The Submissive Mindset: What is it and how to reach it.

Seek a Zen-like state. Be the void where thoughts are soap bubbles drifting in morning mist. Your being is not manipulated by unwanted thoughts.

 

‘When does a submissive reach her goal?’
‘When her ego returns the starfish to the sea.’

 

The above was a comment I left on nora’s blog recently. She was bemoaning the fact that it is so hard to get into and stay in a submissive mindset when having been a take-charge dominant woman for so long. She’s not the only person struggling with maintaining the deep submissive posture that she craves. What today’s woman seeks is a calm oasis in the vast landscape of modern society. In the past, being submissive had different connotations.

I finished reading The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert last week. The blurb reads as follows:

Elizabeth Gilbert’s first novel in twelve years is an extraordinary story of botany, exploration and desire, spanning across much of the 19th century. The novel follows the fortunes of the brilliant Alma Whittaker (daughter of a bold and charismatic botanical explorer) as she comes into her own within the world of plants and science. As Alma’s careful studies of moss take her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, the man she loves draws her in the opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose is a Utopian artist. But what unites this couple is a shared passion for knowing—a desperate need to understand the workings of this world, and the mechanism behind of all life.

The novel is a very ambitious fictional biography, and I will admit to enjoying the prose much more than the weak plot and shallow characters. The author weaves an undercurrent of sexuality throughout the novel by creating a mechanism whereby Alma Whittaker can explore masturbation through erotic books accidentally obtained in bulk library purchases by her wealthy father. The only detailed manuscript named in the novel is Cum Grano Salis [With a Grain of Salt] and is apparently a literary construct by the author. It is an erotic treatise; purportedly being the memoirs of a man exploring the many and nuanced pleasures to be found in “marvelous bodily pricks and holes”. On page 92, Elizabeth Gilbert writes the following excerpt from the book that her protagonist Alma is reading:

I have come to believe that there are some people who benefit both in body and mind by regular beatings to the naked posterior. Many times, I have seen this practice lift the spirits of both men and women, and I suspect it may be the most salubrious treatment we have at our disposal for melancholia and other diseases of the mind. For two years, I kept company with the most delightful maid, a milliner’s girl, whose innocent and even angelic orbs became firm and strong with repeated flagellation, and whose sorrows were routinely erased by the taste of the whip. As I have described earlier in these pages, I once kept in my offices an elaborate couch, made for me by a fine London upholsterer, specially fitted with winches and ropes. This maid liked nothing more than to be tied securely upon that couch, where she would hold my member in her mouth, sucking me as a child enjoys a stick of sugar, whilst a companion—

Sounds a bit like Ruby’s adventures in The Bumhampton Chronicles, doesn’t it? This is the only reference to corporal punishment in the entire novel, unless you count slavery and asylums as implied instances: or British sailors under the lash. In any event, submission is never directly stated or acted upon, but rather assumed to be the natural order of the Universe. God first, white Protestant males next—or Royalty if not American—followed by the wealthy; then white middle-class women and the unfortunate white poor who toiled dawn-to-dusk for survival lumped beneath. Catholics, Jews, African slaves and Natives of all areas around the globe, were not to be mentioned in polite society beyond scholarly publications created to cement the white man’s place at the top.

So is the author herself a spanko? That is unknown, however, the snippet she created in Cum Grano Salis and a few pages later, shows an interest in flagellation.

Leaving behind the novel, is there even such a thing as the submissive mindset? I wrote the Zen koan posted at the beginning of this essay, because the closest parallel I have experienced to a submissive mindset myself, is during intense zazen—meditation—when all the cares and worries and emotions that beset the waking mind, drifted away into a place of empty contentment. Religion has always been protective, sometimes violently so, towards meditation/prayer as a means of enforcing submission towards the Divine. Anything that smacks of secular interference into the mysteries of the Universe has always been ruthlessly suppressed. Medicine, literature, science, sexuality; all forms of free-expression continue to run afoul of the strict tenets of faith. Religions demand submission: on their terms; or else.

“It’s a dichotomy though that the more you want to be submissive in your thoughts, the harder it becomes to quiet the chattering mind.”

The above comment I wrote for missy’s blog on one of her frequent posts about desiring a more submissive mindset. For missy and nora, among many other women in D/s relationships, they want their Doms to impose their will and demand submission through actions and words. This is in fact, how religion, and other organizations including the military, create institutions that thrive with the mindset of obedience through rote training, intimidation and fear. That mindset though is diametrically opposite to how a successful D/s relationship operates through willing cooperation and respect.

