3 Ways The Loyal Opposition is killing your Power Exchange

Screenshot 2014-10-12 22.25.08In parliamentary systems of government, The Loyal Opposition is a term applied collectively to the opposition parties in the legislature to indicate that the non-governing parties may oppose the actions of the sitting cabinet while remaining loyal to the source of the government’s power.

In many power exchange relationships, I’ve observed a similar phenomenon – that the person subject to the power (most typically the slave or submissive) is often allowed tremendous latitude and is permitted, or even expected to oppose the will of the Master on a philosophical, or emotional level  – as long as they are compliant to the wishes of the Master at the end of the day.

The reason why the concept of The Loyal Opposition (TLO) makes sense in a parliamentary system of government is that it allows for any minority party within the government to actively oppose a specific course of action without their ultimate loyalty to the crown or system of government being in question due to their actions. The concept allows for the dissent necessary for a functioning democracy without the fear of being accused of treason.

When I’ve asked those that practice this form of power exchange what the deal is, answers vary – most of the time the Master or Dominant explains that they have adopted a Commander In Chief type of role in the relationship that permits or tolerates a TLO presence. Some indicate that this approach is their nod to giving the slave or submissive a measure of ‘freedom’…others believe that one can never truly know another persons internal state – what the slave thinks and feels is their own business (and cannot be measured) vs. that which they actually DO on the other hand, which can be measured and at the end of the day is more important than how the slave feels or what they think in the privacy of their own heads.

I believe that the Master has both authority and responsibility for the slave and for outcomes in the relationship.  I also believe that the M/s dynamic is intentionally NOT a democracy.  Anticipating, and being tolerant of occasional resistance is different than encouraging and supporting open opposition. Believing that they are the same thing will eventually put the hurt on your relationship.  After witnessing a number of P/e and M/s relationships crash and burn, here’s why I believe TLO is a terrible philosophy to adopt or allow within a power exchange relationship.

1. TLO encourages laziness. Power exchange takes work, plain and simple – especially in the early stages of a relationship. Doing the work of a master involves being conscious, being present and intentionally putting yourself in the best position possible to receive out of the relationship that which is internally fulfilling to you.  – but that’s only one part of the equation. The other part is that the person that willingly places themselves in a subordinate or surrendered position – the person that aspires to serve or to be a slave also brings a set of needs and desires into the relationship that are as precious, as relevant and necessary to the success of the dynamic as that of the Master. Some masters mistakenly believe that the best way to honor such desires is to offer such a person that which they themselves consider most precious – the privilege of autonomy, the ability to self-direct.  So they are well-meaning when they ‘allow’ the slave to oppose them, to continually assert their independance and to play the role of The Loyal Opposition.

I have to say this – and I cant emphasize this strongly enough….. if this is you; STOP DOING THIS SHIT IMMEDIATELY. YOU ARE KILLING YOUR RELATIONSHIP AND YOU DONT EVEN REALIZE IT.

Think about it.

That which is most precious to you – is TOXIC to your slave or submissive.

Not toxic in the literal sense – they arent going to expire from an overdose of Mastery-ness…..but you ARE planting seeds that when fully grown will be the opposite of the surrender you desire.

It certainly doesnt work the other way round; What if she had the power to offer YOU the opportunity to experience that which SHE feels is most precious to her? The privilege of surrendering and being of service!!! YUM!!!! (did you throw up a little in your mouth?) Im always amazed at the numbers of Masters and Dominants who consistently do this and are then mystified as to why the length of their relationships are measured in months, not years.

Moreover, a master that tells the slave or submissive ‘Feel however you want, just make sure you ultimately comply with my wishes, places the power exchange in the relationship on auto-pilot, or even worse, places the slave or submissive in the dubious position of mastering themselves.  Dont get me wrong – I LOVE surrender…but that beautiful garment is tailor made for my namaste alone in our relationship. I have no desire to try it on for size and I categorically refuse to put my cover on her head even in jest to see how cute she’d look as a little Master. Screenshot 2014-10-13 00.25.15

DO NOT CROSS THE STREAMS!!!!

2.  Its a waste of valuable resources – Entrainment in the biomusicological sense refers to the synchronization of organisms to an external rhythm, usually produced by other organisms with whom they interact socially. Entrainment in the power exchange sense describes the phenomenon of the Master intentionally and consistently synchronizing the actions of the slave or submissive with the Masters will, most often through repetition. For example, a speech protocol that is performed every day, multiple times a day will be more effective in deepening the power exchange relationship than an elaborate ritual that is performed twice a year.  That said, Masters that have a TLO friendly power exchange relationship tend to eschew the ‘bells and whistles’ of power exchange and often fail to understand how protocols, rituals and other rites of the power exchange dynamic can be powerful allies in deepening and strengthening the bond between Master and slave.

3. It compromises alignment of will – A fundamental priniciple of our dynamic is what I have coined “Alignment of Will”.  My slaves will must align with mine.  It is not good enough for her to merely obey, and to give the external “Yes Sir”. I must have the internal alignment – that internal “Yes Sir”- as well. That internal “Yes” can not be faked. It can not be “acted”-  it’s either there or its not…and when it isn’t there, I know it and I generally won’t rest until I have it.  Obedience is wonderful, but obedience without internal alignment is unsatisfying to me on an energetic level.  I want her to not just comply with my wishes or agree ‘in principle’ with my philosophies – instead it is my desire that she is to feel as I feel concerning the things that I desire most.

At the end of the day, why deny yourself and your charge the sustainable pleasure of using as many resources as possible to reinforce and deepen the relationship? As Masters and slaves we are attracted to our respective roles in the relationship because of the pleasure we receive from the experience.  If this relationship style did not please me in some way it would be pointless to pursue. It pleases me to give directives as much as it pleases my slave to be both the recipient, and the instrument of my will. Her response to my leadership gladdens my heart, the way she talks to me in respect and love is a constant source of healing and pleasure to me. When she inquires and I tell her how I feel about something – it is a joy to me throughout our discussion to see her work through acquiring an understanding of how I feel about the subject at hand and to then align her will with my own.  These facets of our relationship are precious to me. If I take a hands-off approach to portions of that process and basically leave her to her own devices with respect to how she feels and thinks about my directives and what I feel is important, I deny us both not only the extreme pleasure that the M/s dynamic has to offer, but also negate much of the power of the relationship as well.

