Sunday, October 10, 2010

Converting to Kink

The next issue that keeps coming up for me is something that will inevitably happen to all of us at one point or another: what happens when we become involved with someone we really like, but who just isn't that kinky? Downer Warning: being naturally dominant or submissive isn't all fun and games, and this will not be one of those articles that makes you want to go surf for porn.

I can't even count how many times I've come across a fellow kinkster who's in a relationship with a vanilla person they've been trying to convert to kinkiness. Like me, ever since their early childhood, they've had these vivid and intense fantasies about taking control or being controlled, disciplining or being disciplined, using or being used. Their partner is the one of the few people they've been able to find ordinary everyday chemistry with who doesn't run away, laugh, or refer them to a psychiatrist when they talk about their not-so-conventional needs. That partner is loving and kind enough to play along because he wants to make his vanilla partner happy, but he still isn't 'getting it,' or so I keep hearing. They gamely put on their Dom or sub hat and play along, but they never seem to take the ball and run with it. So what advice do I have for my fellow kinksters in vanilla relationships who are desperately trying to 'lure their partners to the dark side'? Here it is, are you ready? Stop! For the love of god, stop!

One of the more extreme cases involves a 29-year-old girl, let's call her Jillian, who's married to a guy she describes as her "best friend" and "the love of her life." Jillian is about as submissive as they come, but unfortunately, she didn't admit to herself she really needed this in her life until after she got married. Since then, she's tried everything to get her hubby – let's call him Todd – to be more dominant. Todd happily did everything Jillian asked with tireless effort and patience, but it never measured up to her experiences with Doms who were just born that way and had been fantasizing about BDSM since even before puberty. Eventually, realizing all she was doing was making him feel uncomfortable and inadequate, Jillian found an experienced Dom online and began cheating on Todd, telling herself it was the best thing for both of them. I have pretty strong feelings about cheating, but my advice to her was as non-judgmental as I could make it: be honest with yourself about the choices you're making. Either give up kink for your husband or cheat on him for yourself, but don't cheat on him and lie to yourself that you're doing it for his sake. Jillian never spoke to me again, and as far as I know, she's still submitting to and boning this other dude. Oh well.

Fact is, Jillian was partially right: in every instance of this dynamic I've come across, the vanilla partner ends up feeling like shit. And why shouldn't he? Todd loves this girl and there's nothing he wouldn't do to make her happy. Is it his fault that he never acquired a taste for chaining girls to the ceiling and hitting them with stuff until their asses are black and blue? Let's face it: to most people, that just makes him normal. Without a doubt, Jillian was in an incredibly tough position. It sucks to be married to a vanilla guy you're still in love with and know he'll never be able to give you what you need. So how do you choose between your emotional and physical needs?

One thing I know for sure is that we can't help what we need. I never chose to be kinky any more than I chose to be straight. And as I've learned the hard way, I'm physically incapable of being satisfied in a purely vanilla relationship just as my gay friends could never be happy with an opposite-sex partner. Sometimes love requires that we sacrifice what we want and accept our partner for who they are, but what happens when it demands that we give up what we can't live without? I'd like to believe the Hollywood cliché that love conquers all, but how can we make someone happy if we'll never feel truly fulfilled ourselves? I think we all know the answer to that one: we can't. In cases like this, sad as it is, I think love means moving on because we care too much about our partner's happiness. Told you this was going to be a downer.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dom Shopping

I thought I'd use these next few posts to address some questions that keep popping up over and over. For this installment, let's start with the most important issue for submissive women eager to explore their inner sluts: how to find a good Dom.

Red Flags

Whether you're browsing Craigslist, surfing Fetlife, or just checking out a local BDSM munch or play party, one of the first things you'll notice is the ratio: for every cute girl in her 20s or 30s, there are about ten horny dudes who cover the entire spectrum of age, experience, body type, and overall quality. Regardless of your personal preferences, here are some warning signs that every would-be sub should be on the lookout for:

Expecting or demanding submission: Submission is NOT an obligation you automatically sign up for by posting a profile and listing yourself as a submissive. Submission is something you feel, that feeling depends on attraction, respect, and trust, and those all have to be earned.

Cock pics: You'll see plenty of these, I promise. From my fairly extensive experience in the BDSM community, I can tell you for a fact that anyone who sends you one in an email is guaranteed to be a complete tool with poor taste and even poorer judgment. Are those the qualities you want in someone who's going to take total control over your body?

