(Watch his thumb move on the back of her neck.)


It’s just so fucking good, sometimes, to have all thought of choice taken away.



I’m over the whole concept of the infallible dom. The whole strong man stereotype who is always right and never messes up and is suave every moment of every day. Men who demand that sort of esteem are a little absurd, and a culture that perpetuates that role is harmful to both these people and the people that love them.

Bottom line: I love that he trips. I love that she smirks. And I love that he is sometimes that domineering presence and sometimes, yeah, he’s a guy who hasn’t quite gotten the hang of a punching bag just yet.

So let’s talk about this. A few things have been rattling around in my head ever since Ivy posted her (perceptive and valuable) take.

  1. Dominance and submission are, to my mind, deeply valuable as ways of being understood.
  2. You can only understand a human by understanding a human.
  3. Asking someone to understand you is asking them to see your flaws as well as your gifts. This is scary, and carries risks.
  4. So dominance and submission are expressions of vulnerability by everyone involved.

“The sub has unstated power over the scene” isn’t exactly groundbreaking kink theory, but it has implications like these that maybe don’t get examined as much. When you top you can get hurt or exhausted, emotionally or physically. You can be pressured into doing things you wouldn’t normally consider, just like a sub. I’ve topped in consensual nonconsent scenes that left me shaking and kind of fucked up afterwards, and I’m fortunate that I had a (submissive!) partner who was really good with aftercare for me. When I asked her to understand me, in a moment when I was fallible, she said yes.

So as fun as it is to write and fantasize about implacable, aloof or flawless Dom-monsters, it’s a little silly–and counterproductive–to try to bring that into real life. Inhabit the character when it suits and leave it behind when it doesn’t. Being vulnerable with the right person is one of the most rewarding things I’ve done in my life, as I think many subs would agree. Opening up your own humility and humanity in a dominant role will pay you back over and over, and I think seeing more representation of that experience would be a really good thing.


“You could have left the little gown on, you kn–oh well.”


Every time someone follows me here, I keep the notification in my inbox until I’ve gone to check out their blog. I’ve found some really cool things that way, and I feel like if someone wants to follow me, I owe them at least the courtesy of seeing a little of what they’re about.

Last month I got pretty busy, as you may have noticed, while at the same time some very kind people reblogged my stuff, and the follows started piling up. Today I sat down, opened up gmail, and saw that I have over a hundred new people to see to.

Deep breath.


Behavior correction case file #902: Alex. Subject was introduced socially to Dr. L, and was diagnosed “in the wild” with sexual frustration, general insolence, and an inability to self-manage combined with an independent streak too wide for her own good. She was referred for an evening assessment by our house-call team. Subject displayed vehement disagreement with the team’s conclusions and was restrained for her own safety. Continued restraint is advised, for the time being, except when under strict supervision.

Alex is a natural submissive in deep denial of her essential self, which means she has been suffering emotional pain and dissonance for some time without being able to identify a cause. This in turn has led to her becoming hostile and lashing out at herself as well as those around her. Fortunately, our staff is accustomed to such referred pain, and even better, we have the tools to deal with it.

The subject will begin each morning with a sensory overload regimen: ritual bondage, exposure, depilation if necessary, and heavy applied stim to the nerve centers of maximum humiliation. Forced orgasm is an expected byproduct of this treatment, and we will of course track any such effects. Feel free to question the subject about her experience, though she is not expected to respond usefully for some time. In no case is the treatment to cease before the subject has screamed herself hoarse.

By this time, the subject should be more pliable. Take her to the workroom of choice and consult the attached training syllabus for the topics we expect to cover. They include oral, anal and vaginal service, self-identification and understanding of her new role, proper posture, apparel selection or lack thereof, pain management, and a very thorough course in obedience by means of operant conditioning. Feel free to continue education for as many shifts as seem appropriate; in case the subject’s energy levels seems to be flagging, remember that workrooms are stocked with fresh tubs of ice water hourly.

We will evaluate the subject’s progress each month, and expect to see significant improvement in attitude and aptitude by Q2. At this point, Dr. L plans to conduct a series of personal evaluations of her self-image and embrace of her most genuine self, and may take her on as a personal project. We expect that by then, she will be grateful for the opportunities offered by such focused work with a supervisor. Be sure to remind Alex just what a lucky subject she is.


“I’m so sorry, sweetheart! You must have been terribly bored in there without this vibrator.”


Behavior correction case file #440 UPDATE: Ivy. While the subject has shown marked improvement under treatment so far, recent indications are that progress has plateaued. It may simply be that we have reached the limitations of what can be achieved by coaxing and instructing, and need to move on to working directly with the subconscious.

Simply put, Ivy will be put on overload. Each week, her chart will be updated with a randomized stim schedule, with staggered rest periods at irregular intervals to disorient her and induce repeated fugue states. She will spend the majority of shifts in some form of sensory deprivation combined with vibration, penetration, focused impact, and utilitarian bondage or encasement. She will never know exactly who is using her body, how long a session will last, or whether she will be permitted (or punished for) orgasm. Any information she gleans about her current circumstances will be drip-fed and incomplete. Monitor pulse levels, and feel free to switch things up to keep them high.

Between these sessions, Ivy will be folded into a small case and transported to the recovery chamber on level 4. She will spend recovery time unbound but collared, and dressed in minimal decorative garments, which are to be referred to as “pretties.” She will see a small, consistent set of supervisors during these periods, who have already been briefed on treating her gently but addressing her in diminutive and reductive terms. Soothing, petting, and cuddling are encouraged. Subject is to feel as if she is receiving special treatment (which is in fact true), but also in firm and careful hands.

Until, upon waking, she finds herself at full use again.

The overarching goal in this case is to simulate a fractured reality. The subject should come to believe that her stim sessions are a dream when she is in recovery, and that her recovery is a dream when she is under stim. The alternating stresses of this contradiction should provide opportunity to examine and manipulate her psyche to an otherwise unattainable degree.

The closest we have come to using this form of therapy in the past has been as a punitive measure against hostile actors bent on harming the Institute. The intent for those subjects was to break them. With Ivy, however, it must be clear that our intent is pure and therapeutic. We do not expect her to break; we expect her to blossom.


Six years ago this week she and I met for the second time. Three years ago today she IMed me out of the blue. Two years and ten months ago, she sent me a blushing picture after getting off to a story I’d written for her. The next morning she sent a video of herself shouting at the sky about how much she liked me. We talked all day every day, to the point where I put my job in jeopardy. We had a world of secrets and code words and in-jokes.

Two and a half years ago, she asked me to delete and purge everything we’d ever sent each other, blocked me, and more or less never spoke to me again.

I am older than most of my readers here. (An uncomfortable number of you are about half my age, in fact.) I had plans for my life at this stage, and I still want the things I planned for, but now they seem as distant as they ever have. You fuck up, is the thing. You fuck up, and you tell yourself you’ll learn from it, but then you fuck up the same way over and over and realize all you’re learning is how to ride out the pain.

My memory has never been very good. I’ve relied on bluffs and tricks and devices to cover that ever since I was a kid. I carry a pen with me everywhere, to write notes on my palm; I wash my hands and then squint at them, trying to remember what they said a moment ago.

I have calluses on my hands and feet from beating ache into exhaustion. I have scars whose stories I don’t know anymore. I collect marks on my skin and try to trace them, but a map without a point of reference doesn’t lead you anywhere.

Two weeks from today, I’m going on a trip to visit our mutual friends, and she and I will be in the same city for the first time since 2008. If those friends try to get one of us to meet up with the other, we will each carefully avoid agreeing. The bruises healed a long time ago, but the body shies away.