#FreakyFriday: What’s In A Name? Pt. 2

by Lord Unicron

A note about pronouns and other forms of address before I begin:

As a male, cisgendered, heterosexual D-type, I only take female submissives on. Because of this, I tend to refer to s-types using female pronouns and D-types using male pronouns. As with everything else I write, these pronouns should be taken to refer ONLY to the dynamics within House Unicron and varied as appropriate to your specific dynamic, gender and orientation or lack of same. (i.e. If you are a female D-type with a coterie of male s-types, flip the script as appropriate for your own situation.) In this same spirit, while I refer to my submissives as “my girls,” they are in fact WOMEN in every sense of the word. Each and every one of them is a strong, capable female in her own right, makes her own way in the world and has earned the right to my time, care, attention, discipline and love by demonstrating the genuine maturity, desire and will to become the best woman and submissive she can be. I say this only because I would not be misunderstood as to my meaning or stance on these forms of address, and wish to clarify my position accordingly at the outset.

With that disclaimer out of the way:

House Unicron is a hierarchical polyamorous House. What this means is, I have three girls as of this writing, each of whom inhabits a specific place and role within the House “on paper.” In actuality, the roles are a little more fluid, based upon who has the greatest need of my time, care, attention and discipline at any given moment. The hierarchy I have established serves my needs and that of my girls, and establishes a progression based upon seniority, training and ongoing role negotiation. I do not give my girls anything. Collars, names and position are not bestowed as a matter of right within my House. Everything they have and receive from me, they earn, for better or worse, and the House hierarchy reflects this and their individual standings. On paper, the organization of the House runs as follows:

Myself (Lord Unicron)

Skwirly: As the first slave of House Unicron, she is considered the Primary. All within the House are expected to defer to her judgment and will in matters where I have placed her in charge and/or where I am not available for immediate consultation. In practice, this rarely becomes an issue as her permanent address is 1,000 miles away. She enjoys the most leeway but the least margin for error of my girls. She addresses me as “Master.”

Sparrow: Sparrow inhabits a role somewhere between a full slave and a mere submissive. She is Secondary on paper, but in practice serves as my right hand on matters regarding training and House management, because she has spent more continuous time on both sides of the slash than anyone else in the House and demonstrates sound judgment in such matters. She enjoys a longer leash but less leeway than Skwirly. She addresses me as “Sire.”

Kitten: Kitten is the newest addition to House Unicron, and is Tertiary and my submissive in training. As such, she has the most room for error, but the shortest leash. She is still learning about herself and what she needs and wants out of the lifestyle, and I am deeply honored that she and her sisters within the House have chosen me to guide in their explorations. She addresses me as “Sir” or “Daddy,” depending upon the situation.

These names often make people do a double-take, especially when they know the provenance of my own lifestyle name. Names like “Cyclonus,” “Shockwave” and so on would be perfectly apropos. By contrast, you may notice that all my girls have animal names, and not just any animals, but CUTE animals, goddamnit! There’s a reason for this, of course, and I’ll explain what that reason is now.

As we discussed on #TastyTuesday, naming and titling conventions are largely meaningless. They are labels that serve as a convenient shorthand, but they frequently miss the mark, or at best give a very one-dimensional view of the person to whom the name, label or title is attached.

HOWEVER…

When it comes to naming my submissives, I don’t believe this at all.

A double standard, you say? Au contraire, mon cher ami!

Like many D-types, I hold to the tradition of giving my girls “House names” by which they are known both within the House and in the broader context of the lifestyle. I also believe, like many people do, that names have a unique power all their own that is largely independent of the precise configuration of letters and phonemes of which the names consist. Therefore, I believe that the naming of a submissive is something to be undertaken with exacting care and precision.

Like most of my conventions, the reason for this is simple if not immediately obvious.

A SUBMISSIVE’S NAME SHOULD REFLECT HER PERSONALITY AND THE PERSON AND WOMAN SHE IS, AS WELL AS WHAT SHE WISHES TO BE OR EVOLVE INTO.

Now, other D-types have their own conventions. So long as everyone involved in a particular dynamic is on board with a given handle, it’s not my place to say whether this is right or wrong. As a matter of personal belief and opinion, I feel that a submissive’s name should describe, at a minimum, the following:

  1. The name should reflect her both as she is and as she is viewed by her D-type.
  2. The name should reflect her primary personality traits and worldview.
  3. The name should reflect something she strives to be, become or attain.
  4. The name should NOT degrade or humiliate her.