Pushiness: Also known as 'desperation.' It's one thing for a guy to show interest in a confident and respectful way. But when he nags you relentlessly or acts bitchy when you don't instantly respond to his emails, it means he probably has nothing better to do with his time, and he probably has no other girls who want to chat with him, meet for drinks, and play. And what do we think of guys who no other girl wants to talk to? Exactly: probably not someone you want to talk to either.

Full of shit: Believe it or not, there are a lot of self-described 'Doms' out there who have never done this before. Some are just pretending to be experienced because, well, you have to start somewhere. Others are just horny dudes who want to get laid, and they assume kinky girls are easier than the vanilla type. Naturally, if you just want some horny douche to stick his dick in you, you can go to any bar in Hollywood and find a dozen drunk and unemployed actors who'll be happy to oblige. And sure, it's no fun being stuck in that 'need experience to get experience' catch-22, but even something as simple as tying your wrists can cause a serious injury if the guy doesn't know what he's doing. These people probably do need a girl who doesn't mind being the guinea pig who gets her kidneys flogged and her nerves compressed, but do you want that to be your first BDSM experience? If your answer is 'fuck no,' as it should be, then be on the lookout for guys who can't tell you specifically what they like, who sound like they're trying too hard to sound dominant, who don't make an effort to learn about your interests and experiences, and who generally sound like they're faking it.

Be a Smart Shopper

Now that you have an idea of when to use that 'block' button in your email or Fetlife profile, let's get into some tips on how you can screen out the 25% or so who make it through your initial dipshit filter.

Be a Dom: Remember, your body and sensations are your own until you choose to give them to that special someone who will control and use you in just the right way. What do you think would happen if you walked into a car dealership, all wide-eyed and smiling, with no knowledge of the product and no idea what questions to ask? You'll meet a charming salesman who'll promise you the best deal in the world, you'll drive off the lot in a clean shiny car with plenty of cup holders and places to put your purse, you'll be flat broke with an absurdly high car payment, and the engine will explode before you can send your first illegal text message. Sadly, the world is full of unscrupulous predators who will be more than happy to exploit your trust, then laugh about what a sucker you were with their predator friends at the titty bar. Being submissive doesn't make you a sucker, so don't let yourself be pushed around. Treat the guys you email with the same trust, respect, honesty, and openness you'd show to anyone, but expect and demand the same in return. Don't be rushed.

Ask questions: Start with his interests. Ask what he likes and why. Then ask for specifics. How does he do these things he likes? How does he train, torture, humiliate, etc…? If he can't answer those questions, he's either a moron or he doesn't know the answers. Neither is a good sign.

Follow simple but critical safety rules: A lot of the guys you'll meet in the D/s lifestyle, either online or in person, are pretty decent human beings. But some are not, and until you have a good sense of their personal character, you have to be polite but firm about treating everyone as if they're the Craigslist Killer. First, don't give anyone any personal information beyond your first name. NEVER give out your last name or your address. Phone numbers can always be changed, but you're better off not giving that out either until you're sure the person you've been chatting with won't leave you twenty angry and profane voicemails per day if you decide he's too sketchy to play with. When you're planning to meet for the first time, he'll probably suggest a public place like a Starbucks or a bar. If he doesn't, that means he's either inexperienced or oblivious to your concerns, and those should count as red flags.

Be decisive when the time is right: Throughout this process, try to remember that the type of Dom you're looking for is probably the same type most other girls are looking for. And if you haven't realized this already, you'll learn soon enough that the ratio of cute girls to good Doms is about as bad as the ratio of horny male kinksters to cute girls. High demand and short supply means that these guys have options. If you take your time to kick the tires and ask all the reasonable questions you have, you should be ready to pull the trigger on a relaxed face-to-face meeting for coffee or drinks when he brings it up. If you're not, it's possible that you're not quite ready to move to that stage with anyone yet, and you might need some more time to consider whether this is what you really want. If that's the case, that's perfectly fine. But if you are ready and you make your prospective Dom jump through too many hoops, he WILL move on. After all, for all he knows, you might be a gay plumber in Cleveland.

Listen to your gut: Ultimately, those gut feelings are all any of us have. If we ignore them, we're lost. So always, always listen to those doubts and apprehensions in the back of your head and act accordingly.

