Article: The Search for a S-type Partner

This is the last of three articles that considers what dating issues to keep in mind if you want to ease on into a power exchange partnership. This article is for those who want to find their S – type (submissive or slave).

How can I know if my dating partner is The One? Let’s think of how a person prepares to be in a power exchange relationship. Just how does a dominant dating person sharpen their focus to reach a goal of finding their S (submissive or slave)?

Things to Know from the Get-go

Think of dating as your own personal system of discovery. Your goal should always be dominance/submission partnership. Always be headed toward negotiations. Negotiations officially mark the beginning of a wonderful structured (your agreements) relationship.

How Prepared are You to Be a Partner

Dominant is not domineering. Dominance/submission calls for real leadership. You can check out your leadership muscles by reading business leadership classics like Whale Done by Kenneth Blanchard. Peter Masters’ The Control Book is excellent for understanding the power dynamic. Additionally, Raven Kaldera’s Building the Team and Dear Raven and Joshua teach a M/s model that shows D-type and the S-type responsibilities as complementary. Read a lot.

Dominants take the most responsibility for the structural elements of the relationship.  Expect to have the most focus on macro items like the direction of the relationship. Find a good mentor if you are new.  Cultivate healthy community for yourself now and later for you and your partner.

Be prepared to articulate an excellent description of your understanding of dominance/submission. Be ready to answer questions about how you would like to proceed.  Be flexible in your thinking.  Practice inclusive decision making so that you and your partner can act as an effective team.

In the Big Picture What Should a S-type Be?

Self-assurance, self-respect, and self-development equal healthy self-efficacy as opposed to dependency.  Learn to recognize the difference.  How well does the S-type speak up about their needs?

Think of the S-type as the implementing partner.  The implementing partner takes your mutually held goals and runs with them.  You want a good follow-through kind of partner.  You should be experiencing their supportive energy and actions even as you date.

Your right person consistently will show you kindness, respect, and support as your dating history accumulates.

What are the Traits of Your Ideal S – type?

Know what your Dealbreakers are and be honest enough to discuss these openly and early. Your Must Have list should be short if it is to be realistic.  Now, keep these in mind but hold them loosely, not with a closed-minded iron hand.

You, the dominant, must lead explicit discussions about control in the relationship. You should really like and enjoy the S-person’s reactions to what you have to say. How you handle yourself in one situation after another should be a shared pleasure.

Notice when your Big, Bad Dom(me) energy seems to rise to the surface. This is a good clue about the S-partner that you need. Can you associate this feeling with any people traits?  For instance, in the movies a strong, independent hero(ine) comes on the screen and your dom(me) energy swells. Or, the hero part of the film comes and you see yourself as that hero saving the day for some curly haired, dimple-cheeked sub girl or boy.  Was it the dark curly hair or the dimples that did it for you?

What Should You Avoid While Power Exchange Dating?

We, all, want to avoid dishonest, unethical people. Ask the person you are dating for references and check them.  If they balk then consider their absence in your life as no loss.

You want to avoid manipulation and power grabs. Power With, not Power Over.  Power With refers to sharing and true consent throughout the relationship, inclusiveness, excellent communication strategies, and empowerment for all.  Power Over equals abuse. At the first signs of manipulation you have serious decisions to make about whether you are going forward.  As for power grabs from the S side, watch out for struggles over control.  You want to be vigilant about control that’s been ceded to you but then withdrawn later—a power grab from the S side.  Such struggles can be dealt with or maybe this isn’t your person.

Some S-types will seem to run out of energy and/or lose focus as time passes. In that case, avoid a second date.

Always be Headed toward Negotiations

You, the dominant, should want to conclude dating with formal negotiations. Be gracious even if your date isn’t The One for You at This Time. But with one or more prospective S-types you’ll notice an easy partnership forming over time. Through your agreement-making you and your S-type partner are forming a vision of who you want to be.  Congrats.###

Mistress Sky is a lifestyle domme in Massachusetts.  She teaches and writes about a variety of dominance/submission topics and, sometimes, about other BDSM subjects.

copyright 2016 Sky Gates.  You may use any part of this article including the entire article as long as you give proper credit to me.  Thank you.

