Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Being a Sadist doesn't mean never having to say you're sorry

The fiend is a coward.

He made a mistake.
A big one.
He hurt me badly.
Not physically.
But psychologically.

And rather than deal with his mistake and my pain he walked away without a word.

Oh the big bad strong sadist, not responsible to anyone but himself, not responsible for anything but his own satisfaction.


The dom says: "I'm the boss."
The dom says "I'm in charge, I'm running the show, what I say goes."

The fiend said "This is not a game to me, and I have entered into this with you because I believe you feel the same way."

And it wasn't a game to me. I sank into my submission and my collaboration, and I took it all very seriously. But I wasn't his slave. He already has one of those, a highly masochistic slave who satisfies his extreme sadistic needs. Perhaps for a slave it really isn't a game at all. But for me, there was always this knowledge that a conscious choice was involved in how we related to each other. It wasn't a game, but at no time did I abdicate my connection to the rest of the world or my identity as a relatively good and thoughtful human being.

Being the dom, the boss, in charge, claiming you are answerable to no one but your own pleasure, is a good escape from the rest of your life, from the demands of family and friends, from needing to be answerable to others, from needing to take care of others, and from having to take responsibility for your mistakes.

Our relationship was interesting. The fiend does indeed have an incredibly strong aura of dominance, which I felt through e-mail even before he turned up at my door. But I stood up to him. There were things right from the start that I refused to do, ways of doing things that I said just wouldn't work for me. And he accepted my refusals, and changed things that affected the way others did things in order to accommodate me. That was early on, so perhaps it was part of being sure he had hooked me solidly on the line. But I didn't fight being caught. I swam up to the shore and begged him to scoop me up in his net.

He valued me. He was possessive of me. He resented the philosopher because he knew I love him and that my first allegiance will always be to him. He didn't want my love - in fact, it would have been rather awkward - but he did want to own me. I wasn't his slave, but he did own me. In some ways.

We were collaborators. He taught me, he focused me, he guided me, he ordered me to write, he insisted on more structure. He was just starting to demand changes in the poems. I argued about one change, then read and re-read and realized that he was absolutely right. On another poem he ordered a change and I explained why I couldn't do it. It's a tritina, a form I'd never heard of before, and which resisted me for a very long time. The part he wanted changed was an integral part of the structure and I was able to explain why those repeated words had to stay. We were learning together.

He fancied himself the Phantom of the Opera, and I was Christine. You heard a little of his voice in my poems. He drove me and excited me and inspired me.

I wasn't in love with him. He wasn't my friend. But there were conversations about music and literature that made me tingle with intellectual stimulation. He woke up my mind, and took my creativity on another step out of the darkness. A manic fit over 2 years ago broke the spell that kept me creatively silent, and the philosopher kissed me fully awake while giving me the gift of my submission. The fiend pushed me to be more serious in my writing, less impulsive, and carried my submission further, teaching me more about what I was and what I was not.

He taught me that I'm not a masochist. And in some ways, the lesson which he blew so badly was more along the same lines.

It clearly was a mistake. I don't know if he miscalculated, or was just too caught up in his own perceived cleverness to see what a bad idea it was.

He had recorded something on his cell phone that he wanted me to hear. He sent it as a voice mail, with the order to listen and then immediately, as usual, write him with my response.

What he sent was awful.
And very upsetting.
I wrote back immediately, very upset, very angry, and not at all submissive.

He said nothing.
Not a word.

I didn't have a safe word.
And I never received aftercare.
He would come, do his thing, and leave me holding my position until I heard the door close.
But I was ok with that.
I really was.
I trusted him.
He was very experienced.
He sensed my limits and pushed me very slowly to their edge and a step or two beyond.
He taught me about submission and pain.
He taught me that I'm not a masochist, but he taught me the communion of pain.
We never had sex.
He never took of his clothes.
But still, there was an intimacy.

He said he was fond of me.

And he threw it all away.
Out of cowardice, I think.