Example: I often tell my girls, “You are not a slut or a whore. You are MY slut and MY whore. There is a difference.” Thus, in the context of a scene, I may refer to my girls as bitches and their lady bits as my cunts. I may call them my cock-sucking cum sluts. I may say things in scene that I would never consider issuing from my mouth outside of those confines. However, outside of those confines, I need a name for each of my girls which is socially acceptable (pet names being a common usage even in vanilla relationships) but still reinforces the dynamic and her place within the House.

More importantly, it is my belief that a woman who chooses to submit to her D-type is worthy of the utmost respect and care. This sounds counterintuitive until you remember that in addition to being a cisgendered male, a D-type and a Sadist, I am also a feminist. I believe a woman should not be forced to do anything…UNLESS she willingly, enthusiastically and voluntarily chooses to adopt such a dynamic. Therefore, a name is the first and most evident criterion for how a D-type conducts himself with his s-types and what she can expect from him in terms of care, devotion and guidance, to my way of thinking.

Sparrow’s first D-type promptly christened her “Cumdrop.” Well and so: She belonged to him at the time and that was the form of address they negotiated, so I won’t bother to second-guess his reasons. Still, when she told me this on our first meeting, my response was a hard flinch and an immediate resolution to do better. She wanted to lose weight. She identified with birds. She has a cute, independent streak. Thus, Sparrow. As an interesting side note, she had been considering a tattoo of a sparrow for a year before we met, and I was pleased to be at her side when she finally got it done in February. It looks amazing, and if you should happen to see us at our favorite dungeon, you’ll get plenty of opportunities to see it “in the flesh,” as it were.

Skwirly was named for her somewhat skittish but playful personality, as well as a sketch from The Swedish Chef. Look it up on Youtube: “swedish chef squirrel stew.” Likewise, Kitten was named for her catlike (not catty) traits, a theme which has followed her through most of her adult life in one way or another.

This contrast between the hardness of my own name and the softness of theirs speaks to their personalities and my belief that as their D-type, it is incumbent upon me to ensure that I conduct myself as their protector, caretaker, disciplinarian, guide, teacher, shelter from life’s storms and giver of both pain and pleasure when necessary and as appropriate. Thus, I must be “harder” than they are and yet capable of giving them my softer side as well.

Names are just one of the many command and control mechanisms at a D-type’s disposal, but I happen to believe they are perhaps the most critical right from the outset. In addition to establishing their positions beneath myself, they also indicate that you see your s-type for who and what she is and honor her for these things. To do less, in my opinion, is to do yourself, your s-type(s) and your House a grave disservice. A name is the most important gift you can give your s-type, and it is not something that should be undertaken lightly.

What are your naming conventions? How do you decide what your s-type’s name should be? Do you keep it only behind closed doors, or do you introduce her publicly under the name you have negotiated? Please leave a comment below, and be sure to check out our Grand Opening Blog Hop by clicking the ad on the right!

Until Tuesday,

Best,

Lord Unicron

You don’t have to have a cute name to bring out the animal in your s-type.

#TastyTuesday: What’s In A Name? Pt. 1

by Lord Unicron

Juliet:
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Titles are very big in the kink lifestyle. One of the first things you can expect to be asked at a munch, dungeon or during a private interaction is about titles and how you like to be addressed. These can get very murky, very fast, because what you consider a submissive may look outright vanilla to me, whereas what you consider a Dominant may bear little or no resemblance to how I operate. You may think that this title or that is inaccurate, or that the person bearing it is a self-aggrandizing asshat.

I’m going to tell you a dirty little open secret today.

TITLES ARE MEANINGLESS! SO ARE NAMES.

A title or lifestyle name doesn’t define the core person. It’s nothing more than a convenient shorthand that (many, but not all) people use to explain how they’re oriented within the kink scene. When I chose my name, I kept it simple and basic: _Unicron_. (You can look it up on FetLife, if you wish.) This name comes from old-school animated Transformers, and seemed like a perfect fit for my style. Bonus: It came with its own theme music!

Then, something interesting started happening.

I took on a slave. And then a sub. And then a sub in training. Between the four of us, we make a House.

Here’s the interesting thing about titles: they do mean something…but ONLY within the context of my House and the relationships within it. Here’s how it works.

Sub-in-training: Calls me “Sir.” Is considered the junior member of the House, even though she is the oldest chronologically. She has the least responsibility and the shortest leash, because she’s still learning the ways of my House and how I expect to be served. As such, she is subject to more punishment and discipline than either of the other two.

Sub: Calls me “Sire.” Is basically the “middle child,” so to speak. She has proven herself to be capable of serving me well, effectively and efficiently, with minimal reminders as to what the rules are, and thus enjoys more latitude, with the understanding that her errors carry correspondingly greater consequences. Her punishments at this point are more mental than physical.

