Saturday, September 4, 2010

Profile Pieces: Myrine Naidoo

A small piece of a profile can hint at much larger meanings. Sometimes I read the profiles of past partners, and ruefully suspect that some implied scars were cut by my hand. In my own profile, certain elements hold the traces of past misunderstandings and hurts. I could point to this paragraph or that limit, and tell you why I added it. If nothing else, our scars are a map of our learning. Learning: the consolation prize after burn up or burnout.

Myrine is a good friend of mine. I know some of what's behind this piece of her profile. But even without that knowledge, this piece speaks for itself. We're each free to define the filters between our 1st and 2nd lives according to our comfort, goals, and values. I've never had cause to express this particular sentiment, but I have had people just vanish on me for months, or suggest that I'm confusing a fiction for something more substantial. Here's how Myrine puts it:

While I love roleplay, I go to dedicated roleplay sims for that. Relationships with people here are NOT roleplay for me. If you are roleplaying in your relationships here, then please stay the fuck away from me outside of roleplay sims.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sensuality Azure: Accepting Offers

If we want to be better role-players, we can find inspiration and guidance from many sources. I've found some guidance from improvisational comedy, or improv. Ideas, exercises, and practices of improv have crossed over into many fields, from business courses (where entrepreneurs need to "think outside the box") to video game companies (where designers need to understand flow and reactivity). I bring them into RP and D/s. Here is another notecard from my Sensuality Azure training materials.

4.1 Accepting Offers

The best role-play flows smoothly. Words and poses echo and intertwine. It's like a good French kiss. Unfortunately, flow is difficult to achieve. There are many obstacles. Yet some of these obstacles can be removed, when the players practice a habit from improvisational theater ("improv").

Role-play is a process of co-creation. Books or plays are written by a single, all-controlling author. The author is allowed to smear his ego over everything, and the reader or audience only consents to be present.

In contrast, role-play emerges from multiple authors sharing the same page. This can be a delightfully intimate experience, like having sex in a narrow bed. (Remember your dorm room?) But it can also be crowded, like trying to sleep together afterwards: all elbows and knees.

Improvisational theater is a relative of role-play. The players consent to a simple sketch, perhaps a location or a brief back-story, and then together they play a scene (tell a story). They follow a basic rule, which is sometimes called Always Accept Offers. Everyone agrees to accept any new idea someone adds to the scene, rather than ignore it, reject it, or argue about it.

Always Accept Offers is kind of like prostitution, only instead of whoring yourself, you're contributing to the flow. (If the scene involves whoring, then the metaphor is doubly apt.) It's a matter of etiquette: respecting your partners' creativity. It also improves the scene. It's hard to achieve dramatic momentum--flow--if someone keeps swerving or hitting the brakes.

The rule is sometimes labeled "Yes, and..." since that's the attitude each player should have. I particularly like this label, since it suggests how to role-play: agree with the choice your partner makes, and build on it. It's also a good attitude for playing a submissive or having sex. A submissive should obey a command, and strive to do more than was ordered, like adding extra sensuality to the action. And in bed, when your partner initiates a position, it helps the flow if you say, "Yes, and I could grip your [body part] while you do that." (Or lick, suck, pinch, etc.) The point is to honor the choice by embracing and expanding it. Expanding is good, right?

There are many ways to reject offers. Two of the most common are obsessing on details, and obsessing on the “rules” of a setting. Details are essential to making a scene vivid, and a rich setting can help define roles. For example, Gor is a rich setting with lots of “rules.” Suppose your slave kneels before you and tells you that a strange Master flirted with her in the marketplace. The Master claimed to be a scribe, and he was dressed all in black. You might be tempted to criticize the slave or her player, IMing her to say that she's kneeling wrong or that all scribes wear blue in Gor. But before you do, consider the creativity she's offering you, and whether you want her to keep making such offers. As artists and lovers, our egos don't heal easily.

To be clear, accepting offers doesn't mean ignoring your preferences or kinks, or worse, risking your safety. Role-play should always be satisfying and safe for everyone. If the offer turns you off or is unsafe, clearly you shouldn't accept it.

Ballroom dancing or domination may be about leading and following. But flow in role-play depends on sharing the power.

Sharing These Materials

This notecard is part of a collection called "Sensuality Azure by Kandr Newall". This collection is licensed as Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike ( Please don't sell this notecard. Please distribute and modify this notecard freely. Please credit Kandr Newall as the original author.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Slavecraft: Surrender, Work of Slavery, Obedience

Here are more provocative quotes from Slavecraft.

Outsiders are not prepared to understand that the passion of surrender has the power to take hold of us by the throat and fire our imaginations to the white heat capable of fusing sexuality and surrender into such a lens--a tool powerful enough to comprehend anything worth knowing (p. 35)

There is a myth that D/s relationships are simpler or easier than vanilla relationships. Alas, no. On the other hand, D/s can be a powerful tool for perceiving and processing on relationship necessities and skills, like trust, communication, willingness, selflessness, chemistry, and compatibility.

Like all consensual slaves, i am a work in progress; always pressing on towards perfection with no thought of ever achieving it. Good Masters are a dynamic bunch and so, They grow, evolve and develop as people. When that happens, the definition of slave perfection shifts as They shift. For that reason, the notion of a "complete" or "finished" slave is temporary and illusory, and so must be viewed with suspicion. (p. 66)

The work of slavery, however, does not "show" for the most part because it happens in our minds, our hearts, our guts. Masters don't usually recognize that we are working at surrender because They don't really know what our "working" looks like. (p. 67)

I found this last idea worth remembering, as someone practice dominance. Both my slaves have recently had the pleasing assertiveness to remind me that there are aspects and experiences of being a submissive woman that are beyond my comprehension. I'm a smart, creative man, and I believe imagination is vast. But wherever we are on the spectrum of dominance and submission, there are some things beyond even imagining.

The slave in perfect obedience neither offers nor reserves anything. His only obligation, his concern, his evaluation criteria, his only question, his only satisfaction is from determining if he obeyed. (p. 81)

The grateful slave who wrote Slavecraft spends many words trying to distinguish a submissive from a slave. Principles like this quote about obedience are compelling reference points for making the distinction. Over time, I've become far less concerned with definitions and ontology, like "submissive" versus "slave". The women I respect and crave tend to be more complex than labels. On the other hand, it can be a valuable conversation to discuss what the labels mean to each partner, and what their desires and goals are.

It is only the slave's obedience that enables a Master to control and, therefore protect, a slave against the most damaging threat possible, the slave's thoughts. (p. 81-2)

I've heard many bottoms express this idea. Several women have emphasized the relief and freedom that comes with obedience. Vanilla sensuality and sex can be stressful, as they strive to be desirable and pleasing: to make the right choices. If they can give up some authority, responsibility, and attention to the "big picture", they can relax and indulge more. It's part of the beauty and splendor of D/s: the dom takes what he wants, the sub gives it, and both can leave some fears and anxieties behind.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Be Fabulous

I enjoyed watching the movie Akeelah and the Bee. The quote below is taught by a strict teacher to an insecure student. I encourage you to apply it to another context: to ourselves, as we practice sensuality, sexuality, dominance, and submission.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

-Marianne Williamson

I remember a paraphrase from a profile: "Most players live Second Lives of quiet desperation. Take a chance." Men and women who present as submissive often confide in me that they feel very shy and nervous in SL. They crave to be dominated in ways that liberate: ways that coax or force them to overcome their fears, insecurities, and scars. They want to be More, and they want help achieving it. At it's best, D/s is about bringing out the best in a submissive (and a dom). The bonsai metaphor applies here.

Those who present as dominant can veer too far the other way, and come across as presumptuous and abrasive. Ego is sexy in a dom, but in excess, it can verge on hysteria. We can try too hard to be fearless and self-assured, and reveal ourselves to be anything but. (I've done this.) It's hard for a bottom to trust a top who isn't even in control of himself. Needless to say, trust is essential to deep D/s.

We should all dare to fabulous, with whatever sparkle and volume is truly ours. We should seek those people who want us to be brilliant, gorgeous, and talented. People who won't be threatened by our radiance, but instead delight in it. Those are the people to whom we should submit, or who we should claim.

Our playing small does not serve SL.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Good Reads: Vox; Merry Gentry

I want to share a couple recommendations in adult fiction. The first is Vox, by Nicholson Baker. This is a "realtime" story of two people having phone sex, almost like a transcript (or log). I was drawn to it, because so much of SL is essentially a conversation. This particular conversation is intriguing and varied, as the man and woman share some lush fetishes and fantasies. The hot talk moves smoothly through both pornographic imagination and gritty realism. If the woman was a player in SL, I would be smitten. I particularly enjoy the contrast between the sexual tastes of the man and woman, and where they find overlap. One fictional character doesn't tell me all I want to know about women, but I do appreciate every lesson I can get.