There's no need to be paranoid. Remember, this is supposed to be fun. As long as you use common sense and let each contestant prove himself to be a tool before you treat him like one, this will be a fun process, you'll learn a ton, and the end result will probably be even more thrilling and intense than you imagined. So be patient, do your homework, be safe, and happy perving.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dial O for Orgasm

As you might have guessed, my sexual fantasies involve some very dirty things, and phone sex never made that list. I mean, jerking off to a girl's voice? Isn't that for people who are addicted to 900 numbers? Those perverts.

It wasn't until a few years into my exploration of BDSM when tele-eroticism suddenly became interesting, not as a goal but as an effective solution to a tricky set of challenges.

When I first started playing with Morgan, a tall 20-year-old athlete at UCSD, she had no experience as a submissive and no confidence in her ability to delay her orgasm for as long as I might require. Due to the distance and our busy schedules, I had to think of ways to keep her challenged between sessions, especially in the area of orgasm control.

Orgasm control and you

Unlike vanilla sex, where the goal is usually to climax quickly and often, a well-trained submissive is always focused on pleasing her Dom. The amount of pleasure or pain she receives is entirely up to him, and it usually depends on how well she fulfills her sole purpose of giving pleasure rather than receiving it. Since the orgasms she's allowed to experience tend to be quite a bit more intense than the vanilla variety, they can be an extremely effective training tool... but only if they can be fully controlled.

I'll never forget the time I watched a friend's amazingly well-trained dog balance a chunk of red meat on its nose for several minutes, salivating and whimpering, until her master finally signaled her to flip it up and catch it in her mouth. I was awed by this demonstration of perfect obedience and discipline, and I aim for the human equivalent with every sub I play with. For me, this means teaching her to ask for permission, hold her orgasm until I decide she's earned it, beg only when instructed, thank me while she cums, and thank me more formally when she's finished.

Taking the reins

Morgan faced one major roadblock on her path to successful orgasm control: she was incredibly horny. As far as I could tell, her day basically consisted of class, homework, swimming practice, and flicking the bean. Since the goal of masturbation is to climax as soon as possible so you can get back to being productive—exactly the opposite of what I was trying to teach her—this posed a major problem. Even if I saw her once a week, how could the five or six orgasms I made her hold possibly compete with the other forty or fifty times she'd practice the wrong way?

To turn this ship around, my first step was to take full 24/7 control of her orgasm. She'd have to ask for permission to touch herself, ask for permission to cum, and thank me for allowing her to do both via phone, text, or email. When she did have permission, she'd only be allowed to cum after she brought herself right up to the edge and backed off twice.

If she was feeling frisky when I was asleep, or in a meeting, or on a plane, well she'd just have to deal with being horny. After all, the whole point of this exercise was to teach her to place my pleasure and convenience before her own gratification.

Unenforceable yet self-enforcing

Rules like this are impossible to enforce, and a little cheating is inevitable. I was expecting Morgan to sneak one in when she wasn't supposed to, and I wasn't surprised when she fessed up only a couple days later. She told me the guilt was just eating away at her, but I suspected an even stronger motivation.

Both of us wanted this power dynamic—it wasn't just me—and when she broke my rule and got away with it, she effectively dissolved the fantasy she'd been craving for years. Once I had the chance to hoist her up by her ankles with her legs spread and punish the greedy little pussy that got her into so much trouble, she was right back where we both wanted her: under my total control.

Phone time

With these ground rules in place, it was time to take my long-distance training plan to the next level. At exactly the time I specified, I told her I wanted her completely nude, lying on the floor with her knees up and legs spread, playing with her clit, Bluetooth headset charged and ready.

I'd call her ten to fifteen minutes later when I knew she'd be amply turned on and desperate for release. About a minute into the call, she'd ask, "Sir, would you like your slut to cum?" That's when things got interesting.

I'd tell her to keep playing with her clit, not to even think about stopping or slowing down, and then I'd start making her earn that extra-special reward. "How and why do you cum, slut?" I'd ask.

"With your permission and for your amusement, Sir."

"Good girl. And where's your place when you're serving me?"

"Naked and on my knees, Sir." And so the inquisition continued.

If she gave me an incorrect response, I'd have her work her clit even faster and wait even longer. If I thought I could push harder, I'd have her finger-fuck herself while she continued playing with her clit, sometimes while grinding her pussy into her hand, and I'd talk more about how I'd use her in person.

