Uniforms and Challenges, the Literal and a Metaphor

Our contract is a simply formatted, single spaced seven or so pages, and this one phrase in it sometimes gives me more conundrums than any others: nice, clean, and of an appropriate size. 

This phrase is in the uniform section, and the fact is, being a slave, as wonderful as it is, is messy.   

Cooking or food prep multiple times a day, untold coffee fetching, cleaning up after the cats—litter, water, fur, other messes—handling dirty dishes, trash, laundry—doing wipe downs, taking care of plants, working with cleaning chemicals, giving pedicures with a splashy foot bath, cleaning toilets… 

You get the idea.   

A lot of it is pretty easy and mundane stuff.  Stuff almost everyone does.  I might do it a little more frequently as our chore split is basically 100/0, or, as such service is luckily my full time occupation, I keep up with certain schedules and details a little more than typical, but none of it is truly out of the ordinary, and they’re simple things I’m happy to do. 

Another factor, though, is that since I wear a uniform, I don’t own a lot of clothes, so rotating the same few days’ worth of the dresses means the same items take the toll of the day’s work again and again, versus the clothes of people who have a longer rotation, or different clothes for different occasions.   

The dresses I wear when I’m cleaning, exercising, anything else, are the same ones I wear to parties; a dip in the pool usually just means I remove a few items; I don’t have a summer and winter wardrobe, just layers; there aren’t really days I’m in pajamas long; I wear the dresses when I’m just kneeling on the floor and when I’m scrubbing at it, and so on.  It’s blissfully simple, but the all in one of it adds up, and I often change clothes multiple times a day. 

I’ve gone up and down on the number of sets of clothes I own at once, but never so far up or down it’s seemed to make a huge difference in the amount of time before I have to order more, too many irreversibly stained or whatnot, despite my best efforts with the laundry, or, more preemptively, wearing a pre-approved apron when I’m doing something I know will be messy. 

It also means that when I change sizes, everything in that category has to be replaced, no leeway in brands or items or fabrics.  I’ve healthily gone down a few dress sizes since I started wearing this uniform in Fall 2018 (and since I changed to only one color of it in Fall 2019), meaning everything failed to fit me at once when I crossed that threshold.  The same happened with the uniform I wore previously, which eventually provided a good time to switch to my current uniform. 

So, nice, clean, and of an appropriate size provides a small daily challenge. 

But I like that. 

I recently rediscovered some of my slave journals from 2016, an interesting find as I start reading Slave Patrick’s Slave-ography, which began as a journal.  The fun part of this is that I was unowned in 2016, and really just getting going in the BDSM scene.  They were journals I kept mostly for myself, with the vague idea of showing them to a future partner—writing prompt answers, checklists, experimental erotica, art journaling, resource reading lists, event logs, research notes.  They’re currently on Mistress’ desk for her to peruse.  A lot of it is out of date now, and won’t be illuminating most likely so much as fun, or a marker of progress. 

In one of these journals, I found the phrase a challenge to challenge, as something I wanted to be, in an entry on what I wanted to be in the eyes of an Owner. 

It was a bit of a side note in that entry, but it caught my eye more than a lot of the rest of it at this point; I reflected on it and found it still true, just a useful phrasing I hadn’t come back to in a long time. 

The idea of it is basically the goal of providing poised service—calm, patient, the unperturbed servant trope.  Experimenting with mantras before I found that entry, I had come up with one about serving with patience, poise, and serenity, trying to address struggles in that arena. 

The thing with keeping my uniform presentable was a very simple but literal metaphor for that.  After running around cooking dinner, in a hot kitchen with bubbling sauces and such, I try to wait by the table for Mistress to tell me I can sit patiently and not looking worn out from the cooking—including wearing a clean set of clothes.  It feels better for me, looks better for her. 

It’s trying to give it a bit of magic.  This food?  It just appeared!  With less sense of the behind the scenes chaos of timing all the sides and close calls with spills.  It’s kind of like not leaving the wrapping paper roll next to the Christmas tree, or that moment in shows where a third party comes in and simply enjoys a flawless looking meal, event, so on, after an episode showing all the chaos of getting it that way, and two parties from behind the scenes of it look at each other knowingly. 

A bit of undisturbed poise, a bit of magic—since that’s what I’m going for, the uniform is both literally a small part of it and also an easy metaphor for the bigger picture—despite all that messy work, the dress is magically still clean every time you see me.  Despite all the chaos, I’m put together every time you see me.  Ta da.  Am I perfect at it?  Of course not.  But I can and do try.  That’s what counts. 

