Finding Your Level in Kink

A lot of people who start exploring the kink world begin with some spicy foreplay. A little domination in bed, a little spanking during sex, that kind of thing. For some people it never goes any further than that. And that’s perfectly okay!

I saw someone asking a question recently in a BDSM group. They felt awkward about being there and weren’t sure if they should be. They didn’t know if they belonged in a kink group or could call themselves a sub.

They had some curiosity about learning how things worked, but so far, their only interests were very mild. They talk about how their main fantasies were just about being spanked during sex, but they didn’t think they really enjoyed pain.

Most of the comments were pretty reassuring and accepting but a few gatekeepers slipped in with things like “You sound pretty vanilla to me. This probably isn’t your thing.” Hinting that they should just go.

Things like that really make me grit my teeth. If you’ve followed me for long you’ve probably noticed that one of the few things I get on my soap box about, are gatekeepers who try to say there is only one way to do kink. They think anything outside their narrow view is just wrong, or abuse, or doesn’t count.

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Folks, you will never fit into every mold. You will always be too kinky for some, not kinky enough for others. You will be told you are doing things wrong if you don’t follow the main path. You will be lectured on how you should be doing things this way.

The BDSM scene was never meant to be like that. Never. Our origins are in the rejects, the outcasts, the rebellious few who didn’t fit into society. So, yes, you belong no matter what your kink level is. I want to make that clear from the start.

What I’ve noticed in the scene is that new people coming in sometimes feel like there’s some kink level they have to hit in order to be counted as one of the cool kids. People will even push them saying, “You haven’t done this yet? Haha, what kind of sub are you?” This can spur them to try things they really don’t want to or make them move a little faster than they are ready for.

And there is flip side to this too. People who decide they are just going to stay with bedroom submission, or they only want domestic discipline and nothing more, start feeling like they shouldn’t consider themselves part of the scene. They aren’t really a sub because they don’t kneel and wear a collar—they just obey their partner and get punished if they don’t.

There has been, at times, an actual angry divide between people who are ‘just spankos’ and people who are ‘really kinky’ and it has always bothered me. It comes from both sides.

There are kinksters who think that unless someone’s role or interests match theirs, they don’t belong in a group or club and try to slam the door. I’ve seen bedroom subs pushed out, but also Littles and brats who don’t enjoy scenes, but still need the discipline.

Then there are the spankers/spankees who have made a point of separating themselves from the scene, as if what they do is normal, and what other kinksters do is not okay because it seems more extreme to them.

If you want to know where my dislike of gatekeeping started… well, all the way back at the beginning. My very earliest days in the scene.

There is an idea that spanking, especially when it’s a woman, is a natural, normal thing for a man to do. After all, historically it was done in many homes. We can see examples of it all over old ads, shows, movies, and books. So if men used to spank women, then it’s absolutely completely fine to have a (DD) Domestic Discipline relationship.

And many spankers felt that a DD relationship was very different from any Dom/sub nonsense. That was a whole other thing from some dark, seedy underworld and they didn’t want it in their happy 1950’s style Father Knows Best style marriage. People would argue about it ferociously online and I’m willing to bet if I actually looked, I could find people still arguing that it’s ‘not the same thing!’.

I’m not sure if it was a symptom, or if it helped cause the divide to widen, but back in the 80’s and 90’s there were a lot of clubs and play groups who started setting up rules to exclude people. Making things hetero only was on the agenda pretty early. Big shocker, I know.

The idea that heterosexuals only were allowed is fairly insulting when you consider the fact that it was the LGBT crowd who actually developed most of what we think of as ‘The Lifestyle’.

All those things people consider the foundation of the scene, like SSC and safewords, came directly from the elders of the kink world—and guess what? Most of them were gay! But still there were groups who claimed to be making a safe place for women to explore, and they did that by excluding LGBTQ.

But mostly gay men. As if women were in any danger from a gay man, right? It doesn’t take much digging to see that this wasn’t about giving women a safe place to explore at all. Nope.

