Dan and dawn

What i’m Reading

reading

i love to read! i bought a Kindle with airline mile points about a year ago and love the convenience of getting books without having to drive to a bookstore or library. i can get a book at 3AM if i want! And it will suggest other books you might like, books i otherwise might not have known about. It’s not uncommon for me to read several books a day on my Kindle, or Kindle app on my iPhone or laptop.

What i’ve been reading:

Sex, Stories and Power Exchange by Dan and dawn Williams

sex stories and power exchangei started reading this on the plane ride back from our trip to Las Vegas. Maximus and i really, really enjoy Dan and dawn’s podcast, Erotic Awakening, and found their other book, Living M/s, to be very insightful and a great guide for us. This book is not so much a guide on total power exchange relationships as a collection of scenes. Dan and dawn include their discussion points at the end of each chapter, as they do in Living M/s, so there are caveats and lessons learned, etc from them in regards to scenes and M/s relationships.

Before i had the raging episode, i loaded this book on Maximus’ iPhone and He started reading it as well. i was, and still am, interested in discussing the scenes in the book and find out what interests both of us. i think it will be enlightening!

Women: The Ownership Manual by Logan Alexander

womenThis book was very interesting as it is a guide for men looking to establish D/s relationships. For me, it helped reaffirm the reasons i flourish in a TPE (Total Power Exchange) relationship: being protected in all circumstances and all times, being guided, a feeling of completeness allowing me to do anything for the right man, being uniquely desired, etc. The fascinating thing for me was that while reading it, i realized the points the author was making for male readers to understand and implement in fostering this type of relationship were all things that came, or seemed to come, naturally to Maximus.

Each chapter has case studies of D/s relationships and how they employed the concepts presented in that section. What i appreciated was the range of application presented, from subtle to extreme, recognizing that each relationship seeks its own level and aren’t cookie-cutter images.

Leading and Supportive Love: The Truth About Dominant and Submissive Relationships by Chris M. Lyon

leading and supportiveWhat i enjoyed about Lyon’s book was that it focused on the psychology of D/s relationships, not as a relationship as a whole, but on the level of personal dynamics of the Dominant (leading partner) and the submissive (supportive partner) and how they interact and are naturally attracted to each other. i really loved how the author addressed equality and control in the relationship, recognizing that both partners have equality and control in the relationship, something that many people do not understand when looking at D/s, M/s, or TPE relationships from the outside. And i appreciated how he found that many submissive (supportive) partners are leaders, major decision-makers in their professional lives and are so relieved to come home to a partner who can make decisions in their home and personal lives, melting into that and truly relaxing.

i found the information on the attributes of each partner, on what they need from the other person, to be extremely enlightening. And it helped confirm how my previous relationships were just not a good match for me. It was amazing to read this and then go over the conversations i’d had with Maximus about this topic and see how much of it matched up. And it was the same for the things He had shared with me.

These books were all different from one another, each dealing with a different aspect of BDSM, D/s, and kink. While there were parts that i didn’t need in all of them, there were parts that were very helpful and enlightening. i think it is important to be educated and informed, be open to all opinions and potential aspects to this type of lifestyle in order to both formulate and support your personal relationship. For some, this can be a great way to affirm they are ok, not deviant. For others, it can be a way to help decide what direction they want to take their relationship. Each book provided a kernel of knowledge that was reaffirming, thought-provoking, and helpful, and a great conduit to initiate important conversations with my partner.

Categories: BDSM relationship, D/s, Dan and dawn, Erotic Awakening, M/s, relationship, relationship needs, Total Power Exchange | 1 Comment

Awakening

Quite a bit of really good things to talk about today, some revelations, considerations as i/we move forward through this process of healing.

Yesterday, during my run, i decided to change from music to the Erotic Awakening podcast. Since the blowup, i’ve really stepped back from reading/perusing/listening to podcasts/etc. about BDSM because it was too much for me. i was reeling at the potential loss of that aspect of my life, embarrassed that i’d endangered it, and i just couldn’t go there. But, i thought it was time to go back, trusting that Maximus and i are in reparation mode not separation mode, and i generally seem to pick up some kernel of insight or something to think about when i study BDSM, even if it’s merely a new position or toy or scene.

