Time Management and Organization Help for Scattered Subs and Littles

A Submissive's Rules

For a lot of us in D/s relationships where there are rules and discipline, time management and all the issues that go along with it seem to be a big thing. I know one of the issues I struggle with the most is being self-motivating. I’m just not.

That’s always been one of the things I most need from a Dom, because once I get going, I’m a powerhouse for work—but getting started… well, that’s another story. I am absolutely an example of the First law of Physics. Object at rest stays at rest; object in motion stays in motion.

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Aftercare Is a Choice

Okay, let me start right from the beginning by clarifying the title. Aftercare is a choice for the submissive. Doms should always check in with a sub after scenes in some way and be ready to provide any care needed. That’s just part of responsible Domming.

This might be physical care if some first aid or physical assistance is required. It might be emotional care if the scene was intense.

Continue reading “Aftercare Is a Choice”

‘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: https://kessilylewel.com/2020/03/06/making-rules-with-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.

Aftercare in a Long-Distance Relationship

How do you do aftercare in a long-distance relationship?

This is a question that comes up now and then. More people than usual have found themselves in long-distance relationships over the past couple years. Maybe they never expected to be, but Covid forced the issue, so LD relationships have been a big topic.

I was asked about it again recently and I realized I hadn’t done a stand-alone blog post on the subject. I think there was some discussion on aftercare in the main Long-Distance D/s series I did, but it’s probably worth doing on its own.

So, how do you do aftercare when your partner is far away, and you can’t really touch them? Short answer: the same way you do everything else from a distance—with adaptations. The long answer is a little more complicated so let’s dive into it.

Continue reading “Aftercare in a Long-Distance Relationship”

Safewords Aren’t Just for Scenes

Today we’re going to discuss a use for safewords that most people haven’t thought of or considered. We all know how useful they can be during scenes, a way to stop or slow things if something has gone wrong.

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Saying ‘Red’ (or whatever you choose) is a way to let the Dom know that there is a problem, in a way that won’t be mistaken for part of the play. It removes the ambiguity.

One reason safewords were created was because many submissives/bottoms/brats like to get into a headspace during play that allows them to struggle a bit. Saying ‘No, no, stop!’ doesn’t actually mean they want you to stop. There needed to be a way to make it instantly clear that it was a real protest, not dramatics as part of the scene.

It’s also important that when people see a scene, they know that the person being spanked/whipped/hurt has an escape route. The fact that they aren’t using it means everything is consensual and okay. So, in some ways the safeword is also there to reassure the community also.

It’s a tool, one of many, that make the scene a safer place. Can you play without one? Sure, lots of people do, but it does mean you have to be more careful. The Top needs to pay closer attention and even with that you need to remember you are adding additional risk.

It’s never a good idea for people who are new to the scene or playing with a new partner—but we’ve discussed these things before.

But what about using safewords outside of a BDSM scene. They can be useful during sex, of course, and I think a lot of people have already figured that out. There are times when sex actually borders on BDSM or includes it, so some people make the jump naturally to include them.

If you haven’t… you might want to consider it because it’s easy to make mistakes and misunderstand things during sex too. And the rougher the sex the more danger there is of making a mistake.

But … that’s not our focus today either.

Today we’re going to discuss emotional safewords. We’re going to talk about using safewords during intense or difficult conversations.

Stop for a minute and consider this.

Not all pain is physical. Words can be hard to hear, and hard to say. Every relationship will eventually need to have a difficult, painful, conversation.

Romantic partners, and D/s partners especially will hit these places. When you’re sharing intense emotions with people, criticism can feel like an attack. Requests to change or do things differently may seem like you’re being told you’re not good enough.

Whether you’re romantic partners, Dom/sub, or both, there will come a time when a conversation twists into something painful, and maybe even harmful to both of you. What is a safeword for, if not to stop you from getting harmed?

And I want to make it clear that even if we’re talking about a D/s dynamic, the safeword shouldn’t just be for the submissive/bottom. Tops/Doms can be hurt by words too. Tempers get heated. Words fly out of your mouth without thought on both sides.

