My Top Three S-Type Archetypes in Vanilla Words

The (Abused) Housewife

We don’t quite fit 1950’s household. There’s a lot wrapped up in that trope that doesn’t quite work for us. We’re not straight, we’re not traditionally religious, we don’t have children, and the finance/external obligation thing isn’t so clear cut (we’re both self employed). Others are in similar situations and use the label anyway—which is great—but it just doesn’t feel like it fits for me. Housewife isn’t perfect either, but it’s closer, and feels less like playing at something a little lost in lore that I wasn’t there for historically. 

I use housewife in the vanilla world at times to explain what I “do”. To summarize that my top priority and full time job is housework (service), that our finances are ultimately more my partner’s concern than mine, that I am an active homemaker and not passively keeping maintenance to the bare minimum (being a little old fashioned in terms of homemaking skills and passions), and to imply a somewhat subservient role. People get the idea, and I use it in kink circles, too, in addition to service slave, to indicate that it’s my full time job in addition to being a label I identify with.

There’s another layer to this one, though, which is what I’ve coined lifestyle masochism in kink; the most accurate way to label it in terms of a vanilla word would probably be mimicking abuse. The housewife thing is at the core of the abusive trope we’re after, in a way—associated with vulnerability and isolation. Not working outside the home limits your own social and financial resources, and being pleasant to be around and look at, and up for sex is part of the (note: problematic outside of a consensual framework) domestic package/debt. 

The thing we add is physical and emotional sadism, and the way in which we enact it: which purposefully mimics random incidents of violence, physical domestic abuse, frequently not looking like consensual kink, sex, play. I use lifestyle because it’s not a scene. There’s probably no negotiating, warmup, cooldown, aftercare; it can last a matter of seconds. 

Everything we do happens within our irrevocable consent framework. No safewords, no limits, no way out. For me, this is crucial. I frequently need to not want it in the moment. Truly. Not like flailing a little when I get hit, but to hate it with a deep, dark simmering feeling of fear, betrayal, depression, and regret for getting here. It’s just the type of masochism that really means something to me. But that feeling (for me) comes after a safeword, beyond a limit, and—to experience it twice—requires the inability to get out. If I have those things, I can’t get that feeling. 

The core difference is that while my consent is irrevocable, it was, once, given to her freely and completely, forever. 

The Majordomo/Household Manager 

This overlaps with housewife in a few ways—primarily, domestic service as a full time job—but adds a few things that I think are very important around here. 

As a butler school student, I can portray my life as a slave pretty accurately save a few terminology swaps, changing minor details, and using a bit of omission. I’m not male or British (though those are demographic issues I can’t change), and don’t have any other permanent staff (but I do a lot of coordinating between people, like contractors). 

I take pride in maintaining professional level hard skills in service, and less so the well, this is the way my grandmother did it that seems to come with the housewife role (though that can also hold wisdom). 

Being 24/7 high protocol (in kink terms) can kind of fit into either of these roles depending on where your focus is. Focusing on some protocols as controlling and limiting (or an imitation of the fawn response) might fit into the abused housewife thing. Focusing on some as respectful and polite to the extreme might fit into formal professional service etiquette. In any case, pleasing is a goal I enjoy. 

We do use a lot of professional systems in our relationship (our contract, formal time “off”/reduced duty system, written forms, inspections, review systems, meetings, my uniform) that would be out of place for the housewife dynamic, but provide much desired structure for us, so I think both of these are crucial archetypes for me, even though they both have full time service at their core. 

The Ascetic 

I have ascetic leanings, though again, I’m not traditionally religious, and again, it’s not complete. 

But, I sleep on the floor pretty much every night. I wear basically only my daily uniform; I don’t wear makeup. I need permission to masturbate or orgasm and (with only a few exceptions) shower or use the bathroom. I’m a digital minimalist; I have almost zero traditional social media; I generally don’t watch TV/movies/videos; I don’t do gaming. I’m a minimalist in my possessions. I don’t do recreational drugs. I am drawn to regular silence vows, digital detoxes, and fasts. I value little above self discipline. 