On top of that it seemed important to them that the spankers not be bothered by anything that was too heavy, or too dark. I went to parties and groups in the late 90’s where they literally told you what implements you were allowed to use: paddles, hairbrushes, canes, belts—Okay! Whips, floggers, crops—absolutely not!

They passed out rules in advance demanding people dress nice, even pushing for women to wear skirts. They refused to allow anyone in who wore leather or latex, because it wasn’t the image they wanted to present. You couldn’t even bring toy bags in because you might slip in some implements that they didn’t want people to use.

In case you are wondering there are clubs and play groups that still do all of this even now. All of it. Hetero only. No leather. Spanking only. They even police what terms you can use for your partner and don’t allow Master/Mistress/Daddy/slave etc.

And don’t get me wrong, it’s fine for a kink group to have a focus on just one kink, but when your focus is so narrow, and you police it all the way down to sexual orientations it becomes a problem. And the vibe there is very much that spanking is okay but anything more than that is not.

Spanking between consenting adults is part of BDSM, period. I spend a lot of time writing things to be inclusive of everyone’s thoughts and feelings but if you have some idea that spanking is not part of BDSM then you’ve missed something.

Do you like to put your partner in furry cuffs? Do you like to tie them up? That’s the B for Bondage in BDSM.

Do you dominate/top your partner during scenes where you spank them, tie them up, or even just during rough sex? That’s the D for Dominance in BDSM.

D also stands for Discipline. Do you punish your partner? Do you pretend to punish them for fun? Yep, that counts.

Do you enjoy spanking or being spanked? The enjoyment of giving or receiving pain is Sadomasochism.  The SM in BDSM.

S also stands for submission. Submission does not have to mean wearing a collar and kneeling at someone’s feet. It can be as simple as submitting to someone else’s authority, allowing them to control you or your behavior. Letting them be in charge.

So yes, even the Christian Spanked Wives count as submissives. And those Domestic Discipline relationships count as D/s and therefore are under the BDSM umbrella.

If you are engaging in any, one or more, of those activities then you are engaging in BDSM.

And some people will get angry if you tell them this. They hate the idea of being lumped in with kinky people when what they are doing is clearly okay because –insert explanation—, but it doesn’t matter. It very much still counts under the definitions.

With all of that has come this idea that spanking is tame and people who live ‘The Lifestyle’ must be doing much more extreme activities. It’s a separation we don’t need and it’s not even accurate. I’ve seen people who are only into spanking /caning/ paddling play so hard they were black and blue. And I’ve seen people whipped with a bullwhip who barely had a mark the next day.

Here’s a very real example from a couple I knew a long time back who constantly argued these definitions. Bill didn’t consider himself a Dom. He didn’t consider their relationship D/s. He was The Boss in the house because he was the husband, and the bible says the husband is the boss. It was his job to punish his wife and keep her in line.

Jenny was his wife, and she had a lot of bad habits. She wanted discipline and needed the discipline and had actively sought this kind of relationship, so it was definitely consensual. She didn’t, however, find spanking sexy. It was just punishment and she needed it.

Bill loved to spank, and he spanked hard. He took every excuse to punish her with spanking, but also other things that go along with it. You know like lines, corner time, etc. When she was in trouble, she called him Sir.

I’m not sure if spanking was a turn on for him. I never asked, but he enjoyed doing it regardless. I saw him paddle her until she couldn’t sit comfortably for a couple of days on more than one occasion. It made her feel safe and content and if he didn’t punish her, she would get cranky and start pushing for that need to be filled.

But if you told them they were in a D/s relationship they got mad and would argue the heck out of it. He would admit he liked to spank but he refused the idea that it was part of SM. He was following the bible.

He did, grudgingly, admit he was dominating her and that she was submitting, but then said that since they only fit a couple of the letters (D) and (S) that meant their relationship couldn’t be in BDSM.


