Thoughts On The Orlando Massacre

by Lord Unicron

I was going to explain my absence of late, but this is neither the time nor place for that. We’ll get to it soon..but not today.

Today, I am thinking with a heavy heart of the people who were murdered by an extremist in the name of an ideology that teaches hatred of The Other.

In the wee hours of this morning Eastern time, people who gathered at a place where they could be themselves and bask in a sense of community and belonging were attacked. The attacker did not know his victims. He did not see them as human. They were simply objects, things, a direct threat and contradiction to his ideology of hatred and fear to be removed.

50 have died. At least 53 more were injured.

WHY???

Because they had the audacity to be different. Because they were born a certain way. Because they sought refuge, community and love with one another. Because they gathered together to dance, celebrate and be who they were without fear.

And to the gunman, Omar Sadiqqi Mateen, this simple, nonviolent act that plays out nightly in cities around the world justified their death.

At Covert and Carnal, we believe passionately in the right of everyone to consensually seek love and joy where and with whom they can, whether you’re cisgendered, transgendered, LGBT+, hetero, kinky or vanilla. It doesn’t matter your color, creed, ethnicity, gender or religion. It doesn’t matter what deity or deities you worship. Everyone has the right to seek out the pleasures that define and free them to be the best people they can possibly be.

I have gay relatives and friends. I am on excellent terms with a number of bi- and bi-curious people of all gender associations and orientations, and am proud to know them all. They do no harm. They are model citizens. They go to work, school, raise and tend their families with love and compassion and serve their country and communities with honor, dignity and understanding, even when that same honor and dignity is denied to them because through an accident of birth, they were born “Other.”

THERE IS NO “OTHER.”

In the book Spock’s World, Diane Duane wrote, “The spear in the Other’s heart is the spear in your own. YOU ARE HE [emphasis added].” Today we have seen that. The media footage of people like Chris Hansen, who didn’t set out to be a hero but became one by helping to carry a gunshot victim out of the Pulse Nightclub and into a waiting vehicle to get emergency treatment for his wounds, is absolute proof positive of it. The people standing in line, 1,500 strong and growing, to donate blood at an Orlando blood bank, is further confirmation.

These are people, human beings, showing the best of the human spirit in the face of the worst of it.

It happened in Orlando. And it can happen anywhere else, too. I am keenly aware of this.

I am not “The Other”…but someday I could be.

Because of my kinks. Because of my lifestyle. Because I worship or don’t worship this iteration of Divinity or that. Because I’m a ginger. Because I’m white. Because I’m tolerant of others who AREN’T carbon copies of me. Someone may well look at me and the way I live my life, and decide that I am unworthy to continue living it because someone else’s god decreed it so.

It could happen to me. And it could happen to you too.

I do not say this to inspire fear, but vigilance. I do not wish to inspire dread, but hope. We all need to be aware that because we are “Other,” our very “Otherness” could make us targets at some point. We should not discount what happened in Orlando as a random event or something that only happens to “The Other” in some far-off place that doesn’t touch or concern us.

I’m sure many people in Orlando believed that too, and today, as the mourning begins and turns to outrage and fury, they have learned differently.

Wherever you are, whatever your kink, lifestyle or orientation, I ask you to think of those slain and wounded in Orlando and recognize that no matter where you fall on the kink, gender or sexuality spectrum, these are first and foremost our brothers and sisters. These are human beings, some of whom met a tragic and violent end for no reason other than one person’s espousal of a perverse faith that demands absolute compliance from its faithful and the death of those who do not believe as they believe. Any ideology taken to its furthest extreme is toxic and destructive, and the toll in innocent blood must not be overlooked or dismissed as something that “they brought upon themselves.”

I grieve for the fallen, although I did not know any of them. I celebrate the heroism that many of these people demonstrated in the face of the unthinkable brought to hideous life. I mourn with the families and friends of the victims, knowing full well that mere words cannot and will not mend the holes shaped like their loved ones that this despicable and disgraceful act has torn in their lives. I honor those who resisted, ran and tried to fight back as well as the law enforcement and emergency personnel who responded to the scene. I ache for those who, having witnessed these horrors, must now try to rebuild their lives and reconcile with a new and terrifying reality.

Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or we will assuredly hang separately.”

Today I, and House Unicron, hang with the people of Orlando and especially those in the LGBT+ and kink communities. Let us never forget that what befell them could happen anywhere, to anyone, at any time. But more importantly, let us never forget that love and the human spirit will always defeat hatred in the end.