Article: Your Search for the Just Right Dominant

How can I know if my dating partner is The One? When we consider this question in a dominance/submission light it becomes more than just a dating advice question. Let’s consider how a dating person might sharpen their focus to increase the likelihood of finding their D (dominant).

This is the second of three articles that consider what issues to keep in mind if you want to ease on into a D/S (M/s) partnership. This article is for those who seek a D-type.

Things to Know from the Get-go

  1. First, distinguish in your own mind that you are different from the general dating crowd.

2.You want a life partner who is strongly committed to power exchange. You want them to build a long-term sustainable loving relationship . . . with you.

3.Consider what you have to offer a potential mate, as well.

4.Then, date.  Have fun. Think of dating as your own personal system of discovery.

5.Your goal should be to settle into dominance/submission partnership.

6.Last, always be headed toward negotiations. Negotiations officially mark the beginning of a wonderful structured (agreement-based) relationship.

How Prepared are You to Be a Partner

Yes, it really is a good idea to give some honest thought to your own preparedness. Think “partner” all the while you are dating. “Partner” in short means being a continuously active contributor toward the good health of the relationship. So, what do you have to offer? Maybe, you are college-educated or highly skilled. Are you a professional chef or a wonderful home cook? Organizational skills? How developed are your soft skills such as being a really good listener, having patience, being observant?

How able are you to speak about your needs? Can you speak up for yourself? It’s a good idea to work on being a clear communicator.

In the Big Picture What Should a D-type Be?

You want to see self-assurance, self-respect, and evidence that self-development is important. What kind of dominance/submission is this person practicing? The dominant takes the most responsibility for structural elements like where the relationship is going and monitoring the health of the relationship. Is this the relationship container that you want to walk into and live within? How much experience does this person have? Do you mind if they have little experience and are proposing that you learn together? If that’s the case, then what’s their plan for learning?

What are the Traits of Your Ideal D–type?

Notice how your date behaves with other people. How decisive are they? How kind are they? Where is the evidence that they genuinely care about others? Know what your Dealbreakers are.

Write down your own deeply-held Must Haves. Perhaps you feel a deep thrill inside when you submit to a big-bodied, physically strong dominant. Perhaps, what your Deeper Self is hungry for is a big brain intellectual. Maybe at the top of your list is a very spiritually-oriented dominant. Maybe an energetic, fun, goofy personality or a sports lover is what gets your gut excited.

What Should You Avoid While Power Exchange Dating?

Vet your prospective dominant. Your search is for someone who is ethical and caring. Ask the person you are dating for references and check them. If they balk then consider their absence in your life as no loss.

Remember—deference is in your submissive hands. You and the dominant should be able to talk explicitly about control. As long as you are comfortable with the slanting of power and control then great. Did it happen at a deliberate pace that makes you feel good? Are you giving up some control because you want to do so?

You want to avoid manipulation and power grabs. Dominance does not mean domineering. Dominance should always mean true leadership. A real leader practices Power With, not Power Over. Power With refers to sharing, true consent throughout the relationship, inclusiveness, excellent communication strategies, and empowerment for all. Power Over equals abuse.

Use your intuition to stay safe. It’s a natural alarm system. Listen to it and ACT. If a situation supports your empowerment then go forth. If your gut is gripping tight even a little then HOLD UP. If things are questionable now during dating don’t think that they will improve once you, two, commit. Don’t make excuses for the other person’s behavior.

Don’t feel stuck. Ever. Initial consent is not final. Repeatedly review if you have what you want and if this is what makes you giddy.

Always be Headed toward Negotiations

Now, you are considering this person seriously. You will have noticed an easy partnership forming over time. Time for formal negotiations. Some people like relationship contracts, a non-legal document that sets down your agreements. It feels great to form agreements and live by them. With or without a contract, your joint intention is to meet all needs. Go forth into your wonderful future as a healthy, happy D/s (M/s) couple, negotiating again and again as needed.###

Mistress Sky is a lifestyle domme in Massachusetts.  She teaches and writes about a variety of dominance/submission topics and, sometimes, about other BDSM subjects.
Copyrighted 2016 Sky Gates.  You may use any part of this article including the entire article as long as you give proper credit to me.  Thank you.

