The Three C’s

As a newbie in BDSM I have done quite a bit of reading and thinking and discussing. Both about doing kinky stuff and about having a D/s relationship. It did not take long before I saw some words repeat themselves, and I dubbed them the three C’s. The three C’s is probably on the top five list on how to make a D/s relationship work – or any relationship for that matter. For me, those words are the top three on that list. Better yet, they are all on the top of the list, together.

Consent. Compatibility. Communication.

Consent.

Consent is vital for any relationship. From consensual non-consent or blanket consent to enthusiastic consent and everything in between – consent is what distinguish a healthy power exchange relationship from abuse. I read and hear about consent everywhere, and for a reason. It is not easy to be new and not completely get how important consent is and how many shades consent comes in. In the beginning, consensual non-consent sounded awfully like abuse to me. Now I know a bit more and the term does not sound as frightening.

Personally, I like enthusiastic consent the most. It is not necessary all the time, but often enough to hold my doubts and worry in check. A lot of the time, I get her consent by asking her to do something and she does it, and by her sounds and other reactions when I do something to her. It is not as if I find something new and just do it without talking about it or give her a warning first. Informed consent is important. Here is where the two other C’s comes in.

Compatibility.

To find someone that you are compatible with is not easy, but if you find someone who floats on the same waves as you do, the wait is worth it. I am not only talking about kinks. For a relationship to work compatibility is necessary both in a vanilla setting and in a kinky one. It will not be easy to have a relationship when one partner only wants to party in their free time and the other only wants to go on hikes. If there is no middle ground, there is not much for a relationship to grow on. The way I see it, compatibility in a vanilla setting is as important, if not more, than having compatible kinks. (If you want to have a vanilla relationship too, that is, and not just a D/s relationship.)

As for compatible kinks, who cares what rest of the world thinks of your kinks when you have a partner that enjoys them as much as you do? To find someone that you have many kinks in common with can be a hardship for some. I have read about people who just cannot seem to find someone who is into the same things as them. And I have read about many people who have found the one that fulfill their own kinks to perfection, even if they did not think it possible at first.

I think it is important to remember that people are first and foremost not kink delivery systems, but people. Chances are you will not find someone who like all the things you like as much as you like them and nothing else. Do not write a list about all the things that a prospective partner have to be and like; you might miss out on a lot of great people if you do. Then there is the fact that some people might learn to like and love new kinks, because their partner like this kink or that kink so much. They might grow into it, given the chance and the time to get used to it. Then again, they might not. It is probably not smart to begin a relationship on the assumption that the new partner will learn to love a kink that you cannot live without. Talk about it, a lot, and be clear when you communicate. This is where the last C comes in.

Communication.

I have read a lot of post and articles that has claimed another version of the three C’s. Communication, communication and communication. In a D/s relationship, communication does not fix everything any more than in a vanilla relationship, but it is a beginning. There will not be possible to clarify or fix anything if you do not communicate.

In addition, open communication is even more important when one partner have all the authority in a relationship and a green card for giving pain when one wants to. I would think it is good to have a submissive who is a secure enough communicator that she may tell the dominant that she feels like she is coming down with the flu, before the dominant decides to give the submissive an ice cold shower. Informed consent goes both ways. I would feel horrible if I inadvertently made my girlfriend sick, (I would certainly not consent to do so) or harmed her in any way when it could have been avoided by open communication.

I can honestly say that I have never been in a relationship where I have communicated this much. I am not a great communicator. I like to talk to my girlfriend, my friends and my family, but I am not good at talking about heavier stuff. It gets stuck in my head, sometimes in my throat, and I cannot get the words out. If the other part is as bad as I am at communication, little communication will find place. I do not like the fact, but it is a fact.

Fortunately, my girlfriend is much better at communication than I am and makes it possible for me to communicate without having too much trouble. It does not make all conversations easy, but it makes it possible even when it is hard.

