‘Subs Have All the Power’ is Wrong and We Should Stop Using It

It feels like we haven’t had a controversial topic in a while, but this one has been on my list for a couple of years. I’m going to say this will probably only sound controversial until you read what I have to say and think about it for a minute.

I’m going to explain why I absolutely detest the phrase ‘The subs have all the power in a D/s relationship.’ So, sit back and buckle up because this is going to be a ride.

In the days when kink was still a hush-hush ‘don’t let the neighbors know kind of thing’, you know, before it got kicked into mainstream by 50Shades, this phrase was used as the default to explain why BDSM was not abuse. It couldn’t possibly be abuse because subs have alllll the power.

How do you abuse someone who is actually sneakily, despite what it looks like, the real boss? You can’t, of course.

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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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How Do I Bring Up the Topic of Kink with My Partner?

Boy, did this use to be a huge issue! Don’t get me wrong, it can still be difficult now, but it’s a lot easier than it used to be.

I can’t tell you the number of people in the lifestyle I knew who simply never got the courage to tell their partner about their need for kink. Some of them denied themselves for most of their lives because of that fear.

I literally know widows and widowers who never got a chance to explore until their spouse of many years passed on. There are a surprising number older newbies in the scene for this exact reason.

Others made the decision to explore outside of their marriage and keep it secret. There were lots of justifications for this and in some cases, you can totally understand why they made that choice.

Continue reading “How Do I Bring Up the Topic of Kink with My Partner?”