Setting Recurring Tasks: What Comes Next

I’ve talked before about adding your own recurring tasks in anticipatory service—or proposing them—and thought I should elaborate a bit on what it can look like after that new task gets added. 

I recently went to a lovely Zoom class on anticipatory service, and discussion covered ways to serve throughout the day—from first thing in the morning to last thing at night. 

We also spoke of parental versus celebrity dominance, an example of the parental side being the slave’s bedtime; I said we skewed so far to the celebrity side, we’d had a protocol for a while in which I came and knelt by Mistress’ desk to remind her of her chosen bedtime. 

Parental dominance often leans towards the control oriented, and has tasks and rules that are for the slave’s own good—self care, diet, bedtimes, exercise, productivity.  Celebrity dominance often leans towards the service oriented, especially anticipatory service, and has tasks and rules that are for the M-type’s convenience—cooking, housekeeping, secretarial tasks, body work, when to disturb them. 

Thinking through my routines again, with that story floating in my mind, I saw a place in the evening I could potentially be useful.   

The above protocol had been dropped; the idea of it was still desired, but it had become too inconsistent as her sleep schedule (and mine) shifted.  As they have settled for a while, and settled much closer together, it seemed more realistic now to try something like that. 

I also noted she’d become prone to getting a snack before bed.  The bedtime in mind was nine-thirty, and dinner was at six, so there was a decent gap there.  And I could start properly turning down the bedroom given that timing. 

I ran the idea by her and she enthusiastically agreed.   

Night one.  I was in a Zoom munch when my reminder alarm went off.  I bade everyone farewell, and logged off, then went downstairs to find Mistress in the kitchen getting a snack.  She wasn’t going to bed, either.  All right, but no go. 

Night two.  Dinner had been light and after a late store trip, she’d gotten food from a drive through and was understandably not interested in a snack or bed by nine-thirty.  Turning down the bed, a quick tidy, a spritz of linen spray, and the usual laying out her pajamas and next day’s clothes still happened. 

Night three.  Nearing nine-thirty, ice cream was requested.  After doing all of the other bits, I arranged the snack—ice cream, strawberries, pretzel Goldfish, in little glass bowls, a bigger one for the ice cream with spoon, complete with a cocktail napkin I’d recently finished crocheting—on a tray downstairs, brought it up and set it on her nightstand before going and getting her.  Success.   

Night four.  Friend from out of town was happily but unexpectedly in the neighborhood and stayed late.  Largely no go. 

Night five.  Unthinkingly, I changed into pajamas at eight something, including taking off my watch that had my reminder alarm set.  I was writing and thought it might be approaching that time—9:24 and I ran to get the minimum ready so fast I was sadly still panting when I told Mistress it was done.  She said she’d be in soon.  She took long enough I even managed to get the rest of the things done. 

And so it goes. 

Tasks and protocols sometimes come and go with practicality; things happen; ideas get tweaked.  Here, things often get codified either out of her dictating it, me proposing it and her agreeing, I just start doing it regularly and she comes to expect it, I do it once and she decides she wants it to happen regularly, she dictates it case by case repeatedly and I propose the pattern, etc.  Sometimes things get combined—a daily task recently set of me rubbing lotion into dry spots for her seemed a prime thing to combine with the nightly snack and turndown, and I’m going to try to integrate that. 

In the end, even once tasks are added, service is always a learning process and a work in progress.  And so it goes. 

Why I Chose Irrevocable Consent as a Label, What It Means to Me, and Why I Write About It

TPE, TAT, no safewords, no limits, no way out, no “no”, owned, CNC, irrevocable consent, blanket consent, slave, property— 

There are a lot of words, phrases, and acronyms used to talk about this area, many of which have other definitions, too. 

It’s a lot to sum up.  It can sound simple, but the totality of it, minding any loopholes, can be difficult to cover. 

I use slave, owned, property, permanently collared (physically and mentally), as labels, but they don’t necessarily cover this area, as many use those labels for other pieces of this relationship, with a very different model of consent, so I use them separately. 

Conversations on TPE and TAT that I saw emphasized the all areas part, but some held the idea that there could still be limits—there was just power exchange, or authority transfer—in all areas of life.  Sex, finances, lifestyle, time, service, anything.  Sometimes it simply overlapped strongly with 24/7.   

The PE versus AT conversations focused mostly on the idea of it not being much of an exchange—what power or authority does the slave get back, after all?  Transfer—definition: make over the possession of (property, a right, or a responsibility) to someone else.   