When I felt she was at the end of her rope, I'd tell her she could beg and that it better be convincing. Usually it was. When I sensed she had nothing left, I'd tell her to cum. Then I'd lay back and listen to one very intense and well-earned orgasm.

Finally, I'd hear a breathless and trembling voice say, "Thank you, Sir, for allowing your slut to cum." I'd tell her what a good girl she was while she cleaned her fingers with her mouth and tongue, and then it was on to more pussy stimulation in one of the other positions we'd be using in person.

Practice makes perfect

Beyond the functional benefits of fucking a beautiful girl for as long as I want without her pleasure interfering with mine, this process has some important psychological impacts. First, it taught Morgan to think of her orgasm as I did: not as a means of selfish gratification but as a training aid to make her better able to please me. It also conditioned her to associate sexual pleasure with my permission and the sound of my voice, which reinforced my ownership of her sexuality and made unassisted orgasms more difficult, less enjoyable, and effectively pointless.

This brings me back to what I believe will always make BDSM more intense, intimate, and rewarding than vanilla sex: it's bigger than any one act. It lives in our minds even when all we can do is call or text each other. I can take or leave the dirty phone conversation just as I can do without the casual and forgettable Saturday-night intercourse, but knowing a girl is denying herself for my pleasure is a fantasy I'm happy to relive anytime.

I do think my friend went a little far with that steak-on-the-nose trick though. I mean, torturing a poor little dog like that? That's just plain cruel.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Think Before You Kink

Session planning can be a controversial topic in the BDSM community. Some kinksters believe that planning is the enemy of spontaneity, and that some of the most magical moments come from identifying and capturing unexpected opportunities. For the most part, they're not wrong. On the other hand, it's impossible to achieve any complex long-term goal without some degree of forethought.

As in most cases, the answer is somewhere between the extremes. Do some degree of planning for your scenes simply because that works better, and leave yourself open to whatever enticing paths reveal themselves along the way. On that note, let's jump into how I might plan a session with a semi-hypothetical sub named Jackie this Saturday.


Just as a contractor would never start building something with no idea what the completed structure will look like, it's important for a Dom to have at least a partial vision of how his well-trained slut will speak, sit, walk, crawl, suck, fuck, and cum.

In a nutshell, my big-picture long-term goals for a sub include teaching her to welcome whatever sensations I choose to inflict, to recognize her sole purpose of serving and pleasing me regardless of her own preferences or comfort, and to derive her greatest pleasure from truly selfless service and unrestricted ownership.

Training Targets

With this vision in mind, the next step is to identify the undesirable characteristic that stands out the most and start chipping away. After only four sessions with Jackie, an eager and adorably sweet blonde, we've made solid progress with verbal protocol, blowjob technique, orgasm control, and some other odds and ends. For our next session, my primary target will be her habit of protecting herself with her hands when she isn't fully restrained, sometimes even pushing mine away when I'm spanking her ass or probing her pussy.

Now, in most cases, when a guy is hitting your ass hard enough to leave marks that last for a week, this is a pretty natural reflex. But in the BDSM context, where Jackie's ass, her pussy, and her hands for that matter are my property, this is the kind of huge no-no that makes a Dom say to himself, "Oh my god, you are in so much trouble when I eventually get around to correcting that." Well, sweet little Jackie, 'eventually' is scheduled for this Saturday.


Once that goal within a goal has been identified, the next challenge is to figure out how to achieve it. There are probably dozens of ways to provoke Jackie's overactive hands and then punish her for using them, but only a few will incorporate the right mix of incentive and consequence that will help me chip away at this unwanted mass on my human sculpture.

In this case, I'm thinking I'll restrain her in a standing position in the middle of my floor, chaining her collar to the ceiling and her ankle cuffs to the walls on either side. (IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTICE: Don't even think about chaining anyone's neck to the ceiling unless you know damn well what you're doing.) Then I'll lock her wrist cuffs together behind her back, slide my remote-control vibrating egg into her pussy, and make it abundantly clear that I expect her hands to stay positioned right in the small of her back, leaving her ass fully exposed. I think I'll gag her too. The incessant begging I know I'll be in for can be fun, but it won't be very productive. Plus, there's nothing quite like the sight of drool dripping from a sub's chin and dribbling down her chest. Trust me.