The latest EA podcast was EA255 – How to train your slave. At first, i have to admit, i was leery about listening to this one because i’m feeling like a horrible submissive right now, having acted so far outside Maximus’ expectations, but i’m so glad i listened. i picked up some very important things from Dan and dawn’s discussion, things i think will be important in adding into my/our healing process.

Behavioral Modification Training

One of the things that Maximus and i really like about Dan and dawn’s D/s relationship is that it isn’t so high protocol. dawn is allowed to look at Dan in the eyes, she is able to speak freely, she is not chained to the house, goes to college, has interests and leadership roles outside of their relationship. These are things that have been cultivated by Dan in an intentional but not strict structured way–this is very similar to our D/s relationship and has been important to us.

During their discussion about slave training, Dan was discussing how His training focused on modifying behavior for what His expectations are so that the submissive will modify her expectations of her own behavior. When He said this, dawn brought up a recent situation where she was slipping into an old behavior pattern and that Dan simply put His hand on her leg and said, “Old Pattern,” and she immediately switched back into the new behavior pattern. Dan believes dawn came to Him because she was drawn to certain characteristics that He possessed that she desired in herself, and she has adopted those behaviors and patterns through their relationship and training. In this way, the slave reflects the Master, holds herself to a higher accountability through her desire to please Him.

i think this is an important lesson. i really do want Maximus to be involved in my process of learning how not to rage. It’s not that i believe He’s the cause, He’s not, but i really do feel right in our D/s relationship, protected, cultivated, and He’s present when i have raged and therefore the best person to help me not go down that path. my concern, however, is how He can do that without it causing an escalation in the situation, as i worry that Him trying to redirect me will only piss me off and give me yet another thing to rage about! We talked about this very thing this morning–He has the same fear about this. He’s tried to redirect me, but the rage comes on so fast that there has been no time for Him to redirect me–one rage came on while He was asleep and had no way to know i was raging.

The key to this will be me working on creating new neural pathways first. There is no way for Maximus to beat the speed of a nerve impulse, which travel anywhere from 2-200 mile per hour (see this table)! Once new neural pathways are developed, it will take time for impulses to detour back to the old, obsolete pathways, allowing Maximus to see me back-tracking. And, we will work with Fern to help me learn how to accept guidance from Maximus in this situation, to not get mad at Him for helping me stay on track.

Duration of Punishment

When Dan is training a submissive, He is clear that , “I am punishing you,” and “Now punishment’s done, let’s move on because it’s over with.” This is very helpful for those who can punish themselves worse than any other person could punish them. Dan finally had to tell dawn that she was not allowed to punish His property without His permission. When punishment is done, it really is done and over.

This is a lesson for me. In each and every one of the raging episodes i have had, Maximus has instructed me, very clearly, that this was the last time this was going to happen. And i agreed, but i was so absolutely mortified by my behavior that i have punished myself internally for months, which has led to Shame-Rage. This is a cycle that i need to stop. Yes, i have behaved monstrously and i have been punished by Maximus, but i am working on modifying my behavior–punishment is over. Punishing myself serves no purpose but to increase shame. i need to stop punishing Maximus’ property and respect it.

Respecting your Dominant’s Property

The other thing Dan worked on early in their relationship was in regards to helping dawn get over her attachment to her body image. “i’m large, i’m not pretty…” Dan stopped her and asked, “Do you doubt your Master? I’m telling you you’re beautiful.” She learned to trust His words.