My second recommendation is the Merry Gentry series. The author, Laurell Hamilton, is more famous for her Anita Blake vampire novels. (I haven't read them.) Merry, or Meredith, is a faerie princess/detective/hedonist, living in the contemporary USA. Over time, the author fills in some of the history and details of a world in which the Seelie and Unseelie Courts live openly, kind of like Native Americans on reservations (or District 9, complete with weapons you shouldn't take lightly). I would have enjoyed more about the world, but it's mostly a backdrop. For better or worse, the focus is Merry's extraordinary destiny, and the dozens of men she needs to fuck along the way. She has to be a slut, but it's for good reasons, see, and the faerie are cast as very sensual, sexually-liberated immortals. (Substitute Second Life for the Faerie Courts, and many of the lines still make sense!)

So, there is a lot of sex, including exhibitionism, multiple partners, orgasms that produce epic magical effects, and (occasionally) some sort-of force or fleeting D/s. The erotica tends more towards poetry than anatomy, and that's OK. But combined with the first-person female point of view... what should have been stimulating scenes sometimes left me impatient for the next plot twist. Or maybe I just wanted more repeat action, rather than yet another combination of hair color, latent demigod, and position. I'm being picky, but with affection. Sometimes the sex is very, very good. Overall, the series held my attention for four books. The insecurity and emo dialog of the men eventually cooled my interest. Apparently, even if we're immortal and we can have messy supernatural sex with a royal hottie, men need a lot of ego stroking. (Another SL parallel!)

I cheerfully welcome recommendations on reading, in comments here or IMs in SL. I'm currently rereading The Fountainhead for several reasons, including now being knowledgeable enough to understand and study the D/s relationship between Howard and Dominique.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Slavecraft: Being a grown up; Myth of training

I'm reading Slavecraft, written by "a grateful slave, with Guy Baldwin." This book came highly recommended by a submissive woman for whom I have great admiration and affection. The focus is deep 1L "erotic slavery", and the writer is a gay male slave. ("Erotic" is a nice adjective to add, to distinguish the glory of D/s slavery from the evils of nonconsensual slavery.) Of course, many of the ideas and arguments are useful in other kinds of relationships, in 1L and SL.

I'm not sure I agree with the slave on all things. But I find his perspective provocative. He describes the experience of being a slave in ways that help me better understand the challenges and joys. Here are some sections that stand out.

Sad to say, there are some who call themselves "Master" who are undeserving of the label. Some in need of an emotional hiding place will shield themselves behind the "Master" label. Lift the shield and one can often find those who shun real intimacy, self-disclosure, commitments of any sort, responsibility, honesty, their own vulnerability, self-knowledge, and yet, nevertheless, fear abandonment. (p. 15)

One in search of a Master (or a slave for that matter) is certain to encounter such people, and the challenge will be to discern the pretenders from the authentic. It is not enough for Masters to thrive on control; They must also crave responsibility and approach ownership with integrity, honor, honesty, common sense, and balance. There is no place in ownership for consuming rage, narcissism, viciousness, or other childish behavior. Ownership is for grown-ups. (p. 15)

The traditional slave-training myth asserts that: "Any self-proclaimed Master can teach a slave all he needs to know about surrender." (p. 39) of the great ironies in all of this is that the training myth is often responsible for impeding both Masters and slaves in the refinement of their respective callings. Masters who feel insecure with Their abilities because of their ignorance about submission, or for other reasons, will often seek an inexperienced slave precisely because he won't know much. This allows the insecure Master to hide His ignorance from the slave and be superficially impressive. The irony is that such Masters could probably learn much more from experiences with already skilled slaves because then They could see how a well-developed slave functions, and thus learn the crafts of how to enjoy and develop a consensual slave. (p. 45-6)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Apology & Drama Control

Yikes. I owe AvaAvadore Cabassoun an apology. In my post about drifting from Dark Den, I praised Cara and YT. I didn't mention Ava. I'm very sorry. During my three months in DD, Ava was consistently positive, friendly, and supportive. I admire her as a leader, and as a mediator in some of my drama.

Also, a clarification... I was praising Sir Defiant's Profile when I posted it. I have almost no sense of his excellence in dominance. I just love the attitude in his Profile.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Profile Pieces: Sir Defiant

More than anything, dominance is an attitude. I prefer a shade more subtlety than naming myself "Sir" or "Master" (although I did flaunt a title for a time). But if you're going to go big, then go this big.

I am the reason for your wife's secret smile, the one who gives her what you cannot. Don't despair, if it weren't for me she wouldn't be so attentive to you. It isn't love, it's a guilty conscience. She would choose you over me, but silently hate you for it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

My wedding ring

I want to share some history about my wedding ring, and its significance in 1L and SL. I'm sure it hasn't escaped most of my partners' attention that the hand gripping their hair or spanking their ass has a gold ring on the significant finger.

As a character for RP, Kandr's state of matrimony is usually in the background. I'm not in SL for dating, romance, or a girlfriend, but neither do I want to foreground a sense that Kandr is cheating. I'm partnered to my wife's avatar, and I wear my SL wedding ring whenever possible. (It's not possible in some inhuman forms.)

I'm not the RP characters I play as Kandr. In RP, Kandr has much darker tastes, and he's much more casual about sex and relationships. Kandr and I share some personality traits and some physical features. (We don’t share *that* exact feature, in case you're wondering.) Some emotions can be very real, but the contexts are usually pretend.

A few years ago I learned more about polyamory. My wife and I have an open marriage online, so in the language of poly, she is my primary. I found that too mundane, so I say "my beloved primary", or just "my beloved." In 1L conversations, I sometimes stumble on the words "my wife", since I'm used to typing "my beloved" when I talk about her in SL.

Before we were formally engaged, my beloved and I decided we wanted custom wedding rings. We worked with a jeweler we admired. We had intended for hers to have diamonds, and for mine to just have starbursts cut into the gold, in the same constellation configuration. The jeweler misunderstood us, and crafted two identical rings, both with diamonds. Over the years, we've sometimes worn one another's ring, so it's not clear anymore which is which. I properly proposed using one of the rings. ("Properly" includes down on one knee, in my book.) At our wedding, we made our self-written vows with both rings.

Sometime after we were married, I bought my beloved a bedroom collar. It's a gorgeous masterwork of black leather, purple rabbit fur, and stainless steel hardware. I was very new to D/s at the time (i.e., clueless). I was fortunate that the store I patronized had such quality bondage gear, and that I was bold enough to ask the cute, emo clerk for her recommendation. (She explained that she had a similar collar in her bedroom. Is anyone surprised that I remember that?) There were matching cuffs for ankles and wrists, and I splurged on the whole set. Altogether, it was a landmark day for the junior Dom I was back then. I made my beloved work to find/earn each cuff, and finally the collar. That became one of her favorite memories.

Much later, we wanted my beloved in an everyday collar: something she could wear in mixed company, that silently symbolized our private deviance. After some discussion and shopping, we selected a beautiful gold rope necklace, on which I hung her wedding ring. The canted wedding ring evokes a leashing ring. It looks amazing on her: the synergy of the meanings is profound.

In SL, my beloved is my partner, my first girl, and my first Pick. Not long after I closed her everyday collar around her throat, I wanted it in SL, too. I secretly worked with an SL jeweler to reproduce the necklace and ring, and then surprised her with it. The jeweler also gave me a copy of the ring by itself. Since our 1L rings are identical, the SL ring matches my 1L ring. So I started wearing my wedding ring in SL.

Symbols can be powerful, especially when imbued with sincerity. For me, a collar includes certain promises, including the promise to take care of the bottom. A wedding ring is not a collar, although some of the promises are similar. A collar that includes a wedding ring is a powerful amalgam of meanings.

It's interesting that we call them "wedding rings", since they symbolize the marriage and commitment, not just the event. It would be a mistake for someone to assume much about my relationship with my beloved primary, without knowing us better. I wear my SL wedding ring whenever possible, to minimize such assumptions. Most people understand how the game of hearts and genitals is played in SL, but a prim reminder helps others and me. My beloved will always be first in my life and my heart.

In short, my SL wedding ring has symbolic resonance to my 1L ring and my beloved's everyday collar. It reminds me that nothing in SL will ever matter as much as honoring the trust, admiration, and wellness of the smart, passionate, sensual woman who gets the best of me. I love you, my beloved primary.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Crosspost: Forceme on Isolation

Forceme's post and the comments have some compelling perspectives on isolation in training and training play:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Kandr leaving Dark Den

I'm drifting away from Dark Den. I have many reasons. Put simply, there are experiences and relationships I want in SL--ways of being and ways of feeling--that I'm not finding.

If anyone asks, I have many good things to say about the Den. I have a great deal of respect, admiration, and affection for Cara Lionheart and YT "alley cat" Recreant. I expect Cara to be an excellent president. YT's creativity and creations are extraordinary. The community is filled with friendly, playful people. I'm not storming out, and there is nothing gossip-worthy written between these lines.

IC, Kandr was in the PRG on a paid sabbatical. A senior partner in his firm is dying, so Kandr's sabbatical has ended.