By switching on the vibrator and spanking, whipping, and caning her ass at just the right intensity, I should be able to give her the perfect level of stimulation—just enough to turn her on immensely and send her into five-alarm ass-protection mode. When those hands crash the party, I'll turn off the vibrator and do something I know she hates: attach a pair of clothespins to her hyper-sensitive breasts. Then I'll turn the vibrator back on and get back to work on her ass until more unwanted movement invites me to add more clothespins.

By the end of this simple exercise, chances are very good that Jackie will have a chest full of clothespins, significantly improved hand control, and a beautiful stream of drool running all the way down to her dripping wet pussy.

Final Assembly

With two or three little exercises like this on your itinerary, the next step is deciding how one flows into the next. This is where too much planning can start to make a session feel overly scripted, so it's best to focus on general practicality. If some of the items on your agenda require cuffs and chains and others involve some nice restrictive rope work, for example, it's best to group your cuff-dependent activities together so you don't have to keep taking them off and putting them back on again.

It's also important to vary the positions you use. A sub can only kneel on a hard floor or hang from her wrists for so long before too much soreness or numbness will undermine the effectiveness of your training and potentially lead to an injury. Drawing up a quick mental outline will help you eliminate unnecessary work and ensure that your sub feels only the pain you intend to inflict.

Jackie can sometimes be a bit nervous before our sessions, so I like to warm her up with some restrictive bondage and moderate pain to put her in the right headspace. In this case, I'm thinking I'll start her in a standing spread-eagle position for some spanking and cropping. From there, all I'll have to do is lock her wrists behind her back for the little tutorial I described. After that, we'll do some anal training and blowjob practice, both of which require consistent repetition to produce results, and both can be performed in fresh positions that will give tired parts of her body a break.

For the grand finale? That's easy: I'm going to fuck her senseless like I always do. I'm pretty uncreative that way. Sometimes I have a sub hold a position and apply some form of discipline if she moves, but since I will have already done that with the hands thing, I think I'll give her a break and tie her to my soft comfy bed in some completely immobilizing position. By this point, I think she will have earned it. Unless she doesn't…

Fog of War

They say every general has a perfect battle plan until the first shot is fired, and the same is true for a well-prepared Dom until the clothes come off and the collar goes on. You can always count on the unexpected, and the best Doms are able to turn these surprises into even better ways of achieving their training goals.

So, if it's impossible to anticipate every variable, and we know we'll be throwing out a big chunk of our plan each time, why bother? The point of planning is not to carry out that plan to the letter. The real value of this process lies in taking the time to understand where we want to go and how we're going to get there. Asking and answering those questions is what allows us to react to the unexpected in more intelligent and productive ways.

Bottom line: far from spontaneity's enemy, planning may just be its BFF.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Makings of a Dom

I know this will make me sound like a mom who makes you feel guilty for missing dinner by going on and on about how long she slaved over that hot stove, but I'll say it anyway: being a Dom is a lot of work. For starters, there's a ton of shit to buy, and you'll need a lot of practice before you'll be any good at using it. When you finally find a girl who'll let you tie her up and do all kinds of dirty things to her, you'll have to ask all the right questions to really get inside her head, then identify your training goals and prep for your first session.

The session itself takes a lot more energy and focus than, say, the typical Friday-night romp with that hottie you picked up at the Roosevelt. And in the morning, you'll have a giant mess of chains, rope, leather, dildos, whips, and butt plugs on the floor that'll look like West Hollywood after a category-five tornado. To be honest, I still haven't cleaned up from last weekend. So why do we put ourselves through all this? What's in it for us? I can't speak for everyone, but I'll bet retracing the evolution of my kinkiness will reveal what that answer is for me. Let's find out...

Chapter I: Giant Gorillas and Corpulent Aliens

You might say my first sexual influences were a tad unconventional. One of the earliest memories of my life is watching this old version of King Kong on TV with my parents, and I can still remember how strangely fascinated I was by that image of Jane with her wrists tied to those stakes. I was only three or four at the time, but I knew instinctively that this horny oversized ape and I were on the same page.

A few years later, George Lucas released a film that would inspire new generations of future pervs for decades to come: Return of the Jedi. Princess Leia didn't really do much for me at age six, but the image of her collared and chained to Jabba the Hut in that skimpy little bikini is still burned into my brain to this day. Jabba may be a bit on the heavy side, even for a Dom, but you have to admire his style.