Some got into the idea of personal power and strength versus the idea of the authority to make decisions.  To me, both can be transferred—or at least owned.   

Personally when in search of a noun I err towards dynamic—definition: a force that stimulates change or progress within a system or process.  Mostly because transfer’s definition that includes ownership doesn’t have as neat a translation to nouns. 

No safewords, no limits—is very simple, straightforward, and I like that, but it’s perhaps overly simple.  Bright side, nearly everyone in the BDSM scene for more than a day knows what those words mean.  No way out was a little vaguer—no way out of the relationship.  No dissolution clause.  No exit plan.  Which many don’t spell out to begin with, so—more importantly: explicitly not allowed to leave, by contract, agreement, etc.  For a while I favored the no safewords, no limits phrase, sometimes including no way out.  No “no” was simple, too. 

Blanket consent is a useful phrase, but some definitions leave the possibility of it being revoked.  A standing assumption of consent, for either pre-established activities or pretty much anything.  But perhaps just that—an assumption.  But plenty do use it to mean irrevocable. 

CNC is a lovely acronym that rolls off the tongue and I have to admit that when I talk to people who already know my dynamic that I’m referring to, especially out loud, I use it very frequently.  With people who know me less well, or in a semantics driven context, or in writing—I try to use it carefully, because it can contextually mean anything from a once off rape roleplay scene with both a fake and real safeword to that 24/7 lifelong dynamic with no safewords, real or fake. 

Irrevocable consent is pretty straightforward, I think.  Consent is offered once, not to be revoked.  Safewords, limits, ability to leave the relationship—all are forms of revoking consent, and are nulled by the phrase, as is the potential issue I have with blanket consent.  Using the phrase in isolation I think is enough to imply the total and all areas parts from TPE/TAT, and if in a summary of my dynamic, I’d also be using 24/7, which is often a strong indicator in that direction anyway.  I acknowledge that no label is perfect, and I’m happy to talk more at length, but for now, this is my go to quick explanation. 

Admittedly, this makes some people uncomfortable.

Recently, I was permanently banned from the BDSM Advice subreddit after making my first post, which I thought was polite and would be useful.  I still don’t quite understand how it broke the rules, and I don’t believe it was relevant to my practice of consent, but I got the sense I was not welcome to ask.  Anyway—I laughed about it rather quickly, because I’m aware my opinions on such matters are frequently unpopular and frankly, banned from giving BDSM advice somewhere felt like a strangely suiting badge for me considering I run an informational BDSM blog. 

The very reason I run that blog is because I know I can be a little niche.  On the matter of consent and on the ways Mistress and I do other things.  Descriptions of my dynamic are sometimes met with flattering envy and are sometimes met with horror and declarations of preferring death.  To talk about my uniform means getting a response of either, “So practical; I hate having to think about clothes,” or, “I’d rather die than not be able to express myself with fashion.”  To talk about service as my only full time occupation also meets statements of either envy of the opportunity (and privilege is a factor here) or of death by boredom.  “Oh, me too!” is exceptionally uncommon on some issues, but always refreshing. 

But for those who say—I wish I could do that, but I don’t know all the details, or, I like the idea of that, but I really want to pin down what it means for me, or, I want to live this, but I don’t know what it looks like day to day, or I’m curious, but I don’t know where to start, or I want to be of service, but I don’t know what to exactly do, for those who say, I want to learn more, I want to find people like me—those are who I write for.  I’m not an expert, but I like to think I have a few useful or thought provoking things to say. 

I try to somewhat focus on that niche of things where I know it can be unpopular and that there may be unfriendly tides around it elsewhere.  Or even friendly to the idea tides where it’s hard to find someone who’s done it.  To tell the people who might need it the most that they’re not the only one who wants this, does this, lives this. 

Besides the popular idea that consent is always revocable, thinking about the phrase can lead people to other uncomfortable ideas.  Any other popular ideas of consent can be erased by the irrevocable part.  Aftercare or sobriety, for instance, cannot be conditions of irrevocable consent. 

There’s the popular, “Well, what if they decided to chop your arm off?” argument.  I posed a similar question to Mistress once while discussing this philosophy, to which she replied that I could beg her to chop my arm off and she still wouldn’t, let alone do it of her own desires.   

Chopping my arm off sounds dangerous, expensive, and time consuming, and would lead to some hard questions at the ER, and who wants responsibility for that?  Mistress’ occasional joke about such things is usually something I respond to with, “But then you’d have to get your own coffee,” at least while I was figuring out having one arm, and the joke ends with: 

“Well, can’t have that.” 