In Gilbert’s novel, Alma’s father Henry is a tyrant, created thusly by the circumstances of birth, and an early life at sea as a cabin boy. In order to carve out a life for himself, all beneath him are submissive to his needs, and any defiance is dealt with harshly. All within his orbit fear him and his temper. Henry is not a Dom. He’s a bully who’s only goal is to be richer than anyone else. Money is a vehicle with which he transcends his past and allows him to collect everything but love and an heir.

So yes, you can as a Dom, force submission through pain and fear, and render someone meek and broken to your needs. Or, you can, through selective dominance, allow—yes, allow—your submissive to tap into the well that already exists. Instead of thinking of your submissive as a tabula rasa you then write your desires upon their willing soul, instead treat them as intelligent beings who want your guidance in becoming better versions of themselves. After all, what is the difference between kneeling in a church praying, and kneeling naked in corner reflecting on inappropriate behavior?

There is of course, no real definition of what makes a submissive mindset. In this case, it seems to be an oxymoron when what makes thoughts disappear is active action, not passively waiting to be dominated. Actively seeking out actions that re-enforce the submissive bond; actively asking for a spanking when stress or melancholia rear up like the Garden’s serpent. When real-life work, family and the ever looming emergencies strike, chanting a mantra that you’ve created at your Doms behest. Having rituals that bond and release you from being in charge; even if only for awhile.

Remembering that ‘this too shall pass’, and that by taking care of your Dom first, your submissive mindset reminds them, that through service and discipline, the more they put into helping you quiet the chattering mind, the stronger and more confident you become in maintaining your submissive mindset to the enrichment of you both.

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.

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.

Flashback Friday: “What is the perfect bottom type?”

This week’s Flashback Friday, originally posted, October 10th, 2009.

Theresa handed me a flyer. “I think you need this, Clara.”
She was my best friend, and I’d known her since grade school, but we hadn’t seen each other since the wedding two years ago. Now spending the week at our house, I’d thought she was having a great time. I read the flyer in shock.

Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-xxx-xxxx

“What’s this?”
She patted my back gently. “I know you’re in denial, Clara. I heard what that brute of your husband did to you last night. I could hear you screaming and begging, but he didn’t stop! I was about to call the police but I wanted to talk to you first.”
I couldn’t help it; I burst out laughing. Theresa looked hurt and confused when I crumpled up the flyer and tossed it away.
“Thanks for the concern, but Kurt doesn’t abuse me. He was only spanking me last night.”
“SPANKING! You’re husband SPANKS you? That… that is barbaric!”

I spent the next several hours explaining our marriage and the rules I followed with the consequences for misbehavior. Theresa grew more agitated with every detail until I was afraid she would pack up and leave. Luckily, Kurt came home unexpectedly early and walked in on her strident denunciation of him. Not even pausing for breath, she laid into my husband calling him ‘wife-beater’ and ‘misogynist asshole’ among the nicest oaths.

“Are you finished, Theresa?”
“NO!”
“Well, what my wife and I do in the privacy of our home and marriage in none of your concern. I appreciate your loyalty to my wife and I realize you’ve known her for a long time. But that knowledge should be with the understanding that Clara is a strong woman and would never tolerate abuse from me.”
“It’s barbaric, Kurt! How can you even think of spanking your wife?”

Kurt sat down on the couch, patted his lap and I immediately lay across his knees in the very comforting position. Before Theresa could even leave the room, Kurt flipped up my skirt, tugged down my panties and gave me a very firm and very fast hand spanking on my still sore bottom. When he finished—for now—he glanced up at the slack-jawed Theresa and said without a hint of irony, “I spank my wife because she has the perfect bottom type. It’s bare, and over my knees.”

Summer at the lake

Do places retain a physic imprint? If you returned to a spot where your life had changed, was the memory still tangible?

For Jesimine Powell, the summer of ’85, at Lake Archibald, in Cabin Twelve was one such place. A place of firsts: first love, first kiss, first orgasm from another, first acceptance of self-identity. Twenty years later, she was returning to fulfill a promise.

There were families swimming off the artificial beach. Red canoes and white sailboats projected excited shrieks over the forty-acre lake. The resort still exuded rustic charm, but the owners had bowed to the times and added phones and televisions in every cabin. The trees were taller, the rocks seemed smaller, but the private dock in front of their cabin was still as weather-beaten and warped as she remembered.