In a way, this is just on principle/how I am. In another way, it’s to keep my focus on the important things—like service and obedience—and limit the reward feeling to coming from a job well done. No distractions. A lot of the above is part of our protocol itself, structured and subservient. And in a way, it feeds my masochism, and limits bandaid fix distractions from pain, making me sit with it and process it. 

I’ve researched this one a lot, too, and in a lot of ways, it fits well. 

While the other archetypes are primarily about what I do as a slave, this one might be more about what I don’t do.

That’s an important part, too. 

Lifestyle Masochism Example (Top Three for the Week)

This is part of the Lifestyle Masochism series. These are stand alone non fiction/memoir examples of the lifestyle sadomasochism we practice within our irrevocable consent framework, as discussed in the explanation post “What I Talk About When I Talk About Masochism”.

Sunday. As always, morning inspection at 10:30. 

Morning service tasks already done, I shut my 10:29 alarm and get in Inspection Position in the bedroom. I stand, legs spread, hands clasped behind my head. 

Mistress comes in. I’m silent, waiting for her to speak first. Speak when spoken to. She tells me my morning tasks were done well and on time, looks me and my uniform over, approves. 

“Thank you, Mistress,” I say, the required response to the praise. 

“You’re welcome, slavegirl.” She releases me from the position to fetch the nearby sunscreen and apply it for her: “You may get me lotion.” 

I do. And normally, that’s it. 

Today, though, it’s not. “Remove all of your clothing.” 

I do. Meanwhile, she seeks out a few items. Removing my leggings and underwear is painful today. On Friday night, we did an impact scene—paddles, full force, thirty minute timer—that had me dripping blood on the floor before finishing with the barbed wire “flogger” I made (barbed wire duct taped together). It looked like a horror movie scene—blood drops on the carpet, blood soaked implements, blood rushing down the shower drain. A barb flew loose from the flogger after catching in my skin, landing on the floor. 

It was supposed to be a catharsis scene, but it got more silence and giggles than anything. It was fun. 

After all the blood, I spent Saturday draining so much plasma, it immediately soaked through my clothes no matter what I did, leaving clear wet spots wherever I sat. 

Now, my clothes stick to the wounds, and I have to peel them out. But Mistress has a solution. 

I step into the Pull-Up unprotesting. Diapers aren’t my thing—and that increases the fun for her—but I’ve yet to figure out a better solution. She lays on the humiliation verbally, but the reality is practical. 

With that in place, she has something else for me. The mostly used soap from the shower, wet. I let her run it over my tongue and place it in my mouth without protest, too. 

She places me in the corner—well, nose pressed to a wall, arms boxed behind my back, Corner Position—emphasizing how much this amuses her. 

I wait there. She takes a picture. I’m sure it’s quite an image. I wonder nonchalantly if she’ll post it. 

She leaves me there for a few minutes. I’m pondering the soap. The shape and size are okay right now, but the bar wouldn’t fit in my mouth brand new. It’s plain to look at, and the taste is unpleasant, but it doesn’t burn or tingle like some of the scented ones do. I should do something about this. 

(By Thursday, I’ve played with making my own cute, well shaped bars in various flavors for her to torment me with—and use around the house—including ginger ones shaped for anal insertion, and an improvement on my ginger infused lube creation.)

Mistress comes back in and releases me from the corner, lets me rinse my mouth out, leaves me to redress in my uniform and go about my chores or, “Whatever it is slavegirls do.” 

… 

Tuesday, which means I give Mistress a pedicure at four o’clock. 

I’m done now, still cleaning up supplies, and soon off to start dinner. 

But Mistress has other ideas. She finds me again, putting a few things away in the master bath. “You may remove all of your clothing.” 

This order always leads to interesting things. Given the setting, I’m pretty sure I know what, and as I strip out of my uniform, I warn her that means dinner will likely be late (not served at six as always). 