i really identified with this. i don’t think i have a big body image issue, although Maximus believes otherwise. i did identify with this in regards to trusting the Maximus chose me. Early on in our relationship, i felt out of my league with Him, that He was so athletic, so gorgeous, so affluent, so amazingly perfect in every way that i somehow didn’t deserve Him. In fact, i even told Him that i could not believe He chose me, that i pictured something completely different for the woman He would choose, someone tall, blonde, CEO, huge tits, etc. And when He told me i was the Best Piece of Ass (BPE) He’d ever had, i questioned Him on it, not believing Him. Well, that’s just downright disrespectful to do that to Him! When i put myself down in that way, i am essentially telling Him that He’s chosen someone who is not the things He wants, has made a bad choice, and that He’s an idiot! Why would i ever tell my Master that? Maximus is extremely intelligent, knows what He wants, and has picked me because i AM the things He wants! If He says i am beautiful, i AM beautiful! If He says i am BPE, i AM BPE! If He says we are Growing Old Together (GOT), we are certainly going to GOT. Doing anything to question or reject that is simply telling Him He’s a liar and that’s just completely disrespectful.

Shared Goals

Dan believes that the key to dawn’s training was that they had the same goals. In their case, that dawn become a stronger, more confident, more self-reliant being; and to embrace their sexual fantasies. Since their goals were aligned, they could train toward that. Training won’t be effective if their goals are not aligned.

i do believe our goals are aligned. We spent quite a bit of time this morning discussing what Maximus’ expectation is for the end result of our healing process and i agree with His vision. We received the intake forms from Fern this morning and there was an entire section the Maximus and i have to respond to about goals and expectations we have as a couple for this process. i have filled mine out and forwarded them on to Him and i look forward to seeing what He includes. This is one of our many strengths, that we do have a shared goal about resolving this and for our relationship.

i was excited to talk to Maximus about what i’d heard on the podcast. He listened to the podcast this morning and we talked afterward. It was a great discussion and we are very upfront and honest with each other about fears and concerns. It was great to have specific things to discuss, and these podcasts have been great for that throughout our venture into BDSM.

i brought up a concern this morning that i was initially going to blog about and then discuss with Maximus after He read it, but it came up during our conversation and i decided to address it then. As we have talked since the last rage, Maximus has stated over and over again that this can never happen again. i have never said anything to the contrary and fully agree. Addressing my rage has taken full focus and number one priority in my life–even over Ironman training, which is a significant part of my life. i cannot go through another rage situation, not only for what it does to Him, but whether He’s with me at the end of this or not, i cannot live with being a raging person–i simply cannot explain how horrible it is to be in the skin of a rager. i have been starting to feel invalidated when Maximus tells me yet  again that this can never happen again, as i feel like i don’t know what more i can say or do to show Him how hard i am working on fixing this–i’m feeling like He’s not hearing what i’m saying or seeing what i’m doing. In fact, i feel like i’m getting hit over and over on the head with a hammer. my ultimate concern is that at some point, my feeling of being unheard or invalidated will trigger me into yelling, “I KNOW!!!!!” at Him, and i just don’t want that to happen.

Maximus listened intently when i explained this and when i was done stated, “This is the best conversation we have had yet.” Wow, i was so relieved, as it was difficult for me to start this conversation, not wanting Him to feel attacked. Maximus volunteered that He would not say that anymore. He was repeating it because in the previous times post-rage i have assured Him that it wouldn’t happen again, yet it did. However, my actions are significantly different this time, in that i have agreed to go to counseling, am reading, blogging about it, and have admitted that i have a problem with rage. He acknowledges that this is a huge step and a huge change from before and will recognize that. i’m very glad that we had this conversation.

my next appointment with Fern is tomorrow. This evening i will go through all my posts and distill out main themes as she asked me to do. i will probably capture that in a post.

Categories: anger, balance, BDSM podcasts, BDSM relationship, communication, Dan and dawn, Erotic Awakening | 1 Comment

i’m Not Her…

The day after our wonderful dinner, presents, and play, Maximus and i headed to the San Juan Islands to continue our belated Valentine’s Day weekend. The San Juans are a group of islands between Washington State and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. They are absolutely beautiful and neither of us had been there for years and years.

To get to the San Juans from Seattle, you take a ferry out of Anacortes, Washington, about an hour and a half north. We took back roads and stopped in little towns along the way to shop and eat. While Maximus was driving, i offered to read aloud from Living M/s: A Book for Masters, slaves, and Their Relationships, by Dan and dawn Williams of the Erotic Awakenings Podcast. We both love Dan and dawn’s podcasts and enjoy discussing things we hear from them–they bring up a lot of great topics for us to discuss, many of which we haven’t thought of. The book was no different and we had many revelations!

