I received this email from mb and with her approval opened an account and published it as a post. yes I knew LD. He was well known and missed.
The email from mb is as follows:
I believe we may know each other. I belonged to L.D. who dies quite a while back. I’m
currently in a relationship with another dominant man (what a surprise, really) and since we will soon be getting married and I will be moving in with him, i was looking for some pointers to help both of us. While I’ve come across your website before and found it very useful, I thought I would finally write to you and make some comments. Please keep in mind that I am a queer submissive woman who has on occasion dominated others, that I am African-American and do not use terms like master and slave in my relationship, that I have a background in cultural anthropology and that my former Sir had a background in social psychology, and that I do not see the dominant male/submissive female dyad is being the new plus ultra of BDSM; it’s just one of many flavors.
1. I congratulate you on writing your excellent website. The ways in which you use Adlerian and other psychological techniques to explain possible ways of training is superb. The only niggle I have (and it’s a small one) is in the REBT section; philosophically I don’t think it’s wrong to discuss with a slave/submissive whether slavery is a form of happiness. It isn’t for everyone, at least not in an obvious way. I would argue that we are all slaves to something, and that if a woman has problems with thinking of herself as a slave it might be that this practice is not a good fit for her.
If that is so, there are alternatives. The relationship can change, she can be encouraged to move on, or different terminology can be used. In all the years of my 24/7 relationship, I was never referred to as a slave, although I referred to L.D. as myowner on occasion. For some of us, terms such as slave have disconcerting historical implications, especially where there are particular ethnic, religious, political or feminist dynamics. When white men who knew us insisted on calling me a slave while giving me the once over, they didn’t realize how close they came to getting punched in the face. Considering that I once had a white Frenchman actually say to me that in the old days they ‘had had women’ like me in the Caribbean, I don’t think I was being overly sensitive. My current Sir and I, as well as my former Sir, modeled our relationship on roman ideas of ownership rather than fantasy or New World concepts that were in large part racist in nature. Other women may have a problem with certain terms as well because of the history of the treatment of women, especially women of color, in Western culture.
2. What I like best about your website is that your suggestions are realistic. Might I suggest a few touchstones for your readers? As a good formerly Catholic and now nonaffiliated Zen Buddhist girl, ritual is very important to me. So is internal discipline. I would suggest ‘The Interior Castle’ by St Teresa of Avila as reading to understand the submissive’s interior psychological experience. I would also suggest St. Francis of Assisi, as well as Thomas Merton. I would also suggest The Book of Five Rings by Musashi Miyamoto; my current Sir is a great fan of The Hagakure, and swears by it.
3. I have found for myself that sound is an important part of training. Contemplation is used in all disciplines to instruct the mind and inform the body. I personally find that Gregorian and Ambrosian chants are useful while the submissive in meditating or being trained. You mention tones of voice, which I think is excellent.
4. Smell (indeed, all of the senses) are important during training. In the past, it was very comforting having something of my sir to sleep with, such as a shirt. During my widowhood, I would sometimes put one of L.D.’s old shirts in the bed with me at night to comfort me, of I would wear one of them. I also kept his hair brush in its dirty state for a long time, so I could still smell him. With my new Sir, since we live apart, I love smell his t shirts and keeping one on hand. I’ve also made a point of buying him certain shaving product so that I can associate the smell of those liquids with him.
5. Visualization has long been a part of my submission. Picturing my Sir’s body in total detail, picturing his hands on my body, picturing myself taking things that he liked to do, was very effective. After L.D. died I remained in submission to him for years by using these techniques, and they helped to keep me strong and on track.
6. I think that looking at military training techniques would also be useful. Both the military and religious groups have used techniques such as sensory deprivation, separation from the outside world for set periods of time, sleep deprivation, mantras and rote memorization, and simple bodily modifications as a way of rewiring the minds of new recruits and converts. Gay men and lesbians use these techniques also in BDSM discipline. I have never understood the interest in fictional worlds and places such as Gor or Roissy as models for BDSM techniques when there are so many methods that time has proven to be effective. My only explanation is that it takes a great deal more time to learn about real cultures, people and places that might find the discipline, perseverance, self-control and knowledge sets of both the dominant and submissive wanting than to conjure up a badly written culture, people or place in which one or both can claim to have a ‘natural’ understanding. It’s like saying a very good Little League player should be accepted to play for the Yankees because his desire is strong, rather than insisting on training, discipline, and the pursuit of excellence while admitting that most people will not be up to the task. It’s one of the reasons I stopped going out to SM events a long time ago, and was disappointed in them for a long time before that.
7. I saw your mention of that silly new series, 50 Shades of Whatever. I agree with you. Books like this make it more important for us to be able to articulate what we do, why we do it and what we are not. In private, I often clashed with my first Sir about the larger community. I felt that people who had no discipline, especially supposed dominants, should be discouraged from staying around, since it is easy for them to do so much harm. It should be hard to find true practitioners for training, just as one can’t walk into any gym or dojo and meet the best trainers or masters. One can meet decent ones in such places, yes – but quality people must be sought out. It might be good to clearly spell out for the newbies who will find your site that while the internet is a good place to start learning about our Discipline, there are excellent teachers out there who can be sought out, and that often they don’t look like billionaires or models.
8. I found the article on DSS to be interesting. I disagreed with it in part, however. Or, rather, not with the article itself, but with what I see as the fallacious mindset many polyamorists have, and what monogamists expect from them. Because I’m trained in anthropology, I can tell you that there is not a single culture on earth that practices polygamy in which all the women share the same physical living space. In all cases, each woman lives separately (whether that means in her own trail, sheep farm, hut or house) and the man will take turns visiting them all. They may live in the same compound, but they are not expected to share the same bed or have sex with each other or with the same man at once. This is because females of all primate species tend to be naturally territorial, and if they are put together, competition breaks out almost immediately. Even in historical documents, we see that this is true. The only people who try to force nature in this way are modern polyamorist and their ilk, which is why such relationships with this particular structure are doomed to failure. If the women are separated, the relations can work, if not, there is competition. Therefore, it’s not that there is ‘disgruntled subbie syndrome’; it’s that the man is often trying to force an issue that just won’t work. You my notice that most of the time when these relationships fail, the man usually ends up with his primary partner, or the primary relationship ends and he ends up with nobody. Ethnographic accounts also show that women cannot be ‘sisters’ to each other in a polygamous relationship. There is always a hierarchy. While some of the wives might be closer to each other than others, it is impossible to make three or more women get along equally just because a man wants it. Even with two women, it’s pretty much impossible. Modern Western culture has solved this issue by inventing what we still sometimes call ‘the mistress’ or ‘the outside girlfriend’. Both women might know of each other, but they travel in different social circles and/or have different functions in the man’s life. Oddly enough, women seem to be able to have two male lovers on an equal basis in the same household with fewer problems, especially if the men were originally friends or are actual brothers, but it is extremely rare. In other words, polyamory is mostly a fantasy for many men and a few women, but it’s fairly disastrous if the female partners are all permanent and live under the same roof.
Thank you for your time, and I hope this was not too tedious.
P.S. Should you choose to publish this, please redact all names, as well as my e-mail address