There is no room in our relationship for The Loyal Opposition.

Keynote Address – BOLD 2014

I Am Doing a Great Work, I Cannot Come Down.

Good Evening.

It is good to be here with you tonight.

Here’s a question; What do an old testament architect, an airline captain and an erect penis have in common with each other?

At first glance not a whole lot, but I assure you that if you stay with me for a moment you will find that they are all related, very much so.

So let’s begin.

So it came to pass that…. As a storyteller, I believe that next to Once Upon a Time, So It Came to Pass is the best opening to a story in my opinion anyway..

And… So it came to pass that…

 In the sacred text we see that there is a man Nehemiah, an official in the Persian Court who is also cupbearer to the king – who in the course of time discovers that there is something terribly amiss and that is troubling him.

In fact this situation is troubling him SO much, that you can see it all over his face.

In the course of his duties in the palace he comes across the King… and the King seeing his countenance fallen like this asks what’s going on.

He says, in the ways of Kingly speech –

 Nehemiah…. why the face??? What’s going on here?

 Nehemiah replies to the King – the walls of my city are fallen and its gates have been burned with fire and the citizens thereof scattered to the four winds.

 The King replies – what would make you feel better? As they are friends, inasmuch as a King and a cup bearer can be said to be friends, the King wants to know what He can do to help with the situation that is troubling his friend – Nehemiah replies that he would feel better if the walls to the city of Jerusalem could be rebuilt and restored and that his kinsmen be gathered together again.

The King replies in the manner of Kings – Go… and see to this thing and report back to me.

So with the kings blessing and under that authority Nehemiah did travel with the appropriate papers and official seals and such and on his way to the jobsite he began to gather materials and workmen and shortly we find that he did indeed begin the project…. the work of rebuilding the walls.

And wouldn’t you know it – Right from the very beginning – work hadn’t even been started well yet…and there’s trouble on the horizon.

I won’t get too deep into the meat of this story just yet – I want you to pause right there, see this is an important part of the story – but lets pause for a moment, we will come back to Nehemiah a little later and see how he’s doing.

Instead I want you to come with me aboard Eastern Air Lines Flight 401.

Eastern Air Flight 401 was a Lockheed L-1011-1 Tri-Star jet; the jet is only 4 months old.

Its 11:42pm on December 29, 1972, and we are on a routine flight from New York to Miami.

From all indications this flight was indeed routine until about 11:32 p.m., when the flight began its approach into Miami International Airport.

There’s the usual scritchy airline captains voice coming over the intercom telling everyone that ‘we are going into final approach,’ giving the correct time and telling everyone the usual, how important it is to take your seats and fasten seat belts and all that kind of thing.

You know the drill; we’ve all been through it any number of times.

And as they settle into their approach to the Miami airport they lower the landing gears.

After lowering the gear, the first officer Stockstill noticed that the landing gear indicator, a green light identifying that the nose gear is properly locked in the “down” position, did not light up the way it was supposed to.

The captain, Mr. Loft, who was working the radio during this leg of the flight, told the tower in Miami that flight 401 would discontinue their approach to the Miami airport and they requested to enter a holding pattern.

The approach controller cleared the flight to climb to two thousand feet and then hold west over the Everglades.

This is routine – they then make an announcement to the folks in the cabin that they are in a holding pattern and the crew immediately begins working on fixing this problem

The cockpit crew removed the light assembly and the second officer Repo was dispatched into the avionics bay beneath the flight deck to check visually through a small viewing window to see if the gear was down.

Fifty seconds after reaching the assigned altitude of 2000 feet, the captain instructed first officer Stockstill to put the L-1011 on autopilot.  And then for the next eighty seconds, the plane maintained level flight.

Then, it dropped one hundred feet, (not a major deal) so now we are at 1900 feet…and then again flew level for two more minutes, after which it began a descent so gradual the crew could not perceive it. 

In the next seventy seconds, the plane lost an additional 250 feet and this was enough to trigger the altitude warning chime located under the engineer’s workstation. This puts us at around 1600 feet and the plane is still in a gradual descent….

Now if you’ve ever been walking onto a plane while the crew goes through the pre-flight check, they always check a multitude of these warning chimes, bells and whistles so to speak before they push back and go in flight. Sometimes you may hear this computerized voice say things like “Wind Shear!” “Wind Shear!” “Pull UP!” Pull UP!!” “Flaps! Flaps!” and other phrases and words designed to specifically alert the pilot that something is seriously amiss and needs to be corrected immediately.

Well, when the alarm went off this time, there was no indication that anyone heard it.

Why?

Because the person that is responsible for monitoring such things (the second officer Repo) is now in the avionics bay looking for the source of the problem of the light that malfunctioned.

As a result, the plane considered its gradual descent…and in another fifty seconds the plane was at half its assigned altitude. So we are at about 1000 feet and still descending….

As Stockstill started another turn, onto 180 degrees, he noticed the discrepancy. The following conversation was recovered from the flight voice recorder later:

Stockstill: We did something to the altitude.

Loft: What?

Stockstill: We’re still at 2,000 feet, right?

Loft: Hey—what’s happening here?

These guys are trained professionals; it probably occurred to them in an instant exactly what had happened.

The plane was now less than 1000 feet above the everglades, which were pitch black because well…they are the Everglades for goodness sakes, not a whole lot of ambient light pollution like there would be over a big city to indicate where the horizon is in relation to where YOU are in a big giant plane. And yes, they have that ‘horizon’ indicator that works; in fact they have a multitude of devices that can tell them at a glance exactly what’s happening.