Here are some things we discussed and learned:

  • While our initial intention was to just do D/s in the bedroom, it has grown to encompass our entire relationship. Originally, we were under the impression that D/s had to be very strict and required the sub to be very constricted, chained and without freedom. But what we’ve come to understand is that there are any levels of D/s and each relationship seeks its own level. i prefer to be submissive to Maximus, it pleases me to serve Him and give myself to His pleasure and needs, and to follow His leadership. It is important to Maximus that i have free will, but He enjoys being Dominant in the relationship, being the final decision-maker, receiving the gifts of my submission, and being responsible for my well-being. i need someone i can surrender to, someone strong enough to handle that. Mutual respect is huge in our relationship. 

Our Total Power Exchange relationship is not anyone else’s Total Power Exchange relationship, and that is exactly how it should be. This does not make our D/s relationship any less or more than anyone else’s–it’s ours and that’s what matters.

  • Living D/s allows us to be completely authentic. Both of us have had two failed marriages each, that’s four failed relationships. And what’s very interesting is that our pathway through our marriage histories are very similar. For both of us, we were not our authentic selves in our first marriages, we had outside relationships looking to fill voids we felt in our marriages, for a variety of reasons. Interestingly, our first marriages were the longest. In our second marriages, we thought we were being authentic and thought our spouses were being authentic as well, but we discovered otherwise. 

Maximus and i have shared everything, the good, the bad, and the ugly. i have shared with Him things i never, ever wanted anyone else to know about me, especially my relationship partner(s); He has done the same. These communications are often painful and embarrassing, but freeing and has grown our trust with each other. Not only do we still love each other after learning about our truths, we love each other more for it.  

  • We both need love to be a part of our Total Power Exchange relationship. And this love needs to be monogamous. i have never been able to surrender to anyone as i do with Maximus, and this is due to the trust and love we have. While we are swingers and play with many others, together and separately, we separate sex and love, and sex with others is simply that, sex, not love. We have both struggled, and have had serious conflict in our relationship and with past relationships, with the concept of polyamory, to the point where i have become angry jealous over a misconception that Maximus was in love with another woman. Neither of us can do polyamory. 

Maximus’ previous marriage evolved into polyamorous situations, not necessarily intentionally, but not discouraged when it happened. It started out as Maximus encouraging JB to have swinging relationships to spend time with while He traveled so much for business and left her home alone. When she confessed to falling in love with these individuals and expressed desires to investigate that more, Maximus did not discourage this. This occurred multiple times and eventually led to the breakup of their marriage. Maximus did not engage in the same pursuit and these were V-polyamorous relationships in that Maximus and JB were married, JB and the other male had a love-relationship, but Maximus and the other male were not connected. JB had tried to get Maximus to engage one of her love interest’s wives into a poly relationship, but this did not happen.

Maximus thought that JB was being honest with Him about these relationships and didn’t think they risked the demise of their primary relationship as she insisted that wasn’t the case. Because she wasn’t truthful and it blindsided Him, Maximus has developed a fear of me leaving Him, thus the rule in our contract that we only sleep with each other. Through our discussions about our relationship and fears, etc., Maximus has come to realize that i’m not her–and this is a HUGE revelation for us. We discussed it and are amending our contact accordingly to reflect this.

  • We both thrive in an authentic, honest, over-communicated relationship. And we expect this of each other. Dan and dawn describe the chess game in their previous relationships, how interactions/decisions were win-lose; actions and communications were made by consciously deciding what you were willing to give up in order to get your way with something else. We both could so relate to this and absolutely abhor the chess game we’ve had to endure in our past relationships. We don’t ever have to strategize. When we discuss something, we don’t have to wonder if there is an ulterior motive and can trust that their answer is honest.
  • While we do trust each other completely, thrive in an environment of complete and total communication, we have had some complete breakdowns in communication, full of conflict, hurt, and disrespect. 