“That’s fine. I can make dinner be late if I want. If I’d rather harass you.” 

“Thank you, Mistress.” The permission is kind of buried, but there, evoking the required response. 

She opens the shower door. “Kneel.” 

I do. The shower floor is cold and hard, and just big enough to manage my usual Kneeling Position—knees open, big toes crossed right over left, hands clasped behind my back, right over left, right thumb over left thumb—without touching any walls. 

She leaves me there for a minute, seeing to something in another room. Then returns.

She pees on me, and has me lick her clean, then turns the shower on full blast cold. I fly out of the sudden stream of water before I can realize what I’m doing, kneeling up and clinging to the doorway of the shower as she orders and shoves me back into the freezing water. She wants me there for a few solid seconds, soaking me with the removable shower head, before she leaves me to clean up with warm water. 

Or, “You may rinse off,” as she puts it, waiving the requirement to shave and present for inspection after. I’ll be free to finally start dinner.

“Thank you, Mistress.” 

… 

Friday. 

I’m making dinner, to be served at six as always. Steak is in the sous vide, soon to be seared; potatoes are boiling on the stove, soon to be mashed; asparagus is getting tossed and put back in the oven. Some mutual favorites. 

Mistress comes in, asks about the food. I answer. 

“Take off your shirt,” she orders in response. 

I glance at the various uncovered windows around, but comply. A neighbor could see in, but it’s not in plain sight. 

“And your bra.” 

I set both uniform items on the island. 

She produces two clothespins. No points for guessing where those are going. I’m not shocked by their appearance, either—I noted them sitting on her desk earlier. They were out of place—not in the dungeon—but, as I cleared a few dishes, trash, other out of place items, I left them, suspecting exactly this. 

She puts them on me. I bite my lip as she does. Then, the pain is low intensity, but achingly constant.

She presses the ice dispenser button on the freezer behind her, and traces my breasts and stomach with an ice cube, cold and wet, dripping down my skin. 

Then she reaches past me and pulls a fork out of a drawer. She dips it in the water boiling on the stove, holds it there for a few seconds. Presses it to my abdomen hard a few times, though it loses heat quickly, and she sticks it back in the water. 

The contrast is interesting—there’s a second where the now mild cold from the ice rapidly gives way to mild warmth from the fork, before I’m struck by the burning heat of the metal, squirming a little. 

She cycles the ice and the hot fork for a minute, and finally her nails down my skin, a strange collection of pink marks. 

She talks about how she likes coming in and harassing me, having me as, “A toy to play with as I please.” She removes the clothespins. I bite my lip again, hold my breath. “You may get dressed.” 

“Thank you, Mistress.” 

I check on dinner. Evidently, she’s had her fill of entertainment for now.

Lifestyle Masochism Example (Pressure Pointed)

This is part of the Lifestyle Masochism series. These are stand alone non fiction/memoir examples of the lifestyle sadomasochism we practice within our irrevocable consent framework, as discussed in the explanation post “What I Talk About When I Talk About Masochism”.

I’m standing in the bedroom, kind of between activities, having just finished cleaning and shutting down the downstairs for the night, now settling in upstairs, without it being time for my final evening service tasks yet. I’m thinking that maybe I’ll type up some notebook pages when Mistress comes in, making sweet talk, which somehow ends with me tackled to the bed, on my back, pinned with my hands over my head in a way my shoulders really don’t want to stretch, with her on top of my legs. 

She’s still talking—something, we’re in a Lifetime movie, random violence, you love it, that’s pathetic, something—but I’m a bit distracted by her fingers digging into pressure points around my hips and thighs, sharp bursts of pain with aftershocks. She’s narrating: “See, you’re just in here minding your business, and then you get tackled and held down and pressure pointed. That’s a verb now. That’s how this works.” 

I’m still distracted by the pressure pointing, not entirely sure what comes out of my mouth in response, squirming. I’m still feeling aftershocks when she slaps me hard in the face instead, her hand settling around my throat, squeezing; the other presses into that spot at my hip again that takes away the rest of my oxygen, then hits me in the chest.