I'm stepping down as a D/s Coach for Dark Den. I plan to continue my blog about D/s. I discovered much about myself and my tastes in the Den. I met many intriguing people, and had the pleasure of getting close to some. I found challenge, elation, and growth. I wish everyone in Dark Den a passionate, fulfilling SL.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sensuality Azure: 20 Questions for Tops & Bottoms

I've spoken of compatibility, in prior posts and in SL. Here is more of what I mean, as a notecard from my Sensuality Azure training materials. A conversation around these questions isn't as exciting as sex. But a conversation is worthwhile for the long-term success of the relationship. Also, in my experience, the kind of person with whom I want to have a long-term relationship values the conversation.

20 Questions for Tops & Bottoms

These questions are in no particular order. But if you think one is more important than another, that itself is important. There are undoubtedly other questions worth discussing, but 20 is such a nice, round number.

There aren't right or wrong answers. But without clear and compatible expectations, any relationship is higher risk.

1. What do you look for in a partner? What's most important? What's not important?

2. Have you played with power exchange before? Collared? Been collared? If yes, how did that work out?

3. When do you play? How often? How long? How regularly?

4. When you play, how much can you focus? Will there be interruptions? Will you suddenly need to leave? Can we schedule times where you can focus completely on us?

5. When you log in and I'm already doing something, do I stop to be with you?

6. How far does the dominance extend? For example, permission to log off? Punishment for not logging on when expected?

7. What are your standards for writing? Pose length? Spelling etc.?

8. How important is staying in-character? Do you like to chat OOC during RP? During sex? Does chatting ruin the mood?

9. How do you feel about voice chat? Out-of-character? During RP? During sex?

10. How important are props, scripts, animations, etc. during RP? During sex? (e.g., Xcite!)

11. Will we stay in a specific sim? A specific setting (e.g., Gor, vampire)? If we travel, how will the our relationship work? (e.g., Am I going to be kneeling in only silks in an Earth art gallery?)

12. Who will pay for things? (e.g., house, clothes, furniture)

13. Will there be other bottoms? Do you expect group sex? Bisexual sex? Homosexual sex?

14. Can I have sex with other people? Can you? Only OOC? If ICly, with any consequences?

15. What are some of your kinks? For example, do you like dirty talk? Force? Do you want to experiment?

16. Are there other relationships we need to discuss? Loyalties to a sim? To other players/friends/lovers? Other possible sources of out-of-character drama?

17. If the bottom is owned, will the Top ever sell the bottom?

18. If this doesn't work, how will it end? If we're in the same sim, will one of us have to leave?

19. How fast do you want to go?

20. Are you looking for a RL romantic relationship? A RL power exchange relationship?

Sharing These Materials

This notecard is part of a collection called "Sensuality Azure by Kandr Newall". This collection is licensed as Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike ( Please don't sell this notecard. Please distribute and modify this notecard freely. Please credit Kandr Newall as the original author.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


...medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. -Dead Poets Society

Love is a tricky word in any fold of reality. In Second Life, "love" is a Wonderland cousin of the 1st Life meaning. We can be very, very artful with our masks, only allowing selective glimpses of our true merits and flaws. We can also be prevented from demonstrating our most loving and lovable qualities, by our (in)abilities to write and perceive promptly and accurately, to affix prims elegantly, to manage a sometimes-overwhelming flow of information and opportunities, to be online at the right times, and so on.

Even when we think we love, we may only love an illusion or a fragment.

Yet in SL we can also sometimes connect in new ways. We can bypass some static, doubts, hesitations, or prejudices. Sometimes the masks separate us, but sometimes they free us to be our true selves, and to connect in a deeply intimate way.

Some people eagerly seek love in SL. Some people don't believe in SL love. Some people have it but deny it, or deal with it ineptly. Some people had love but it died or was killed, and now they feel only pessimism or even cynicism.

I've had at least one relationship where I could have had love, but fled from it. And at least one where I wanted love, but my partner didn't. I'm not looking for it now, but I'm not as afraid of it. There are many kinds of love, and most of my love will only ever be for my beloved primary. The best magic of SL is the unexpected kind, so I leave open some possibilities.

Is SL love as real as 1st Life love? Probably not. But it's the "probably" that gets to us, because SL pain can certainly be as real. It can be worse than 1L. In 1L, we might know where our would-be love is, and we can employ any and all creative strategies to try to win or deepen their affections. We can stand outside with a boombox over our head (like in the movie Say Anything), or leave anonymous presents by her apartment door (like I did when courting my beloved primary). But in SL, we can love, and be hurt, and be wanting, and sometimes we can do nothing but wait. We watch each login message fiercely, hoping for the magic string of letters that causes our heart to race. It is a terrible wonderful thing: love.

...and just in case you're wondering, this post isn't relevant to anything or anyone in particular. Rather, it's inspired by a variety of experiences by my friends and me over time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Jack Rinella: On Discipline, Training, Commitment, and Union

I finished reading Rinella's The Master's Manual aloud. Here are some final excerpts worth sharing.

Though discipline can be imposed whenever the master desires, it really should be used as soon after the transgression as is feasible. The dread of an expected punishment can be difficult for a slave to handle, though some delay may be helpful in order to allow the slave to be punished by the dread. A prolonged delay, though, will give an opportunity for the discipline to be forgotten, or at least the severity of the transgression to fade. The slave will also see delay as hesitancy, indecision, apathy, or weakness on the part of the master. So apply discipline judiciously, promptly, and with confidence. Discipline is a master's duty, right, and friend. (p. 142)

For their part, even seasoned slaves need to be given time to learn how a new master wants to be served. It is here that the euphemism "training" becomes a real event. Teach your boy what you expect. If you only get what he wants, then you are no longer in charge. On the other hand, it is imperative that you grant the boy the right to speak, to question, and to learn. Boys have desires and dreams every bit as important as those of their masters. The challenge is to find a way to meet each person's fantasy without compromising the other's. (p. 161-2)

Commitment, on the other hand, is intrinsically necessary. The simple fact is that you can't get into the serious beauty of SM without a committed partner. I'm not negating the fun, and sometimes the glory, of an SM scene between strangers, prostitutes and their clients, who people who just want to play "with no strings attached." But the best SM is with someone you know, trust, and with whom you have some kind of commitment. (p. 165)

The commitment that I'm advocating is the only commitment that counts: "To thine own self be true." The operative words here are clarity, honesty, consistency. I'm talking about a relationship wherein each partner is able to find him or herself, express that self within the context of the relationship, and grow. (p. 166)

On the face of it, the focus of cruising is sexual release: mere hedonism, thrill-seeking, and attention-getting. But appearances are deceiving. I am not naïve enough to believe that those appearances are completely false. We are propelled by a wide variety of motives, commendable or not. Basic motives of sex and quick gratification are prevalent in our disposable, microwave culture. But to dismiss cruising as looking for "flash in the pan gratification" is to miss underlying human needs. Beneath the leather, the posing, and the S&M ("standing and modeling") is a real search for bonding. Like everyone else, leatherfolk want to know they are part of a community. Saturday night rites are the externals of a quest for belonging. We desire to be in union with our own kind, human kind. (p. 196)

The Master's Manual on

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jack Rinella: On Versatility and Inner Selves

I'm reading Rinella's The Master's Manual aloud every Thursday evening. I'll probably finish tonight. Here are a couple more provocative excerpts.

Humans, of course, don't fit into the clean molds of leather stereotypes. The truth is that in some way or another, each of us, including the most dominant master and the most experienced slave, is versatile. Versatility is simply the recognition of potential. (p. 65)

The leather community may (in its best aspects) be the most egalitarian of all sub-cultures, for it allows us, as far as we dare, to explore the inner selves we dream to be. (p. 71)

The Master's Manual on

About the Reading

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Some of My Mistakes

Master SuperMaster says, "A true Dom never makes a mistake."

Albert Einstein said, "A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new."

I've made some colossal mistakes as a predator, a lover, a top, and a Master. More than anything, dominance is an attitude. I love teaching and I love learning. My Taoism tells me that's the same love, just inside out. That love is a vital part of my attitude as someone who practices dominance. These ingredients are powerful for learning: admitting ignorance, taking risks, and making mistakes.

Here are some of my mistakes, in hopes that they're instructive to others. Or at least amusing.

Trying Too Hard ... I have a group for my household. I got the clever idea to set my group title to "Master", so that I could walk around with "Master Kandr Newall" above my head. This lasted for a couple weeks before I came to my senses. Franklin Veaux says it best: "Being a master is like being enlightened. If you have to tell people that you are--you aren't."

You Don't Actually Want That ... A woman told me she wanted to be completely objectified, as nothing more or less than a total sextoy. She described in it her profile, we talked about it, she behaved like a sextoy, and she sent me many erotica stories about women being objectified. But the anachronistic gentleman in me kept silently insisting that she didn't truly want it. Thankfully, I eased into giving it to her. No surprise: the more I gave her what she wanted, the more passionate and eager she became.

Honey, Sugar, Gumdrop ... While I was in Gor, I purposefully developed some habits I thought made me more of a master. I started calling every slave "sweetling", regardless of relationship or context. I appended this to almost everything I said. I've seen others habitually use endearments like this, and I've seen (and privately heard) how subs actually react. Now I know that "sweetling" wasn't having the effect I wanted. At all.