But it was a perfect storm of simple errors, simple mistakes.

Any one of which would be a minor thing – not a big deal at all.

In the aggregate however – all of them happening at the most inopportune time…. you have a perfect storm of the worst thing that could happen.

Cumulatively – the effect was devastating to the pilots and to the unsuspecting people in the cabin behind them.

If you have the plane on autopilot and the people who are responsible for keeping the plane in the air are preoccupied with finding out about this light that isn’t working right, and the person who is supposed to be listening for the alarm is unfortunately nowhere around when the altitude alarm goes off, well…

If you know a little bit about planes, you know that when a plane turns, or banks – it can lose both airspeed and altitude rapidly unless the pilot gives the plane a little more gas – but they were in this gentle holding pattern (they thought) so no extraordinary flight maneuvers required, just a gentle turn and then its back onto the straightaway – a holding pattern is kind of an oval in shape, and its like an old fashioned racetrack…. straightaway, turn, straightaway…over and over again.

But in this case all of the mistakes added up to a really serious situation.

All of the possibilities collapsing down to a single moment in time of devastating certainty.

The plane has lost too much altitude and when they begin to go into this gentle turn at what they believe is 2000 feet above the inky surface of the Florida everglades, by this time they are probably a hundred or so feet above the surface…. and as a result the wing of the plane cuts into the surface of the Everglade swamp followed shortly by the fuselage and the rest of the plane at approximately 250 miles an hour, killing 101 of the 176 souls onboard.

This was discovered to be due to a burned-out light bulb. The landing gear could have been manually lowered either way. The pilots cycled the landing gear but still failed to get the confirmation light that they were looking for and as a result kept looking for the source of the problem, distracted from the much larger problem that was rapidly going to become part of their reality.

Their single minded focus on what seemed to be the most important thing at the time led to the first crash of a wide-body aircraft and at the time of this particular tragedy the second deadliest single-aircraft disaster in the U.S.

What Matters Most to you??

We’ve all done it.

Succumbed to the very human tendency to focus on the relatively insignificant at the expense of the profound.

It happens to all of us, not just airline pilots – it happens to everyone.

Sending a text when you need to be paying attention to the road.

Reaching over to get your phone, or your soft drink or whatever is really interesting on the seat of your vehicle traveling at speed down the highway.

It will only be a moment.

A quick second.

But that’s all it takes really, right?

Road conditions change, something happens that we weren’t expecting and then we are in a situation.

Focusing on the insignificant at the expense of the profound.

It’s relatively easy to get distracted by something that looks like it might be important

And hell, for all we know it seems like it might be something that really ‘needs doing’.  We are a nation of problem solvers; we pride ourselves on our ability to multitask, to juggle priorities, to come up with solutions….

But focusing on the insignificant at the expense of the profound can have disastrous consequences.

Now lets check in with Nehemiah at the job site.

Work is proceeding along, he’s got his men working, he’s got all of the necessary materials – the old burned stuff has been hauled away and the walls are going up!

Where there was nothing happening before – now there is the sound and activity, the hustle and bustle of new construction!

As Nehemiah continues to build, where there was rubble and in some places nothing at all – he attracts attention.

People who didn’t have an opinion one-way or the other prior to the construction – well…now they have an issue.

And like folk will do when there’s something new happening that they don’t understand and maybe don’t agree with…

Some will come and appear on the surface to support what you are doing – while at the same time undermining it under the banner of ‘I’m just trying to understand’.

And then some will want you to stop doing whatever you are doing, as in Nehemiah’s case, until they give you the authorization to proceed.

And for each of those – because the work that you do is so significant and necessary – it doesn’t really matter what the interruption is about, if you’re Nehemiah you do not have time to come down from building the wall!!!

That’s job ONE. Building that wall!

That’s why you asked the King and got His permission!

That’s why you gathered all these materials together!

That’s why you were able to recruit all these men to help with the construction!

You have to realize that in order for the wall to get built, you cannot come down…to chat! 

YOU HAVE WORK TO DO.

Your work is important,

Your work is necessary

Your work is vital

Your work is no accident.

So the naysayers and the ‘well, why don’t you just stop until we can UNDERSTAND just what’s going on around here’ people would come to the jobsite and they wanted to talk.  They would invite him to meetings constantly, they would say why don’t you take a moment from what you are doing and come and talk with us about this project?

And Nehemiah’s reply was…Um NO.  Can’t do it.

I have work to do here.

In fact, I am doing a GREAT work, and no…I cannot come down.

And sometimes – Your answer must be similar – what he actually said to them was ‘if I come down from the wall to talk with you, how is the work going to get done?

If I stop what I’m doing to come down from the wall and talk to YOU…HOW is the WORK going to get DONE????

So – No, thank you.

I am doing a great work – I cannot come down.

As I understand it – (and because I took the time to read the trifold, lol) The purposes and origins of MDHL are three fold:

To develop a sense of community, to foster a sense of ethics, transparency and accountability among those that identify as MDHL-fs, and to better understand and define the dynamic, sharing mutual experiences…..

I believe that when you desire to develop a sense of community among Dominant men and submissive/slave women to address concerns that are specific to their lifestyle dynamic – there will be some…. that do not understand you.

Or that will want you to stop building…until they can get a grip on you

Or who will just hate on you for even trying.

I am doing a Great Work – I cannot come down

When you endeavor to foster a sense of ethics, transparency and accountability among those who identify as MDHL-fs.  –

You will be opposed by those that are for whatever their reasons might be – challenged by those notions, of ethics, of transparency and of accountability.

You see, there were a number of people in power in the neighborhood of Nehemiah’s job site back in the day and one of the first issues that happened was that the landscape literally began changing around them.  They could no longer operate in ways that they had become accustomed.