She tires of this, though, and I find myself flipped over—it’s always strangely disorienting, flips like that at moments like these; the world was already kind of small, her hair a curtain around my head, and now my face is mostly pressed into the comforter, and the person pinning me down is now also behind me, and everything spins. She yanks my uniform leggings and panties down, and I half see her throw my pager to the side, so the clip doesn’t get broken under me (again). 

She spanks me, hard, some slaps, but mostly punches, the kind I feel in my hips more than anywhere else, force and pain. I sink against the bed. “And you like getting punched in the ass.” The theme tonight seems to be, “You love it, you pathetic little pain slut. I bet it makes you wet.” She slips two fingers in me, abruptly—I make a choked sound—not that wet. Or that open, especially at this weird angle, with my legs kind of trapped closed. It just hurts. Not for long, though; after a few seconds, her fingers press at my lips, and I suck off what did drip onto them instinctively. 

Then the punching continues. “I wonder if you can come from this,” she says, which isn’t much of a question. I’ve done it countless times before—come from pain alone. The real question is if I can do it right now. Hmm. Probably, I think. “Just from being a punching bag.” And the punches keeps coming—force, pain, a lot more than cute, erotic slaps—fast, hard; sensation builds. “It goes with your whipping girl complex.” 

“Please,” I get out, mostly into the comforter, my way of saying, Yes, I can, and yes, I want to, though I can’t get down enough air to finish the question properly, the golden may, please, Mistress combo.

She pauses for a second, but only for a second, maybe to be able to hear me better, or give me enough oxygen to finish. But she fills it in for me: “Please, what? You want to come from this?” 

“Yes, Mistress—” 

She resumes. “Come, then.” 

So I do. People ask me about this part a lot, when I talk about orgasming from pain. It’s like any other orgasm, really. Sensation builds up and intensifies. A need for relief. A feeling of being overwhelmed. The endorphin rush. It’s a little more mental, a little less distinct, but it’s everywhere, and it’s an orgasm nonetheless, and I pant, “Thank you, Mistress,” when it’s over. 

“You’re welcome, slavegirl.” The unofficial end line of any protocol that dictates, Thank you, Mistress. 

And so I catch my breath.

Lifestyle Masochism: When You Start Acting Abused

When you start acting abused…

This has been a thing for a long time, really. I’ve had a lot of conversations kind of loop near this topic recently. 

I have almost always been a suspected victim of abuse. As a kid, I was neurotic, skittish, a little too eager to please, sometimes underweight, sometimes wore ill fitting clothes, sometimes poorly groomed, and seemingly always suspiciously injured, sick, or absent. Now, my parents were/are wonderful people. I just happened to a) have undiagnosed autism/sensory/motor issues and anxiety, b) grow very fast very early, and c) have undiagnosed chronic physical health issues. This admittedly added up to, well, a certain picture. 

Now, I outgrew or fixed some of those things, but not others. 

When I entered the BDSM scene, I was an apparently suspiciously heavy masochist. Never mind that I was looking for what some might call the extreme end of slavery; I didn’t even have all the words for that yet, and it wasn’t what I was first known for. Some people were surprised when I went the high protocol, service slave route, even though I thought I was holding up a neon seeking sign for that when I showed up as best I knew how. No, I was a masochism meme. That was what people focused on about me, perhaps fairly, because it was in plain sight. Pick up play at parties. All that. Literal memes were made. A lot of it was good natured and I laughed with it, encouraged it.

Now, I bury it a little at times, because it seems to easily overshadow my other passions, something I have mixed feelings about, because I do love talking masochism—logistics and philosophy—too. Still, I’d much rather have a passionate discussion in the comments section of one my writings—talk ideas, whether service or masochism or protocol—than get awed comments on pictures of marks (which I currently keep to friends only).