Article: Power Exchange Dating

While there is plenty of kink to be had solo there is no power exchange without a partner or partners. Gotta get out there and rub yourself a little somethin’. Mingle. Talk to people. Engage with the kinky masses. Once you do, you may not call what you do “dating” and that’s okay.  But, is that just because it’s happening inside the BDSM world?

This is the first of three articles that will discuss dating for those of us who love the power exchange. The world would spin a little better if everyone or, at least, some of us, kinky people, could find their best partners. Here are two strategies that might give power exchange seekers their best chance: kink play and vanilla dating.

Dating Strategy #1: Kink play/relationship

Kinky singles may start their search for a prospective mate at munches, clubs, and at kink events. Within these like-minded herds a kinky single can get busy:  talking with people, watching or participating in demos, and probably with play. Kinky singles are everywhere. That’s true:  private parties, kink events, ticket-purchase public parties, conferences, and clubs.

Public or private play might give you your first experiences with negotiations with the person you like. Remember that negotiations are not a guarantee.  Rather, negotiations are an exercise in working cooperatively. They are an active proof of whether you should go forward. Doesn’t that sound something like negotiating later to see if you should go forward into a relationship?

Your play experiences, public or private, are likely to be good relationship practice. Play partners have to trust each other. Play partners have to communicate well.  Play partners have to be flexible and work together. Kinky play done well can give you good practice being a good listener.  You can practice  speaking up for yourself.  Play sessions will help you with being sensitive to your partner’s needs.

Sex can be part of your assessment. Sex for some people demonstrates how well or not a desirable shift in power has happened.  Did control already defer to the dominant?  How much control?  Are the dating partners ready to commit?

Dating Strategy #2: start with vanilla dating

In strategy number two we have vanilla people who might cross over into the kink world.   They continue into a kink-centric, power exchange relationship. Their deliberate agreements and commitment are kink normal. If they had remained in the vanilla world they might only have known about the boyfriend/girlfriend model. It says that love is enough to support making a life together.  The ubiquitous vanilla world, boyfriend/girlfriend model is not known for its deliberate or explicit agreement–making as necessary.

A woman at a munch spoke about why vanilla dating still had value for kinky people.  She said that you have to know each other first.

It’s also possible that kinky people may step out for a little vanilla dating activity. Sure, why not. The dating couple can step into non-kink as a deliberate choice. Their challenge is to know each other better. They might see a few new movies, stroll along the lake, travel to the Caribbean, and take up rock climbing before returning to BDSM environments and the lifestyle.

A dominant male once said, “there is life and self outside of kink that has to be dealt with.” In his own life, by way of example, there’s how to coordinate three live-in adults and a part-time adult plus X–number of children all in one household.

Think about vanilla dating as a means for trust building. Imagine brave kinky couples contemplating a committed relationship. They are taking their negotiating skills, their play scene partnering experiences, and more from the kink world into the vanilla world. The test is whether they can like and love each other as equals first. They’ll apply the higher level of trust that they’ve worked to achieve to a relationship as dominant and sub/slave. Their kink muscles will be stronger and serve them well along the whole journey of growing closer.

Multiple Paths to Dating Success

On either of these paths or their variations anyone wanting a successful dating result should take a high interest in their date’s wants and needs.  Avoid using people just as a means to get what you want. By concentrating on your dating partner’s needs you are more likely to find the pleasure and satisfaction you sought for yourself. The power exchange requires strong partnering. Behaving like a partner even in a light sense during dating can only set a solid footing toward the stable, long-term relationship you most desire.

Copyright 2016 Selenite Press.  You are welcome to quote my article and to copy it without any kind of alteration.  Be sure to give proper credit to the author, Sky Gates.  Thank you for your interest.