In their cases they had been running up prices in the local real estate market and were doing a host of unethical things to the populace, but the re-building of the walls began to draw attention to other things that were not exactly as they should have been.

So change began to happen.

And they didn’t appreciate it, not one bit.

The work that was going on re-defined what it meant to be a part of that community, illuminating some things that needed changing…. and the same thing is happening today around us.

Don’t be surprised when Haters begin Hating – as the eminent theologian K. Williams wryly observed; Hater’s will in fact Hate – because you see that the role of Hater is not only a lifestyle, but an identity as well.

I am doing a Great Work – I cannot come down.

And Thirdly, I read that one of the things that you purpose to do is to work to better understand and define the dynamic we engage in through careful and thoughtful reflection and sharing of mutual experiences.

You have committed yourself onto a path to engage and to educate.

The BOLD implications of such an endeavor will open you up to criticism but more importantly in order to reach those that need to hear this message you must be vulnerable.

And yes I am BOLD enough to use the word BOLD in describing the BOLD nature of such an endeavor. (lol)

It can be tough to be vulnerable.  –  I recently wrote a piece on our mainstream website, richardandnamaste.com called ‘living my life as a dick’ that goes straight to the heart of that matter. My namaste actually wrote a piece about living her life as a clitoris which was amazing and wonderful in its own right and inspired me to write my article in response – check it out when you have a moment, she’s truly wonderful.

I am doing a Great Work – I cannot come down.

As a storyteller, I realized very early in my life that all of the most important lessons we learn in this life are carried to our hearts and minds through the vehicle of story.

I believe that you cannot really, truly know a person until you know their story…

That is why vulnerability is so important.

You see, you cannot engage in thoughtful reflection and sharing of mutual experiences if you are not willing to be honest about who you are and what your experiences have been.

If you putter around not sharing the essential you with the men around you, not sharing the essential you with the women around you, you are doing what the well-meaning crew of Eastern Airlines flight 401 was doing.

What a dear friend and colleague of mine used to call, ‘majoring in the minors’.

You will be focusing intently on the burned out light bulb of insignificance…while the plane full of people that ONLY you can reach hurtle toward their doom as the inky blackness of their own personal Everglades hurtles up to meet them.

The passengers of flight 401 didn’t know what hit them.

And the people on YOUR watch won’t know either…. If you aren’t focused on the WORK.

the WORK that you are uniquely qualified and charged to accomplish.

I am doing a Great Work – I cannot come down.

 So…..What if I did decide to go through my life as a Dick for just 24 hours.

  • To be the embodiment of masculinity, virile and potent
  • While simultaneously being vulnerable and tender.
  • As actualized masculine essence – Enthusiastically and vigorously inserting myself directly into situations that feel good to me, that bring me pleasure.
  • While at the same time avoiding or literally not responding at all to that which is not good to me or for me…I instinctually avoid those situations that are tense, are upstream or not pleasurable
  • Instead, I dive deeply into wondrous and mysterious places and situations again and again enthusiastically and passionately..
  • I find to my amazement that what was previously closed to me is now open, expectant and waiting for my arrival – everything is prepared for my ease and comfort, no detail has been neglected
  • I also move with ease through a world that receives me openly, deliciously and responds to my every movement with waves of acceptance and reflects my pleasure back to me multiplied and expansive.
  • When I am exactly where I should be, where I need to be, where I want to be – I feel invincible and magnificent. Nothing comes close to how wonderful I feel
  • In truth, I belong right here, right now – the situations and circumstances in which I find myself are literally tailor made for me – the most comfortable and delicious fit imaginable and I notice how exciting that is to me.
  • You see, I am committed to only taking inspired action – and enthusiastically rising to the occasion at the right time!
  • Additionally…I also effortlessly let things that no longer serve me pass right through me, I don’t hold onto things past their time.
  • I am so in love with my Purpose and I look forward expectantly to each opportunity to actualize my Purpose in this time and space.
  • Fully inhabiting this space, being the penis with all the potentiality of that energy and the intensity of this experience….is a Good Thing.  Seriously

If every man was truly and authentically a Dick..I mean, in the ways that I’ve just described, I believe that the world would be a much better off as a result.

So my advice to you is – Be A Dick. You owe it to yourself.

Be vulnerable.

Be strong.

Be about the work that you were purposed to do, that you NEED to do.

And take pleasure in doing so.

I am doing a Great Work…

I cannot come down.

Thank you.

Dominance and The Inner Critic – ONLINE!!

tmp-NEW-020114-9zqYq95O5rVBbwHADominance and the Inner Critic is one of our most sought after classes. It addresses many of the problems and challenges faced by both New and Seasoned Dominants and Masters alike.

Dominance and the Inner Critic :

We all have that voice inside, the one that can take anything about ourselves or something that we did or something we plan to do and transform it into something terribly wrong or bad. That inner dialogue that shows up just as we are about to embark on a new project or challenge. We all have an inner voice that speaks to us consciously and unconsciously all the time. When our inner voice becomes toxic, it can have a crippling effect on Dominance, ultimately impairing the strength and vitality of M/s or Dom/sub relationships.

You aren’t your thoughts.

You aren’t your feelings.

You ARE on the other hand what you believe.

Dominance and the Inner Critic has been created to help you believe differently about yourself and begin creating the life you want, today.softwareboxright (9)

What have you been holding back? What have you been waiting for? What are the words that you haven’t spoken to her, to him – that you’ve held close and silent, that you’ve kept prisoner, locked in a safe in the shuttered and locked rooms of your heart that would change everything, if you decided to live for the next hour, or the next day instead of waiting?

In Dominance and the Inner Critic you will find out;

· Where the Critic comes from.

· What is the true purpose of the Inner Critic?

· How you can stop the Critic from sucking the life out of your Dominance and Mastery?

· How to believe differently about your life and your purpose.

Learn how to use your Inner Critic as an energizing force instead of something that drains you of your energy, your enthusiasm and your intensity. (FOR DOMINANTS AND MASTERS ONLY)

Includes 5 videos and worksheets PLUS downloadable MP3’s!!!! $47

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Show some love on V-Day!