In his early declaration of principles for my service to him, he wrote the following: "I will use those qualities in you for my pleasure, and leave you without the slightest thought of your well-being, except as to how it may affect your next service of me. " The italics are mine. You can say that his having done what he did, and then his ignoring of my distress, violate that phrase in italics. Because that was the end of my service to him. If he had replied, if he had expressed any regret, perhaps he might have saved it. Perhaps... but he didn't even try, not even in the mostly domly, high-handed way.

But I think of something else. In the early days of something that lasted only a little over 3 months, we were sorting out who, what, and how, and sometimes he misinterpreted what I said, and thought that I was calling things off. I wasn't. But in any case, he never tried to back up and figure out what had gone wrong. He would assume this was the end, and if that was the case, would thank me for everything I had given him till then. I was his treasure and he treated me as such. But he never fought to keep me. He always gave up too easily.

This time he didn't even thank me.

He said nothing.

Dom or sadist or whatever the hell you say you are, if you are the writer and director and producer all rolled into one, you have a responsibility to your cast. Especially when your star and sole performer is an independent contractor.

I wondered if he was waiting for me to crack and write again.
I wondered if he assumed I would.
I don't know. My letter was pretty clear about how deeply upset I was.

Well, finally I did crack, but not to come crawling back. I just wanted to give him a chance to say something. Anything. It was hard to believe that this man who acted like the King of the castle, this large man who carried his weight with authority, who walked in as if the world were his by right, was so destroyed by having screwed up that he would just toss away something that obviously gave him pleasure on many levels.

I wrote.

If you're expecting me to come crawling back, saying I'm sorry for the tone of my reaction to your little gift, it should be clear by now that it's not going to happen. I assume by your silence that this is what you've been waiting for.

Still, I'm curious.

You send me something you know will upset me.
You demand my immediate reaction and you get it.
You certainly can't fault me for my honesty.
You played on my vulnerability and I bled
and I sent you a picture of the mess on the floor.

I honestly don't know what you expected.
And I'm disappointed, really.

I trusted you.

Yes, I know you said I shouldn't, and true you're a sadist, but you also seemed pretty clear about your own self-interest, and VERY clear on my limits. I admired you for that, and respected you. I can't think you deliberately wanted to sabotage our collaboration, but you did.

I didn't actually throw up, but it was close, and I try very hard not to think about it because the nausea just comes right back.

So no, no submissive apology.

But yes, I suppose you can pride yourself that I did blink first and write first. If that's what you need.

And I'll miss the intellectual stimulation.
You gave me a lot.

It's too bad...

His reply?

I agree

That's all.

So that's it for the fiend.

I WILL miss it all. I'm sure my poetry production will suffer. And I was counting on his pushing to get me through the next month or so of SAD season. Sadistic patrons of the arts don't give out mental health days. But I'll be ok. I'll keep exploring poetry forms. And he was trying to get me to write on topics that weren't about him. Poems I could show my mother. He made me work. I'm not sure I can do that for myself, but I'll try.

I'll miss my submission.
I'll admit to that.
It's a drug.
An incredible high.
I don't do drugs other than prescription meds and I don't drink (blame the same meds), so my submission was my route to an altered state of consciousness. I was going very deep, and I loved it.

But some things are more important.

The philosopher called me Monday night.

The events of Monday night fit together like carefully milled pieces of a wooden jigsaw puzzle. I wrote my post about SAD, and was finishing it when the fiend's voice mail came through. I was just finishing my response when the philosopher called. He was worried about me.

He was wonderful. He was everything I needed. Still, I held back, because I wasn't ready to talk about the voice mail. I was too upset and shaken.

He called and he was there for me. When I need him, he takes care of me. We talked of my SAD and of other things and I cried and I laughed and things felt... right.

Then last night I posted about the Phantom.

Again, as soon as he read it, he called. And when I didn't answer, being downstairs with Rachel Maddow, he e-mailed.

I called back.

And again, he was there for me.

He said "You'll always be my kitten. I know that now."

I said "You always take care of me. But you don't have to take care of me."

There is something between us.
It doesn't go away.
We just can't quite figure it out.