Taboo ... Here's another habit I developed to "be more of a master": I never said "thank you." I would twist sentences around so that I would say something pleased me. It was contrived and arduous. It's like I believed that properly expressing gratitude would somehow puncture my master balloon, and all my dominance would leak out. Yeesh.

Shake-and-Bake Drama ... I was getting close to someone. I had some concerns about compatibility. In so many words, I said, "I really like you. But you need to change in these several major ways." This is a classic back-handed compliment. It's understandable to decide that a relationship isn't working out. But everyone has the right to be present in SL in a way that feels right to them. I was wrapping praise and attraction around what was really a criticism. At best, this is inconsiderate; at worst, it's passive aggressive. I have consoled friends when their partners dropped this drama bomb in a relationship. Apparently it's a mistake I has to make for myself at least once. I later apologized.

Missed the Message ... I had chatted and scened with a woman several times. We had hot chemistry and strong compatibility. We had talked about collars. We were RPing. She was standing with her back to a post, arms raised above her head, eyes full of promise. Much later, she asked me why I didn't collar her then, when she was deliberately adopting such a submissive posture. In my defense, I was relatively new to D/s. But my response was still utterly lame: "You were submitting?"

I don't know anything about Einstein in the bedroom. Smart is sexy, so if the master of space-time ever suited up as a Master, I'm sure he got some. With Einstein's advice, and for many other reasons, I'm not afraid of making mistakes. Learning can be painful, but coasting or playing it safe is unworthy of me and my partners, when I aspire to be dominant.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Jack Rinella: On Power and Ownership

I'm reading Rinella's The Master's Manual aloud every Thursday evening (including tonight). Here are some more provocative excerpts.

Fundamentally, those who aspire to be masters and mistresses must be comfortable with power. That means they need the ability to acquire it, use it, live with its consequences, to overcome the negative connotations inherent in being powerful, and to elude the corruption it may bring and the conceit it is liable to engender. (p. 85)

I, on the contrary, exhort you to claim your right to dominate, to rule, in fact, to enslave. ... To do that, you must first claim yourself. If you can not rule yourself, you can not rule others. A master needs to be comfortable with what it means to control another. Masters are responsible, directive, decisive. They need to be able to accept service, attention, the "gift of self" that a slave desires to bestow on his or her owner. (p. 86)

What does it feel like to own someone? ... It's a challenge. Owning someone is taking the responsibility to train them, to make them what you want them to be while letting them be what they have to be; letting them experience their own growth, while you grow. (p. 89)

What kind of advice would you give to someone who said they wanted to be a master? ... Understand the responsibility. Understand the depth of the relationship. Try to understand whether or not the person who wants to be your slave is just a bottom, or just curious, or whether or not they are willing to make that kind of commitment. When a person becomes a slave, he really gives himself up to a master. Slavery is not a part-time kind of thing. Either you're someone's slave, or you're not. It's hard for most people to make that kind of major commitment. People really have to be in the right space to make it, to say, "Here I am. Take me. Do with me as you will." (p. 91)

The Master's Manual on

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Jack Rinella: On Dark Play

I'm reading Rinella's The Master's Manual aloud every Thursday evening. I'll post some of the more provocative excerpts.

To repress and deny that we have dark sides to our personalities is to deny stark and very "real" reality. To be Pollyanna is foolishness, dangerous foolishness at that. Repressed, denied, hidden darkness only festers until it vents itself in some other way. Just as uncontrolled bliss, lightness, and goodness is unreasonable, un-experienced evil is an illusion. What we need is a balanced, healthy, and manageable dark event. Such experiences allow us to understand ourselves and our motivations, to give expression to those motives, and, so, reduce their power and their drive. (p. 46-47)

Sadists in the leather community then are those who inflict pleasure. It is pleasure of an intense degree, skillfully induced with necessary caution, measured speed, and careful recognition of the masochist's responses. (p. 48)

Experiencing one's limits, anguish, alternate ego, and suppressed desires is a learning and cleansing process. We face our fear, our selves, our lusts and our raw power. Our deeply hidden drives find expression. So we resolve our doubts and passions, giving vent to them and bringing them into a manageable, understandable light. (p. 83)

The Master's Manual on

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

BDSM Folks I Can Do Without

This is long, but full of good advice. I particularly like:

Being a master is like being enlightened. If you have to tell people that you are--you aren't.

Note: These pages are copyright by Franklin Veaux. You may reproduce the contents of these pages, provided you do so intact and unedited.


This is a rant. It's based on my own personal experiences in the BDSM community. Some people may not like the characterizations in here. You've been warned.
I've been involved in both BDSM and polyamory since long before I had words to describe eaither (and, for that matter, since before the word "polyamory" even existed). I've been part of the organized poly community for quite a number of years, but generally speaking, I've tended to avoid the organized BDSM community.

Lately, I've been spending a lot more time in the BDSM community, and I'm beginning to remember why it is I've avoided it.

A friend of mine who lives, like I do, in both worlds once described a poly meeting as "Kind of like a BDSM munch, but the people are nicer." And there's a bit of truth to it.

This is not a diatribe against everyone in the BDSM community. I've met some very cool, very intelligent people in the scene, and many of these people I count among my friends.

But there are also quite a number of people I've encountered who are about as much fun as a toothache. To wit:

The "7th Level Antler-Headed Yak Boy (fourth house, nineteenth tax district)" types.

These are the guys (and they're almost always men) who form elaborate societies with intricate rules and protocols, and give themselves incredibly flowery titles (which they insist on using to refer to themselves, and may insist that others use as well) to boot.

There's nothing wrong with any of that. The problem comes from the idea that once you've mastered someone's list of rules, probably yanked from some old pulp science-fiction novel, that you've mastered all the intricities of domination and submission, and you're now fit to rule the world or some damn thing. You haven't; you've just memorized someone else's rules. D/s is arguably one of the most complex forms of all human relationships, and it's different for everyone--something that works for one person doesn't apply to another. Mastering one set of protocols no more makes you an expert than mastering macaroni and cheese makes you a five-star chef.

The pathologically insecure.

These people often refer to themselves exclusively as "Master (or Mistress) Thus-and Such," and are more than happy to describe you exactly, in great deal, how and why they've mastered the fine art of BDSM, and why you should be grateful to sit at their feet and pick up such crumbs of arcane knowledge they see fit to provide.

Disagree with them, even about something minor, and the entire elaborate facade built to protect their insecurities comes crashing down. You have not seen histronics until you've suggested to such a person that perhaps there's some element of D/s he hasn't considered.

Hint: Being a master is like being enlightened. If you have to tell people that you are--you aren't.

The Domly Doms.

These guys--and again, they're almost always guys--self-identify as alpha males; they strut, they preen, they impress one another with the size of their stables of submissives. Their submissives never stick around for long; the stables rotate, because at the end of the day, interspecies dating never works. It's just too damn hard for a human submissive to maintain a romance with a peacock.

The completely unsocialized.

These are the ones who can make a convention of stereotypical computer nerds point and say "Damn, those people have poor social skills!" (And yes, I know that the stereotypes of computer nerds are quite often wrong.)

Many of these guys lead one to suspect that they're part of the community because no other community'll have them.

Hint: I understand foot fetishes as much as the next guy, but do not walk up to me and, without introduction, ask me to take off my shoes. Especially if you don't know my sexual orientation and you're a guy. What's that, you say? There's nothing sexual about feet? Well, guess what--anything that arouses you or gets you off is an intimate act, even if, in a different context, it might be completely benign.

The One True Wayers.

These are usually the people in "TPE" (total power exchange) relationships--people who live acting out a full-time master/slave relationship, who sneer at the "players"--namely, those who don't live their entire lives in their roles--and especially those who (oh, dear God) switch roles.

Hint: If you predicate the whole of your romantic relationship, and indeed the whole of your life, along a single axis, don't think even for half a second that you have a deeper understanding of D/s than those whose experience is broader and whose palettes are wider. You want to live in a master/slave relationship? Hey, that's cool, whatever turns you on. You want to think that gives you a better understanding of the right way to do it? Go sit in the back of the bus with the Baptists, the fundamentalist Muslims, and all the other yahoos who think there's only one right way to live.

The Wannabe Doms.

You can find these people all over the Internet--and, for a change, they're not mostly men. These people appear to be equal-opportunity offenders, and I've encountered about as many women as men who fall into this role.

These are the ones who believe that because they consider themselves dominant, the rest of the world should too. Many of them are often poorly socialized as well, which is quite a double-whammy.

You can spot 'em right away. They're the ones who, upon learning that someone is a submissive, immediately demand that that person be submissive to them. They're the ones who open a conversation with a submissive they've only just met with "You will call me Master and you will learn to worship me." They seem to see submissives as commodities, not as people, and begin every encounter with the idea that every submissive in the world will submit to them because, hey, they're Doms, right?

