meistergibmirrosen asked: There is a certain someone who friendly requested me to ask you, whether you'd be so nice to cook some Brussels Sprouts for her, during her next visit to you and the Alluded to :) She's eagerly waiting to find out what those taste like <3
Hmm… I get the impression someone might be trying to put someone else in a bind? I think we both know that a certain someone would cry all the way from here to eternity if I put brussel sprouts on her plate.
Which is a shame, because they happen to be my favourite vegetable. Most people overcook them, you know. And overcooked, they become poisonous. I have a method for making even the most ardent hater adore them. Lightly steamed, sliced and sauteed with pancetta and a drizzle of maple syrup. Sweet, crisp and bacony. What’s not to like?
Ok. Brussel sprouts can go on the menu.
I have a weight problem. It’s not the biggest problem in the world - I’m 5’1 and I weight 150lb. I have a BMI of 28.3. I’m a size 14 (UK). So I’m not obese. But I am overweight, and I’m heavier than I would like to be. I’m heavier than I feel I am.
I’ve been working hard on my weight - watching what I eat, exercising more. Over the last year or so I have lost about a stone… and some of it I have put back on. I tend to find my weight hovers around 156-158lb when I’m not doing anything to keep it under control.
I struggle with weight loss. I love food - I love cooking, trying new flavours, going to restaurants. I read cook books for fun. I have a pretty good relationship with food, as in I don’t comfort eat or eat out of boredom. But I don’t always eat the right foods. I love pasta. I love potatos. I love baking. I refuse to imagine a world without chocolate.
I don’t drink fizzy drinks or munch on biscuits and cakes. But I do spend winter making wonderful hearty stews, pies and stodgy puddings. Whilst this might be fine in and of itself, I don’t spend as much time in the gym to make up for the indulgence as I should.
Working exercise into my routine has been hard. Developing something resembling a routine has been hard. I am not a creature of habit! I go to bed at different times, wake up when I’m ready, eat when I’m hungry. I don’t have a set work schedule as I can pretty much turn up when I want… or not turn up at all on some days.
So for the last couple of weeks, I have been dieting. As in, that is what I have been doing with my days. I have set myself targets for when I have to exercise, and trying to stick to that. I’ve been writing down every calorie I consume and planning my meals meticulously. I have even altered other plans to fit my dieting, because I know when I’m going to get hungry.
I am so frightened of fucking it up, of finding myself in some unplanned situation that causes me to break from my plan, that I am avoiding doing anything not scheduled in.
Today I have been dieting. Tomorrow I will be dieting. (Except ‘diet’ is the wrong word because I’m not doing anything crazy like only eating cabbage soup. I’m just eating ridiculously healthily.) And until this becomes something I just do, instead of something I have to plan for, it’s going to be taking up most of my thought processes. Because it is something I have to choose to do. Something I have to work at.
His Lordship, who is long and lean and can eat his way through half the cakes in the bakery without gaining an ounce, can’t understand this. I know he thinks I’m obsessing, and I know he thinks it’s unhealthy. But I don’t know how to express that this is everything I can think about right now without confirming his fears.
I know I’m supposed to love myself as I am. My friends are wonderful and supportive and make shocked faces when I tell them how much weight I want to lose. But we’re not talking crazy numbers here. I just want to move from ‘overweight’ to ‘normal’. Not to suggest that there is an ideal magical weight all women should aim for… I’m talking BMI scale. I’m talking being a size 12 instead of a 14. Being able to run for the bus without getting red in the face. Looking in the mirror and not being surprised, because the reflection isn’t what’s in my head.
Today I was dieting, so that one day this can just be the stuff I do, and I can think about something else.
misscherry asked: I totally share your views on safewords. And I really dont get why people don't understand why they are not for you. It's not like you are saying "don't use a safeword!". Completely with you on that one here.
Thank you lovely. You are very agreeable xx
sparrow169 asked: Have you ever considered writing a book about BDSM? Your path seems to have given you a lot of valuable experience that I think a lot of people would benefit from. :)
You are very very sweet. Thank you. But I’m not sure anyone would pay to have me rant at them ;)
Although I *am* writing a book. Or co-writing anyway. My best friend and I are writing a semi-autobiographical novel based upon our own experiences of meeting and living on the scene. That sounds dull. It’s more interesting than that. I think.
I’ve enjoyed hashing over the safeword issue, but I don’t want to keep going over old ground. Suffice to say, I do not use safewords and do not believe them to be the bullet proof vest of the kink world. I recognise their value and their purpose and would encourage their use as part of a safe dynamic. Particularly at the beginning of a journey or relationship. But I do not use them, and they have never been a part of my journey.
One thing that kept coming up throughout this discussion is the concept of ‘responsible’ play. Which has me wondering, what is that precisely? And can I really be accused of being irresponsible because I don’t use safewords?
Being responsible is about being accountable for your actions and the outcomes of those actions. I have spent my adult life seeking to know and understand myself, my motivations, dreams, desires, fears. Submission is a big part of that search for understanding, as it forces me to confront the best and worst of me, and to take ownership of that.
Within a scene, my Dom takes some responsibility for me. I expect him to own his actions, to recognise that in the context of the scene I may not be in the best position to judge what is right or wrong, or to communicate clearly what I need in that moment (need and want being different things that are often highly confused within a scene). I hand that responsibility to him, and he accepts it. But that does not alleviate me of all responsibility.