I need to relax about it.
I need to take a deep breath and relax and stop trying to figure it out.

I need to take a deep breath and relax and smile, knowing there is this sweet, smart man with flowing red hair who wants to take care of me. Even though he doesn't have to.

The philosopher is a sadist, too.
Not a mean and nasty sadist.
But a sadist nevertheless.
A sweet sadist.

And when he accidentally brought his belt down very very hard on my poor defenseless cunt, and I screamed from here to Baltimore, he was filled with remorse and apologized profusely, while my arousal ran all over the ottoman.

THAT is true strength.

Sorry for babbling on like this. I had a lot to get out of my system. Thanks to all of you for putting up with me - and I'd love to hear your opinions on the issue of doms and sadists and taking responsibility for your actions. [12/11/08 - The discussion continues in the comments. Do please stop by and weigh in. And thanks fo0r being supportive.] --o.g.


Greenwoman said...

I am of the opinion that there's control freaks masquerading as dominant men...They are self absorbed, arrogant, lack ethics and have no personal grace to behave with humanity and common courtesy/decency.

I don't know that's the kind of man who has hurt you, but he's acted like it in this instance and there's no excuse for it.

I'm sorry your feelings have been hurt. You deserve better.

Is there any way that your Philosopher could help you set limits with yourself about following through?

((hugs)) Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

good for you for standing up for your limits and putting your foot down. clearly the fiend just didn't have enough to give you... it's one thing to provide everything on your own terms and it's another to really respond to the needs of another person. D/s really requires the latter, though when it's done well enough it can become (so i understand) a startlingly compelling version of the former.

so... he's not strong enough to really do this, but he amused you for a few months. he gave you some blog content. just pat him on the head and let him go on his way. :) perhaps he gave you some tools and you can keep your momentum going.

have you thought about joining an online poetry group that would expect you to respond to tasks and things and contribute to group process? maybe that would be a new avenue for you to work with SAD-- instead of having a king ordering the dark warrior away, you can be the queen and gather together your own army.

thinking of you.

Paul said...

OG, both Shannee and Meg have good points.
Perhaps your demon muse wasn't quite the demon that he thought he was.
As both a Dom and something of a sadist I believe that intimacy is essential, without it how can I know that they have reached the place that they need to be.
Over many years I have quite frequently hurt my subs, but hopefully never harmed them.
I am happy that you have your Philosopher to help you through this time
I'm sure that your writing will continue to get better.
I understand the need to inflict pain just for the sake of it, but I prefer to use it to encourage growth.
Warm hugs,

oatmeal girl said...

Greenwoman, I am slowly trying to sort out the fiend's psychological make-up. A very seductive parlour game, no? :-)

In writing to his slave this morning, I came to the conclusion that, tho he has described himself as "a selfish, manipulative, evil, exploitative villain," and claims to be very egotistical, in fact I think his ego is rather weak. He has certain physical issues, which have led to both physical and psychological pain since birth, and seems to have separated out his sadism as a way to deal with them and, perhaps create and bolster a new self-image. Of course, this is pure speculation, but it's fun, no?

He is dominant, though, strongly so, and did do a GREAT job up until this point. Which just makes it sadder. And you're right, he has no excuse for acting this way. The mistake itself was awful but, as I said, everyone makes mistakes. AS with Watergate, the real sin was in how it was handled afterwards.

As for the philosopher, he is a dear, and just knowing he is watching out for me means a lot. But it is very important that he not feel he is REQUIRED to look out for me.

Do know that he was always concerned about the fiend, and gave me a safe word to post if I ever felt in danger. He was prepared to come down and rescue me. There is no way to describe how I felt when he told me that.

Greenwoman said...

Mmm...You are so right that everyone makes mistakes. And its is always good to review the movies you made together in your memories, but I hope don't let yourself obsess over it if you can help it. You've clearly got some very important goals that those reruns will distract you from.

I'm sorry for the loss of the stimulation of your muse. For me, this is a very important experience too. I've not had a D/s relationship exactly regarding it, but it might have been so. Its been a side benefit of being in submission with a very creative dominant so far. I love it...I can only imagine that it would be even more stimulation if it were a deliberate dynamic.