But other rumors started to spread, to the effect that I had probably been a victim of physical abuse and that was why I could and perhaps why I wanted to take so much. Let me say it again: my parents were/are lovely people and neither of them ever raised a hand against me. Disclosure, I had a tumultuous relationship with my dad at times, including a few years out of contact, but physical abuse was never, ever an issue, and we were on perfectly good terms when he passed. (Okay, I love my parents, but I’ve yakked about them enough.) I do have some theories on why I am an apparently unique masochist, but nothing specific and solid, and a post for another day. 

But, moving forward: then it was Mistress’ turn to be the other variable in the people think Hannah is abused equation. The deep end of M/s—no safewords, no limits, no way out. The controlling high protocol. The housewife, service slave dynamic—little outside life. She picks my uniform, controls the finances, forbids me from having a job, tracks my location, has access to and limits my social media, and all kinds of things that sound bad out of the context of trust, love, respect, and consent. 

And there’s the hardcore physical sadism, and the way in which we enact it: which, yes, purposefully mimics random incidents of violence, physical domestic abuse, frequently not looking like consensual kink, sex, play. I might like it at the time, or I might hate it with every fiber of my being at that moment and long for relief. There’s a place for both, but especially the latter. 

It’s also kind of a lot to talk about when people ask me, So, what’re you into? at, say, a TNG munch. The service and protocol dynamic stuff I’m super passionate about might be a little boring to some people compared to talking about typical scenes, but I’m not too worried about them trying to leap in to “save” me, or triggering anyone with it, or dealing with surprise or accusations. There’s also frequently less explaining and justifying, worrying that they will copy my style without thinking it through for themselves and ending up hurt. Because it does require trust, communication, and self work that not everyone is up to, and that’s okay. It is always refreshing when it is met well, though, and it does happen. 

Now, many adults active in the BDSM scene are used to certain things, and understand others, like chronic conditions. Some bruises and being a little quirky won’t scare them. I’m not too noteworthy out in the vanilla world at this point, either. 

But one thing still comes up as a red flag: the flinching. From an out of place twitch to what I call the full Hallmark movie recoil, I am, relatively clearly, constantly expecting to be hurt. Almost every time Mistress reaches for me, I flinch. I edge myself away from dead ends and corners, watching how she’s subtly moving me there. I keep a distance, or get closer—what she fondly calls the snuggle defense, which is strangely effective on her—to make being struck in certain ways harder. I set things down out of the way, especially valuables or fragile items, when I remotely see pain coming, and keep my hands somewhere they can be quick to defend my face from being slapped or throat from being choked or collar from being grabbed or hair from being yanked or leggings from having a hand shoved down them, or wherever the target is. If her hands are out of my sight, I assume she has some impact implement or maybe a knife. I even verbally try to wiggle my way out of the degradation and humiliation, just like instinctively tugging at a rope tie to make sure it really holds. I can usually tell pain is coming from a mile away—it’s a sometimes pleasant, sometimes not, surprise not to expect it—but since I’m not truly going to defend myself, knowing mostly just builds anticipation. 

If any of those behaviors sound familiar: yes, I act like a victim of physical abuse. And it’s interesting this time, because my behaviors really are a reaction to being hit or choked or kicked or pinned or shoved or scratched or dragged or bit or hurt or fucked against my (momentary) will. I can’t deny that. And irrevocable consent is messy at times. Did I consent? Yes. Once. Years ago. Did I want to be beaten with no warning or warmup today until I screamed? Casually dragged across the floor by the hair yesterday? How about the sex when I was so sick I cried last week? In the moment? Probably not. That’s where the defense reactions come from. But I really want those things to keep happening overall, and I want to not want it in the moment, to gain that sense of ultimate submission from it, because in the end I submit anyway. I frequently don’t cry or scream, I almost never beg for mercy, I never actually fight her, just flinch and squirm, and frequently the only words out of my mouth in all of it are, “Yes, Mistress; thank you, Mistress.”  It’s complicated. 

But those incidents largely happen behind closed doors—obviously, I give insight into them in my public writings—but that is still not as visceral. But I can see a few people mentally flinch when they watch me physically flinch, watch that reflex kick in, because it is helpless and fearful, yet clearly expecting. 