Showsomelove

Valentines is right around the corner and we have some awesomeness to share with you!

From now until 2/14/13 you can sign up for our Immersion Membership at an awesome discount!

  • Full Immersion- Dynamic for any two people in a Power Exchange Dynamic for only $214 a year (normally $300)
  • 2 Memberships in either Immersion- Surrender or Immersion-Power for only $214 a year. Great for a family, household or friends

What is Immersion?
Immersion is us giving you our best in the comfort of your own home!

* Our 5 most popular Classes by Master Obsidian and/or slave namaste **plus** additional classes created during the year.
* Monthly Coaching/Mentoring Teleseminars by Master Obsidian and/or slave namaste
* Daily Affirmations for Surrender or Weekly Mastery Moments
* Worksheets (as applicable)
* One year of support, education and connection

And it’s all Virtual!! No travel, no child care scheduling, and you get to maintain your anonymity if you’d like!

Don’t miss out! More information available here
And sign up for our awesome monthly mailing list and get a sneak peek of one of our classes!

Holiday shopping? Get soaked!

Greetings,
As many of you may know Master and i are super passionate about helping people have sustainable, authentic, powerful, healthy, and HOT relationships. It’s way big on our list of “Why we are here”. Realizing that everyone who is in a Power Exchange dynamic is NOT necessarily a part of the community aspect (munches, face to face meetings, play parties etc;), able to afford one-on-one coaching or mentoring with us, or able to attend conferences (when the average price for a conference for 2 including hotel and meals will cost about $500! That’s not including airfare) – Master and i put our heads together and decided to offer “Immersion” – no, not the event we put on through our local MAsT chapter- this is different.

This is a year of getting positively soaked and drenched in education, activities and processes right in your own home… at your own speed. We all know full immersion is the best way to learn and internalize new ideas and now we bring that idea to your dynamic as well. We’ve decided to record some of our classes (with more added through the year), and make them available to members of our Immersion Circle. In addition we’re offering affirmations and tips on Power exchange -to keep it practical and actual. Then there’s the monthly chat which is part coaching, part Masterminding and part Party rolled up into one which is worth the price of admission itself.  We’re putting it all out there. All of ourselves, our experiences, our history and how we make our Power dynamic work and stay juicy all while keeping it relevant by giving you an opportunity to ask your questions, tell your story and apply it to your life. .

We’re really big on “under promise and over deliver”  – and we’re way way excited to be able to offer ourselves in this way. This may be a great opportunity for you if you’re

  • New to Power Exchange
  • Struggling
  • Wanting education and connection and unable to afford it
  • Wanting education and connection but none is available in your area
  • Love our classes and want more
  • Seasoned in your dynamic and wanting to keep it fabulous.
  • You’re Leather, Gorean, TPE or PPE (partial power exchange), M/s or D/s or D/g or LMNOP – or none of the above. It doesn’t matter which community you identify with only that it is Power Exchange.

 

This isn’t for everyone we know. If this vibes for you GREAT! We look forward to having you! If you’re on the fence this may help -This most likely isn’t for you if:

  • You have no interest in Power exchange dynamics personally
  • You are argumentative (Be kind is the rule of the day!)
  • Find no resonance in our blog posts or classes
  • Aren’t willing to invest financially in your dynamic and education
  • Think all of this is “just taking things too seriously”

Right now we’re lowering the cost even more because – well it’s the Holidays and we love to find a reason to give gifts and help others give gifts as well!!  You can take (or give) Immersion now for only $125 a year for Power (for Master, Dominants etc;) or surrender (submissives, slaves etc;) or for $200 a year for couples! This price is in effect until 1/31/13

Here’s all the juicy bits right here

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Decide…then Direct

 

The action of providing direction is beneficial to the power exchange relationship in a number of ways.  Primarily, it clarifies the position of both parties and is a source of pleasure and energy for the power exchange relationship. The person on the ‘control’ side of the power exchange relationship provides direction to the other participants in the relationship. The person being controlled and directed feels safe and secure in response.  Master and slave, Dominant and submissive run on different fuel.  However, I’ve talked to a number of dominants that struggle with this from time to time. There are probably any number of reasons for this – but the one that I see quite often manifests in this fashion; “Being in control and providing direction is a wonderful experience for me. It is because I love/care for/appreciate you so much, that occasionally I will reward you by sharing this power with you.  This will take the form of  A.allowing you autonomy to make your own decisions  or B. I may even begin training you – my slave/submissive to begin exercising dominance on your own!! If you do a good job, eventually I may allow you to (gasp) have a submissive or slave of your very own!!! Wont that be GRAND?!

NO. No it will not be grand at all. Comparing this situation to the plot of a sci-fi movie, this would be where Our Hero slips on a banana peel and accidently drops the glowing test tube of toxins into the town’s water supply. When we as Dominants decide to share our joy of control with those that have exchanged their power with us, disaster often ensues for the relationship, but not immediately.  Its easy to mistake the fact that one’s submissive or slave takes to wielding power like a duck takes to water as clear indication from the universe that said submissive was ‘meant’ to be dominant all along. The actual reasons for this kinky metamorphosis may be quite different, and not as mystical in nature. Submissives in similar situations gravitating toward dominance at your direction is connected to why you, Kind Sir/Madam selected them in the first place, namely their tendency to have strong desires to PLEASE their DOMINANT. They are after all EXCELLENT at taking direction, even if the directions are toward an area of the map where they themselves would not ordinarily venture. Also one cant ignore the fact that we are all possessed of a near infinite variability and potential. It is most unfortunate when Masters discover too late that the harmony they enjoyed as M/s begins to dissipate pretty rapidly in a M/m environment.