Sadistic Guilt Trip

Most days I’m okay with my sadistic desires. I’m more than okay – I enjoy the happiness and pleasure I feel when I’m being sadistic. Sometimes I laugh gleefully when I smack or whip my masochistic girlfriend and sometimes I can feel my breath catch while I watch her take the pain I give her. Her reaction to the pain plays havoc with my own feelings and reactions and it is all part of the fun.

But not all days are most days. From time to time I experience doubt and guilt because of my sadistic tendencies; or needs – which is what they feel like at times. I know that I’m not fully reconciled with my sadistic side. I have come a long way, but aren’t completely there. Or I’m not there all the time; now and again I take a step or two backwards and I let the doubt in.

Not on purpose, mind you.

Last time it happened was after I had played with my girlfriend. I had felt particularly hungry for her pain this time and I had gotten my fill. We were both happy and satisfied. We didn’t do anything new or big or dangerous of any kind, that wasn’t the problematic part. What was different this time was the fact that I had been made very, very aware how much pure pleasure I get out of giving her pain. I have long been aware of the fact that I like it, but not to this degree. At some point during this playtime it scared me a bit, but at that stage I savored it too much to stop.

Afterwards it was time to pay up. It started small, almost like an irritation in the back of my thoughts. The more I thought about it, the more it prickled, and I wasn’t able to stop thinking about it. In the end it was like someone shouting at me:

“What the hell is wrong with you?! You can’t like that! You can’t get pleasure from that; you are a sick, sick bastard!”

The main reason this angry, hateful voice didn’t – and probably never will – do any lasting damage to my peace of mind and self-esteem was the very vivid and very pleasant memories of the play time I just had had with my girlfriend. She enjoyed receiving pain as much as I enjoyed giving it, which makes her as sick – or as healthy – as me, and that I can live with. Curling up with her and talking to her soothed my doubts and the angry and shocked voice in my head slowly retreated. When I told her I had gotten scared by my own feelings of satisfaction and delight, she hurried to reassure me that I was safe with her. I hadn’t done anything to her that she hadn’t liked and she wouldn’t let me do it either. There was nothing wrong and nothing to be afraid of. I was safe with her.

And the door closed behind the doubt and guilt.

I’m not sick or otherwise wrong for being sadistic. My girlfriend is not sick or otherwise wrong for being masochistic.

My sadism fits her masochism like a hand in a glove and there is nothing wrong with either of us, or with anyone else that partake in consensual BDSM. I’m fully aware of this, but sometimes my thoughts and feelings take a turn to the worse and I have to be reminded – and remind myself – of this, once again.

Most days I enjoy being a sadist and getting my satisfaction from my girlfriend’s moans of pain and pleasure. Most days I can pinch, bite, slap and claw at her and then cuddle up with her without a second thought – just a mind and body full of bliss. Most days being a sadist only makes things more interesting.

And some days I need to remind myself what a respectful, caring and kind human being I am. Sadist or no, it doesn’t change that fact.

Lack of nerves

The past month I have been at a kinky gathering or a munch almost every week. In the beginning of my escapades in the kinky world I was more nervous than anything else. Stubbornness alone made sure that I got out the door at home and to the munch. It wasn’t really something I looked forward to; I was far too busy being nervous. It was just something I had to do for myself and hope that it would get better with time.

It did get better. A lot better. Now I look forward to the gatherings, to see my new friends again, to begin new friendships, to talk about books, movies and kink with new people. To joke and laugh with people, and to smile and grin when watching someone get a beating or being put in their place. I might feel mildly uncomfortable sometimes, after all, there are a lot of people I haven’t talked to and sometimes someone can act a bit … out of place. Nothing really rude, just weird, and not in a good way. But it doesn’t happen very often and I guess it’s hard to get away from with so many different people at one place.

So I enjoy looking forward to the gatherings, almost counting down the days, starting at the evening of the last gathering. One reason for my lack of nerves, nerves that were very much there not so long ago, might be the fact that I now meet up with my new newbie friend before the gatherings, and we travel the last bit together. This way, neither of us has to go there alone and sit alone until we find someone to talk to. It’s easier and funnier. I have yet to experience that we run out of things to talk about. Another reason for my lack of nerves might be that I become more and more curios the more I read, learn and see, and I want to learn and see more, and do things myself. I get more and more curious about doing every week. It’s a really hard thought to get out of my head these days. I have got kink on the brain!