That’s… not how any of this works. There aren’t boxes to check off and either you check them all or else you don’t count. There isn’t a percentage of kinky things you have to try or explore before you’re admitted into the inner circle.

The dividing line is an illusion– like most dividing lines are.

When/if you decide to explore the Lifestyle, or dip your toes into the scene, you should never feel like you have to experience everything. You can explore at your own pace and try the things you want to try. And even if you never get beyond the first basic steps of liking a little spanking and bondage during sex… you still get to be part of things.

Anyone who tries to gatekeep and shut you out because you’re ‘just’ a spanko should be ignored. The scene was never supposed to be about shutting people out. It was always meant to welcome anyone who wanted to learn and explore.

If you feel like an outsider, or a freak because you’re obsessed with some kinky thing you fantasize about, then you probably fit in just fine. So ignore the gatekeepers and join the fun.

But once you get there make sure that you, and only you, decide what you want to experience. And don’t let anyone rush you. You’ll know when you’re ready to try something and if you never are… that’s okay too.

There are extremely intense parts of the kink world that aren’t for everyone. There are little niches that are so sweet and safe feeling that it barely feels like you should call it a kink. The great part about the scene is the diversity and variety.

There is literally something for everyone who goes looking. And you don’t have to check off a certain number of experience boxes to get in the door. There are no merit badges for completing an activity so if something doesn’t appeal to you… it’s fine to just shrug and walk away.

So find your level in kink. Look for the activities where you feel comfortable and stick to them until you are ready if ever, to take another step.

And slightly off-topic but connected… new people in the scene often experience a frenzy where they want to try everything, all at once, immediately! They are in such a hurry that they don’t actually wait to consider if it’s something they will like. They just barrel in.

It doesn’t do any good to tell them to slow down or wait until they know a bit more about something before they line up to try it. Trust me, I’ve tried. But I do feel like underneath that frenzy is the fear of not being seen as ‘kinky enough’ in some cases.

Not all cases, because there will always be people who are just eager to explore new things as fast as they can, but in some there is a different vibe. So if a new person, especially a sub/bottom, looks very anxious, like they are forcing themselves to do something that scares them, it’s okay to take them aside and check to make sure they are actually ready for it. Maybe walk them through what will happen.

That’s not the same thing as gatekeeping. There are many heavy things to be experienced in the scene, too heavy for someone who is just dipping their toes in. If you suspect they are in over their head, it’s appropriate to check with them.

That goes double if you’re the person who is supposed to be playing with them, and triple if your role is the Dominant. BDSM should not be a sink or swim event. When you engage in a scene with a new person you have a responsibility to make sure they don’t sink. Sometimes that means pointing them to the kiddy pool until they learn how to doggy paddle.

Krampus in July! (And early August!)

Christmas in July is big this year, with even Hallmark putting up Christmas movie ads, ack. Well, Krampus wasn’t having the other guy steal the show so we’re having a sale this week!

In celebration all three of the Krampus Collective books will be on sale.
July 29th– August 5th

Daddy Krampus .99

Krampus Sir 1.99

Krampus Doms 2.99

So, if you’re missing one, or more of these for your collection now is your chance to grab them.

If you haven’t heard of the Krampus Collective series….

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Once he was a solitary immortal. A creature out of nightmares. The embodiment of punishment. As humanity grew and spread across the globe, he split apart to keep the balance. Now there are twelve.

Each year some will step forward to begin the search for that one naughty sinner who fits their unique preferences. For the first time their discipline will be tempered with mercy and care.

They each have one year to find love with the human they choose. One year to convince that mate to stay. One year to punish, train, and cherish.

For one year, she will atone for her sins…but will it be enough to earn her a place by their side for eternity?

Daddy Krampus

She’s a thief in desperate need of a strict hand. He’s the embodiment of punishment looking for a mate. They have a year to find what they need … in each other.