There are of course a thousand thousand variations on this theme – what about switches? what about those that encourage the above scenario by design instead of by accident?  There will of course always be those individual circumstances that dont fit what I’ve described exactly or relationships that are apparently thriving in an environment I would personally consider inhospitable for my power exchange relationship.

YMMV etc.

Lets get back to the point. If it is my desire that my slave accomplish a particular goal or outcome, the scenario I illustrated above demonstrates the necessity of that DIRECTION, without it there typically will be little movement toward the desired outcome.  Of course Im being overly simplistic here – it is always a possibility that the slave can intuit my general intent and motivate him or herself towards the achievement of  the best possible outcome.  ASK then DECIDE highlighted the fact that having a discussion is not synonymous with making a decision.  It then follows that once the decision is made it must be communicated to be effective.  More specifically, after I’ve decided what should be done, it is essential to the health of our relationship to provide closure by giving a directive as to what will be done next.

A directive can cover any time period in the future, “this afternoon, I want you to call her back and tell her we will be there on Thursday as agreed”  be attached to other conditions “go to the store and if they have the hubbards on sale, purchase that – otherwise purchase brand X.”  ..and also be communicative for yourself as well as your charge.  “For the next month, we are both going to get up and do our meditations first before we begin our work day” Note that I said it can cover any time period in the future – I know a fair amount of Masters who are fond of giving directives that can only really be accomplished in the PAST. “You should have known to check with me FIRST before doing that!”  Not only is a directive to do something in the past impossible, this behaviour doesnt improve the relationship and often leads to confusion and unhappy, demotivated slaves and submissives.

Also, communicating preferences without directives can temporarily put the slave in a very uncomfortable position. ‘I love the taste of fresh lemonade!’ – Master exclaims. (the slave tries to figure out ‘is that for always? or for right now? should I put lemons on the shopping list? does Master want to be surprised by fresh lemonade? should we always have fresh lemonade in the house from now on?’)ad infinitum. The submissive or slave can really spin their mental wheels trying to ‘cover all the bases’ in an attempt to be pleasing. You can make things run a lot smoother by remembering to follow preferences with a directive ‘when you go shopping, buy lemons – and always make sure we have fresh lemonade on hand’

‘Should statements’ can often masquerade as free floating, anxiety producing pseudo directives- Master looks around the room “we should paint in here”. (slave thinks…when? what color? do it yourself or hire someone?) Master says “You know what? we should eat out more often!” (should slave get dressed? tonight? this weekend? or is this just increased frequency in comparison to how often we normally go out? ) The point of these examples is not to encourage Masters to dramatically restructure the way they talk, but to raise awareness and mindfulness concerning an area that many of us take for granted – that we are communicating effectively. The words of the Master tend to fall from lofty heights onto the ears of the slave and arrive with both velocity and impact.  The slave or submissive is always listening for the ‘go do’ associated with a clear directive.  Even if they get it ‘right’ by intuition, similarity to a previous directive or accident – if they proceed to act without a clear directive the result is less than satisfactory for both dominant and submissive, and actually is an energy drain on the relationship. It sounds deceptively simple, but most of the time when there is a general ‘blah’ feeling or a significant loss of enthusiasm in the power exchange dynamic it is due to neglect in this important area.

I receive pleasure from exercising control and dominance over my slave – it energizes me. My namaste by comparison receives pleasure from her response to my excercizing control and dominance in her direction, which energizes her.  The feedback loop of her responses of submission and surrender is also delicious to me, which becomes an additional motivating factor toward more dominance and control, and so it goes.  Mindfulness in communication can yield amazing dividends in the form of increased peacefulness and harmony in the power exchange dynamic.

Do the Work:  This week, pay attention to how often you are presented with information and what you do with it after you’ve received it. Do you tend to internalize it and keep it in your own head without communicating your wishes? Do you delay communicating a directive because you expect your submissive to ‘intuit’ what your directive would be? Are you concerned about being ‘wrong’ or communicating an ill advised directive? How many ‘preferences’ have you stated that have unintentionally become ‘law’ in your world? Is a stated preference synonymous with a directive in your relationship? Ask your submissive to list how many ‘rules’ you have that are really preferences in disguise. Commit yourself to deciding what you want done and providing clear direction whenever you are presented with new information.

ASK….then DECIDE

Many Dominants find themselves In the situation from time to time.  Perhaps there are a number of decisions you need to make, or issues that need to be discussed. You have any number of discussions with your submissive or slave and life goes on.  You feel that the issue has been handled, or that enough discussion has taken place that the slave or submissive understands what your wishes are.  Until later – when they have a ton of questions regarding your preferences even though you’ve already discussed the pending issue at length.  Some of you may be nodding at this point – thinking this is a rant about Slaves That Just Dont Get It.  But it is not. it is YOU Kind Sir, Kind Madam that is creating a fertile field in which misunderstanding may take root. When we constantly discuss things without deciding – there is rarely satisfying closure for either party.

I have a question for you – do you typically make a decision immediately following the discussion of the issue? Or do you assume that the decision is imbedded in the discussion? Perhaps the unease you and your slave are feeling is the weight of too many discussions without decisions.

A good rule of thumb for Masters and Dominants –  ask for information first, then make a decision about what needs to be done as expeditiously as possible.  This keeps the structure of the power exchange relationship intact. This isnt about always making the best decision or the ‘right’ decision. Lets face it – being Dominant isnt synonymous with being omniscient or infallible. Sometimes you will make an ill advised decision regardless of how much information you have in advance. Its okay. It happens.  I tend to ask a lot of questions anyway –  I find that I often NEED to ask questions, because there may be information I dont know that I need to be aware of that can help me make better decisions. However, once enough information is in – my decision regarding ‘next steps’ is essential to progress.

(Most Interesting Man in the World voice) “I may not always need input from my slave… But when I do – the best time to get that input is prior to my decision.”

For example; One fine summer day I announce;  “I’ve decided! We are going to spend the day working on the yard, then we are going to the movies this evening. Find out what time the movie begins.”