Slave: Calls me “Master.” Is the Primary within the House. While she does not stand above anyone else in my affections, when it comes to situations where hierarchical matters are concerned, she has the final say, subject to my whim and will. She has the longest leash and the most freedom of independent action, because I trust her not to abuse either. Her punishments are the most grueling, because those to whom I give more are also expected to deliver more.

So…where does the whole “Lord Unicron” bit come in?

To understand this, we start with etymology.

I’m a writer, and so my primary toolkit for any job starts with words. Natural enough, right? So, to understand why I call myself “Lord Unicron” instead of Sir, Sire or Master, we have to know where the word came from so we can see how it applies to my position.

The word “lord” derives from a Germanic word, hlafweard, literally “loaf keeper” or “he who makes (and guards) the bread.” Echoes of this idea persist to this day in the semi-common question, “Do you have any bread (money)?” In Old English, this became “hlaford,” or “loaf ward,” and was then shortened to “lord.” Thus, “lord” has come to mean “the breadwinner and master of a house, especially a noble one.” Even today, the English titling system refers to members of the nobility as “Lord Such-and-So, Duke/Earl/Baron of Whateverfarthing, Duke/Earl/Baron of Fappington.*”

I wanted House Unicron to have that patina of nobility, especially since I do believe that what we do within the House is a noble effort in and of itself. This is reflected in the House Unicron motto:

Nobilitas servitio penitus perfectam caritatem et fidum et fiduciam.

Or, for those who are Latin-challenged:

“The nobility of our service is rooted in perfect love, faith and trust.”

As the Head of House Unicron, it is up to me to ensure that I embody and live the expectations and standards I hold my girls to. Therefore, the title of Lord demonstrates to my mind the following:

  1. I do not ask what I am not willing to give.
  2. My standards are high and those I welcome into my House must be of equal caliber.
  3. I conduct myself as a gentleman, not a “gentle man” or “nice guy.” I am polite until the time comes not to be polite, but I do not enforce my will upon those who have not negotiated with me.
  4. I am the Head, protector, safe harbor and disciplinarian within my House.
  5. I do not suffer attempts to poach the property of my House lightly, nor do I treat those who try gently.
  6. When I speak as Lord Unicron, I speak on behalf of my House. Actions always speak louder than words. Thus, my actions AND my words speak for my House.

The interesting thing is, within the House and its interwoven dynamics, I play many roles. I am the stern but loving Sir, the tough but tender Daddy, the primal predator, the giver of rewards, delights and treats as well as discipline, punishment and pain. Each of these dynamics brings with its own set of rewards and difficulties, but all of them are subordinate to my role as the Lord of House Unicron.

A man who cannot protect his House has no right to claim one. However, I also say that it is the submissives’ right to decide whether their Lord is living up to what he promises. If he does not, they have every right to leave. I firmly believe that the test of a “true” Dominant is not how he uses a flogger or how skillfully he ties Shibari knots, but how well he holds the affection, adoration and attention of the women who choose to kneel before him. Skills can be learned, but there is and can be no faking true Dominance.

Tune in on Friday to find out why I chose to call my girls what I do. The answer may surprise you! In the meantime, I’d like to know what your naming conventions are, and how they function in your dynamic as well as the broader kink world. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Until Friday,

Best,

Lord Unicron

*With apologies to the REAL Earl of Fappington, Duke of Cummings, whose title I shamelessly appropriated for this post.

Sometimes, enforcing your dominance takes a little more than a stern look and a warning tone. For those moments when your sub lets her brat take the wheel a little too hard, or just because it’s Wednesday, using a special paddle can help remind her why you’re in charge here!

#FreakyFriday: The Why And What Of The Mindfuck

By Lord Unicron

On #TastyTuesday, I talked about how to set up a mindfuck scene. Today, I want to talk more about WHY a mindfuck scene can be effective in a kink sense.

NOTE: All of the following is my own personal experience with mindfucks. Your mileage may vary, and it is VITALLY important that you negotiate any new practices you want to take on with your partner, as well as understanding your partner’s physical, emotional and psychological limits. Neither I nor C&C will be responsible for your errors or any harm arising from trying anything herein for yourself!