Yes, my consent was irrevocable once it was given here—but it was all around carefully considered before it was given, including pondering the mind of who I was giving it to.  She’ll do things I don’t like, things I would’ve called limits if I currently defined them, go past when I would safeword if I would use one—but she’ll only do things she is willing and able to take responsibility for, which doesn’t include chopping off my arm.  This is what really keeps her from things that are overtly illegal or sometimes just extremely risky. 

Still—there’s the claim that such ownership is just a fantasy.  It’s not legal, so what’s backing up the dynamic with this consent model? 

I recently had some M/s characters explore this in my fiction.  The slave says: 

“[Our contract is] honor bound, and it says you own me, and I can’t change that. If I go back on it, I lose that integrity. It’s like a lien. I either honor the agreement or lose something momentous. Telling someone they own me really meaning something, ever again. […] I said that—anything you wanted to do—I’d let you. And if you don’t abide by the law or religion or social pressure, that doesn’t change what I said. So if I break the contract and leave and say it was because you were doing something illegal—I’m still breaking the honor ties. So I forfeit my right to leave with that integrity, to you—because the only way to leave with that is if you release me. You have a lien on my integrity with my debt being lifelong obedience. To include forfeiting all other rights. Unless you release me. If, when, I die, you die, or you release me—the debt is paid; my integrity is something you can’t take at that point.” 

This is generally my own real world philosophy on it.  My honor and integrity backs it up—no small things by my values.  Also, internal enslavement can alter what your mind can truly wrap itself around, to exclude disobedience—this can keep you bound in a way, too. 

Beyond the law, there can be other pressures, lessons built in from preschool and beyond. 

In a previous post, I pointed out something about this:

“If Mistress were to say yes to everything I want, to give in every time I was suffering in any way, we couldn’t have a functional M/s dynamic as we define it. She has to be able to pick her own methods over what society teaches us about courtesy and compromise. She can choose to observe those things if she wants, but if she feels bound by them every time, she’s not actually controlling things.

For my part, I have to be able to deal with it in a way that makes it easy for her to choose her own methods, not fixate on the concept of fair or treating others as you want to be treated. I can’t just technically never say no but try to whine and wheedle my way out of anything and everything I don’t like. It helps to be flexible, able to find things to like in a situation and handle it even if I can’t.”

I think some do picture something slightly different with irrevocable consent to the reality—they picture the screaming no, the being held down, all that.  Realistically, things don’t look like that here—I’m expected to just not say no, not to say it or complain and be overpowered.  It looks a lot more peaceful and the reality is that even if my knee jerk reaction is no, I always want to obey more than I want to say no, and if I can’t quite bring myself to say yes, I want to be pushed there.   

Also, you can’t really effectively hold someone down screaming no when what you told them to do is the dishes or the laundry.  Irrevocable consent goes far past things where holding someone down would work and that underlying desire to always say yes, and to say yes and just do it even when you don’t want to, is an important part.  If communicating about actual wants is desired, it can be done at a time not directly after an order. 

I will also say, I think it’s often valuable and important to read differing opinions on these things, avoid the echo chamber, and it can be thought provoking to read pieces with similar opinions that explain it in a new light.  I spend a lot of free time pouring over anything from academic articles to books to FetLife writings, going to classes, taking video courses, and practicing, on the subjects that interest me, often regardless of the conclusion of another’s content. 

It was this that allowed me to choose the label I felt was right for me—watching others theorize on what possible labels meant, how they were used, why they were selected, when and where and by who.  After that, it lets me figure out more about what it really means to me, how to explain it, how it fits into other pictures.  And if I think I have something to add, I write pieces of my own, like the ones mentioned above, or even this one. 

On Service Settings and Headspace

My service research brought me to Be Our Guest: Perfecting the Art of Customer Service in April 2019, and parts of the book have stuck with me ever since.  Basically the manifesto of customer service at Disney, it has many points that can be applied elsewhere, and that was what I was hoping for as a service slave going into reading it.

One such point was this: setting changes expectations.

The manifestation of this belief at Disney resorts is obvious.  Almost anyone who’s ever just realized they stepped over the border between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland could tell you that a different set of things now seems appropriate or out of place.  Disney’s underground tunnels to keep cast members in costume from going through the lands where they don’t belong—no Buzz Lightyear in Frontierland—are somewhat legendary.