Frequently, Mistress makes fun of me for this. “You act like I randomly hit you or something,” she’ll say when I flinch because she reached for an object near me, then slap me. 

Because the expectation isn’t wrong. She probably is going to hit me, and I’m not going to like it. And so I flinch. And others flinch to watch my constant expectation of pain. 

And yet.

We both continuously look inside ourselves. Can I do this? Should I do this? How do I do it properly? What do I need? What do I want? Why?  We continuously communicate with each other. How do those needs get met? How does this get dynamic get run to represent the underlying why and reality both? We communicate on how to communicate with each other. We check in. I am learning to be more resilient, to provide my own aftercare, to take care of myself, when needed. When pain comes hard and fast with no warning, no negotiation, no warmup, no mercy, no cooldown, no aftercare, I learn to quickly get up, dust myself off, and go back to writing or whatever it was I was doing. I have to trust that future me can take what current me is asking for. She has to trust me to not permanently go to pieces. I have to trust her to not give me what I truly can’t take and to give me what I truly need, while still acknowledging that I agreed to anything and everything and I will honor that vow regardless.  

And that’s what makes the difference, in my opinion, between helplessly acting abused and truly being abused. 

Day in the Slave Life: Anecdote Collection

There’s a group of us sitting around the living room: Mistress, me, my mom, my best friend. Since it includes my mom, I’m allowed on the furniture. Mistress is next to me and makes some gesture or movement I forget now, and I not only flinch, but approach the full on, Hallmark movie recoilWhoops.

My best friend raises a knowing eyebrow at me, almost laughing. Mistress feigns noticing nothing. But we all covertly eye my mother, coming to the conclusion at about the same moment that she didn’t notice, bending to reach for her drink at exactly the right time.

Phew.

I actually kind of admire that we’ve gotten to the point of that reaction, the telling reality of it, but that doesn’t mean my mother—who already accepts a lot—needs to be involved.

But where does it come from?

9:30 AM. I hit the pager transmitter button as always to signal that brunch is ready. I wait behind my usual chair in the assigned position. Mistress comes downstairs and greets me with the usual successful inspection of the table, my uniform, the position, then slaps me, which sends me defensively reeling out of it.

“What, are you crazy? Get back in position.” 

I do, still jumpy, but also kind of hoping she’ll do it again. I’ll be ready and be good this time. But she lets me sit, and we eat brunch. At the end, leaving to finish more of the morning task inspection, she tells me to go put in an anal plug and leave it until she tells me otherwise, before or after cleaning the kitchen.

“Yes, Mistress.”

My body is still a bit wired from yesterday, from, as she said, being used, sex without me being allowed to come (as usual, which I prefer, the focus it brings); I didn’t feel well, she told me it didn’t matter (true); still, I was kneeling on the bed, head in my lap, crying, by the end of it, pains exacerbated, but as a slave, glad it all happened anyway and managing a twinge of unresolved arousal.

Positions…

Once, I’m in my standard kneeling position as we chat, legs going numb. “May I stretch?” I ask, by which I mean sit on the floor in a more comfortable position.

“Beg.”

It’s not really that bad yet, but an order’s an order. “Please, Mistress?”

It’ll do. “You may.”

(Later, adding the please and Mistress becomes a required part of asking any permission.)

Today, we do our weekly maintenance discipline session. Despite managing to stay still enough under the attentions of the discipline wand, which I retrieved from the mantel and presented in position, and counting properly, I still feel soaked with sweat. I ask for permission to take a “rinse off” shower (meaning I’m allowed to skip shaving and therefore the inspection after), and she grants it.

I haven’t been in the shower long, but am almost done, when she returns, throws open the shower door, shuts the warm water off. I shiver.

“Kneel.”

I do. The shower floor is small and unforgiving.

She pisses on me—at least it’s warm again—orders, “Clean me up.” I do, using my mouth as efficiently as I can. “Now you can shower,” she says, and leaves me there.