You don’t know me, Orlando. But I have heard your cries. And I, like so many others, stand with you.

Today, you are not “The Other.” You are my brothers and sisters, and I honor you as such.

Best,

Lord Unicron

Head and Lord of House Unicron

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#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: 10 Things To Do When Consent Is Violated

by Lord Unicron

A note regarding the featured image: This image was originally featured on EverydayFeminism.com for an article that discusses the “gray area myth” of consent. Neither I nor Covert and Carnal own the rights to this image, and it is included here for educational, non-profit use and illustration only as provided for under US fair use laws.

There are very few absolutes in the kink world. What repulses me may be just the thing that gets every nerve ending in your body singing the Hallelujah chorus. What you as a D-type wouldn’t do to your s-type in your darkest, most depraved nightmares I may do to my s-type just because it’s Tuesday night and I’m bored. You may like pee, scat or whatever; I want no part of either of them. You and your s-type may like to play so hard one or both of you is bleeding at the end. Blood’s a hard limit for me.

AND THAT’S FINE!

But when it comes to consent, I do think there should be a uniform standard of behavior for how consent violations (CVs from here) are dealt with by both parties. What follows is the protocol I follow for dealing with CVs. If you have a better, more effective or more efficient way, please leave a comment at the end of the post to present your point of view for discussion! I am not the sole repository of all knowledge and wisdom regarding kink, nor do I pretend to be. There is always a better way out there if you’re willing to look hard enough, and for all my experience, I am constantly seeking out new things. Your help in this endeavor is appreciated, as I wish to learn as much or more than I teach!

I talked on Tuesday about my hard limits, and my personal parameters by which they are set and enforced. Today, I want to look at ways to deal with CVs on both sides of the slash, in an appropriate, reasoned and mature fashion. The idea is not to put anyone on the defensive, but to make it clear that certain acts or behaviors are not okay. And, since it’s Friday, I figured a “listicle” is about due. Let’s take a closer look at 10 things to do when consent is violated.

*Note: Everything following goes for both sides of the slash, unless specifically noted.

For the recipient

Stop CVs before they start.

Having a clearly defined set of hard limits is never a bad idea. These should be reviewed as an ongoing part of your negotiations, regardless of which side of the slash you occupy. Having them in writing tends to lend them a little authority and a certain frisson of seriousness that expressing them verbally doesn’t seem to convey. Make sure your partner is clear on your hard limits as they apply to the scene or relationship before you ever get started. This is one case where an ounce of prevention is worth a metric fuckton of cure.

Stop the scene!

I’m using “scene” here to mean a kink scene, a conversation or any other interaction where hard limits could be violated (which is ALL of them), so adjust as appropriate. This is a good time to reiterate that PEOPLE SCREW UP! D-types do it. So do s-types. It’s called being human. However, just because you’re in the middle of a scene, conversation or what have you does not mean that consent violations should not be addressed right away, if at all possible. Obviously it’s hard to give a safeword when you’ve got a ball gag in your mouth and you’re trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey, but you should still have a way to stop the scene. For scenes involving gags, a quick, short series of grunts may be an alternative. “Three grunts means RED, right?” However you do it, stop the scene as soon as you can. Sooner is better!

Stay calm.

There are some times and situations where this isn’t possible. No one expects an s-type to stay calm when a dragon tail opens her back to the bone and she’s bleeding all over Hell’s half-acre, nor is it reasonable to expect a D-type to be chill when the s-type does something that causes a panic attack. However, when and where possible, staying calm and collected while being firm about the scene needing to stop while the problem is dealt with is the best way to resolve the situation before it has a chance to escalate into something really ugly.

Explain exactly what the violation was.

Phrasing the violation the right way can solve a host of problems right away. I find it useful to explain the violation like so: “When you ________, it makes me feel __________. It’s hurtful, harmful and one of my hard limits. Can you explain why you chose to do that?” This gives the other party an opportunity to understand where you’re coming from and make a sincere apology and/or present any ameliorating facts. Understanding your partner’s headspace and how they understood the information you conveyed can help both of you reach a deeper understanding. This is not always appropriate or desirable, but when possible, it’s better to seek common ground than to go off half-cocked.

Use your judgment and your words.