Essay: More Fun for More Crossdressers

I’d like to offer my opinions that might help my CD buddies to find what they are looking for whether it is a mistress or their next play friend.  My remarks are with male cross dressers, not female, in mind.

Anecdotally, we understand that the majority of dommes are not interested in gender bending in their s-type person or in diluting their male’s masculine presentation.  I make that statement from my own experiences with both dommes and with CDs.  More than a few CDs have shared their experiences with me.  But that being said, the pond is still broad for the guy in size thirteen stilettos because

  1. there is still a significant number of dommes who dearly love CDs and
  2. there are plenty more dominant females—not dommes—who love CDs and
  3. some CDs might choose to sometimes lead with a different kink and make cross dressing secondary, thus, broadening who is available to them.

What do cross dressing males want more than new shoes, a perfect form fitting retro-style dress, and little white gloves?  Acceptance.  Not so different than what the rest of us want, right?  He wants a female who is tickled to see him in his new pumps.  The female in his fantasies loves to go there with him as she zips up the dress that’s just the right color for his complexion.  They both move emotionally and psychologically into the feminine as only they together can formulate that concept.  He’s attempting to use himself as an altar to the feminine/Feminine.  She accepts and encourages his gift.  How crazy intimate is that?  What’s perfect is finding all those females who are in on worshiping the feminine/Feminine by partnering in a cross dressing sort of way.

It’s important to know what dominant females need relative to masculine and feminine energy:

  1. Some need to draw the masculine toward them, not the feminine.  They need masculine energy to balance their own representation of the feminine.  They have no use for the energy of cross dressing—a male in drag?  It makes no sense to them.  A handful of these dommes are unfriendly even hostile toward CDs who dare to approach them.  Other dommes express disinterest.  The fem end of the masculine range is unattractive to this group.  What’s at issue, more importantly, for this group is power and control.  By approaching this group as a male in female clothing then the domme is already offended because dressing himself is an act out of her control.  She did not tell you to dress or dress in this fem way or dress in a manner that is not going to be to her liking.  A secondary offense might be his apparent assumption that she was going to be pleased with a male in female clothing.
  2. The second group is very different. They are motivated to join the CD in his pursuit of the feminine represented as the top of the heap (female superiority, goddess worship, and other similar formulations).  Some dominants humiliate the CD or make fun of him in a playful way.  Some CDs love this kind of deliberate consensual tension in the relationship.  It’s fun for both.  These dommes vary in their direct involvement with his make up and dress.  They might shop together.  She might choose his clothing to wear for a scene or for daily wear (like the maid’s costume).

2b. Other pairs take a softer approach that has nothing to do with humiliation games.  The dominant encourages the CD’s fem dress and strikes an attitude that is similar to that of a pet owner.  She feels protective of him.  These dommes may be very hands on and help their CD male to dress. They may go shopping together. Both domme and sub CD benefit from together holding a delicious intimate secret of feminization.

  1. There is a third group that makes cross dressing a secondary item in the relationship, that is, it isnota contributing factor in the power dynamic.  The domme has accepted her sub or slave partner for other reasons such as they both love spanking or bondage or both as their main kink.  But he feels most like himself when he is in fem dress.  She is fine with him dressing up but it doesn’t do anything for her specifically.  It may be true that cross dressing enhances sub mind for him but the domme just isn’t interested in playing to that fact as part of their dynamic.  Cross dressing does nothing for her sense of dominance.

Understand that cross dressing is a phenomenon driven by the gender bending person as opposed to what we call “the feminization of males.”  That latter phrase refers to the female driving the action.  She is entertained by feminizing her male.  She puts him in female underwear and high heels by her own hand or simply orders him to dress for her.  Feminization does, indeed, play into her dominance while cross dressing may or may not.