Krampus Sir

He’s the spirit of punishment personified and he’s looking for his mate. She’s a shallow brat with dreams of influencer fame. Can they learn to love each other in just one year?

Krampus Doms

Lydia Kaye’s life has been marked by one terrible choice after another, culminating in an accidental fire that attracts the attention of two devilishly handsome strangers.

But they aren’t just a pair of hot, dominant men – They are the immortal embodiment of punishment packed into two sexy bodies. When they claim her as their mate, she’ll learn the price of her mistakes one painful punishment at a time.

‘Do as I Say Not as I Do Attitudes’ or Struggling with Feelings of Unfairness

Remember when you were a kid, and your parents would say “No snacks before dinner. You’ll ruin your appetite!” and then you’d catch them snarfing M&Ms and cookies from a hidden stash in the kitchen?

Or maybe they’d tuck you into bed early, telling you how important it was to get a good night’s sleep… but then you knew they were up watching television until late?

Remember how annoyed you were that they would tell you one thing but do something different themselves? Well, set those memories aside, because when it comes to a D/s relationship, things don’t work like that.

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As a child you needed adults to model good behavior for you, because that’s how children learn. It was important for your parents to at least pretend to follow the advice they gave you, otherwise kidyou wouldn’t understand or believe that these were good things.

But by the time you are an adult and ready to submit to someone, you no longer have to be shown how to behave. Yes, even Littles know deep down that their behavior doesn’t depend on what they see other people doing—but we’ll address them specifically later.

Adults don’t need positive examples to model their own behavior on. As an adult you’ve matured enough to be able to accept rules and guidelines on their own without examples.

Of course, it can still feel really annoying and unfair when you’re told not to do something but see your Top do it all the time. That feeling of unfairness is left over from the childhood idea that everyone should be treated the same way, and should behave the same way. And it will creep up on you even though you know that’s not how it really works.

This is actually a really common problem for people who live in a D/s dynamic. The struggle to accept a punishment for something you watch other people do all the time can be hard for a submissive. It brings you right back to that ‘not fair!’ perspective, especially for submissives who sometimes have a younger mindset when dealing with punishment—like Littles and brats.

But this is also a struggle for the Dom/Top in the relationship too. Punishing someone for not getting their work done, when you’ve been having a Netflix binge yourself can make you feel like a major hypocrite. Spanking your submissive for getting a speeding ticket when you’ve had two yourself makes you doubt yourself as a Dom.

You start feeling like maybe you should just let it go… after all, no one punished you for it.

It can be hard to enforce rules on others that you don’t follow yourself. Bedtime, swearing, being on time for things, keeping up with the chores, etc… those are all things that most adults struggle with at times. Whether you are a Dom or a sub doesn’t matter because adulting can be difficult some days for everyone.

Being a Top doesn’t automatically make you a superhero able to accomplish everything in life without stress. If anything, it makes life harder at times. You might spend all your energy supervising what your sub needs to get done, and have nothing for your own list of chores.

So my advice is going to be for everyone in a D/s dynamic, no matter your role: set aside the idea that things are going to be fair. They won’t be and sometimes that’s going to grate on you.

Some advice that might be a little more practical and useful would be to make as many of your rules together as partners as you can. Doing that is going to make things a little easier on both sides.

You can check this article here, on why it’s a good idea to make rules with your submissive and not just for your submissive:

Most of the rules that are going to become a challenge, will probably be life rules. Specifically, things that affect your quality of living and safety issues, because those are what all adults struggle with.

It’s perfectly fine for the Dom to lay down their own rules as long as everyone is in agreement, but when it comes to life rules, it’s a very good idea to find out from your submissive what they think they need. If their rules are based on things they have explicitly stated they want to work on, it becomes much harder for them to feel like things are unfair.

For the Dom it becomes harder for you to feel like a hypocrite when you are literally giving them exactly what they asked for. That doesn’t mean you can’t add to the rules if you see a problem, or if you have your own protocols you want to enforce. Most subs don’t want to feel like the entire relationship is being based on their needs only anyway.