Hint: Respect is earned, not automatic. If you want a submissive to respect you, first prove that you deserve it. The people you see in the community, the people you see at play parties, who command widespread respect? They earned it. And by the way, just because someone is a submissive, that does not automatically mean he or she should submit to you. If you don't even know this person's name and have not yet established any kind of relationship whatsoever with this person, assuming you deserve this person's submission is a bit premature, wanker. Submissives exist for more than your own fantasy fulfillment!

The Desperate Subbies.

These are the flip side of the wannabe doms--the people who're so desperate to find a dominant that they'll stick anyone into that slot. Upon learning that someone is a dom, the Desperate Subbiess immediately assume that this person will automatically want to dominate them, and will run up to anyone they see who even remotely looks the least little bit dominant with "Oh, Master, I'm desperate to serve you!"

In some extreme cases, these people cross the line from annoying to outright self-destructive, as they'll sometimes abandon even basic concerns for safety and self-preservation in their attempts to find someone, anyone, to dominate them. Fortunately, Desperate Subbies are rare, and can be spotted from a mile away. Unfortunately, Desperate Subbies occasionally become statistics.

Hint: The relationship between a dominant and a submissive is a partnership. Even when it's a transient partnership, like at a play party, it's still a partnership. Don't go pledging your submission to someone until after you've determined that he or she is interested in you, and for God's sake, don't go pledging your submission to someone you don't even know, or to everyone you meet who seems the least bit interested in you. Dominants are people, not fantasy fulfillment objects...and every now and then, a person who calls himself a dominant isn't actually a dominant at all, but a predator who sees you as the prey, you know? Getting to know someone before you submit to him or her is a very good strategy to avoid becoming a statistic.

Note: These pages are copyright by Franklin Veaux. You may reproduce the contents of these pages, provided you do so intact and unedited.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Movie: TiMER

I enthusiastically recommend the movie TiMER (IMDB page). It's a smart, funny cross of speculative science fiction and romantic comedy. The lead is deftly handled by Emma Caulfield (who I adored as Anya in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer). The premise is provocative: what would life be like if you knew in advance when you would meet your true love (what the characters call your "one")? I won't spoil the clever weaving of subplots, but like the inestimable Strange Days, the various possibilities are explored in graceful balance with strong narrative.

Why does TiMER matter on this blog? In SL, we never know when the next chance meeting could be a real connection. With one of my current partners, our first interaction was some heated IMs when I felt she was godmodding me. If I hadn't pulled my head out of my ass and tried to understand her perspective, we wouldn't enjoy the relationship we now have. My first conversations with Vivid Skizm left me with the impression that she wasn't very interested, and now she's my slave. A friend of mine is a sub in 1L, and she speaks of making good choices and taking good care of herself for Him. She hasn't met Him yet: the Master she deserves (and she deserves an amazing Master). We don't have the technological miracle that TiMER's characters have, but we should be thoughtful about what we're doing to meet the people who will redefine passion with us, and what we're doing with ourselves while we wait.

Kudos to my beloved primary for choosing TiMER. We watched via Netflix On Demand.

FYI, Strange Days is brilliant but hella dark (IMDB page). I'd list Strange Days as "much watch" for anyone who muses on what playing "imaginary games" like SL does to us. If you liked Avatar, especially how Jake got hooked on his SL, you'll like James Cameron's earlier thought experiment with jacking in. Also, Angela Bassett's character Mace could totally dom me.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Profile Pieces: Dusty Laviscu on Submission

I enjoy reading Profiles. I spend significant thought and effort on mine. Here's a piece from Dusty Laviscu's Profile that I find worth sharing.

Submission is not a sign of weakness or inferiority. *Submission does not indicate lack of intelligence or motivation. Most subs are very intelligent, creative & are highly motivated people. *Submission is not a hidden desire for pain or humiliation.*Submission is not the same as passivity. Subs are not passive. They participate actively & are thinking individuals. *Submission is not something that can be demanded or forced. The definition of the word means it is a willing act. A sub submits because they have chosen to do so, not because someone forced them. *Submission is not a miserable state of existence. Most subs are happy, well balanced people who are simply fulfilling their nature. *Submission is not slavery. A sub has not given up their right to choose but has given some of those choices to another to make for them. They have input into their relationship & maintain their identity.*Submission does not indicate sexual promiscuity. Subs are not sex crazed nymphomaniacs who cannot control their drives.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Compatibility, Chemistry, & Loneliness

Master SuperMaster says, "A true dominant has no fears or weaknesses."

I want to talk about one of my fears: being lonely, in a SL filled with would-be partners.

It's easy to find sex in SL. But what I seek is hard to find. I seek a combination of intelligence, consideration, creativity, playfulness, sensuality, sexuality, submission, and safety. It's a rare combination. I know it's rare, because as I learn my own tastes better and better, I know my own disappointments more acutely.

The maddening wildcard is chemistry. With one partner, some seemingly-important bits may be missing, and I feel that disappointment all too keenly. Yet I'm still fiercely attracted to the person. At other times, it may seem like everything is just as I would want it, but there's no spark. Do I pursue a hot relationship, despite my hurts and frustrations? Do I spend time where compatibility is strong but my heart doesn't race, hoping that eventually a fire starts?

A relationship with ample passion but significant friction probably won't last. A relationship where at least one partner isn't feeling something deeper than sex probably shouldn't last.

I don't expect easy answers to such questions. Sometimes I just follow impulse and opportunity, and let the ineffable--even incomprehensible--dynamics play out. For example, regardless of compatibility or chemistry, if a partner and I never seem to have the right timing and availability, no amount of interpersonal communication or intrapersonal reflection is going to help. Of course, what drives us all nuts is wondering whether someone is avoiding us, or we're a low priority, or we're being strung along as a fallback opportunity. Or maybe they really are having a busy week, and I just need to breathe.

Deep, lasting relationships take work and compromise and mutual growth. Trust can really only be nurtured over time, through all the small and large choices and reactions, and by being present, day after day. Trust can be nurtured, perhaps most importantly, by sharing our fears and weaknesses. And then by honoring that sharing, with better choices, and by keeping our partners' secrets safe.

Being a dominant is partly about projecting an aura of confidence and strength. Being a good dominant is also about being honest with myself. I don't have many fears, but being lonely is one of them.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Someone asked me about subspace. After I gave my answer, I decided to ask some of my submissive friends whether I got it "right." They liked my answer, so here it is. I'm curious what others would add or change.

Subspace. It's a topic both complex and ill-structured. It's something we could talk about for a very long time. Plenty is written about it. The short version, for me... Subspace is an altered state. It may be accompanied by an external, physical, altered state, like restraints, and/or an internal, physical, altered state, like changes in breathing, pulse and blood pressure (e.g., a rush of blood to the head), muscle tension, and arousal. But the more important dimension of subspace is the mental altered state. Subspace is a place of acceptance and willingness, in which the sub lets go of control, fear, hesitation, and some self-awareness. For different subs with different doms on different days in different scenes, subspace may be easier or harder to enter. Subspace should be an act of trust, although aggressive nonconsensual methods may achieve it (like torture or brainwashing).

A particularly important point to remember is aftercare. When a scene ends and a sub is leaving subspace, the return of control and self-awareness can be disorienting. A dom must be ready to care for the disoriented sub. It can dangerous to leave a sub in subspace or not properly bring her back, both for the experience to sub herself, and because she's vulnerable (e.g., someone else could compel her to break one of her limits, while she's still in subspace).

My choice of pronouns is arbitrary, in this post and throughout this blog. Men, women, or other can be put in subspace by men, women, or other.

I'm happy to talk more about these things.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Reading Postponed: Sore Throat

I won't be reading as planned tonight, because I have a sore throat. I'll resume next Thu 24 Jun 6:30pm SL.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reading: The Master's Manual

Come hear The Master's Manual: A Handbook of Erotic Dominance, by Jack Rinella. Kandr Newall will read aloud every Thu 6:30-7:30 pm SL, at the Blue Angel Poets' Dive, starting 10 Jun. Kandr studies and practices D/s in SL and 1L. He hopes this reading will be entertaining and provocative.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sensuality Azure: Submission Tips

Here is another notecard from my Sensuality Azure training materials. The male dom, female sub language is arbitrary.

1.2 Submission Tips

I've received compliments on my "Dominance Tips." I hope it helps dominants role-play better, leading to more excitement and pleasure for submissives. But! As a dominant, I want more excitement and pleasure, too. :-) So, here are matching tips for subs. This note was vastly improved by several subs who wish to remain anonymous, including one special, clever girl. Thank you. Further suggestions are welcome.

You can find "Dominance Tips" where you found this notecard. Much of that advice applies to submissives, like "7. Pay attention to detail."

1. First impressions count.
2. Dress for success.
3. Hunt. Be hunted. Or move on.
4. Kneel with your body and your mind.
5. Don't whine.
6. Be vivid.
7. Make him feel good.
8. Know your limits.
9. Communication is your responsibility, too.
10. There will be other subs.
* Remember
* Sharing These Materials

1. First impressions count.

Some subs will give a dominant three, four, or five chances to prove his abilities. Alas, there seem to be few doms and many subs. So a sub may not get a second chance. Make the most of any meeting with a new dom: he might be the one you want. To prepare for that opportunity, you should...

