We’re just over a week away from one of my favorite events of the year: Florida Power Exchange!!!
I’ve talked about identifying with a number of labels, sometimes conflicting labels, simultaneously before. One of these is combos is service submissive and little. On one hand, it makes my heart and soul leap for joy when I can take care of my D-type’s needs/wants through graceful anticipatory service that seems effortless. On the other, I enjoy being taken care of and letting my Big worry about making the mature decisions. I’m also a fairly mischevious little sadist which sometimes comes out even when I’m not in little space. (My Alpha regularly warns people about my deceptive “little’s face!”) One of the ways I’ve learned to feed the little side while still honoring the s-type side is through “little’s dates.” These dates are dedicated time when the walls of maturity come down and my protocols shift a bit which allows me to just BE little. Examples of these shifts are not being in trouble for not anticipating a need such as drinks needing to be refilled and there’s a bit more leeway when it comes to a bit of stubbornness on my part.
One of the ways I’ve learned to feed the little side while still honoring the s-type side is through “little’s dates.” These dates are dedicated time when the walls of maturity come down and my protocols shift a bit which allows me to just BE little. Examples of these shifts are not being in trouble for not anticipating a need such as drinks needing to be refilled and there’s a bit more leeway when it comes to a bit of stubbornness on my part.
Little dates make GREAT incentives when using chore/habit charts or trying to encourage specific behaviors! Find some special little date ideas for when they reach different goals. One of my favorites was a trip to Universal Studios when I collected a large number of stars from my chore chart. They are also great for enhancing relationships between littles and D-types/partners who don’t identify as Big. Taking care of a little is a ton of work for anyone but if you aren’t Big inclined it can be really taxing. You can use little dates to create distinct time boundaries when “being little” is doable and when you need your partner in adult mode.
Here’s twenty suggestions for super fun little dates for all parties involved!
On Friday I got a chance to talk with Mrs. Darling, winner of the BDSM Writers Con 2015 Book Contest, about her recently released book Darling Discovered. It’s the kind of book readers really want out of a kinky story: realistic and sexy as hell! Unlike other books that have come out in recent years, Darling Discovered is based on the author’s own history and relationship leading readers along possibly one of the most life changing years of her life. Technically the book starts off with a super hot and intense takedown scene between Chloe and her Mister which gets readers hooked for what’s to come. The story itself however starts off with Chloe discovering her husband Leo’s affair. Not wanting to throw it all away the pair agree to try for one year to make things right again. About mid way through Chloe reveals her long repressed fantasies about submission and it sparks a whole new dynamic for the pair. Along the way we join the pair for their first adventures into the world of D/s relationships including their first trip to a public dungeon in Vegas! Filled with real life ups and downs Darling Discovered gives readers an actual look at what life in a 24/7 M/s relationship can be without sugar coating it. It’s a story of self discovery and acceptance, trust, love, and lust.
- Rating: 5/5
- Pro: real life kink, sexy as hell, well written
- Con: I can’t think of any!
Mrs. Darling: Hello! How are you today?
Aemok: I’m doing excellent. Thank you again for joining me this afternoon.
Mrs. Darling: It’s a pleasure. Thank you for having me!
Aemok: I’d like to start off with what inspired you to enter the 2015 BDSM Writer’s Con And how did you feel about the contest?
Mrs. Darling: I’d be happy to, although it is more like what *made* me enter. Well, who made me enter. I wrote a story, a story about us, my Dominant/husband and I. It was very raw and cathartic and real and it felt so good to get it out of my system. I tucked the tale away… until my husband (MR) found out about the contest and required I sent it in. He thought it would be good to share it with the community at large, that maybe others could learn from our path. I sent the manuscript in and waited.
I was terrified! Terrified of winning, terrified of losing, terrified of being judged. Because I was in fact being judged. When you tell your own path (as a versus to writing fiction) every review is a review of your own life. Your own success and mistakes and choices.