It’s about more than theme, though.  It can also mean convenience, organization, flow, cleanliness, formality.  Things placed without thought can mean they are inconvenient to find.  Lights on and doors open in certain rooms and halls can guide guests to where they should be.  A cluttered and slovenly front entry makes a certain impression.  A well set table can give an air of formality.  Even virtual spaces aren’t immune to the need for a good setting.

I think about this frequently when I’m serving brunch.  Here, brunch is supposed to be light and simple.  The big question almost every day is, “Toast or bagel?” and it’s usually served with something on the side along the lines of strawberries, homemade applesauce, or bacon.  Really nothing complicated.  Something that could easily be eaten at one’s whim on the couch, at the kitchen island, at a desk in front of a computer.

But that’s not where we eat brunch—we have brunch at the long dining table, covered in a clean tablecloth, bathed in morning sunlight from the windows, with fresh flowers perched in the middle.  Everything is served on real dishes, table set properly, with napkins I crocheted myself.  Every morning, at 9:30, excepting conflicting circumstances, with conversation as the main entertainment.

This makes some toast and bagels feel a lot more significant.

Even time can be a part of setting—the consistency of meal times can add a bit of ritual.

Recently someone mentioned being charmed by the fact that we always had a bouquet on the table, citing that it was something she did only for special occasions, and it felt like adding a special touch to the everyday.

All of these are pieces of setting and atmosphere.

To keep a good environment for service, I try to keep things clean, organized, intuitive, and err on the formal side.

To keep things convenient, we have clearly labeled stations.  In the kitchen, one for coffee, tea, cocoa, and general hot drinks, and one for soda, with straws and napkins.  A guest manual in the living room, with local recommendations and a guide to household features.  A box of first aid supplies and toiletries in the guest bathroom.  

Maintaining this environment means it sets the expectations for me, for Mistress, for guests.  Our friends, kinky and otherwise, know what to expect when they get here.  Mistress knows what the brunch table is going to look like.  I know what my standards are to maintain.  And with the expectations of environment change the expectations of service—lackluster service in a sparkling environment wouldn’t be the expectation and would be even more out of place.  

In a well maintained environment, it is easier to feel that need to maintain other standards as well.  

There’s also something to be said for the headspace of the actual tasks of maintaining that setting.  Cleanup from brunch sometimes includes changing the tablecloth and pruning the bouquet, and those tasks themselves are a reminder of the setting.

It feels different to kneel at the end of an unmade bed than it does to kneel at the end of one carefully made with hospital corners and fluffed pillows, and it feels different to know that you made it that way yourself.  It makes keeping your posture just so a little more intuitive.

I think Be Our Guest was right—setting does change service expectations—and it might be an underestimated headspace game changer. 

What Protocol Really Says

A question that comes up about specific protocols (rules, guidelines, rituals, anything else in that umbrella) is:

Who cares?

Which means—

What’s the real difference between, “Yes, Mistress,” and, “Yeah?”

What does it matter if your hands are boxed behind your back or palms up on your thighs?

Why dinner at six and not maybe six-ten? 

Why have the house at 73*, not one up at 74*?

Why not make that second of eye contact during that trip into her office to grab the label maker?

Are the tweezers during shaving inspections really necessary? 

Well, the answer in a way is simple: the M-type cares.  Maybe a little.  Maybe a lot.  But they care.  That is why that rule got set and that is why they bothered to express that preference.  And when it’s laid out like that—the M-type who cares about that gives the s-type the gift of having something to obey.  A way for them to say back, in words or action or mannerism or timing or choice or meticulousness—I care.  About you, about our dynamic, about adhering to your preference, authority, power, will.  I care about showing you my love, respect, submission.  

It doesn’t have to be a strong feeling or opinion.  The slave’s purpose and personal desire, here at least, is to give the M-type as much of what they want as possible—so the more wants expressed, the more to give.  Nothing is too insignificant to bother with—that’s a slave’s job and joy.

Protocols are a how—how to express devotion to the dynamic, love for the person.   

And if those wants aren’t laid out—the messages can get a little messier to send and receive.  

Protocols (or rituals, rules, guidelines) enhance the bond of a dynamic.  They’re the language those in it speak to each other.  They set the tone of dominance and submission (and sometimes set a subtype of it, too)—and let you, and all involved, know your place in it.  

Dictating the little things allows focus—maybe the clarity of mind to focus on the big things, maybe the peaceful mindfulness for the little actions—depending on the situation.  

The thing is that caring about a small thing—a word choice, a posture, a time, a degree—isn’t so small when it’s a chance for communication.  

A chance to say: I care.  I’m yours. 