Slave; ‘begging Master’s pardon…, you asked me to remind you that you scheduled a doctor’s appointment this afternoon? And this evening we were scheduled to have dinner with your brother and his wife?’

Master: Oh…. (dissapointed/irritated) Fine then…puts garden tools back in shed. Well, I really dont want to go to the Dr today, its beautiful outside and I need to get this sod put in place. Dayum. that’s right – we do have dinner plans scheduled. (still have not decided one way or the other. Ruminating inside my head about the tyranny of a full calendar. Brain starts to heat up from trying to figure out how to do everything I want to do PLUS everything I have to do in the same afternoon. Grumpy muttering ensues.  Eventually I wander off to do something else in the meantime mistakenly believing that its ‘obvious’ that Im going to go to the Dr as planned and to dinner, seeing as I put the garden tools back in the shed and said ‘Fine then’.  When slave asks question about my ‘pending’ decision in her eyes, Im still irritated and point out the ‘obvious’..that really isnt obvious at all to anyone but me. Does this scenario sound familiar?

Being Master, you COULD cancel all appointments and do what you want. But you are in the position now of backtracking over a previous decision – and you sound kinda whiny if you dont mind my saying. Even worse – kicking the decision back to the slave by asking; “slave – dont you think that our house would be better served by working on the yard instead of going to the dr and/or having dinner with family? What do you think we should do?  (of course no Dominant ever asks questions like that. Well, maybe other Dominants do…but not You.)

Scenario Two;

Master: “slave – what’s on my schedule for today?”

slave: “Master you  have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. And this evening we are having dinner with your brother and his wife.”

Master: “Its a beautiful day outside and we need to get this sod in place on the lawn. Call my Dr and reschedule my appointment for next week, same time and day of the week if available. If not, try to get me in on a Thursday afternoon, or check my calendar to select a time when Im available.  Also..contact my brother as well, see if we can get together Sunday night for dinner.  I want to go to the movies this evening instead. Check showtimes and let me know what time the movie starts. Thank you.

slave: Yes Master!

Do The Work; Remember, having a discussion isnt synonymous with making a decision.  ASK then DECIDE is one of those simple little steps that can mean so much in a power exchange relationship but seldom receives the attention that it deserves. The astute Master or Dominant can get a ton of power exchange ROI from adopting this behavior on a consistent basis! Observe yourself this week – do you typically ask a lot of questions of your slave or submissive without making a final decision regarding what should take place next? Or do you decide first, then ask for additional information? Are you often in a backtracking mode, countermanding previously issued directives based upon new information received? Do you ask for additional information, then kick it back to the submissive or slave asking THEM what the best decision might be?  If you aren’t clear on how you generally respond regarding Ask then Decide – ask your slave or submissive, they are ideally positioned to provide excellent feedback that you can use. Commit yourself this week to Ask…then Decide.

Mastery and Sleep II

There are a dizzying array of caffeinated, multi colored energy drinks, supplements, juices and pills on the market today as we all know (and have consumed from time to time)  I don’t want to go down the path about the effects of caffeine or stimulants on the brain or any pseudo scientific analysis of what and how these things do what they do.  That’s really not the point. 
What I asked myself – and what I’d like you, gentle RM to ask yourself, … is a simple question.
Why are they here?
Economics 101 teaches us about market forces – the forces of supply and demand and how they operate in the marketplace.  When we examine a concept like ‘demand’ – which is literally a want, backed by the ability to pay for it, and its counterpart ‘supply’ which is the willingness to provide something in exchange for payment….the simple answer is that energy drinks and supplements abound because we as a society want them and continue to pay a premium for them, so it makes sense that manufacturers continue to make a profit by meeting those needs. 
Go a little deeper RM. 
But, why are they here? Really?  – depending on who you ask in the academic community they might point out the factoid that we have as a nation cut about 90 minutes off our collective average sleeping time per night. And we continue to work on that – spending less and less time asleep on the whole each year.  There are other reasons to be sure – but to me, this stands out as prima facie evidence of why the marketplace continues to offer so many choices of substances that are basically designed to keep us awake and alert. Its simple really, RM.
People who aren’t tired don’t need energy drinks to stay awake.  They aren’t necessary.