But when these additional rules are added it’s still a good reason to discuss why. This idea that dominating someone should always be, “Do as I say and don’t ask questions!” is great… in fiction. In reality it tends to fall apart.

There are times when the sub/bottom/Little needs to hushed and listen to what they are being told. But when it comes to setting up a framework for their lives, they should always be part of the discussion, should be asking questions, and should have input on the rules they have to live with.

If you include them in all of that then you will find there are fewer moments of “That’s not fair!” from the sub or “I feel like a jerk for punishing him for this” from the Dom. Of course, that’s not the only reason to include them, but it’s still an important one.

The reality is that these moments will still pop up now and then because these kinds of dynamics can be hard sometimes. What everyone in the relationship has to remember is that this is not a parent/child situation. Even if your dynamic is Daddy/Little you are still two adults who have agreed to this structure.

Children don’t get to choose or consent to how they are raised or what rules they follow. They’re not capable of making the correct decisions for themselves until they gain world perspective and maturity. That’s not the case for a submissive.

If you, as a Dom, are feeling guilty that you don’t behave by the same rules your sub has to, then please remember that you did not ask for these rules, or consent to follow the structure like they did. Your job is simply to enforce and guide, not to be a role model.

When your sub complains that it’s not fair to punish them, reminding them that these are the rules they agreed to is often enough to move past the upset. This is especially true when it’s a rule that they put on the table in the first place.

That is surface level advice for basic rules.

If you want to go a little bit deeper, I would suggest that you look at the kinds of rules that make you feel hypocritical. Is it possible that you actually should be making some life changes? Not to placate your sub… but because you realize that you’re messing up and are embarrassed to be punishing someone for something you feel guilty for doing yourself.

Many Doms have found that having a submissive encourages them to improve their own life. If being a good example helps you to do better, than I’m all for it. But that needs to be up to you.

Your sub doesn’t get to throw it in your face because they are upset about being in trouble. However, when it comes to certain rules regarding health or safety you might just be stuck with either feeling like a jerk or improving your own behavior.

If something you are doing is bad for your health or dangerous then you should consider that part of the sub’s upset is that they are worried for you and have no outlet to do anything about it. When a Dom is worried they can tighten the reins and punish. When a sub is worried… all they can do is complain and hope you don’t ignore it.

It’s okay to promise them you’ll try to do better. It’s okay to team up with them to work together on both of you doing better. It’s even okay for you to tell them it’s not their job to police you, because it isn’t—but if they are truly worried, you won’t be doing your relationship any favors by doing that.

What you can’t do is stop holding them accountable for the rules just because you feel bad about not following them too. For example: Emily gets spanked for texting while she was driving. But her Dom Alicia, was texting back, while also driving. Now Emily is standing in the corner with a red butt, and Alicia is feeling like an asshole.

Alicia probably should feel guilt in this situation. She did something dangerous and illegal and will get away with it, while having to punish someone else for putting their life at risk over the same thing.

She can’t not punish Emily for it; that’s not fair to Emily. That’s not being a good Dominant. In a way Alicia’s punishment is having to follow through with her duties while knowing she messed up too.

That’s the hard part about being a Dom sometimes. You don’t get the whole cycle of punishment and forgiveness that makes it easier to get over things. Sometimes you just have to sit and stew on your own mistakes and hopefully that stewing will lead to making fewer.

Now, about the Littles (and some brats too):

Most of what I said above does apply to Littles when they are in a D/s dynamic. Not all Littles are, of course. Not all Littles want or need rules and punishment. But I figure most people who read this blog are, so I focus on those most of the time.

Littles are a bit of a special case. Not because what I said doesn’t apply to them. It absolutely does. They might act like children, but they are fully grown adults with experience and maturity enough to have entered into a relationship that gives someone else authority over them.