Aemok: Speaking of that. It would have been easy to call your book “fiction” to prevent people from passing judgement on your relationship. Where did you get the term Creative Non Fiction and why did you choose to open your life up in this way?
Mrs. Darling: Falling into a genre of writing has been a difficult decision. I typically write non-fiction about my life as a submissive but it can be dry at times; technical. With this story I wanted to be creative and free, to paint the story in the way my minds eye remembered it. I wrote from the heart. Always. Somebody introduced the phrase creative non-fiction to me and it was like a piece of the puzzle falling into place. The whole time I wanted to emphasize authenticity. Being authentic to our story. I felt like this was the best way to do it. To “hold hands” with other people exploring submission and tell them that I understand, that I have been there too, that no it is not easy. The best way for me to do so was to own up to it being my life.
Aemok: Were you concerned that people would focus just on the rough spots and not see the growth that both of you individually and together gained through the story?
Mrs. Darling: For sure. I added a bit of our backstory to try and have it make sense why this woman would even want to try and make things work. Infidelity is such a taboo topic. Nobody is talking about it but it is so statistically high for it to happen. Why can’t we talk about it? The decisions, the emotions, the struggle? I remember this actually taking place and feeling so, so isolated. I am glad to give a voice to trying to make things work. To come out of the gates with an affair and ask a reader to try and root for us to succeed was a risk. But it simply is our path. The “old us” had to die before who we are now could be reborn.
Aemok: As someone who has been on both sides of the situation I very much identified with both of you throughout the story. Were there parts that were harder than others or anything you just couldn’t put to pen?
Mrs. Darling: It was all hard, honestly. I probably shed as many tears re-telling the story as I did living it. The hardest, at this point, was the telling of my mistakes, my bad judgement, my choices that could have been better. I just wanted to shake this girl and wake her up but alas, hindsight and all. The only things really left out were some of our struggles in parenting. That story correlates in time but isn’t relevant to this story told. Everything else is there.
Aemok: I think too often people outside the relationship automatically jump to the “throw the cheating bastard/bitch out” without thinking about the rest of the relationship.
Friends mean well in their support but sometimes it just fuels the initial shock, anger, and pain but doesn’t let us really sit back and hold our selves accountable.
Mrs. Darling: Agreed. So true.
Aemok: At one point in the book you and MR take a break. Do you think that sometimes taking a little bit of time without contact can be a positive when you’re dealing with something that is so emotionally charged?
Mrs. Darling: Absolutely. I do think it allowed us both some time to process as individuals. Process in a much level headed way than always having that person around. We were able to get a glimpse into what life would look like without the other person there and that is a really powerful tool as you are trying to review the success (or not) of a relationship. For us it was both empowering, cementing in our minds our identities in Power Exchange, but also really bleak. Life was brighter together. That was immediately clear.
Aemok: Exactly. When my marriage ended many years ago one thing I had always wished was that taking a bit of time apart was something that was socially acceptable.
Over the last few years a number of books, shows, and movies have come out that highlight our lifestyle for better or worse. Do you think that it’s important that those of us who really live this life share our stories when we can? Do you think that it helps those who may be interested but not know where to start? Like the younger version of yourself?
Mrs. Darling: I think it certainly helps. When people start to find out more about BDSM, education is one of the first things they hear. “Read, read, and read some more.” It’s a kinksters war cry. This is of course a good thing; it is important to educate yourself when you are looking into anything new, particularly when it can have dangerous implications. But what is the quality of information available? I feel like those living this day in and day out can contribute so much. I think many hesitate to do so because they recognize their way is only one way, or because they don’t think themselves capable. But I want to encourage everybody willing to share their path because in the end everybody has a different experience anyway. It doesn’t have to be fancy or frilly, just *available.*
Aemok: Do you have recommendation to help those who maybe want to but find themselves struggling to do so. Personally I’ve tried journalling/writing for years and I’ll do a spurt of good writing and then let life get in the way (ok, I totally make up excuses regardless of reality). I know a lot of people who recommend it, particularly for submissives, as a way of processing or communicating.