It’s a good idea to re-examine how to approach a dominant female.  We, all, struggle at analyzing an online profile.  Should we or shouldn’t we send this person a message?  Based on the what she wrote do I stand a reasonable chance at receiving a positive response or any response at all?  If there is no indication in her profile that she is interested in cross dressing or feminization of the male then usually the best thing to do is to steer clear.  Why go to the door of someone who is not in the same hemisphere you are in?  However, the CD male can take a chance on anyone by politely asking if Mistress/Madam/Lady takes an interest in cross dressing or in feminizing the male or includes such in her play.  Hopefully, the CD applicant will receive a polite response back.  If the answer is no then move on without an ill thought.

The CD male can also keep in mind yet another option.  He can sometimes not lead with fem for the purpose of gaining more play partners, dommes and not-dommes.  Examine someone’s profile for the interests expressed there that he shares.  She loves electrostimulation.  He likes it, too.  The more shared interests the better.  The CD male could then approach the Lady as a prospective electro play partner or whatever the interest is.  “Oh, and, in addition to our many shared interests you might be interested to know that I am a cross dresser.”  If you share this information only in your profile plus during the interview that’s fair, too.  If she isn’t into cross dressing you were already prepared to play in the other ways that please her.  The prospective dominant might go for it.  Dropping or downplaying the fem-self on a part time basis will only be comfortable for some CDs and definitely not for others.

My friends, broaden the field in which you operate.  Don’t play a zero sum game based on the false notion that every domme or every female is going to be delighted by and desirous of your dress and heels and makeup.  By being flexible about giving the prospective dominant what she wants you are likely to have a fun series of play sessions ahead of you and more likely to discover your one true domme or true romance along the way.  I hope that you will make a more targeted reaching out to the lady who already loves you.  She’s out there.   ******

©  2015 Selenite Press.  You may quote from my essays and you may use the entire essay elsewhere but only with full credit to the author, Sky Gates.  Thank you.

Essay: A Puppy for Mistress

I am a Mistress who appreciates having a human pet.  I have had a puppy for six years as of fall, 2015.  “Puppy” for me means human pet, not animal pet where I have no interest.  “Pet” refers to the type of intimate personal dynamic between myself and my submissive.  It’s loving.  It’s sweet.  It’s based on deep emotional connection.  My puppy is loyal and bonded to me like crazy in love.  Mistress eats up his adoration and Mistress returns the affection.

Puppies have a lot of energy and a lot of love to give.  These frisky humans can be male or female.  A puppy identity is an expression of their true nature as opposed to being role play or channeling a persona. They just need the right home and the right owner to express themselves authentically and to be happy.

My pet is a male submissive who at first had no language to describe what he was looking for but in effect it was a D/s relationship with a sensualist domme.  We have reflected on the idea of his being with a very different mistress, one who believed in emotional distance with her submissives.  A puppy would not thrive in a cool to cold emotional environment.  My puppy shivers at the thought.  He says that Mistress found him in the online pet pound and took him home with her and he is grateful.  He had not realized that there were dominant females who were a match for his wonderfully playful desires alongside his strong need to submit.

My pet wanted a relationship in which he gets to be his loving self.  He quickly gained deeper and deeper levels of trust with his Mistress. Within his first month with her he realized that she wanted him to pour the authentic or deeper self into the relationship.

My puppy is so happy to play games with Mistress.  He had little experience with bondage but adapted beautifully as Mistress’ rope bottom.  I create designs on his body, positioning him as I want, and then play with him in any way that I choose to do so.  Mistress and puppy have a big collection of toys, too.

His feelings are very important in our relationship.  He is given appropriate means to express whatever he needs to say.  He’s given good boundaries in a well-defined relationship and that structure helps him to feel secure and happy.  No surprise that my puppy tends to be a naturally happy, easy-going person.  He is very sensitive to my needs and is trained to follow without hesitation and without conscious filtering.  Mistress leads.  He follows.  That concept alone lends itself to some exciting scenes for us.

My feelings are very important in our relationship.  It’s good to feel the pull of love and adoration in a healthy, growing union.  I feel a full and rich satisfaction as I watch us living out my design for the relationship.  I feel deeply bonded with my pet sub partner.  I enjoy partnering with someone who is naturally loving, kind, and has a generous heart.  Touch is very important to us.  When my puppy arrives home I am more relaxed and very willing to be drawn into play.  Play for us takes me into an expanded and I think more genuine version of myself.  I am grateful for that.