Have to's are trouble in most relationships, even in D/s ones. When you set up have to's there's always going to be a point at which the standard cannot be met and there will be a failure between the two people. I am more mindful of how useful serial experiences are, rather than an ongoing set or rules and rituals. The dynamic doesn't disappear, but then there's no have to's to make things muddy either. The dynamic is a matter of love and respect between times.

Anyway, I'm babbling. I hope that you'll discover that you have more motivation than you fear right now. And if you don't, that there will be a support system that works for you. Persephone has a very good suggestion about that. And even if none of those things works out, I don't see it as a failure on your part to need these next weeks of darkness to be as stress free as possible even if that means not meeting the standards you could normally hold yourself to. Be gentle with you. Its more important that your self worth be intact when the darkness passes. ((Hugs))

oatmeal girl said...

meg, I was reading your comment at breakfast and nearly choked on my egg at your line "just pat him on the head and let him go on his way. :)" I did laugh. First, at the phrase itself, and applied to a dom yet. But also, because he's a big guy, tall and um.... large. I'd really have to reach up to pat him on the head!

The thing is, he DID serve my needs. I'd say the biggest complaint was a question of quantity of contacts, whether by e-mail, phone, or in person. This was the only real mistake he made, and if he had reacted differently to my being so upset, we could have gotten past it. But whether because he was too caught up in his dom rules (she has to come to you) and/or (as I suspect) incapable of dealing with anger directed at him, he just walked away. And today I am feeling the loss.

I did do an initial search for on-line poetry groups, and for a while had been thinking about finding a poetry reading group around here. but it would be nice if I had more non-BDSM poems... :-) and he was encouraging me to do that.

Ah well, things will sort out eventually - and then, the philosopher is convinced, another crisis will come along. Thanks for the support - and the laugh!

oatmeal girl said...

Thank you, Paul. Especially at times like this, I really appreciate hearing from doms, and especially from sadists. The fiend IS a demon, but inside? I suspect there is a confused and hurt little boy. Still, today I am missing him, and wishing this had never happened. If only he weren't so bloody stubborn. Ah well...

oatmeal girl said...

Greenwoman, please don't apologize for your babbling. There are many gems hidden in your flow of words.

I'll have to think more about your comment re: serial events as opposed to rites and rituals in a D/s relationship. The first thing to point out, tho, is that the philosopher is no longer my dom. When he broke up with me last summer, he made it clear that he found this to be oppressive. Whether it could work without the "have-to's"... I don't know. What I'm more concerned about is what kind of relationship what we have IS and how it might evolve. He feels my submission as being very needy, and therefore a weight on him. ON the other hand, he can't give up taking care of me. Go figure. But I'll think about it...

Thanks for permission to goof off for the next few weeks! (And thanks for being part of the team helping the philosopher to take care of me. It feels really good...)

Greenwoman said...

Relationships are so complicated aren't they? Ones with any sort of power exchange in them are even harder to sort into the little boxes we all rather wish we could sort things into. Controls the chaos so to speak. But who the hell can really get a heart into a box? Its like herding cats. And my god if you succeeded, there will be trouble..What person can really life joyously with their heart stuffed into all these limitations?

I think that's one of the things that people do with D/s stuff. They want it to be this formalized hierarchy. I remember a man I gave submission to remarking that he wasn't sure that a full time relationship or even a very long term one can ever be 100% D/s because how he can really be formally in charge when its wife tells him to take out the trash? How can it really be D/s if your partner gets cancer or suffers a stroke? What happens then to the dynamic? demands that submission be an inside job...not something that is on the outside. Its how you feel about someone, not about the rules he sets or the rituals you play out. Those are tools. Constructs. And if those are removed, does that mean you aren't submissive or that he isn't Dominant?