I have a responsibility for myself, for my own safety and development. I have the responsibility of ensuring I am placing myself in the hands of someone who will use me wisely. I have the responsibility of communicating my needs, desires, fears and limits clearly, and I have the responsibility of ensuring that they are not abused - that I am not abused. In short, I am responsible for my own decisions and actions, my own path, and no one and nothing can alleviate me of that responsibility.
The words ‘safe, sane and consensual’ get banded around a lot in the BDSM world, and I think many people repeat the mantra often enough they forget what it actually means. Safewords become the Holy Grail of ‘safe’ play, and a submissive can be lulled into the entirely false sense of security thinking that if she has a safeword, nothing can go wrong. But a safeword is not a money-back guarantee. Uttering your safeword is not an assurance the play will stop or change course. You may be playing with someone who has no respect for you or that safeword. If you have not taken responsibility for yourself and have placed yourself in a questionable scenario, a safeword will not be your escape hatch.
This is not to say that safewords are irrelevent or ineffective and shouldn’t be used. It is to say that they are simply one element of what might be considered safe. And having a safeword does not give you a merit badge of responsibility if you have failed to take account of everything else.
To suggest that play cannot be responsible without a safeword is, to me, shortsighted. Such an opinion appears to assume that there are no other precautions that could be taken, which is of course not true. My partner and I communicate extensively before, during and after every scene. When I told him, before our dynamic had even begun, that I do not like to use safewords, we discussed all the other ways we could make our play safe.
The first few times you play with someone are always a gamble, safeword or no, because you don’t know each other. It’s a learning curve. My responsibility on those occassions is to judge whether this dom is being respectful and responsible towards me. His responsibility is to demonstrate he is not a dick and that he knows what he is doing. I expect not to be broken in those first few encounters, and I expect to see adequate thoughtfulness and aftercare. And above all else, I expect to have ample opportunity to communicate what is happening with me.
I believe it is possible to communicate distress without a safeword. I am experienced enough to know the stages of distress that I go through. I have certain phrases that I utter at different points of the cycle. By observing this over the years, my Master has developed a pretty good understanding of where I am psychologically and physically, and how much further he can ‘safely’ push me. If I’m exhibiting unusual behaviour, that is a signal something is wrong and we need to touch base.
Of course, this degree of understanding cannot be present at the beginning of a dynamic, where a safeword can have far more value. Which is why we often say they are useful at the beginning of a journey or relationship. But more than likely, as you grow to understand your own process and your partner, you will find them less and less relevent.
Most submissives I have known have eventually come to a point where they ask not to have a safeword. They feel confident and capable in their own ability to communicate, and they have enough trust in their partner to not feel the need for the safety net. Graduating to play without a safeword opens up an entirely new realm of experiences. Not better experiences, but different.
Looking back over my time in the lifestyle, I can think of a few occassions where I was in a genuinly unsafe and potentially harmful scenario - and in none of those situations would a safeword have helped. I was once throttled to a point all the blood vessels in my face burst and I was literally scarlet for a few days. I couldn’t have uttered a safeword then if I’d wanted to - couldn’t breathe. My biggest scar is down my left thigh, the result of a breadknife being drawn quickly and unexpectedly down it. By the time I knew what was happening, the blood was flowing. No time for a safeword. I was once punched in the stomach unexpectedly by a man. That hurt and frightened me. But again, it was too quick for a safeword. These were not scene based scenarios. Safewords would not have helped. And I have to take responsibility for these actions taken against me because they were all the same guy, and three distinct occassions. In his defence, he was under the impression that I *enjoyed* this sort of extreme behaviour. I talked to him extensively about how I felt when he did these things, and about what I thought was acceptable and unnacceptable behaviour. When I did not see any major modification in his behaviour, I stopped seeing him.
Within this lifestyle, there are no guarantees. It is a risk every time you place yourself in the hands of another. We can take precautions, but nothing is foolproof. And so in the end the best we can do is take ownership of actions, accept responsibility for ourselves when we walk into a situation by walking in openly, knowingly and having communicated as clearly as we can, and remove ourselves from that situation if it turns out to be harmful or damaging to us.
Responsibility here appears to have become a scale by which we judge others for their relative ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’. Asking whether playing without a safeword is ‘responsible’ is to ask whether that play is good or bad, according to some scale which can only have value to the judge. ‘Good’ and ‘bad’ are judgement calls, grounded in taste and aesthetics, moral stance and ideology. Whether there are any inate qualities or values by which anything can be held more right or wrong, better or worse than another thing is an interesting question from a philosophical point of view. meaning, I can’t answer that - can you?
I would hold that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are relative. There can be no objectivity because ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are emotive subjects. If I accept myself as an autonomous being, if I take responsibility for myself and my actions during play, surely by definition I am playing responsibly? The mechanism for that responsibility is irrelevent, being that it is personal to me and has no impact on anyone but me - and my partner, of course, though let’s assume my partner also entered the scenario knowingly, willingly and responsibly.
Of course safewords are important and valuable and have a relevent place in the BDSM arena. But why must their irrefutable value mean that not having a safeword instantly devalues play by rendering it unsafe and irresponsible? Can we not accept that with the whole spectrum of people and experiences operating within this arena, there might be more than one way of doing things? And cannot we attribute value based upon intent and outcome, rather than some abstract notion of what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’?