The nature of our combined personal preferences shapes the Dominance/submission power dynamic.  We are Owner and pet.  We are Mistress and submissive who is my pet.  The D/s power dynamic is a circular moving force between us:  the pet’s sincere energy springs toward me in the form of adoration, loyalty, and a deep submission.  At the same time, my deepest mind responds with the warmest affection plus dominance rising to the surface.  My dominance looks like, feels like firm security holding us and the bright joy that is my true feeling. Feeling so much positive energy from his domme his submission deepens further.  My dominance swells again just as my heart opens even more. His submission is mine.  In my experience, the D/s power dynamic gets enhanced through emotional bonding of this type.  Through our rituals and in play Mistress and puppy find avenues to a magnified submission and an expanded dominance.  We are stronger still as we interact inside the parameters of our agreements, protocols, and my direction.

And did I forget to say that he’s cute?  He’s just so cute and adorable. *****

© 2015 Selenite Press.  You may quote from my essays and you may use the entire essay elsewhere but only with full credit to the author, Sky Gates.  Thank you.

Essay: I am a Sensualist

I want to tell you what it means to be a sensualist.  Hmmm.  How shall I put this?  Not everyone is into pain (for pleasure).  That’s it.  Not everyone who enjoys kink is into pain.  A sensualist is not into pain.  There are tens of thousands of sensualist dominants, sensualist submissives, sensualist slaves, and sensualist kinky players out in the wild who know what I’m talkin’ about.  Many of those thousands are entangled with the SM part of BDSM waters because it’s all that they know about. So, they think kink=BDSM=all SM.  Many would-be-kinksters cling to the sane and sandy sidelines never to ever set foot in BDSM choppy, frothy waves because those waters look like all SM all the time and that’s not for them.  I wrote this essay for sensualist, no-pain-lovin’ you and those who love you and for all those other people who should know about you and me.

Sensualism and being a sensualist are one end of the BDSM spectrum.  Okay.  Let me slow this down.  You can consult a wide selection of books and websites for a definition of BDSM.  What I would like to offer is that BDSM is a range of expression of our deeper desires and needs.  Only part of the range is concerned with pain as the avenue to intense pleasure and wonderful altered states of consciousness.  Another part of the range is in pursuit of the same goals but without pain in any form.

Let’s get a few more definitions out of the way.  I’ll be quick.  Sensual refers to creating desirable experiences that target the human senses such as the aural experience of listening to meditative music.  Your experience was one of relaxation and ease.  Having your play partner lick black raspberry ice cream from your fingers and how you each feel about that is probably a sensual experience for each of you.  Sensuality is the practice of creating and enjoying sensual experiences for the singular purpose of giving and receiving pleasure.  Sensualism is a commitment to adult play without pain and with an intention of inducing intense pleasure and/or desirable altered states of consciousness.  Sensualist refers to the play participant, Top or Bottom, who loves all manner of ways to reach intense pleasure and/or desirable altered states without inducing pain.  I am a sensualist.

Come a little closer so that I can tell you what my sensualist identity does not mean.   It does not mean that I, the sensualist, am devoted to using sensual methods.  Sensual fun is not what makes me a sensualist.  A love of massage oil and the aroma of freshly baked rolls in the morning makes me a sensual person but not a sensualist.  When I tell people that I am a sensualist I get one of two responses:  1. Understanding, “I’m not into pain either” or 2. Misunderstanding, “I, too, use sensual stuff like candles and relaxing massage.  I like it.”  Sensuality is not sensualism.  Two different things.   Anyone along the BDSM spectrum might burn a scented candle or set the scene with low lighting and soft sheets.  Pain lovers can use sensual techniques but that does not make them sensualists.  They are sadists and masochists and, sometimes, some of them like to use sensual techniques in their scenes.