If the violation is severe enough to warrant immediate action, take it. Explain clearly and succinctly why the violation is beyond your tolerance and what remedial action, if any, must be undertaken. In cases where the violation is serious enough to warrant an immediate termination of the relationship, saying something like “You knew X was a hard limit of mine. You chose to break it. I cannot trust you and do not wish to continue this with you, because you have made it clear that my hard limits are a secondary consideration for you.” Once you do this, stick to your guns. Especially if there is an ongoing pattern of behavior, this may be the only way to make the point that the behavior is unacceptable. Always remember Maya Angelou’s words: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

ONLY YOU CAN SAY WHAT CONSTITUTES A FORGIVABLE VERSUS AN UNFORGIVABLE BREACH OF LIMITS. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO APOLOGIZE TO A PERSON WHO WILLFULLY CHOOSES TO HURT THEM IN A WAY THAT CANNOT BE READILY HEALED.

For the violator:

Safewords mean STOP.

Either side may invoke the safeword in a scene. D-types often forget that they have just as much right to end a scene as the s-type does. Safewords or other indicators that the scene needs to end must be honored by both sides if they are to have any meaning at all. If the scene is halted, there is a reason.

Check in immediately.

When the scene stops, the first question to ask is, “Are you okay? What do you need?” The person who didn’t call the safeword should be the one to ask this question, because no one calls red “just cuz.”

Stay calm.

Having a scene ended prematurely can sometimes trigger an anger response. This is understandable. However, when the safeword is given, it is important to remember that you and your partner agreed to stop the scene if necessary. Just because you don’t think anything happened that warranted ending the scene does not make you right. Remain calm and collected, instead of throwing a fit.

Listen to what you’re being told.

No one likes being told they screwed up. That’s human nature. However, you owe it to your partner to listen without judgment and try to put yourself in their place. If your hard limits overlap your partner’s and you broke them, it’s on you to muster the empathy to be able to see it from their side without trying to jump to your own defense until you have all the information. Communication consists at least as much in listening as it does in saying your piece.

Comply or begone.

Once you have all the information, if the violation is not egregious enough to warrant someone walking out the door, you now have a choice to make: comply or begone. This may mean something as simple as, “I’m sorry and that won’t happen again,” followed by starting aftercare. It could be as big as the other person walking away permanently. Everyone makes mistakes and errors in judgment, especially in the heat of the moment. There is a difference between this and acting with deliberate, malicious intent. Any relationship where both partners are not scrupulously honest with themselves and their partners about their actions and motivations is by definition toxic. Regardless of the side of the slash you occupy, if you cannot be honest with yourself and your partner, and/or cannot and/or will not comply with their hard limits in order to make your play and relationship a safe place for both sides to explore and grow, then you need not be there. This is one of the few situations in which everything is black and white, in my opinion.

THERE ARE NO SHADES OF GRAY WHEN IT COMES TO CONSENT.

Having said all this, I’m curious to hear what your experiences with and opinions about consent are. Please leave a comment below! If you prefer, you may email covertandcarnal@gmail.com to speak to the staff, or send me a message directly at iamlordunicron@gmail.com. Please check back on #TastyTuesday to see what next week’s discussion is, stay kinky and have a safe and sexy weekend!

Best,

Lord Unicron

 

#TastyTuesday: A Question Of Consent

by Lord Unicron

I’m going to go in a slightly different direction this week, because I want to talk about something that is CRITICALLY important to the health and safety of everyone in a D/s relationship, as well as the wider community:

CONSENT

Consent is the foundation of everything that a healthy relationship should be. This is equally true of the person you meet on Match.com or the person you beat on at the dungeon. In the BDSM lifestyle, consent is all-important because it can make the difference between a successful scene that grants the physical and emotional release both sides desire and a dangerous debacle, complete with legal entanglements and lasting physical, emotional and psychological damage or even death.

There are a lot of ways to violate consent. While the community often buzzes about D-types who break boundaries, little if anything is ever said about s-types who do the same. Granted, this is because when a D-type does it, it’s usually in a big, splashy way and all too often occurs in front of witnesses. Consent violations that happen from the s-side of the slash are usually subtler and much less overt. There can also be a question in the D-type’s mind of whether or not what happened was an “according to Hoyle” consent violation in the first place.

The other problem is, s-types are encouraged to talk about consent violations. Most of the time, there’s no negative impetus against the s-type for doing so. When community “leaders” are implicated in CVs, as I’m going to refer to them from here on to try to do my carpal tunnel syndrome a favor, this can be a definite negative against the s-type, because supporters tend to rally around “pillars of the community,” no matter what community we’re talking about. But there is minimal support or sympathy in the community for D-types whose consent has been violated. This is one place where the illusion of control that the D-type supposedly has works against them.