By the time my hormones joined the party, I knew there was something very different going on in my head. I certainly wasn't the only kid who had to plan sitting and standing around my ill-timed erections, and I was just as comfortable joking about the indignities of puberty as my friends were, but I learned quickly that the details of my fantasies were best kept to myself. I still thought about normal sex, mostly to reassure myself that I was at least somewhat normal, but at that age I could have jerked off to Kathy Bates.

Chapter II: Drunken Fumblings with Naked Girls and Ethernet Cable

In college, when I finally moved from the chalkboard to the field, I set out to make the most of the four key resources at hand: a deliciously pervy girlfriend who was happy try anything twice, a beer fridge well stocked with Sierra Nevada, one university-issue four-post modular bed, and lots of Ethernet cable. Sorry about that Ethernet cable, Abby, but you know how it is: we just didn't have the Internet resources back then even to learn about the proper equipment, much less buy it online.

Once the beers were uncapped and Abby was unclothed, my first step was to create my own living bondage porn. After that, my plan was to rustle up a makeshift blindfold, then maybe do something fun with the ice cubes in my fridge and the ping-pong paddle I had liberated from downstairs. It only took a few minutes to tie each wrist and ankle to each corner of the bed. As I looked down at this athletically shaped pre-med, so exposed and vulnerable as she tugged helplessly at the high-speed data cables that held her in place, I decided to skip right to Phase II: fuck her and cum on her face. About five minutes later (hey, I was 19!), as I wiped the sweat from my brow and stumbled across the room for another Sierra Nevada, I found myself asking what would become a pretty familiar question for the next few years: "Now what?"

With practice, I eventually developed the Zen-like discipline to resist fucking Abby the instant I finished tying her up, and I started exploring a whole range of exciting ways to amplify and intensify her helplessness and vulnerability. I realized that total physical control meant total sensory control, and by blindfolding, gagging, pinching, biting, spanking, and choking her, I could play those senses like keys on a vastly complex piano. At first, all I could manage was Chopsticks and maybe Jingle Bells, but you know how they say you get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice.

Chapter III: Graduate Study

Around the time I moved to LA and started exploring the local fetish community, that question popped up again: Now what? That was when I met Courtney, a sweet, wholesomely beautiful brunette with a razor-sharp sense of humor and an insatiable appetite for total power exchange. Suddenly, I had this tidal wave of fresh ideas and a diehard play partner at least as perverted as I was to try them on. It was the perfect storm, and soon I had the next major epiphany in my evolution as a Dom: I could use all these tools and techniques for the bigger-picture, longer-term goal of shaping a sub's behavior and attitude to my exact specifications.

I took 24/7 control of Courtney's orgasms, requiring that she email, text, or call me whenever she wanted permission to cum. I taught her the verbal protocol and eye-contact rules I wanted her to follow, the slave positions I wanted her to hold, and the techniques of sucking and cleaning my cock I wanted her to use. When she was a good girl, I'd give her multiple forced orgasms until she begged me to stop. When she broke a rule, I'd discipline her with a wooden paddle or something else I knew she hated until she begged me for another chance to do it right. With time, she learned to place my pleasure above her own comfort, to obey even the most unexpected and unusual instructions without hesitation, and to revel in her status as my property. When Courtney and I were enjoying these intense moments of intimacy, I felt a stronger sense of sexual fulfillment than I could ever have imagined, and purity of this fulfillment helped me uncover the real foundation of my sexuality.

And Finally…

For the vast majority of straight males, the female form is an object of obsession from puberty until death. For me, BDSM is the ultimate way to fully possess, savor, and connect with that object on a more intimate and intense level than most will ever experience. It is a lot of work, but then again, nothing truly worthwhile is easy. Now to put those damn toys away…

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Zero Tolerance

It's a Friday, just after midnight, several years ago. I'm looking down at a head-turningly attractive blonde who's kneeling on my Person rug, wearing nothing but a black leather collar locked around her neck and a gleaming jeweled chain leash that runs between her perfectly-formed B-cup breasts on its way to the floor. As I take in the view, a single thought echoes through my mind: "How did I fuck this up so badly?"