Now, if you’re familiar with group dynamic theory, you are familiar with the concepts of Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing. Forming is just selecting the group and in our case, is finding each other and transforming into a committed relationship. Storming is that necessary time in developing a group, any sized group, where they work out group function, mores, communication styles, discover their differences, and where different ideas compete for consideration. It can be contentious and full of conflict, and for the group to succeed, they must struggle through it. In the Norming stage, the group, through storming, has developed their goals and plans and know how all individuals work together. Finally, in Performing, the group functions smoothly, has developed decision-making processes, and deals with conflict without dissent. The group can revert back to previous stages by external influences and have to go through the process as they react to changing circumstances.

i can see this cycle in our relationship. While conflict is painful, it is so necessary. i know that Maximus would prefer not to have the conflict that occurs in the Storming phase. We have talked a lot about this and how to communicate to avoid this conflict. But, we have learned so much and grown so much from these conflicts that they really were necessary evils. i believe Maximus’ fear is that this will be the norm for how we deal with conflict–i know that this is part of our development and we are moving, if not already have moved, to the Norming and Performing stages of our relationship.

Dan and dawn discuss Porch Time in their book and on their podcasts. Porch Time can be called by any partner to move out onto the porch and have a neutral space to express themselves without the hierarchy constraints of D/s or be punished for what or how things are expressed. This is the last resort where all other avenues of congenial communication have broken down. They have used this only a few times in their long relationship.

Maximus asked me to listen to their podcast about Porch Time and we discussed it several weeks ago and then discussed it again when i read this chapter. What was fascinating was that Maximus felt that Porch Time was a place where you took notice that the other person had something very critical to talk about and would do it in a constructive manner with, “i feel..”, or “i would like…”, etc, not the intention of Porch Time where you had a highly heated, no-holds-barred, verbal fight that could include all those horrible disrespectful things like name-calling. It’s the “I/i can’t take it anymore” explosion. Neither of us want Porch Time to be our main means of communication, and it shouldn’t be! Dan and dawn weren’t presenting it as such. What’s important is that in the few times that communication fails completely and You/you are at Your/your wits end, you have a place without judgment or repercussions to speak freely and fully honestly, in whatever ugly face that has. The goal is to not have to ever have to use the porch and to use effective communication to resolve conflict, but the porch is there.

When i realized that Maximus and i weren’t understanding the Porch Time concept in the same way, i decided to use a sports analogy. Picture a basketball game where your normally even-keeled, level-headed player is having a bad game, acting out, getting personal fouls, behaving unsportsmanlike and really destroying everyone’s game. What does the coach do? They pull them out of the game, or maybe they got thrown out of the game by a third-party referee. Does the coach confront them right there on the sidelines, no, what do they say? “Take it to the Locker Room!” and they have it out there. It’s not pretty, it’s bare and raw and emotional. It gets it all out. Is this how you normally deal with your basketball player? Heavens No! Do you ever even WANT to go through this? No! This is how you flush out this bad behavior, blow out the steam. Normally you coach and build relationships. This is the last resort and the intention is to be perfectly blunt about this player’s destructive behavior, hope it gets it all out and resolved so they go back to being the high-performing, well-behaved team player next game. Maximus totally got this and was very relieved to understand that this method of communication was a last resort, not the normal means of communicating. So for us, we have Take it to the Locker Room, instead of Porch Time, and we hope to never have to use it, but we know it’s there should it be necessary.

  • We love the sexual aspect of our D/s relationship. i love being the slut Maximus desires and will do anything to please Him in this way. We both love searching for my limits. Is sex our relationship? NO! Maximus is 21 years older than i am and He honestly expressed His feelings about what happens when He’s 70, 80, 90 and how we deal with the sexual aspect of our relationship.

We both love being at swingers events and hearing our partner having sex with another person. We know the sounds, giggle at the reactions the other person has at what our partner loves to do. We come and watch, we participate. He loves nothing more than to direct me to do things with others. This direction is often more sexual for Maximus than actually having sexual intercourse. In fact, us alone together, with the BDSM components of our sexual play from the scenes He creates, can be more sexually satisfying than intercourse for Maximus. Direction even includes Him directing scenes involving others, setting up scenes at a distance for me to comply with. Beyond this, Maximus loves hearing me tell Him the details of my sexual encounters with others, in descriptive detail, and even watching via Skype or Facetime.