Neither side of the slash is immune from bad behavior!!!!

I cannot stress this point enough. It does not matter who did it. CVs are devastating to both sides and to the trust they’ve built with each other. A D-type who deliberately draws blood or engages in sexual contact with an s-type when that was either not negotiated or set as a hard limit is and should rightly be called out as a predator, and I will never argue that point. Likewise, accidents and misunderstandings can and do happen. A cursory glance at the writings on FetLife can tell you this, and the Web is chock full of horror stories about how misunderstandings can get out of hand. I’m not talking about accidents or miscues here, but willful, deliberate, premeditated choices to commit a CV on the other person.

A D-type beating an s-type until she’s bloody, ignoring a safeword or doing something that another person clearly heard the two negotiating as out of bounds is obvious, and D-types who do this can and should be called to account for it. But what would a CV from the s-side look like? How can you tell if it’s happening?

Note: The following are real-life examples I have either had done to me or witnessed at firsthand. I will not name names, but the guilty parties know full well who they are and I do not currently speak to or acknowledge them in any way. I do not and will not endorse CVs on either side, and this includes tolerating around me those who I know for a fact to have engaged in same.

Exhibit A: An s-type at a party I attended some months ago did not make a full disclosure of substances she had partaken in some hours before a rope scene. She had eaten a doughnut as her sustenance for an entire day, and then washed down a painkiller with a very strong cocktail. Fortunately, the D-type doing the tying (not me) noticed that she was acting strange and pulled her out of the scene before things could escalate to a dangerous level. I quickly severed all ties with this s-type, because if she could do it to someone else, she could and most likely would do it to me at some point in the future. Her defense for not giving a complete rundown of her current state before play?

“I didn’t think it was a big deal.”

Now, some readers may be looking at this and thinking I was unduly harsh in my decision to decline to pursue any possibility of playing with this s-type in the future. However, I reject this notion on the grounds that by not giving the D-type a complete precis of her physical, emotional and mental state before pickup play, she took away the D-type’s right to informed consent. Had she admitted her condition, the D-type said, she would never have agreed to the scene in the first place. I consider this to be akin to rape, because in both cases the right to consent and self-determination as to whether the contact in question is appropriate are taken away.

Exhibit B: An s-type whom I loved dearly decided she did not want to be involved with me on a romantic level. Being dumped is always messy, but I tried to make the best of it and remain friends with her. Still, I knew some limits had to be set for this to be a tolerable state of affairs for me. I specified that I did not want to know what she got up to at events or with whom, I didn’t care to see or hear about the marks, and in general the only thing I needed or wanted to know was whether she had a good time. I asked this of her in an effort to preserve my heart, which her rejection had wounded cruelly. She agreed and said she understood.

One week later, she texted me while I was in the bathtub, telling me all about the wonderful pickup play scene she’d had. I told her she was violating my consent and reminded her I didn’t need or want to know. She pursued the conversation. I cut her off.

Over the next two months, we stayed in sporadic contact. She broke every promise she made to me. She still wanted to tell me about the scenes she was having elsewhere. Later, I met another s-type and we went to an event hosted by a friend of hers. I asked her beforehand not to acknowledge me and to keep a safe distance, because I didn’t feel safe or comfortable around her. She agreed to this. No sooner did I walk through the door than I saw her off in a corner, serving coffee. She waved at me.

Her excuse for repeatedly breaking the limits I established?

“But I only did it ONCE!”

Again, none of these on their own sounds like a big deal…until you consider that she managed to find ways to keep herself inconveniently within earshot and line of sight. By 11:30, I’d had enough and my s-type and I departed. I made it half a block before an anxiety attack drove me to my knees, leaving me hyperventilating and exhibiting all the classic symptoms of cardiac arrest. My s-type had dialed “9-1” into her phone by the time I finally got myself under control.

This series of CVs wasn’t grandiose…but it was devastating just the same. And they left me thinking long and hard about how to prevent future occurrences.

Hard Limits

Because of these incidents and a dozen others like them, I changed how I went about expressing what is and is not a consent violation in my estimation. Today, my hard limits are clearly and explicitly stated. I state them right up front in my FetLife profile. I state them on the House Unicron website. I reiterate them constantly in my daily dealings to clarify that no, my limits haven’t changed. I learned to do this the hard way: by experiencing and witnessing CVs often enough and traumatically enough that it made an explicit, black-and-white statement crucial to my ability to function safely and successfully in this lifestyle. They are not flexible and I deal harshly and decisively with those who violate them at this point in the game, because I have seen and experienced the havoc that permitting bad behavior, including CVs, can wreak.

