thought of being responsible for another person who gives us their complete trust, but when we agree to act as a team, to selflessly support the other partner, to see to their comfort first and ride together against the world; then that steep mountain pass doesn’t seem so daunting after all.