Could our lack of proper amounts of rest be the silent culprit behind….
  • The disturbing frequency with which a lack of civility and manners crops up in our subculture?
  • The fact that a lot of us in the scene are overweight?
  • The preponderance of addictive prone personalities in our subculture?
  • Other collectively negative and/or individually harmful social phenomena?
You might say that I’m reaching RM, dragging in a load of cultural phenomena under this broad, very convenient umbrella of the cumulative effects of sleeplessness. ….and might be correct, perhaps I am stretching things metaphorically, a little.  Maybe.
Consider this however – if you read down the list I gave you yesterday concerning the scientifically verifiable and cumulative effects of chronic sleep deprivation, perhaps you might not think of this as quite so much of a stretch at all.  But enough theorizing for one day.  Lets move on to what I promised you on yesterday which was an exploration of what remedies we might be able to avail ourselves of in response to this dread situation that many of us find ourselves facing.
One more observation – I do NOT advocate treatment of the unfortunate side effects of sleep deprivation as cure. In other words –  ingesting something that helps you stay awake during the day is NOT synonymous with eliminating your sleep deprivation. I dont consider energy drinks/coffee/caffeinated drinks and supplements as being evil and disgusting, far from it. I often enjoy a hot cup of freshly ground dark roast right out of a french press with heavy cream. And some of the energy drinks that I’ve tasted are quite tasty and also effective as well. Occasionally they are necessary and helpful – just be aware of the fact that if we don’t address our fundamental need for sleep, that toll still continues to collect interest and eventually our bodies will pay the price.
So here are some helps, RM – pick and choose as you will and also add some if you know of any that will be of benefit to other readers;
  • Write it down.  Are you the kind of person that keeps a laundry list of shyt that needs to be taken care of or things that are troubling you that you need to work on in your head all the time?  Us high-control types tend to notice a lot of things – the unfortunate side effect is that our brain tries to help us not forget the most important ones by staying awake to think about them.  Write them down.  The list will be there tomorrow and you can rest in the meantime.
  • Don’t use your bed for anything but fucking or sleeping.  Period.  No reading, watching TV or eating cookies.  Its too easy to make associations in your brain that arent compatible with sleeping.
  • Exercise is excellent – but not within 3 hours or so of bedtime.  Your body produces hormones in response to exercise that are in line with staying up…not sleeping.
  • Create a nightly ritual for preparation for bedtime – going to bed at the same time, even doing repetitive things like changing clothing, going to take a shower or brush your teeth..establishing patterns that your racing mind will associate with ‘sleep time’ will yield benefits as you will start to calm yourself in anticipation of sleeping, which will make it easier to fall asleep when you get in bed.
  • Protect your need to sleep – if you don’t make sleep a priority, then there will never be enough time for sleep.  That means you must make time in your schedule for sleep, RM. Time is linear and most of us have a time when we must be up and about – so we must therefore go to bed earlier.
  • 5HTP5 HTP is an over the counter nutritional supplement.  Chemically, its the metabolic precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Tryptophane, an essential amino acid, is metabolized into 5-HTP by the body. 5 HTP is in turn, converted into the neurotransmitter Serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for mood, hunger and sleep. When I’ve used 5HTP I’ve found that I sleep deeper and when I wake up Im generally more optimistic and upbeat as well. Its not expensive and it works for me. Try some. 
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes several hours prior to bedtime. Stimulants are the enemy of sleep – if you’re amped up on caffeine, its going to be tougher to get good, restful sleep.
  • Is your bedroom conducive to good sleeping? Get rid of clutter, pay attention to your mattress, pillows, bed linens.  Everything that touches your body should be of the highest quality that you can personally afford.  If it feels good on your skin you’ll feel better and be more relaxed as a result and more likely to enjoy your sleep experience.
  • Do you snore excessively? Often wake up feeling groggy and not well rested? Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night gasping or with a sensation of choking? Do you feel better when you fall asleep in a sitting position, e.g. in a chair or recliner..but not a bed? You may be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea  is a sleep disorder characterised by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing, during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour.  If you suspect this is happening to you, you need to see a sleep doctor. The Dr may recommend a sleep study, which is where they monitor your sleep for a night to see how often you are experiencing apnea. There are a number of methods to offer relief from apnea and your doctor will work with you to find the treatment that best works for you. If you have sleep apnea, dont procrastinate – see a doctor as soon as you can. Apnea can be life threatening if untreated.
  • Temperature is important – your bedroom should be cool, dark and quiet.
  • Do you have problems getting back to sleep after you get up and go to the bathroom?  The culprit might be the light bulb…..If you DO have to get up in the middle of the night, keep the lights off.  In general you should endeavor to keep your room as dark as possible.  Research indicates that exposure to moderate or bright lights that interrupt our sleep cycle can disrupt our circadian rhythms and fool our brains into believing that its daytime, leading to wakefulness.
  • Give yourself a specific bedtime – this may take a while…you’ve been not sleeping good for a while now..turning this thing around and developing good sleep habits may take some time to do, so dont beat yourself up about it if it doesnt happen immediately. It may take some work…and some time, to get better.
  • No heavy meals before bedtime – a light snack of something that contains tryptophan like apple pie and ice cream, whole-grain cereal with milk, hazelnuts and tofu , oatmeal and raisin cookies, and a glass of milk, peanut butter sandwich, ground sesame seeds.. note that it takes around one hour for the tryptophan in whatever foods you eat to actually reach the brain, so don’t wait until right before bedtime to have your snack.  

  • What if you still cant sleep – don’t beat yourself up about it.  Studies have shown that you still are getting 70-80% of the benefits of sleep by relaxing quietly with your eyes closed.
Remedies and adjustments like these abound – just do a search on ‘sleep’ and you’ll soon have more recommendations than you can digest in hours and hours of reading.  Which will work for you?  You may have to experiment – each of us are different and respond to different things.   
For most of us, the most important thing we can do to start getting more/better sleep; 
Recognize that we need more sleep and apply our intention to achieving that goal.

For some of us, that means doing the research online to find specific remedies that are workable for us, like the short list of recommendations above.  For others – we really just need to commit our time and attention to doing things differently. We know better RM…and we have known better for some time.   
But just KNOWING differently means little if we don’t also DO differently. 
At the end of the day RM – each of us is King or Queen in our respective castles and as such, we are free to do as we like.  It is my belief that you, like myself are all about the business of constantly moving toward the best this life has to offer in all fields of practical endeavor and contemplation and the command and enjoyment of exquisite servitude.  Proper governance of your specific kingdom demands a lot of that person who would sit on the throne – and we need to be at 100%, RM. Seriously. 
The final stanza of the Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem, ‘The Sleep‘ – that I began Mastery and Sleep with a few days ago refers to the end of life – there are no tears at the end over one that has squeezed every drop of joy out of a life well lived.  None of us like to think about that time when we shall close our eyes on this plane of existence for the last time, but that day comes for all of us, and for some sooner than later.  Don’t let those in your Kingdom grieve over you because you’ve left the throne unoccupied early….through inattention or outright ignorance. 

Let them rejoice instead over a life well lived – an intentional life lived on your terms, with a fierce joy.  Hopefully that day is far, far away for all of us – therefore gentle RM – Let us do what we can do RIGHT NOW – to increase our enjoyment of the life that we have.  What could be simpler than putting the hammer away, shutting off the computer, the television, closing the book…and getting more of the rest, the sleep that you need?   

Start tonight RM – please let me know how you are doing.  Hit me on Fetlife as MasterObsidian or via email – House.of.obsidian@gmail.com
Sleep well, RM.