Mrs. Darling: Journaling helped (helps) me along. For those who want to journal but struggle, my best advice is to let the journal be there for you instead of being obligated to that inanimate object. I had tried it all my life: “I am going to write a paragraph every night” or “I will journal a line about my emotions every day.” Always a big failure. That is until I learned to lean on my journal when I needed it and never to feel guilty about not writing. I go weeks and even months now without creating a personal journal entry (typically when the times are easy and good). But when I struggle, it is always there for me, ready to listen without judgement and capture that harsh moment in time. My best advice for those still finding their way is to listen to your gut. We have incredible instincts and so often we shove them away because we were taught something else or feel obligated to be another way. Our head is always so damn logical; the heart will lead you astray. Follow your gut instinct and stay true to that course.
Aemok: Is there anything else about yourself, the book, or the writing journey you’d like to share?
Mrs. Darling: I just want to take a moment to thank everybody in my local BDSM community that has continued to support and encourage me in this venture along the way. I don’t know if I could have gotten to this point without them (and, of course, MR). If anybody reading has hesitation about getting involved in the community, I encourage you to do so. Thank you so much for having me today. It has been lovely talking about this journey with you.
Aemok: Thank you for being so open and congratulations again on the release of your new book. It was absolutely a fantastic read!
Mrs. Darling: You’re very welcome. Thank you so much and I am glad you enjoyed the story!
Aemok: ok 3 silly questions just cause: What is your favorite snack/beverage while writing? What is your favorite and least favorite toy? What is a book you absolutely recommend people read (kink or otherwise)?
Mrs. Darling: Black coffee and loads of it. When writing at home, or at Starbucks, or at the local library study room. Big ol cup of strong coffee, straight up. Always. Favorite: Whip. Least: Cane. Both make me shiver in very different ways. I’d recommend reading Emily Post’s Etiquette. There is some stellar information in there that I think could help make the world a more lovely place.
Aemok: You’re amazing. Thank you again and have a fantastic afternoon!
Mrs. Darling: You too, thank you for all that you do as well. Have a great rest of your day.
Again it was an absolute pleasure to read the book and chat with the author. I highly recommend you check it out.
This morning I came across this article about Mo’Nique, a well known and award winning actress, speaking publicly about her open marriage to Sidney Hicks. It was based off part of an interview the actress had recently done for True Exclusives. Overall it’s a good article and Mo’Nique explains her feelings on why monogamy just doesn’t make sense to her in a way that I think can be very accessible to a wide audience.
What irked me about the article was the title! Corinne Heller titled the piece for NBC6 South Florida as “Mo’Nique Talks Open Relationships, With a Free Pass to Cheat: ‘I Don’t Want to Be Owned Anymore.” ‘Cheating’ is LITERALLY being dishonest! “Free pass to cheat” doesn’t just imply but actually states that there is active deception and misleading going on between partners. That’s not at all what Mo’Nique said! Specifically she says “We don’t cheat.” She accurately points out that most cheating happens because people feel they aren’t getting something and how completely unreasonable it is to think that you or your partner will never find someone else attractive. She then talks about being open and honest with your partner about how you’re feeling.
“Often times people cheat because of something they’re not getting. But when you have open and honest dialogue and you say we’re just human beings and all these people on the face of the earth, do you think my eyes won’t ever say ‘he’s fine’ or ‘she’s attractive’. Now if you wanna go further with it, let’s be honest enough to have those conversations. What is it about that person that you find that you wanna sleep with? Because they may give you something that I’m simply not willing to do. And if that’s the case, how can I be mad? Because I’m not gon’ do it. Should I deprive you of not having it? That’s when the relationship is real real.”
People who openly communicate with each other about what they want and are honest about the types of relationships they are having DO NOT have a “pass to cheat”. They have a relationship that allows them to express themselves without the judgment and ridicule we find in many monogamous relationships and society in general.