If you know you’re going to have a difficult conversation, or you can feel a regular conversation starting to turn… stop. Suggest using safewords. Simple yellow and red stoplight colors would probably be best. Especially if your partner isn’t kinky and isn’t totally used to safewords.

I think we’re at a point now where most people know what they are, even if they’ve never used them. So you shouldn’t have to explain how they work. But it might be a shock to consider using them for a conversation.

But think about it like this… wouldn’t difficult discussions be easier if you knew when you were triggering your partner, upsetting your partner, or even hurting your partner? Do we get anything accomplished when we’re both hurt and angry?

No, because once you reach that point people shut down. They stop listening. They can’t take in what you’re saying logically, once emotions are engaged.

Let me give you a quick example:

Donna notices that things have been left undone for the fourth day in a row and decides it’s time to address it with her sub. “Katie, I’m really angry with you. I feel like you’ve done nothing but ignore me and your rules all week. I’ve given you lists every day and half of it isn’t even done. Are you even trying?”

Katie, who has been having a very stressful week and is feeling overwhelmed at the beginning of this is not going to be able to respond with calm logical reasons about why the lists weren’t done. Katie is probably going to shut down. There might be tears, or there might be angry snapping back—either way this is not going to be productive.

I find yellow is good for needing a minute. Red is good for when something has seriously been triggered and the whole conversation, or some part of it needs to be tabled for a little bit.

So, let’s try this instead.

Katie tries to explain and realizes it’s too much. “You don’t understand! I— Yellow.”

Then they both take a minute. They both calm down. Nothing gets said that will be regretted later.

After a minute of organizing thoughts, Katie can explain. “I have been trying, but this has been a difficult week. My boss doubled my workload because a co-worker is out sick. I’ve had to stay late every day. On top of that my car broke and was in the shop so I couldn’t get to the errands.”

Donna may have been vaguely aware of some of what was going on, but they hadn’t specifically discussed it. She had her own busy, hectic week and hadn’t put it all together. Because Katie was able to interrupt things and then calmly explain, they can now discuss ways to fix the problem.

You can reverse this too.

“Ma’am, I did everything I was supposed to do this week. You promised me a reward scene the other night and then you fell asleep. It feels like it’s been forever since we played. I’m hurt and struggling. And you don’t even notice I—”

“Yellow!” Donna has been struggling all week just to take care of herself. She has been trying to take care of Katie too, but she’s exhausted and worn out.

When Katie, clearly upset, starts to complain all Donna can think is that she’s failing them both. She’s shaky and on the verge of breaking down. But instead of falling apart, or worse, lashing out at Katie… she says ‘yellow’.

She takes a minute to get a drink of water and calm down. And then she comes back, and they talk about why things have been a struggle for them both. Donna as the Top is allowed to have limits too.

People forget this.

She is allowed to put her own needs on the table and that might mean she can’t give Katie everything she needs at the moment. That kind of conversation can be extremely difficult. Both want things to work, both are trying and there is no bad guy except for the world around them making things difficult.

In a conversation like that you both might need to safeword, more than once, before you finally reach a resolution that you can both live with. But being able to stop or slow things before they escalate can be a big help.

Do you find, as a sub, that your Dom reacts defensively when you discuss needs not being met?

Do you find as a Dom, that your sub falls apart and starts putting themselves down any time you try to discuss behavior issues?

These are things that a safeword can help with and the great thing is that either of you can use them. Is your sub being defensive and cutting you off to say why none of it is their fault? Is your partner not listening because they are getting too upset?

As with a D/s scene using the safeword removes the ambiguity from the situation. It can also be the shock you need to break out of a spiral.

For myself, I’ve found that just being able to say ‘Red!’ when I’m struggling with a conversation is a release valve in a way. I can feel myself starting to calm down as soon as I get the word out.

I wish I had learned that it was possible to use a safeword in other situations earlier, because when I think back, I can see many times it would have helped. It was until my current relationships that it became a thing.

G normalized it and it’s been a big help when navigating relationship discussions. I’m not sure why I had never thought of it. I think probably a lot of people haven’t—so now you have a new idea to try.

Let me know how it goes if you end up using it!