This weekend I’m going to a kinky birthday party and I really, really look forward to it. I’m sure it will be a lot of fun! Oh, there will be new people there, and I believe the crowd will be smaller than on the kinky gatherings I’m usually at … and yes, I’m a bit nervous, but I’m a lot more excited! And I know that I already have talked to some of the people who will be there. It will be fine.

Besides, the birthday party isn’t all that I have to look forward to this weekend.

I also have got a date!

No, I’m not thrilled, not at all. No, I don’t look forward to it, not even a bit, of course not. (< Notice the ton of sarcasm I used here. < Notice the fact that I have never done something like this before.) I’m absolute calm and gathered. I’m not jumping up and down while clapping my hands. I wouldn’t do that, ever. (Geez, there’s that sarcasm again.)

Now I’m losing the thread completely, best to put an end to this post.

What is my “type”?

While it sometimes happens that I think a random woman on the street is beautiful, I don’t have a physical “type” that interests me more than others. Or, if I do, I have not found it yet. I think it’s fascinating how some of my friends seem to have a physical “type” they like better than other types. It might be that someone with long, brown hair, square jaw and muscle appeals more than other features. Or it might be a more general look, like someone with Asian features or Nordic, Hispanic or Italian features. Of course, the fact that someone likes to watch people that look so and so, doesn’t mean that they always fall in love with someone that looks like that.

Physical looks are, after all, only the first impression, and while the first impression matters, it’s unlikely to do any good if the person is a jerk.

When my friends and I talk about types and they list features that makes them turn their heads or personality traits that makes them pay closer attention, and then ask about my type, I can’t give them an answer. We have used hours to try and find my type, without success. Sure, I like that girls have some hair on their heads and I like it if their clothing style are girlish more than boyish, but neither is a must have. When it comes to hair, eye and skin color I have no preferences that I know of. It’s not like I can’t see a woman and like what I see, I most certainly can, but there is no straight answer to exactly why I like her looks. And if you put her exact opposite next to her, I might like her just as much.

While I don’t have a physical type, that I have discovered, I do have a list with preferences. I would like it if we have some, or a lot, of the same interests. We must be able to talk, and talk and talk and laugh a lot together. I would prefer it if we were quite close in age, give or take about three years. And there must be chemistry, lots of good chemistry, and a spark. The spark isn’t necessary to begin with; if the right chemistry is there, the spark might just come in its own time.

Of course, now that I’m carefully dipping my toes in the BDSM world, I would like it very much if we were compatible in that area too. Not that I’m entirely aware of what that would mean, for my part, but I’m beginning to get a notion of it.

So far none of those I have fallen in love with have been even the slightest bit alike, physically. They have been on completely different ends of the spectrum, both in features and colors. I think that the personality catches my attention first and if other things are right, the fact that I like how she looks kind of sneaks up on me until I one day realize she is beautiful, stylish and so very cute. There is no other way to describe it.

My type is the one I fall in love with.

Flirting

Flirting is a great mystery to me. I neither understand it nor see it. Not only do I not see if someone is flirting with me, I don’t even know when I’m doing something others would consider flirting. When it comes to flirting, I’m completely blind.

Some of it might be inexperience, but some of it is also the fact that I have a hard time believing that anyone would flirt with me. (Low self-esteem, much?) When I’m in a situation where I think there might be a possibility that someone is flirting, I consider it carefully and then end up with a: “Nah, surely not. Why would she?” It’s better to believe that no one is flirting and be wrong, than to believe that someone is flirting, and be wrong.

It’s not a conscious thought either; it’s just the way it is. “No one is flirting, don’t get your hopes up, move along now.”

Of course, it’s a bit worse when I don’t realize that I’m flirting myself. I might talk to someone I like, and later stop and consider if I was flirting or not, without really figuring it out.