On the Linguistics of Being a Kinky Author, Regardless of What You’re Writing

“Would you like to share?” 

I… would not. 

I’m on the weekly video call with my teacher and classmates for an online class offered through a writing workshop.  We’ve just done a freewrite, and what came out on the page this time was the beginning of a new plotline for an in progress work of BDSM fiction. 

I have never finished a BDSM related writing piece longer than a few thousand words; I’ve written a small handful of shorter fiction pieces mostly by request, and write my blog posts, and compose love letters to Mistress that are seen only by her and the filing cabinet, but this longer work is something new.  I’ve written plenty of vanilla novels, but…  

Not today.  And this is not a kinky class. 

“I… kind of got inspired for something in the middle of a big project; it won’t make much sense out of context.  And I kind of misinterpreted the prompt,” I say, which is all true.  “I’ll pass.”  

Like with others who said, “I’ll pass,” though, the teacher is overly encouraging.  “That’s okay.  It doesn’t have to make sense.  It’s just a freewrite.  We don’t need to know what it means as long as you do.  And the prompts are open to interpretation!” 

In grid view, a few classmates nod sympathetically. 

No, you really, really don’t want to know what this means, I think. 

But it’s going to get even more suspicious the longer I try to pass.  And this class is in part about overcoming writer’s block and doubt and self consciousness, even if those aren’t the parts I’m here for.  I could pass, but it’s not worth it.  Next week maybe I’ll watch what I write.  

So I start reading. 

I censor.   

It was only a five minute exercise and so there isn’t anything terribly long or elaborate on the page.  

But in a small page and a half of handwriting, there’s a clear power imbalance, honorifics, the implication of permission required to leave someone’s presence, kneeling, and a final sentence about that new plotline that I just have to eliminate altogether. 

I take out words as I find them.  Cut honorifics off the ends of sentences.  Soften up some phrasing.  Put less correlation between one’s action and the other character leaving the room.  Change “went and knelt next to her” to “went and found her”.  I have to think fast; I’m used to much slower proofreading and revising, for myself or as a service. 

I’m still paranoid by the time the next person starts reading, thinking that something has slipped through my filter that I’m too immersed in my own dynamic (and writing) to notice, something that I think of as perfectly normal, something that would raise some eyebrows.  

No such looks from the people in my computer screen, though. 

Not that I am so afraid of being out in this group, but I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, either. 

Still, I ponder my choices on what to cut or modify. 

The vast majority of my writing over time has been vanilla fiction.  My interests and knowledge bases seep in, but aren’t overt. 

Recently, I was writing a scene amongst a vanilla fiction project in which a character is being whipped, among other things.  None of the characters involved are so much as really BDSM aware, and while it would take a long sidetrack to explain here, there was dystopian interrogation context.  No one was having fun.   

But, as a kinkster, I’ve experienced pieces of some elements happening in the scene I described, in a fun way.  I know a thing or two about being whipped and restrained. 

While the scene was appropriately vanilla, I knew that if I was reading this with a different author’s name on it, I would be going, “Well, that author’s kinky.”

Mostly, it was the word choice that gave it away.  I had to edit.  The scene was in third person, and not so limited that the words really had to be the choice of someone involved, but still.  

My experience added some realism, whether a vanilla reader would know it or not, and I had a lot of phrases in mind to describe elements of the scene that I hear used mostly in BDSM circles, but are perfectly acceptable words in the vanilla world.

But, knowledge shows up in little pieces.  Types of whips.  Which ones are more, or less, common.  Where on the body being hit hurts more or slightly less.  Basic impact techniques.  What draws blood.  The concept of sting versus thud.  Where to grasp for best control when pulling someone’s hair.  The parts of a single tail.  What you can do with a knife to threaten but not yet hurt.  How it all feels in detail.

While at least one character in the scene might have researched parts of those—with different reasons in mind than a kinkster—word choice counts.  They might have, in choosing and purchasing a whip, had to know exactly what kind it was.  But in this moment, would they make that distinction?  Probably not.

In the actually kinky scene I wrote during that writing class, it was much more the power dynamic elements of the scene that were overtly not vanilla, not any sadomasochism. Dialogue and actions were the giveaway, not descriptors.  And I may have even been overly cautious—honorifics can be perfectly vanilla, for starters.

As I set out on writing BDSM fiction, a place to let those dynamics and that knowledge run free overtly through characters and relationships, I’m interested to see what I write for the first time, and what I find surprisingly familiar.

For the curious, that fiction work can be found here.