2. Dress for success.

You must invest in at least an average-quality shape, skin, and hair. In Gor, you also need at least a few "slave" outfits (silks, camisks, etc.). For your body and clothing, more expensive isn't necessarily better. Also, sometimes it's better to mix and match than to buy your whole look from a single designer. Some subs have so many outfits that they will happily share with a newcomer. Don't be afraid to ask for advice from subs whose look you admire. Shopping and dressing together can be fun bonding experiences!

Props, pose balls, and scripted pussies etc. are a matter of taste. Some doms want you to have them, while others focus more on words (like me). Of course, the right naughty toy can re-inspire any dom. When you can, help other subs with their clothing and appearance. If you can, learn how to make clothing and accessories. Then you can be sure that you look unique. Finally, while doms really do like boobies and bums, naked may not be as sexy as the right combination of clothing and accessories.

3. Hunt. Be hunted. Or move on.

If you want him, let him know. A dom may like eagerness, may like being sought after. If you're available, let him know. A dom may like vulnerability, may like the opportunity and challenge of claiming you. But it's only going to happen if he desires you. Don't be clingy, stubborn, or bitter. Sometimes, he's just not that into you.

4. Kneel with your body and your mind.

Being submissive is more than a physical position. Be available, deferential, and selfless. Make it clear that his opinion matters more, that his choice is the final word. This doesn't mean be stupid or simple. But you are trading one kind of power (independence) for another (his fixation on you). He's a dom partly because he finds your submission very, very sexy. Trust me.

5. Don't whine.

You can waste a lot of your energy and his patience by being loudly bored. Or by being constantly upset by other people's choices. Or by being a bitch. Instead, pour that energy into being attractive to him. Make other subs wish they were in your position. They might even learn by your example!

6. Be vivid.

If you want to grab and hold his attention, be present, provocative, and interactive. He has particular tastes, and you should experiment to discover them. Remember, there are four core kinks to online sexuality: (1) exhibitionism, because you're showing off; (2) voyeurism, because he wants to watch you; (3) dirty talk, because he wants you to talk about his cock and your pussy etc.; and (4) mind control, because you're both connecting through thoughts, not RL touch. Understand these kinks. Be creative and exciting, not just a wet slut. To expand your vocabulary, start with my notecard, "Naughty Lists."

7. Make him feel good.

A dom likes attention, and likes having his ego stroked. Mmm. Ego stroking. Make him feel handsome and desirable. For example, mention his tight abs, strong chin, or cute ass. Be careful to say it like you mean it: crap smells the same no matter where you are.

Even if you've earned his collar, you still need to show your adoration, and to keep things hot. Keep flirting. Keep teasing. If he's good, there are probably half a dozen subs trying to get his attention. But you've got the advantage, because you can greet him in his own house. Wearing whatever. Kneeling on the furs.

8. Know your limits.

What squicks you? You'll probably change your mind from time to time. But if you're not clear with yourself and with him, things can get awkward or messy. Not the good kind of messy. At the very least, if your limits aren't clear or relatively stable, you'll confuse him. A good starting place for thinking about and discussing limits is my notecard, "20 Questions for Tops & Bottoms."

9. Communication is your responsibility, too.

A dom may be very busy, especially if he has a business or a leadership role. It's reasonable to expect some communication, about when he might be available, or what he wants from you. Just remember, there is a fine line between being engaging and being overly chatty. Pay attention to what he says and how he says it. Short IMs? Probably in a hurry, so make your response pleasant and to the point. Talkative? Demonstrate that you're listening. Irritated? Try being soothing, even distracting. He will adore you for being thoughtful and undemanding.

10. There will be other subs.

He will look. He will touch. He may have sex. He may own several subs. If you want to be his first choice, you have to work for it. Don't just get jealous. Get creative. Keep his interest by being interesting. The novelty of something new is magical, but you can be new again and again, if you are creative.


Submission is beautiful and sexy. You have something a dom wants. If you properly inspire him, he will show his appreciation. If you're lacking in any way, you can work on it, and improve. The tips in this note are a starting place. Talk with other subs. Talk with doms. Become the sub you want to be.

Sharing These Materials

This notecard is part of a collection called "Sensuality Azure by Kandr Newall". This collection is licensed as Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike ( Please don't sell this notecard. Please distribute and modify this notecard freely. Please credit Kandr Newall as the original author.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Being Real

I'm not ashamed that a good part of my life is online. It's *real* people... being more real and out there and sharing more commonalities and likes and hobbies than I find in the people I go to barbecues with once a year. And they don't *leave* when life takes them places - because online is always in the same place.

And I want to sit, for once, with a guy and have him look over at me, and not be so concerned about what they don't have in front of them - that they dismiss what they do have in front of them. Because I'm a pretty amazing experience in myself.

-Beloved Primary

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reminder: Reading starts tonight

Come hear The Master's Manual: A Handbook of Erotic Dominance, by Jack Rinella. Kandr Newall will read aloud every Thu 8-9 pm SL, at the Blue Angel Poets' Dive, starting 10 Jun. Kandr studies and practices D/s in SL and 1L. He hopes this reading will be entertaining and provocative.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Courage to Break

This is an OOC post. I wrote this essay for Task 7 on the Elite Molesteri RP certification track in Dark Den. Since I've abandoned that track, this essay won't see broad IC circulation (i.e., it won't appear in the Dark Den blog, as planned). However, some copies are out there IC, so it's possible for you to read it IC.


The Courage to Break

What would cause a woman to place her long-term wellness in the hands of a man? More specifically, why would a woman join the Sisterhood of Eternal Love, and how should I honor a woman who earns the privilege?

Sex can be immensely pleasurable. Sex mixed with D/s can be deeply glorious, at least for those of us who enjoy power exchange. But deep submission is a long step farther: a commitment to be fully open and available, always ready to serve a man's whims and desires. That's a powerful choice. It's the choice a woman must make to join the Sisterhood.

Men leave. That's the gray truth, relayed to me by nearly every fertile woman I've met in Dark Den. Many Dominants and other seducers come to Dark Den, and the evidence of their virility is boldly writ on the swell of tummies. But there are few fathers here.

Perhaps it's enough for a woman, if she has only the memories of such focused attention and primal sex, in which a man gave his best to her. I say "best", because if the man's passions were only for her pussy, then the best of him is whatever she keeps after he roams onward. Does she hope to recognize something in her baby? His eyes? His hair? Or perhaps she wants to untangle the fading echoes of that passion and keep them separate, like in a scrapbook. Perhaps she wants to just immerse herself in the knowledge that a great joy is coming.

Can a feminist be a submissive? I cheerfully reject that hierarchies of power naturally follow gender. I have met strong women and weak men. I'm not easily dominated, but it's a continuum, and I'm not on the end. I believe my dominance is a mix of attitude, perspective, ability, and skill. My dominance is closely tied to my masculinity. But I don't see manhood as necessary or sufficient for dominance.

I realize that from my place of male privilege, my perspective on feminism is suspect. But please indulge me. Feminism is partly about freeing a woman to make her own choices, as a reaction to forces that narrow or remove a woman's choices through targeted or ubiquitous means (e.g., blatant, unquestionable patriarchal authority; subtle, misogynist cultural norms). A society can frame choices or make them inconsequential, by how it handles issues like reproductive freedom. But suppose a woman chooses to have her choices taken away? Does harm automatically follow?

I'll be specific. Can the D/s practiced by the Elite Molesteri and the Sisterhood of Eternal Love be repressive? Absolutely. It can also be liberating. No group, subculture, or protocol can perfectly and consistently cleave any abuse from what should only be hard love. Even two men using the same protocol can elicit wildly different responses from a woman. It always comes down to the relationship itself. At best, in a deliberate subculture like EM and the Sisterhood, we can more easily find chemistry and compatibility, and healthy, passionate enjoyment.

At best, the EM and Sisterhood can be a union greater than any two people. It can be a set of values for newcomers to explore and identify with. They can try on a role in D/s in a fresh way, free from the onerous or narrow definitions of other subcultures, books, or worlds. If the roles fit, then they can enjoy some of the same commitment and shared values of a Master-slave collar, but in a more communal way. Together, we can celebrate the beauty of submissive women, including the natural and glorious cycle of fertility and procreation, and the allure of round and soft feminine bodies.

At worst, the EM and Sisterhood are destructive to women. Soaring hopes can crash into bitter shards. You can throw a party and no one comes. You have a deep urge to serve a man's pleasure fully, and no man chooses you. Cynicism is always waiting for a new member, and even has active recruiters.

Still, women seek the Sisterhood. They display the courage to kneel, to serve, perhaps to break. They hope for men to take ownership of them and to care for them. As one Sister told me, they hope to be protected "so that we can focus only on you and not on our petty selves." They deeply yearn to be caught, to be for a time just female and sexual, and yet something more. Goddess-touched. With luck and the teasing play of light across her hair, a woman can take a man's breath away. She can be worthy of the best of him, or at least what remains after sunrise.