  • Discipline is one aspects of our D/s relationship that may differ from many other D/s relationships. And i don’t mean that we lack discipline, but that physical discipline is not a major component of our relationship. i am very sensitive to disappointing anyone, especially Maximus, so it is difficult for Maximus to add insult to injury by disciplining me harshly. My training is accomplished though meeting His expectations, achieving goals, and being coached to accomplish them or learn from missing the mark. i enjoy being physically spanked, flogged, cropped, so these traditionally physical punishments are not effective for me. This difference in our relationship made us feel that perhaps we were not following the rules of D/s, but we understand better now that this is just our way.

This is as far as we got through the book. We will definitely continue this process when we are together as it is fascinating and so helpful. We did have some awesome further revelations this weekend that were not related to the readings from Living M/s and will be the topic of my next blog post.

While the revelation that i am not JB is not the theme of this post, Maximus felt it was so huge that He asked that i use this as the title when i blogged about it. i find it fascinating that something that most people fear, kinky, power exchange, BDSM relationships, can be so revealing and freeing. For us, D/s helps us confront and deal with our fears, the same fears that are often present in vanilla relationships, such as abandonment, and does this so much more effectively, for us, than in traditional relationships.

Categories: BDSM, BDSM podcasts, BDSM relationship, communication, D/s, Dan and dawn, discipine, Dom/sub, Erotic Awakening, Living M/s, relationship, relationship needs, swinging lifestyle, Total Power Exchange | Leave a comment

Speaking Pieces

Maximus and i have discovered PODCASTS! What an amazing resource these have become for us.

It started with Masocast, a BDSM/fetish podcast from New York City hosted primarily by a submissive male, sometimes with his Dom female. i found this podcast by searching BDSM in iTunes when the new Podcasts app came out with the latest iOS upgrade for my iPhone. This has been a great podcast for us to listen to, has brought up a lot of discussion. One of our favorite episodes was a recent interview with Bendyogagirl, a submissive female who has recently made the move to Seattle–yay, our town! But for the most part, however, Masocast has been a bit more focused on Dominant females as the host is a submissive male, and has had Maximus desiring a podcast with a more male D/s female focus.

After listening to Bendyogagirl’s interview, i’d mentioned something about her to Maximus in a text and He replied that she’d slept with her butt plug in that night. What?!? How do you know that?? i replied. Well, Maximus has discovered Twitter and had started following her and she’d tweeted about that. So i figured i needed to get on Twitter too so i could get all the juicy BDSM/kink details in the world out there. So you can now find me on Twitter at gabriellagift!

The reason i bring up Twitter is that it has opened up a whole new world of podcasts for us to listen to! We have discovered The Dark Side with Dark Angel and Knot Nice, two Dominant males from Canada who talk all about BDSM/kink. And through them, we discovered Dan and dawn of the Erotic Awakening podcast, which we absolutely LOVE!!! Both of these podcasts have brought up tons of discussion points for us, and we really connect with Dan and dawn’s energy and style. We have taken up letting each other know which podcast episodes were are listening to so we can listen as close to simultaneously as possible and then call or text or email during or after to talk about what we’ve learned or want to learn from each other about what was brought up. i’ve been wanting Maximus to read some of the books i’ve read on BDSM/kink and D/s so we could discuss topics, but He’s been crazy busy, so this is an excellent option for Him. Interestingly enough, Dan and dawn’s book, Living M/s, was already on my Amazon Kindle wish list–i didn’t know they had a podcast!

So i am anxious to start blogging on discussion points Maximus and i encounter while we listen to these podcasts. i’ll also post more podcasts we find as we come across them. And, if you have podcasts you love, please share them with us.

Categories: BDSM podcasts, Bendyogagirl, Dan and dawn, Erotic Awakening, Living M/s, Masocast, The Dark Side podcast | Leave a comment

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