Not really. Because that stuff is inside you. Oh I'm sure you'd feel the loss of the rituals. Those are fun and they are the milieu for how we play with our dynamic and how we deepen and grow it, but its not the dynamic or the emotions behind it. Its not what drives our attitudes, viewpoint and behavior. That's all inside stuff. In the end, the Dominant has not control. He's got a vision and he's charismatic about seducing you into wanting it badly enough to give more than you thought you could. That's not control. That's charisma and a vision. And that's why its really all about respect and inside stuff and why the rituals aren't that important when the push comes to shove.

A relationship that can grow old within a power exchange dynamic? Well they always arrive at these conclusions. I've been watching and reading and listening to other couples who have been together over the long haul. Long enough for life to knock 'em down a lot of times. This is what they talk about. And I've had my own relationship long enough to understand this too. Its been 16 years that I was married to my dominant. I feel pretty confident about the fact that the rituals and rules are the window dressing and they are tools, but they are not what sustains the relationship and each couple who views these rituals and rules as the dynamic inevitably experiences uncertainty that borders on neurosis for the submissive or there's a huge break down in the relationship like you just experienced.

It sounds like you and Philosopher have a great deal of love and willingness to overcome obstacles. It sounds like all the elements you need to create a satisfying relationship for you both is there.

I'm hoping you'll find what you need inside yourself to do poetry without as much pushing as your fiend did. Blessings to you and I liked your invitation poem tonight. *smiles*

Anonymous said...

Dear Kitten,

A friend of mine told me of your recent break with the evil one..

I don't have the words to make you feel better...all I can say to you is three little words..You Are Loved..

mamacrow said...

wow. both on the post AND the comments!

ok - firstly - I'm glad glad GLAD. You STAYED strong, you STAYED aware and self aware, you dealt swiftly and effectively when things went arye.
:::rah rah rah!:::

you're right - he met your needs. Sadly, his vunerabilities meant the collaboration has broken. But you got lots out of it, and can continue to do so by continuing on your creative path. (which i look forward to, greatly)

the philosipher - my dear. you were right the first time, no?

El said...

I'm very sorry this happened, OG. Good for you for standing your ground! I am also so glad for you that the Philosopher and yourself are continuing to wend your way as friends. And I'm relieved to hear that he's still watching out for you.

I wish I had some wisdom to impart ... Great big {{hugs}}. Take care of yourself.

~ El

oatmeal girl said...

Greenwoman - "But who the hell can really get a heart into a box?"

I just re-read your last comment and by the end there were tears in my eyes. Just as there were the first time I read it.

We kept our hearts out of it, the fiend and I, but there was an intensity and some measure of internal intimacy and certainly a fondness of sorts on both sides. How could there not be given the excitement of creation? But our hearts were left out of it. Still, I do think even then it would have made sense for him to toss away the box and try to put things back together.

But as we all know, he's not the one who really matters. He never was.

oatmeal girl said...

Welcome back, Florida. it is so good to see you here again. Everyone's words altogether have made me feel better. I do feel loved, and appreciated, and have been given a lot to think about. So thank you. And I hope you stick around.

oatmeal girl said...

Thanks, mamacrow. I'm glad, too, and proud of myself. I'm relieved that, as deeply submissive as I felt towards him, I never lost my hold on reality and sanity. Perhaps the fact that the philosopher stayed in my life, albeit in a very different role than before, kept me moored.

As for "bashert"? Well, we'll see... We may be fated to stay involved with each other, but how is another matter. I need to relax and accept however things turn out, while doing my best to be what he needs, whether that suits my own desires or not. A serious trial for a greedy kitten.

oatmeal girl said...

Elspeth - thanks so much for the hugs. I do miss those... well, I get them from my real life friends, but of course none of them know about the fiend (note that I am avoiding calling him my demon muse now), nor do they know of the D/s aspect that was a part of my relationship with the philosopher.

Still, I can entice some hugs out of them for my SAD, so I haven't been totally deprived.

Relationship are so complicated, aren't they... so I'm sending hugs back to you.

Wish we could have a snuggle party for all of us suffering subs...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind words but I shall take my leave this one is still wounded ....
Please take care in chosing the next Dom

Good luck..