So I offer myself to the Elite Molesteri, and by extension, to the Sisterhood. I offer my passion, intelligence, creativity, sensuality, and virility. Furthermore, I offer my honor, as demonstrated in this essay, and in my conduct in Glint.

Why would a woman submit? I don't fully know. But I'm not done trying to learn.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kandr not seeking EM

((This is an IC post. Kandr is withdrawing from consideration for the Elite Molesteri. He will offer this explanation to any who asks, and encourage them to share it with anyone interested.))

I have decided to halt my progress on the path of the Elite Molesteri. I no longer wish to join this esteemed group, much less lead it. I know this will come as a surprise, perhaps an unpleasant one. I will explain.

When I first arrived in Dark Den, I had never engaged in breeding, and I didn't think I would enjoy it. So first I proved myself on my own terms ((Freestyle)). I fell in love with the People's Republic of Glint, both the land and the community. I wanted to help, and the EM seemed in need of some strong, compassionate leadership. I also wanted to better understand D/s as it's practiced here. Since I've completed most of the path to full EM membership, I understand the EM and the Sisterhood far better than I could have otherwise. With that greater understanding, I realize now that the EM aren't right for me, and I'm not right for the EM. In the past, the glorious many-to-many relationship of the EM and the Sisterhood would have been perfect for me. But now, I wish to focus my greatest passions on only a few partners. The Sisterhood deserves men with more to give to more.

I'm not leaving Dark Den. I'm not resuming the use of contraceptives. But I'm no longer seeking to join the EM. I'll continue to seek ways to help in this community, especially in matters of D/s. This includes D/s related and unrelated to EM and the Sisterhood. ((I'm resting on my completed Freestyle path. I'm an Inspector. I'm wearing the Mama Allpa HUD.))

I'm grateful to those EM, Sisters, and others who helped me learn and progress on the path to full Molesteri status. Thank you.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Reading: The Master's Manual

Come hear The Master's Manual: A Handbook of Erotic Dominance, by Jack Rinella. Kandr Newall will read aloud every Thu 8-9 pm SL, at the Blue Angel Poets' Dive, starting 10 Jun. Kandr studies and practices D/s in SL and 1L. He hopes this reading will be entertaining and provocative.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sensuality Azure: Dominance Tips

In the past, I've held public classes on in SL. The topics included D/s. Over time, I assembled my materials under the title Sensuality Azure, and I've used them in training. I'll share some of the more interesting and useful materials here.

1.1 Dominance Tips

Over the years, I've been privileged to be part of IC scenes and OOC conversations with some sexy, well-written submissives. As a dominant, I've paid close attention, because these much-sought-after individuals sometimes talk about disappointing RP and sex. The art of pleasing submissives (and thus playing with them again/often) can't be reduced to a list. But some mistakes seem to occur so frequently that maybe some kind of list would help. I'm not an expert, and further suggestions are very welcome. But without further ado...

1. Ask, or you'll never get any.
2. Know what you want, or at least guess.
3. Focus on the person you're with.
4. Strive for pose-length and -quality compatibility.
5. There are more than two erogenous zones.
6. Read your partner's profile.
7. Pay attention to detail.
8. Foreplay is everything.
9. Sex is good. Sex with RP is better.
10. Write well: creative, vivid, contextual, timely.
* Sharing These Materials

1. Ask, or you'll never get any.

Most submissives here are actively looking for sensual RP at least, with a very good chance of something more. Remember 8th grade dances, with most of the girls on one side of the room and most of the boys on the other? Didn't you wish you were one of the boys brave enough to actually be dancing with someone soft and sweet-smelling?

2. Know what you want, or at least guess.

If I had a nickel for every time a submissive complains that a dominant wants her to lead a scene.... Try truth in advertising: if you don't want to be a dom, don't suit up as one. From my own experience, I'm happily amazed at what I can get away with by projecting confidence.

3. Focus on the person you're with.

If she's graced you with her attention, don't spend your poses wistfully watching another leave, or squander your opportunity IMing elsewhere. You may think she won't notice, but according to her, she already has.

4. Strive for pose-length and -quality compatibility.

Some people like short and brisk poses. Some like longer and more literary. Pay attention to your partner, but don't spend so long composing that she hears crickets.

5. There are more than two erogenous zones.

Her breasts are a nice place to visit, and she probably won't mind your arrival at her pussy. But what about her lips, neck, back, hips, thighs, toes, and anywhere else the Goddess gave her nerve clusters? If only there was a way to learn what gets her off. Oh, right…

6. Read your partner's profile.

She spent time and thought on it. It may even tell you exactly what she wants. Isn't cyberspace cool? Most women are thoughtful, specific, and quite certain about what they like, don't like, and won't do. Being a dominant is not just about what you want. Really.

7. Pay attention to detail.

Mentioning the color of her hair, the lines of her clothing, the feel of your hands on her skin, the sound of your voice: this distinguishes arousing from anatomical. And it shows you're writing for her, not just using generic material.

8. Foreplay is everything.

If you don't understand this, I really don't know what to say. But here goes. On a good day, anyone can probably stretch the description of an orgasm out for a few sentences. Maybe you can be very expressive about thrusting and grunting, but that quickly leads to repetition. What's the opposite of repetition? Creative foreplay. And that's directly related to…

9. Sex is good. Sex with RP is better.

A quick, no-frills shag has its merits, and some women I know even have avatars for just that. But if her profile asks for RP, don't IM "Hey baby! Wanna feel my ten inches?" Creating a rich tapestry takes many threads: flirting, innuendo, shared activities (like shopping), shared sensual activities (like bathing), and more. Women do like sex, and submissive women do like dominant sex, but women also like depth in a relationship, even a fictional one.

10. Write well: creative, vivid, contextual, timely.

It's been said many times, many ways: online, it's the best writers who get laid. Bad speller? Use a word processor, then cut and paste. Use a thesaurus. Try figurative language. Vary sentence length. Read erotica. Read articles on how to write erotica. Work on your keyboarding speed. etc. etc.

Sex is healthy and can be wonderful. You've already distinguished yourself by choosing a co-constructed erotic experience (instead of just surfing porn). If you can confidently promise a submissive sincere, thoughtful, sensual attention (with or without literary excellence), and deliver on that promise, she will remember you. And that means she'll return your future IMs. ;-)

Sharing These Materials

This notecard is part of a collection called "Sensuality Azure by Kandr Newall". This collection is licensed as Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike ( Please don't sell this notecard. Please distribute and modify this notecard freely. Please credit Kandr Newall as the original author.)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Responses to Your Responses, 20-26 May 2010

Moose said: "Remember if your not absolutely lovin it then dont do it!" Just so. Reflecting on our tastes and limits is critical, and we should revisit them periodically, because they may change. Some subs fall into the psychic trap of believing they must frequently or constantly endure experiences that dull or cut their spirit, in order to be "good subs". No. As Moose also said: "Some dominants are just plain bullies or worse. Unfortunately some submissives think being a sub is submitting to abuse."

Moose also talked about "assisting dominants who might be inexperienced." I've starting thinking more about "junior doms and junior subs." We should encourage and nurture newcomers, to grow the community (both Dark Den and the larger D/s and kink community). puyin rightly said that we need to encourage those who are "educable", and politely deter those who aren't, those who Moose says "have no clue what they are doing and will not listen because they think they are doing it right and everyone else is wrong."

My beloved primary rightly balanced my argument about subs challenging Doms, saying that a smart sub may be testing a Dom, to see whether he has the flexibility and cleverness to handle complexity. She wants a Dom to use "my sensuality against me." I can't say it better than that.

I was clumsy in my thoughts on protocol. As puyin amended, I was trying to outline ways that players could demonstrate excellence through their avatars. I unwisely mixed it in with my discussion of enforcement. Subs with the right attitude should be encouraged and reinforced, regardless of their players' present skills. Any IC correction should probably be coupled with OOC IMs, to ensure that protocol play is enjoyable for both. My larger point was that Doms and subs should think about each others' experiences, since D/s should be about mutual pleasure, not lockstep adherence to protocol.

I like the open structure at Dark Den very much, and I wouldn't want to see it changed, or limited to D/s or BDSM. Specific subcultures might want to be more organized and D/s oriented (e.g., Sisterhood, EM, the relationship between Sisterhood and EM), but people should be free to play in other ways (i.e., by not joining the Sisterhood if they don't like how it's organized).

I like ROPE. I've completed the certification. I recommend the classes and examination process. I'm a very experienced role-player, and I learned some new things.

Take-in-Hand is very intriguing. Thank you, Tami, for calling our attention to it. I'm still reading and processing on it.