By doing that, they are agreeing to the parental style dynamic which often includes discipline. So even if your framework is built around a Caretaker with a Little you still have to bear in mind that this is consensual and that the Little wants/needs to be held accountable.

When Littles go deeply into that role, they may act immature or make poor choices. In that mindset they have put aside their adult reasoning and logic skills and have regressed to behaving the way a child would. They can be impulsive and act without fully considering their actions. Their Caretaker will need to deal with that.

Littles, like children, need consistency and boundaries. Regardless of whether Daddy sometimes breaks the speed limit or says ‘Fuck!’ a Little needs to be held accountable when they break the rules. Letting big things slide, tends to make Littles feel scared and unprotected which can be difficult in such a vulnerable headspace.

Where things are different from other submissives, is in how you deal with it. You can try reminding a Little that they agreed to follow these rules and that you warned them they would be punished. The adult side of them will, of course, understand that.

However, it’s very likely that when you are about to deliver punishment, the Little is not going to just settle into place with that understanding. Many Littles go straight to a kid’s headspace when they are about to be punished.

So you’re going to get the whining, the pouting, the complaining. You’ll hear “This isn’t fair!” and no matter how much you try to explain why it’s totally fair… they may not be in the headspace to agree with that.

You are not going to get a Little, deep in Littlespace, to agree that they want/need this punishment any more than a kid would agree with it. Littles are not made of logic. They are made of chaotic emotions and glitter.

You’re just going to need to proceed with following through on your duties as their Daddy/Mommy/Caretaker to deliver the punishment they earned. Later, after the punishment is over is a much better time to debate whether or not it was fair to hold them accountable—but they’ll probably still pout about it.

I think this can probably be wrapped up with this quick summary:

  • Fair doesn’t always mean equal. Doms and subs have different sets of needs.
  • It’s not hypocritical to hold someone accountable for the things they agreed to, even if they don’t like it.
  • Adults don’t need the example of good role models in order to follow rules, so Doms don’t need to have perfect behavior before they can expect their subs to obey.

I’m always happy to hear input from my readers. There are quite a lot of you these days, so feel free to comment or email me with question. And please double check to make sure your emails are accurate. I always try to reply but many of them bounce, and I have no way to get ahold of you.

Catching Up and Vacation Snafus!

I’ve been very quiet for the past month I know, and I apologize. There has been a lot going on in my little corner of the world and with a pressing deadline and a week vacation planned the blog had to take a temporary backseat.

I hope to have a new article for you next week, but for now I thought I’d just catch you up on some news. Most of it will be about my vacation so I apologize in advance if you get bored.

Continue reading “Catching Up and Vacation Snafus!”

Action Daddy Deleted Scene!

For those who aren’t subscribed to my newsletter or missed the last one, I wanted to make sure you got a chance to grab the deleted scene from the last book.

Action Daddy Book Three: The Daddy Returns, was expanded from a short story in the USA Today Bestselling, and International Bestselling Dirty Daddies 2021. I gave it a new beginning, a new ending, and a whole lot of new material in the middle too.

The part that was a short story has been rewritten to make it flow in a longer book. You’ll get to know Mitch’s family a lot better, learn more about his history too, so if all you’ve read is the novella, you’ll definitely want to read the book.

It ended up being about three times the size of the original story after all the rewrites. But there was one short scene that wasn’t working as I expanded the book. It was sweet and full of little family moments, but it interrupted the flow between Mitch and Olivia so I had to cut it.

I did save it because there were so many sweet moments, I couldn’t bear to throw it away, but I thought my readers might love the additional moments with them. There’s nothing steamy in the deleted scenes, it’s just a cozy little scene with Mitch, Olivia, and Emma.

If you read the novella, I’m sure there’s no spoilers in it but if you haven’t read it or the book there might be a few small ones. Nothing major.

So if you’d like to download your copy of this deleted scene, you can grab it here:

You can download it in mobi, epub for your kindle, or I believe you can read it right in the browser window. I hope you enjoy it!