At age 25, having just moved to LA and started to explore the local BDSM community, I already had a few years of experience as a dominant in serious relationships, but this was my first time playing with a submissive in a more casual context. Kat and I had already spoken at length about her need for total control and strict discipline, but she was a few years younger, brand new to BDSM, and we had only just met. The evening began fairly casually with our favorite HBO show, a nice bottle of Malbec, and the best pizza in Hollywood. When it was playtime and I told her to kneel and strip, Kat kept that tone going with some jokes and nervous laughter. I decided to let that slide until she felt more comfortable. Ditto for when she kept forgetting to call me "Sir," which is a fairly standard rule in BDSM play. I was just as accommodating when she told me to wait while she kept self-consciously fixing her hair, and by the time I had her chained to the front of the couch for some blowjob training, she was rolling her eyes and making 'Whatever' faces when I gave her instructions. At this point, the wheels had come off, and I knew it was my fault. But how had I gone so far off track?

Broken Windows

My plan for the evening was focused more on making sure this sweet and inexperienced 20-year-old didn't have a bad first experience than on providing her with an amazing one. I wanted to earn her trust by demonstrating I'd always respect her limits and keep her safe, never pushing her farther than I knew she could go. Problem was, by letting so many little things slide, I allowed her to dictate the pace and tone of the entire session—exactly the opposite of the power dynamic we both wanted.

While dissecting the smelly corpse of this sorry effort, I remembered an article I had read about something called the Broken Windows Theory. First introduced in the 80s, it asserts that serious felonies like murder, muggings, and illegal drug sales are much more likely to occur in areas with a high prevalence of petty crimes like vandalism and prostitution. This correlation suggested to many politicians and criminologists, including then mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani, that the perceived tolerance of petty infractions emboldens people to commit more and more serious crimes. This gave Rudy an idea: what if we were to crack down on petty crimes all over the city, arresting hookers and public pissers, painting over graffiti, and fixing those windows as soon as they're smashed? He directed his chief of police to do just that, and by the mid-90s, this policy of 'zero tolerance' contributed to the steepest drop in crime rates ever recorded in a major urban area. New York City, once widely considered "ungovernable," soon became the safest metropolis in the world. Like Rudy, I immediately recognized the applications of zero tolerance to another high-crime area: my living room floor.

A New Sheriff in Town

When Kat accepted my invitation for a Round 2, I was determined to lay down the law. We started with dinner and drinks at a nearby restaurant. When we got back to my place, I told her to kneel and strip before I even closed the door. I tied her arms snugly in my favorite position, folded behind her back with no way of protecting her girl parts, then I read her the riot act. I told her she'd speak only when spoken to, always addressing me as "Sir." She'd keep her eyes forward, her legs spread, her pussy fully exposed and accessible for my use. She'd adjust any aspect of her appearance only when instructed. If she had hair in her mouth or trapped in her collar or gag strap, I explained, she'd just have to fucking deal with it. Then I asked her if she understood. She nodded. Woops—mistake #1. I immediately grabbed her hair, pushed her face to the floor, held it there with my boot, and started spanking her. Hard. First she moaned. Then she whimpered. When she started squirming, I told her to hold her ass perfectly still or I'd switch to the paddle. Her ass turned pink, then red. Before long, her whimpers turned to sniffles, and I knew I had her right where I wanted her. Grabbing the back of her collar, I tugged her trembling body back up to the kneeling position and asked her again if she understood my rules. "Yes, Sir." I nodded my approval, then reached down between her legs for a humidity check. Wow, I thought. Mission accomplished. Kat's performance improved dramatically over the next few hours. She did need a firm 'reminder' from time to time with one implement or another, and as unpleasant as that was for her, I could tell she was as turned on as I was.

Michelangelo once wrote, "In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me… I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to other eyes as mine see it." As I've known ever since my first kinky experiences in college, the greatest challenge and thrill of BDSM lies in chipping away at the conditioned habits and attitudes of a girl whose body and sensations I fully control, ultimately revealing her inner slut in all its obedient and insatiable splendor. Every girlfriend, submissive, and casual play partner since then has taught me something valuable. From Kat, I learned that the full realization of a Dom/sub dynamic is the result of a thousand decisions, each involving seemingly frivolous yet critical details, meticulously integrated into a work of art far greater than the sum of its parts. Still, it would be egotistical and incorrect for me to take much credit for the outcome. I didn't create Kat's inner slut, it was there all along. All I did was chip away the excess, and both of us enjoyed the process as much as the finished product.