So, here’s my recipe for setting hard limits. Adjust as you see fit for your own purposes.

Know thyself.

You cannot set hard limits if you don’t know what they are. Any behavior that upsets, disgusts, alarms or harms you in ANY dimension should be considered a hard limit. In my case, some of my hard limits seem fairly extreme…until you consider the damage that not having these limits in place has caused in the past. Your hard limits should not only reflect what you expect from others, but what you offer in return.

Be prepared to reciprocate.

Whichever side of the slash you’re on, you do NOT have the right to establish a hard limit that you yourself have no intention of upholding. Double standards can be fun in certain kinds of play, such as a mindfuck, but hard limits are hard limits are hard limits, period, full stop, end of discussion. An s-type can’t insist on a D-type observing and honoring her hard limits and then break his (adjust genders as appropriate for your dynamic and situation) or vice versa. In other words, if you don’t want it done to you, don’t do it to your partner.Yes, this is a reiteration of my previous point…because I happen to think it is THE primary cause of CVs from both sides of the slash.

State your hard limits clearly and explicitly.

Simple, plain English is the rule here. Don’t be coy or use cloaked, coded, flowery or “legal” language to try to get your point across. My hard limits are as simple to read and understand as the Ten Commandments, and are phrased in a way that leaves no question as to my meaning or intent. In fact, the very title, “I DO NOT CONSENT,” states plainly that these are not items for negotiation, discussion or debate. They are what they are, and anyone who wishes to deal with me will honor them.

Be ruthless in your enforcement.

Violate my hard limits and you’re done, plain and simple. No second chances. No protestations of “But I only did it ONCE!” No reprieve, no parole, no mercy. These limits also apply to my dealings in the wider world. I accept that not everyone knows or is aware of my limits, especially in the vanilla world, and so I check those who violate them ONCE and make it clear they do not get a second warning. I enforce my hard limits because they define not only how I expect to be treated, but how I treat others as well: with dignity, honor and respect for their needs, tastes, preferences and feelings. Just like you can’t set a hard limit you won’t honor when it applies to your own behavior, you cannot expect people to take your hard limits seriously if you do not enforce them when necessary.

Your hard limits are an expression of how you see the world, what you want and need from your partner and what you offer them in return. Having solidly established, clearly explained hard limits can make or break a D/s dynamic, a friendship or a workplace relationship. Make sure you have your hard limits set in stone and that your partner is clear about what they are. In a truly successful dynamic, your hard limits and your partner’s will mesh in such a way that CVs should never occur.

Please join me on #FreakyFriday, when I’ll be discussing practical limits and what to do when they are violated.

Until Friday,

Best,

Lord Unicron

Starting off too hard can kill your dynamic before it ever gets properly off the ground. Incorporating kink into your activities can be as elaborate as ropes, restraints and impact implements, or as simple as adding in erotic tickling. As with any other BDSM/kink activity, enthusiastic consent should always be obtained prior to play.

 

#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.

 

 

The Art Of The Mindfuck

by Lord Unicron

After a very long and strange week, we’re back on Covert and Carnal! And today, we’re going to be talking about how to set up a mindfuck scene. But first, we need to know two things:

  • what a mindfuck is
  • why it should be part of a kink scene

A mindfuck, according to the Urban Dictionary, is:

an idea or concept that shakes one’s previously held beliefs or assumptions about the nature of reality.

Sounds very simple, doesn’t it? In the kink world, a mindfuck can be very simple or diabolically elaborate. At its most basic, the idea of a mindfuck scene is to encourage the s-type to consider her reality from a completely different angle. This can be done in a number of ways. However, to get the most results and benefits from this kind of scene, the D-type CANNOT BE SLOPPY! A truly great mindfuck is orchestrated down to the last detail, a symphony written specifically for the s-type. Mindfucks can be used to modify or encourage certain behaviors, to reveal another side of the D-type, or to make the s-type look at herself in another light.

Before you engage in this type of play, it is very important to understand what the goal of the play is. All BDSM is a psychodrama to some extent, but in a mindfuck scenario, the psychodrama is the entire purpose of the performance and everything that is done, or not done, is intended to serve one singular end. Therefore, you have to understand your s-types limits, desires and fears as deeply and thoroughly as you know your own to be truly effective. While it is possible to have a successful mindfuck scene with a pickup play partner, this takes a great deal more planning and negotiation, which necessarily reduces the impact of the scene. You, as the D-type, are uniquely responsible for the success or failure of the scene, so you MUST NOT BE LAZY when planning it out.