The original interviewer is to blame for the specific line “free pass to cheat” when he asks Mo’Nique about her feelings of privacy in relationships. Unfortunately, Heller added it to the title of her piece which I fell misrepresents Mo’Niques actual feelings on non monogamy. I get the feeling they are there to grab readers attention because of their shock value.
So YAY Mo’Nique on being confident and comfortable enough to speak publicly about your open relationship. BOO to the author for keeping with the “free pass to cheat” way of thinking about non monogamy.
We live in a world of societal dichotomies. You’re either a boy or a girl. You’re black or white. You’re gay or straight. You’re Monogamous or Non-Monogamous. When you step back though and take a moment to really look at these labels though we find there is a lot of grey in between. Within the non-monogamy community two labels are becoming more and more publicly known: polyamory and swinging. Depending on who you ask though these terms are mutually exclusive. Let’s take a quick moment to break down each term and see if this is more of a spectrum or two choice system.
the philosophy or state of being in love or romantically involved with more than one person at the same time.”
The term is widely accredited to Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart’s 1990 article “A Bouquet of Lovers” published in Green Egg Magazine (Spring 1990). In its broadest sense it refers to “consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy.”¹ The beauty of poly relationships is that they require for the open, honest, communication between partners which allow for simultaneous relationships to blossom and thrive. These relationships generally have strong emotional connections and may or may include sexual interactions between some or all of the partners.
Google defines swinging in regards to sexuality as:
sexually liberated or promiscuous”
Swinging, or casual sexual relationships outside of an established couple, have been around for centuries. Terry Gould’s “The Lifestyle: a look at the erotic rites of swingers” notes the modern movement first among American Air Force pilots and their wives in the 1940s during World War II and later the “free love” movements of the 1960’s.² Today swinging is commonly used to describe individuals who have sex based relationships that may or may not have emotional involvement outside of their traditional couple dynamic.
Labels is defined as:
a classifying phrase or name applied to a person or thing, especially one that is inaccurate or restrictive.
example: ‘my reluctance to stick a label on myself politically'”
Originating an Old French term, labels allow for individuals to categorize people, places, and things into identifiable, predefined, groupings. Throughout history labels have been used to designate powers and roles within society in the form of titles such King/peasant or Master/slave. Due to thier limiting nature’s, many people, places, and things fit into multiple identifiable, predefined, groupings. Often times labels are also not mutually exclusive allowing for these multiple identifiers to co-exist simultaneously. Unfortunately, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder so to is the limitations and expanse of labels.
As per these definitions an individual may self-identify as BOTH poly AND as a swinger. Both fall under the even broader term of non monogamy
“which covers several types of interpersonal relationships in which an individual forms multiple and simultaneous sexual or romantic bonds.” Both falling under the “ethical” version of openness and honesty.³ A common topic in many poly groups both online and in person, particularly with people who are new, is how to handle personal emotions when our or our partners casual relationships become more. It is not uncommon for regular swing partners to begin to develop connections that have them questioning the current labels they choose to use. While we can offer support and suggestions it is up to the individuals involved in the relationships to determine when or if the jump to a new label is appropriate and acceptable.
As for my PERSONAL definition, adapted from my house and families, poly means we are free to love and develop emotional connections with whoever we choose, with or without the physical/sexual connection. Swinging means we are free to fuck whoever we choose, with or without an emotional connection. I self identify as both poly & a swinger.
¹ Taormino, T. (2013). Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. Cleis Press.
² Gould, T. (1999). The Lifestyle: a look at the erotic rites of swingers. Vintage Canada.
³ Barker, Langdridge. (2009). Understanding Non-Monogamies. Routledge.
-Easton, D. (2009). The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, and Other Adventures. Celestial Arts
-Kaldera, R. (2010). Power circuits: Polyamory in a power exchange. Alfred Press
Do you have kinky questions you’d like to see answered or explored? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.