A mindfuck is just one of many tools in a D-type’s toybox, and can be used in a number of different ways. Some of the ways I find mindfucks work well include:

  • Discipline. Remember the old “Just wait till your father/mother gets home?” bit. Yeah…same idea. “No, I’m not going to take you over my knee at the family reunion, but you know what you’ve got coming.” By the time the actual discipline arrives, you’re just glad to finally be getting on with it!
  • Trust-building. Saying you’re going to push, but not break, an s-type’s limits is one thing. It’s another to SHOW it. Mindfucks are great for this, because they allow you a lot of freedom to find out where the lines actually are, as opposed to where the s-type thinks they are. It also builds trust because it shows you’re true to your word.
  • Sadism. I’m a sadist. This means I derive emotional and sexual gratification and arousal from the judicious, calculated, consensual infliction of pain upon another person. (When I hurt someone unintentionally, I’m a mental and emotional wreck for DAYS. Lessons learned this way hurt, but they also stick.) Asking, perfectly casually and seemingly out of nowhere, “Do you have an anal plug?” can often leave the s-type saying, “Yeahhhh…why do you ask?” “Oh, no reason.” Bullshit. I had a reason. She knows it, I know it, and she knows that I know it. Imagine the possibilities!

A truly great mindfuck doesn’t just happen. It has to be planned and orchestrated down to the last nuance. Example: A couple of months ago I had a pickup play partner who wanted a mindfuck. We started negotiating on Monday night. Each day, I added a little more to the scene, without giving her explicit instructions. When she finally arrived on Friday, I put all the elements I had been building to all week into the final scene. The result was a very satisfying scene for both of us in all senses of the word, much different and deeper than “I’m going to flog you, fuck you and send you on your way.”

Psychologically, mindfucks are terrific for reinforcing dominance and reminding the s-type of her place. They are extremely effective because they do not rely upon physical restraints or forces to any great degree. As a D-type, I regard whips, chains, floggers and ropes to be really the least important part of a D/s scene. A mindfuck done right reinforces this, because it illustrates that the s-type’s own will keeps her kneeling, makes her drink the next glass of water or put in the butt plug you commanded her to wear for your pleasure.

Emotionally, mindfucks are fantastic because they show that you, the D-type, are fully in control. This gives the s-type freedom and permission not to NEED to be. We all build up a lot of emotional and mental mud during the week, and a good mindfuck can allow her to clean off some of that through crying, orgasm or another mechanism. This also builds trust and lets her know that you are her rock, the stable fulcrum at which her emotions can batter and rage without being knocked off balance.

Pretty cool, isn’t it?

THE BEST MINDFUCK ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS TOUCHES BODY, MIND, HEART AND SPIRIT!

However, as I said on Tuesday, a mindfuck can also be devastating. In D/s relationships, we tend to dance right up to the margins of what vanilla society would consider “abuse.” Mindfucks, by their very nature, are more volatile and more dangerous than even the most brutal flogging if not scripted and acted out with EXTREME care and concern for the s-type’s safety and well-being. You can break a bone and it will heal, leaving a callus. You can accidentally draw blood with a whip and tend the wound. It may or may not leave a scar, but it will mend. When you wound someone’s mind and heart, none of this applies. There is no cast sturdy enough or ointment robust enough to help that scar over and heal. Therefore, the best way to fix that is not to NEED to in the first place.

But sometimes people screw up. I do it. You do it. EVERYONE does it.

When you screw up, the only thing you can do is own it and do your best to help your s-type through the damage. Especially if you do it in ignorance (“I didn’t know telling you ‘I’m going to rape you now’ in the context of a consensual non-consent scene was going to trigger you!”) you can be forgiven, but you’d better make damn certain you don’t repeat it! Once you do, ignorance is no longer an excuse and you’ve crossed that line from “kink” to outright abuse. An error can be forgiven. Abuse generally cannot.

Like everything else in the kink world, there is always an element of risk in creating a mindfuck. You need to know when to stop and be responsive if your s-type TELLS you to stop. D-types who look like mind readers are amazing, but I’ve got a news flash:

WE ARE NOT MIND READERS!

Therefore, the D-type needs to be alert for signs of trouble or anything that even sounds like it might be a safe word. The s-type is likewise responsible to listen to her body, mind, heart and spirit and be prepared to stop the scene before it has the chance to get out of hand. An s-type who takes what she’s given stoically and says after the fact, “That was really traumatic for me” is not doing herself or her D-type any favors, and causing as much if not more damage to the trust in the relationship than the D-type did. Not good. Not okay. Not cool. And I can’t speak for other D-types, although I know plenty who agree with this sentiment, but I will NOT keep an s-type who can’t open her mouth to say “This isn’t what I agreed to.”

Kink can be very rewarding. It can also be dangerous if it’s not done right. Always, always make sure the reward is greater than the risk for BOTH sides of the slash.

Because, after all, isn’t that why we’re here?

Until Tuesday,

Lord Unicron

The only limits on a mindfuck are the ones you and your partner impose. Adding in weighted nipple clamps can add a new dimension to predicament play or reinforce the idea that your partner’s body is yours to do with as you wish.