Regarding what I'm calling classic D/s, with male Dom and female sub... Arguments about what's natural or found among other animals have limited appeal to me, for D/s or homosexuality or whatever. We are animals, and we are sentient. Both aspects of our nature matter. I want everyone to enjoy themselves and the partner(s) of their choice, in healthy relationships that stroke their kinks and make them ultimately feel fulfilled. I love the live-and-let-live climate in Dark Den, and I hope that any partners in any combination or of gender, species, and D/s (or not) feel welcome. (Obviously, I'm not referring to combinations that violate our OOC rules.)

Personally, I find strong ties between my identity as a man and my identity as a dominant. But I don't assume that others find the same match in their identities, nor assume that I am the right man or the right dominant for every submissive woman I meet.

Some of you talked about the shortage of men. I'll probably say more about that in a future post.

Finally, repeatedly and respectfully... the reason I'm focused on D/s in this blog is because I was asked to offer some vision and provocation about D/s in Dark Den, as a D/s Coach. And because that's why I'm in SL: sensuality, sexuality, and D/s. I have a voice in Dark Den, but it's one among many. Thanks to all of you for sharing your voices so far.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Sculpting, Bonsai, & Perspective Taking

Master SuperMaster says, "A true Dom doesn't care what a sub wants. A true Dom knows what kind of sub he wants, and does whatever is necessary to make the sub that kind of sub."

I read a beautiful essay by a sub, about the difference between sculpting marble and shaping a bonsai tree. A block of marble has distinct properties, in its composition and striations. While a sculptor must respect these properties, he can more or less directly create whatever he envisions. A tree is far more unique, especially because it's dynamic. It responds to water, light, pruning, and wire. So a tree can be shaped purposefully, but only indirectly, and there are limits.

Bonsai is the art of learning the tree-that-is and the tree-that-can-be. Dominance should be the art of learning the sub-that-is and the sub-that-can-be. There is nothing wrong with a Dom preferring a certain kind of sub. If so, he should be expressive about his preference, and thoughtful about the subs he chooses. He shouldn’t try to make a different kind of sub feel inferior, over what may just be a matter of taste. If a bonsai tree is not a flowering species, no amount of bondage or shouting will make it blossom.

Communication is essential to a successful D/s relationship. Communication is more effective if the Dom knows some of the right questions to ask and topics to discuss. How can the Dom do this? Perspective taking.

Empathy is a natural animal ability. We can vicariously experience the elation, distress, or pain of someone in our pack. We can sharpen our empathy, by attending to our vicarious experiences, and checking our perceptions through communication.

Perspective taking is a deliberate mental skill. We can try to imagine what someone is thinking and feeling. A Dom can mentally simulate a sub’s state of being. Many subs use perspective taking, either intuitively or through self-directed effort. They try to anticipate their Doms’ wants and needs, and are better subs for it. Some Doms seem mystified about a sub’s state of being, or simply don’t care. They seem to only focus on what the sub says or does.

I practice perspective taking a variety of ways. For example, I try to think like a sub would think, if she were playing a Dom. Thus, after a particularly good intimate experience, I might send an affectionate notecard or long IM the next day, just as I might send flowers to my lover in my 1st life.

Perspective taking is part of being a good Dom. It overlaps the same way that teaching is part of being a good Dom. I’m a teacher in my 1st life. In education, we say that the beginning teacher asks, "How am I doing?" The advanced teacher asks, "How are my students doing?" The advanced Dom asks, “How is my sub doing?”

Perspective taking is also part of good etiquette. In Dark Den, many of us have been discussing the value of “respect.” For example, when you meet someone new, do you respect them until they lose your respect, or do you start with no respect, and expect them to earn it? How you answer says something about whether and how you imagine the experience of being a newcomer, and how you want a newcomer to feel.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Respect a Master's choice

AvaAdore: *taps her public address system microphone* Condom's name is Condom, call her that or go to jail. Love, Prez

Kandr Newall chuckles at the announcement. "Speaking of fundamentals of D/s. Yeesh."

Cara Lionheart shakes her head "I don't get the controversy. It's her name. Given by her Master. End of story"

Just so.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quote: Violence & Discipline

Dark Den includes a strong theme of male Dominance and female submission. Can we call that classic D/s? This theme is delicious for me. Of course, it's far from the only combination of power exchange. For example, I'm bi, and I'm a shade switch.

Many of the best quotes about D/s are about classic D/s. For example, the novels of Gor offer many inspiring and steamy quotable assertions. Unfortunately, these quotes are often buried in the otherwise ponderous and lame writing. Thank the gods for the fans who have labored through the novels, and put the best stuff on the web. I stopped after book 5.

Today's quote isn't from Gor. It's from Clan of the Cave Bear. My beloved primary describes the sequel, Valley of the Horses, as a strong, early influence on her sexuality. To better understand my beloved, I'm going to read Valley. I'm starting with Clan.

Any quote has limited value, especially taken out of context. But nevertheless, a really good quote can make me go, "Ohhhhh yes. Just so." Here is today's quote:

A man did not prove his manhood, in Brun's opinion, by overcoming women. Women had no alternative but to submit. It was unworthy of a man to pit himself against a lesser adversary or to allow his emotions to be provoked by a woman. It was a man's duty to command women, to maintain discipline, to hunt and provide, to control his emotions, and to show no sign of pain when he was suffering. A woman might be cuffed if she was lazy or disrespectful, but not in anger and not with joy, only to discipline. -Clan of the Cave Bear, p.66

Of meetings, management, and Masters

I don't plan to post here every day. But now that my first posts got your attention, perhaps you're wondering what's next. Answer: a pause.

There's some tension in Dark Den, and it's not just IC. Over the past few days, I've been spending hours meeting with the leaders and some of the major stakeholders. We're making good progress towards some changes that will reduce the tension, and let everyone, including the leaders, get back to focusing on what matters most: relationships with their closest lovers, and fun, kinky RP and sex.

I've asked everyone to step back from the IC conflict for a bit, while we sort out some things behind the scenes. Hopefully, we'll build consensus on the changes, and then go public with them.

That's why I haven't been posting here. When I've not been mediating or working on theme, I've wanted to enjoy some fun, kinky RP and sex myself.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Do your knees hurt?

Thank you for the many prompt and passionate responses to my first posts. I've directly heard from many people in SL, too. We clearly have a lot to discuss. I'll come back and respond to some of your comments in future posts.

Today, I want talk about protocol. Sin Flanagan has ICly been publicly pushing from a more detailed, universal protocol in Dark Den.

Gor appeals to many people in SL, because the protocol for kajira is clear and detailed. A Dom or sub can read about it in detail: both the novels, and the digests and interpretations of the fan community. A sub can find extensive guidance on how to appear, speak, move, and serve. Within this protocol, she can distinguish herself by self-discipline, conversation, flirting, vivid writing, and clever interpretations of routine actions, like assuming a nadu-style kneel with a particularly provocative description.

Gor doesn't do much for me anymore. I like variety. Sometimes, the most interesting kajira I met clearly had submissive personas at odds with the protocol. They were like beautiful, wild mares, harnessed to one of those merry-go-round pony rides we see at country fairs. I'm not saying all kajira are docile ponies; some are exceedingly hot and captivating. I just don't like seeing a woman dampened by a protocol that hobbles her. The impressive critical mass of Gor in SL pressures women to do this.

I like variety. I like a sub who uses her particular strengths to be pleasing. If she's not at her best when kneeling in a camisk, she should try something else.

Some of the women in DD practice the kajira protocol. I find it delightful. Perhaps this is because a sub is choosing a protocol that fits her, rather than a universal protocol handed out at the arrival point.

With one of my slaves, I started laying out a detailed protocol. There were more than 15 rules when I abandoned using specific rules. Instead, I taught her five broad principles. I believe she is intelligent and creative enough to respond to specific situations appropriately, based on the five principles. Does she always interpret a situation the way I would? No. That's part of the pleasure, for both of us. I'll say more about my five principles in a future post.

So, I'm not a fan of a detailed, universal protocol, at least IC. OOC, I wouldn't mind some universal protocol in DD. It might make the "PRG Excellent RPer" title even more meaningful. What kind of protocol would I enjoy and be willing to enforce? It would include things like:

* Respond to a Dom with at least equal length and speed. If I'm posting 2-4 lines every 3 minutes or less, I crave the same in response. I've literally missed some subs' minimal responses in the chat spam of a crowd.
* Pay attention to what a Dom does. Recently, at different times and with different women, I've invaded personal space or touched her body, with no response. Perhaps as a player I come across as too much of a teddy bear. But the character would expect a flinch, or an indrawn breath, or even a clear attempt to ignore the presumption.
* Use your body. There's a lot of nudity in Dark Den. Marvelous. But by giving up clothing and accessories, a sub can reduce herself to an anatomy illustration. Within any RP, consider describing how you hair moves when you turn your head, how the muscles in your thighs stretch as you shift position, how the sun kisses your smooth skin, or the bead of sweat rolling between your breasts. There are some gorgeous bodies in Dark Den. But the avatar should just be the beginning.

Just the beginning... Protocol should be the start, not the end, of excellence. One of my favorite scenes in Gor started like this:

"Master, this girl's knees are aching. May she please stand and massage your shoulders?"