Here are some scenarios.

Tell her exactly what you’re going to do. Then follow through.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, Unicron,” you may be saying. “How the FUCK does that equate to a mindfuck?”

Okay, think it over. Most women are used to being lied to or promised something only to get something else, right? A man who says simply and directly, “I’m going to do [whatever] and follows through is the exact opposite of what her experience has led her to expect from men. Therefore, by doing that, you reassert your paradigm of reality onto her consciousness. This, in turn, forces her to see you in a different light. Something as simple as “When I get home, I’m going to put a blindfold on you, paddle you until you’re dripping wet and then fuck you stupid” can be a mindfuck if the scene is set properly.

Make her wait for it (predicament play).

Another version of a mindfuck is to tease her with something she really wants or needs. One method of this that appeals both to my sadistic streak and to my controlling nature is to have the s-type kneel before me and consume a lot of water, iced tea or soda. (Alcohol is VERY bad in this scenario, for reasons that will become clear shortly.) When I say “a lot,” I mean that she drinks until she literally cannot stay still for the need to relieve herself.

And then refuse to let her go to the restroom when she asks.

Sounds simple, right? But try it for yourself sometime. Tell yourself, very sternly, that you cannot and will not go to the bathroom until the next song’s over, the next commercial break or the credits come up. But KEEP DRINKING the whole while. When the pressure becomes unbearable, you will do absolutely anything to relieve it. So it is with your sub. She will reach a point where she will beg, plead and even cry because she doesn’t want to break protocol, but she also doesn’t want to pee on the floor. At this point, you have three options:

  • Make her do something for you first (blowjob, handjob, show her breasts, etc.)
  • Let her go but make her come right back and do something then.
  • Refuse to let her go until the situation is (to her) utterly dire.

Note: If your sub has a kidney or urinary tract infection or similar medical conditions, this may not be a good type of play. YOUR SUB’S HEALTH AND SAFETY SHOULD ALWAYS BE PARAMOUNT WHEN PLANNING A SCENE LIKE THIS.

This kind of mindfuck is very effective because it gives her the opportunity to demonstrate her commitment to you, as well as her control of herself even in extreme situations. As such, it is an interesting test to put new s-types through, as well as something to keep in your bag of tricks for nights when you’re stuck for something more innovative to do. You can add to this by having her hold your cocktail coaster with one hand, especially if your coaster is designed to be uncomfortable for her. Never underestimate the power of sensation!

Which gives us a perfectly good segue to

Sensation Play

The best sensation play demands that at least one of the senses be obscured. I find that putting on earbuds and a blindfold before engaging in sensation play focuses the s-type’s mind wonderfully on what I’m doing and encourages her to fully commit to accepting the sensations I’m giving her. Whether I’m using felt, rabbit fur, a wooden spoon, a Wartenberg pinwheel or dragging a flogger across her skin, the reactions are going to be greatly enhanced because she doesn’t have as much sensory “noise” coming at her, freeing her to experience everything I do to the utmost. This is a good warm up for electro play, knifeplay or even a session of erotic edging.

Note: Always be sure you don’t do anything to your s-type that hasn’t been negotiated previously. The goal of a mindfuck is to build trust, even when what you’re doing seems to be the exact opposite. Breaking your s-type’s boundaries by unleashing something on her she didn’t consent to can bring the scene to a very awkward halt very quickly, and is likely to damage her trust in you. Be aware!

These are just a few scenarios you could experiment with. Cosplay and consensual non-consent are other versions that are available. What kind of mindfucks can you come up with for your s-type? If you’re an s-type, what kind of mindfuck would you like your D-type to try on you? Remember, exploration is integral to this kind of play. Be open and communicate with one another, and you’ll find that the mindfuck isn’t a one-way street!

Be sure to check back on #FreakyFriday, when I’ll be writing about the psychological basis for the mindfuck and what you need to know and understand to make it work. See you then, and if you have any comments, thoughts or ideas to share, please leave a pawprint in the comments!

Best,

Lord Unicron

Props for a mindfuck can be as simple as a glass of water, or as elaborate as your twisted imagination will allow. Giving your mind some room to roam and considering various kinky applications for common toys can open up whole new dimensions of play!