(You should know when you do these things, right?)

I have a feeling flirting should be fun, but unless I know what’s actually going on, it’s more bewildering than anything else.

Hugging

I don’t get causal hugging. The type of hugging that happens between people that just have met, or maybe have met once or twice before. The type of hugging where you don’t know for sure that the person you hug is someone you like, trust or even want to hug, no matter how causal.

There are some people that I like instantly and don’t mind hugging at all, but they are few and far between. In most cases I have to use some time to get to know people before I’m comfortable with hugging them. It doesn’t always happen either; sometimes I can like people, even be friends with them, without ever feeling that hugging them is a normal part of our relationship. In the meantime I’m expected to hug everyone I talk to, anyway. I’m not okay with that. Not by a long shot. But it’s really hard to say no or to take a step back when people move forward to hug you, or even ask for a hug.

How does one deal with that? Maybe it’s just me?

On one occasion I became a bit desperate and told him flat out that I didn’t want to hug him. Of course he was taken aback and had to ask why. I told him that I’m not good with intimacy. Not a total lie, since I’m no good with being intimate with people I hardly know, and a close up hug goes far into my personal space. After that I haven’t been that desperate again, but I’m quite often uncomfortable with hugging people I don’t know much. Regrettably, I’m too shy or simply anxious about other people’s feelings and about making a possible scene that I’m unable to say anything.

I don’t understand the gesture of hugging everyone when you greet them or when you say goodbye. Friends, family and lovers, sure, in those cases a hug or two is natural, even for me. (To cuddle up with my girlfriend is on the top of my to-do list when/if I find someone. That kind of intimacy I’m rather good at and it’s addictive.) A couple of weeks ago I even asked for a hug from a new friend. Afterwards I felt bad; what if she is like me and don’t like casual hugging and don’t think hugging is natural yet, but wasn’t able to say no to me? It gave me a pause.

So … if the trend that commands that everyone have to hug everyone else, would pass soon, that would be great.

Some people probably like all the hugs, but some are not all and not everybody are able to say no thanks to the hug. Next time you are about to hug someone, ask yourself if you know the person you are about to hug well enough to know if they actually want a hug or not.

Not everyone is a hugger.

To confess to friends

This weekend I told my friends that I think I’m kinky and that I’m working on figuring it out. The bad reactions a part of me had feared were … nonexistent. In hindsight I realize that I doubted my friends more than they deserved, a lot more. Or, it wasn’t doubt as much as nervousness and maybe a bit of fear. But they didn’t deserve it, either way.

I trusted my friends enough to tell them and I knew that no matter what they thought of me, they would never tell anyone else what I had told them about myself. But I was nervous, oh, so very, very nervous. I’m good at being nervous. I believe that some people will always be nervous, even when they are absolutely sure that it will be alright. Like before a test at school, or an exam. I don’t know many people who are never nervous before things like that, and those who are most nervous are quite often the ones that does it best at test and exams.

After I told my friends, there weren’t even a bit of disapproval. Not a single bit. There were some questions, of course, but that I had expected. One of my friends asked if I was a submissive. I told her that I most likely would start exploring the sadistic side of me, without actually ruling out anything else. The word sadist made her stare a bit before she started asking a lot of questions. She could not understand how anyone could like hurting someone else, let alone that I could like it. That’s okay, since I don’t really get it either. She and the others accepted that I didn’t know how or why I’m like this; can think and feel like this. I don’t know the answer; any more than I know answer to why I’m a lesbian. I just am.

Another of my friends was very positive to the concept. She was very much informed about kink and D/s relationships, so much so that I now wonder if she has read about it herself or if she has another kinky friend she has talked to. I don’t think you get that much correct information just from the media.

Now I don’t have to wonder what my friends will think of me and I don’t have to worry about forgetting that they don’t know about me and my new hobby. They know, and in their eyes I’m no different now than I was before I told them. It took less than 24 hours before I heard the first joke about it. For me, that’s a sign that everything is alright.