Furthermore, being a sensualist is not a political choice.  I did not choose to be a no-pain person.  Biology or biochemistry, actually, determined my being a no-pain-for-pleasure person.  Those of us with kink needs and desires break into two categories:  the pain seeking group gets a flow of endorphins in the brain that floats them into a higher space.  Their brain chemistry is like that.  So, now, you can guess what I’m going to say.  Sensualists have very different wiring.  If we feel pain during a scene we are not feeling affection for the Top who delivered the too strong sensation to our bodies.  We just feel pain and hurt and maybe distrust for the Top.  To a sensualist, pain is just pain.  It will not deliver pleasure or anything wonderful to a sensualist’s body/mind.

On the other hand, sensualists are not pain-averse as a characteristic of being a sensualist.  They can give pain in a context of consensual play as a matter of choice.  I have played with masochists and given the measure of pain that they most wanted.  I got no endorphin rush or secret satisfaction from delivering pain to someone who wanted that experience.  I did it in order to share a mutually desired experience or result with a play friend.  I have to say that I derived satisfaction from carrying out my very creative play design but that was all.

Can a sensualist and a sadist (or masochist) ever play together?  Would they ever want to do so?  The answers are yes and yes.  I would never hesitate in recommending a sensualist trainee of mine to a sadistic domme.  The two of them would negotiate play as required by all play partners and they would find common ground or not.  Either outcome is a good one.


I have got to try to tell you what it’s like to be a sensualist.  Yum.  It’s delicious.  It’s as lively and fulfilling as any other kink lifestyle.  There are an endless number of ways to live this lifestyle —grunge, Mommy, Housewife, Silver Tongue, Dommy Dom, Confident Sub Boy, Efficient Sub Servant, Smooth S-girl, Wicked Wonderful Wife, Obedient Dedicated Slave, FemDom, Exploring Newbie, Kinky Kinkster, Tied to the Cross bottom, . . . without pain.  Now, think of a kink activity.  If it can’t be done without pain (cutting, for example) then it is not on a sensualist’s list.  If it can be done and it has nothing to do with causing or receiving pain then it is the bread and butter on the sensualist list of possibilities.  If it is associated with pain but can be controlled away from pain then it makes good sense on the sensualist list.  So, for example, impact play (flogging, caning, whipping, spanking, paddling) is associated with SM and pain but there is no reason why a sensualist Top cannot use impact play in a scene.  Their sensualist Bottom would receive light to strong sensations in the body without ever entering the pain range.  A sensualist Top would, in this example, explore a range of sensations short of giving pain.  Sensualist fun for all.

“So, what does a sensualist do?,” some pain-loving soul once asked me. Erotic hypnotism, intense erotic massage, rhythmic caning, play using hot massage candle oil could all be in a sensualist’s tool box and used in combination.  Various forms of body worship are probably a comfortable fit on the sensualist’s list.  Bondage bags, gags, blindfolds, plugs, handcuffs, rope, arm sleeves, insertion toys, vibrators, a TENS unit and more might be in a sensualist’s toy bag.  Fetish clothing is the same across both groups, SM and sensualists, though, so, don’t think that you can distinguish a sensualist by the color of the hanky stuffed in the bosom of her corset.  Latex, corsets, silk stockings, heels, no heels, wigs, black tunics, boots, and capes make the two groups indistinct.

Are all sensualists playing nice with scented candles, mood music, and a gentle massage all the time?  They might sometimes or as part of a scene.  However, sensualists can play roughly (wrestling, slamming, punching) without trying to induce pain for pleasure since neither the Top nor the Bottom would benefit from doing so.  Might some unintentional pain or soreness, not pain for pleasure but the other kind, result from roughhousing?  Sure.  But if the Top and Bottom like it like that—perhaps, as an energy raising warm up at the beginning of a scene—then why not?  Sensualists can play nice or they can play right at the edge of pain.  Did you know that?  A slow even hair pulling within limits can be sexually stimulating for sensualist Top and sensualist Bottom.  Sensualists can play right at the edge of orgasm and enjoy riding the drug-like high.  Sensualists might love various forms of bondage or other restraint.  Capture games, the wonderful feeling of being contained or held, the feel of various rope textures or the hardness of steel can be exciting.  That just might be a contented, sleepy-eyed sensualist curled up inside his mistress’ cage.