“I remember the first time I saw you. I was sitting right here, at the end of the dock. You swam over from number 11 and said ‘Hi, my name’s Emily’. You popped out of the water like a sprite, your turquoise bikini set off your white skin and freckles. I remember when you wrung out your hair, the beads of water made little rainbows in the air. You wanted to know if I could get a tan. Do you remember, Em, how I looked at you, my mouth wide open and pressed my forearm to yours? I said, ‘Girl, does this look like a tan to you? Cause to me, it appears to be dark chocolate’. That’s when you gave me a shit-eating grin and said, ‘Gotcha!’ I was too shy to tell you then, but when my skin touched yours, the spark caused my heart to be lost in a moment.”

Jesimine drew her knees to her chest. The curled pine boards of the dock pinched her bottom through her shorts. She looked to her left and smiled softly.

“Remember that, Em? How our parents were all stiff and formal at first until our dads found out they were both firefighters? They’d be swapping stories and our moms would escape to the kitchen to swap recipes, while we slipped out the back to have one last swim before dinner. You remember when you dared me to go skinny-dipping? I swallowed water I was laughing so hard when you complained my skin gave me an unfair advantage in the dark. ‘I ain’t never had no white girl ever be envious over my black color before’. You got annoyed and rather than splash water like you usually did, you shut me up by kissing me and then swam away as if mutant alligators had migrated to the Adirondacks.”

The calls of ‘suppertime’ echoed around the lake. Boys and girls hauled out, smoke rose from fireplaces and outdoor pits. The smell of roasted meat wafted lazily over the water.

“That night, Em. You remember. Our folks wanted something fancier than burgers and dogs. We stayed in my cabin, number 12, and you got angry with me for overcooking the trout fillets. You called me ‘stupid’, I yelled back I was ‘gonna whup your skinny white girl ass if you didn’t shut your mouth’. You were shaking like a leaf, I thought it was cause you were scared. I remember us both apologizing and you begging not to be spanked in that breathy voice that always pushed my buttons. I did the bravest thing I’d ever done in my life up till then. You said ‘Yes, ma’am’, after I scolded ‘Are you gonna behave, little girl?’ I sat down on the couch and told you, ‘Get over my lap, Emily’. You remember what you said, Em? ‘I’ll let you spank me bare bottomed, Jesimine, if you tell me the truth’.”

“I told you the truth that night, Em, and every night since. I love you. I love your cries as I slowly turn your bottom bright red. I love that cute squeak you make when I fuck you. I love the cotton candy taste deep inside your pink. I love your talented tongue. But most of all, I’ll always love you, Emily.”

Large tears splashed on the gray wood, the saline fluid staining random dark circles.

“Remember, Em, how you always joked you could see our cabin twelve from your office window on the 109th floor of the North Tower? I’m sorry I missed your call. I’m sorry they never found you. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you. I hope you can see our cabin from heaven.”

The last rays of the setting sun sparkled off the bright floral wreath as it spun out over the calm surface of Lake Archibald in front of Cabin Twelve.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

Submission without consent or choice is abuse

Three of my friend missy’s recent posts caught my eye.
“A Need for Domination”
“A Need for submission”
“Humiliation”

“People always are fixated on the body and forget that the mind is the ultimate sexual organ.”

That above was my comment on the humiliation post. She points out that for her, being Dominated helps her get into a submissive state, more than simply being submissive and waiting for Dominance.

She also writes about the roles of women in society, and how, in her words, her submissiveness is “letting the side down to others” who feel that being a feminist means never submitting to the patriarchal power of tradition.

My contention has always been that a submissive woman is a feminist because she is able and willing to choose submission on her own terms. It takes a strong and confident woman to ask to be spanked by her partner, male or female, even it she’s shaking and trembling inside with fear of rejection.

The flip side of course, and what gets the spanko community in trouble with the vanilla world, is because in real life, men dominate females everyday in horrific ways. From a wolf whistle on the street, to innuendos and touching in the workplace, to outright rape, violence in the home and murder. Many people cannot separate consensual spanking and domestic discipline with abuse and neglect by predatory males.

There is no simple answer unfortunately, when entire countries and religions are built around the systematic and systemic degradation of human beings who happen to have a vagina instead of a penis. Whether it is female genital mutilation, child marriage, honor killings, lack of education, healthcare, economic and political opportunities; there is a real and global-wide problem with the way women are treated by men.

The fact that I can write this and read missy’s posts about His Lordship dominating and humiliating her with and by her consent, should draw praise, not condemnation from people who should be focused on the real abusive situations, not peeping into the lives of those feminists who choose to submit.