Sensualism is my raison d’etre and my mantra.  It’s where I live in the BDSM ocean of kinky tastes and darker desires.  Pain lovers and non-pain lovers are all seeking pleasure or fascinating altered states or both but we get there by different paths.  I ask that sadists help those who come to them to understand how broad the BDSM seas are.  I ask that they remember that at any moment they, the sadist, just might be talking to a sensualist instead of a masochist. ******

© 2015 Sky Gates.  You may quote from my essays and you may use the entire essay elsewhere but only with full credit to the author.  Thank you.

All You Can Eat Buffet Approach to BDSM

Not everyone is fortunate enough to cross the boundary into kink accompanied by a friend or a mentor. New people might say to themselves “well, I have to look around, see what my options are, and then I’ll figure out where I want to be. I have to see everything first.” That’s the All You Can Eat Buffet approach.  So, what might be better? How about a Be True to Self approach. It is far more likely to support a new person’s right to retain control over what they experience and over personal safety.

The wildly experiential nature of the All You Can Eat Buffet can seem attractive to anyone. Why not wield a flogger or cast a whip or drip some wax? We’ve, all, watched other people do it, so, how hard can it be? Someone might feel pressured into saying “yes” the first time that someone contacts them online. Or, they might exaggerate their BDSM experience the first time that someone approaches them at a club. So, it’s “yes” to pretty much whatever this or that stranger encourages them to do.

All You Can Eat Buffet can look like s-types (submissives or slaves) doing whatever a dominant says as a necessary element of their identity as an s-type. That’s fine in a trusting and respectful relationship with negotiated boundaries in which both partners know their rights. “You can say ‘no’ at any time.” Otherwise, disrespect is possible and, at the extreme end, abuse can erode any relationship.

By strong contrast, Being True to Self begins with turning inward. Listen to what feelings are kicking up. Using one’s feelings as a navigation system is a wise move in life in general. It’s a terrific choice as you stroll along BDSM paths, specifically. If a situation feels uncomfortable then turn away. That awful feeling in the pit of your stomach when danger is nearby is a warning. Go elsewhere. Let your feelings guide you toward good people and great situations for you. That’s when your internal navigation system rewards you with “yay,” “that feels right,” “ooh, give me more.” Personal responsibility and risk management are really the point.”

Doing whatever it takes to stay safe is an important aspect of Being True to Self. Listening to your built-in navigation system is good for the individual and good for our kink communities. We can protect each other.  There are good and bad people everywhere, vanilla or not. Take the time to learn first so you can make informed decisions.”

Our communities are full up with genuinely caring people who think of it as an honor to help newcomers. But it is crucial to recognize that BDSM is a world with open doors, porous walls, and people of every type. So, none of us should hesitate to ask for references and to vet potential play or relationship partners:  “I vet people. If I don’t know someone I will reach out to people on their friends list.” You might want to stick with people who are well known in your local community. That’s Being True to Self.

It really is okay to let yourself embrace whatever feels good to you within BDSM and leave the rest alone.  In truth, there is no such thing as seeing all that’s available in our kink communities. Design your kink journey slowly and with patience and all the while listening to that internal guidance system of yours.  Ask yourself, “What Do I Need?” Ask yourself that question again and again.  You have a right to your own personal happiness. Create what’s right for you with the people you choose to interact with rather than be pulled and pushed by external forces. That’s Being True to Self.

The kink community gains yet another strong and alert member when the new person walks about mindfully.  That’s one more set of eyes, wide open.  Then, it is of less consequence that someone is new.  The new person who is practicing Being True to Self has a lot to contribute and that alone makes our kink communities stronger.

Mistress Sky is a lifestyle domme in Massachusetts.  She teaches and writes about a variety of dominance/submission topics and, sometimes, about other BDSM subjects.

Copyrighted 2016 Sky Gates.  You may use any part of this article including the entire article as long as you give proper credit to author, Sky Gates.  Thank you.