I turn the water back on—it takes a second to find the right temperature—and do it all again.

 …

This isn’t so uncommon.

Another day, we’re talking in her office, me in my usual kneeling position again. She says, “Come with me.”

I do, to the bedroom.

“Remove all of your clothing.”

I do.

“Kneel. In the shower.”

I do. I had just showered before our conversation.

She pisses on me this time, too, trying to get mostly my face, my hair, for added effect, using the latter to dry off, and turns the water on me on full blast cold before leaving, as I scramble against the opposite wall of the shower.

She doesn’t wash my mouth out with soap while I wait for the water to heat up again this time, though, I think, with mixed relief and wistfulness.

Well, time to shower again.

There are only two times I remember forgetting about being on my leash. One, at night. Two:

With friends, at home, we’re eating dinner. Just to mix things up, for fun, I’m on my leash, now that I’m done cooking, allowed to sit at the table.

We talk a long time, lingering, and as the meal concludes, we stand to head to socializing in the living room, or, for me, cleanup.

Except that I’ve forgotten about the leash. So I’m not especially prompt or mindful about standing and pushing in my chair and moving the opposite direction of the intuitive—looping around the head of the table, where Mistress was sitting.

But it almost doesn’t matter: she’s also forgotten, the leash clipped to a belt loop, heading a way that I can’t follow fast enough and that tangles around her own chair.

I have one second after I remember to think, Oh, shit, before I choke when the leash hits its end, stumbling in the right direction.

“Oh, shit,” she says out loud.

We all laugh.

Our friends are used to us.

My best friend is staying with us at the time, and I’m standing in the doorway to their room, talking about, of all things, the fandom of a children’s book series, while Mistress passes behind me, getting something from the garage—we’ve all recently moved—for something she’s cooking.

She starts to pass by me again, then thinks better of it, and says, “I wonder… come over here,” brandishing the small cast iron skillet.

I step out from the slightly narrow hallway into the wider opening of our front room, still in range and continuing the first conversation.

Crack.

That thing is staggering, as it collides with my ass. “My point is—” crack “—the second series really—” crack “—it does age with the audience—” crack “—but kind of depressingly.” Crack.

My best friend is nearly crying, they’re laughing so hard at me trying to make my fandom point between cast iron strikes. Mistress declares that the skillet is too heavy and pointless to swing this long.

Well, I made at least one point.

Besides pure fun, there are all kinds of cathartic uses for pain, and one I particularly like is actually more cathartic for her: the punching bag scenario.

Frustrated with coworkers or friends or telemarketers, she bends me over the nearest counter and lays into me with the nearest wooden spoon, or over the bed with always handy punches and slaps and kicks.

I just like the release of feeling in it, without having to be the source of frustration. The whipping girl thing, y’know. Maybe it’s what some people get out of brat taming. But I behave.

Mistress: What percentage of being a slave is just like, keeping your mouth shut?

Me: About 115.

I’ve always wanted a shock collar, and when a reader requests an electricity play scene for one of my fiction series, I make it an excuse to get one. I avoid writing kinks I don’t know about, and I could’ve written about the neon wand or a tens unit or anything I’ve already done, but… let me be clear: I just wanted a shock collar.

It arrives among a few other items, and Mistress helps me test it out immediately. She fastens it around my thigh—it’s bulky, and I already have my normal collar; it seems a little safer, and its two metal prods leave very visible pink marks.

Its shock settings go from 1 to 99. 1, okay, I felt that. Around 5 gives me the feeling of a strong static shock from a doorknob.

“Higher?”

“Yes.”

She keeps pushing the number higher, increments of five or so. Before the forties, my leg spasms each time, a feeling weird more than just painful. Then I have to sit down, or lose my balance. Still, higher.

“You’re going to ninety-nine, aren’t you?” she asks, in that you are a masochistic idiot tone.

“Of course.”

Eighty-five or so knocks the wind out of me briefly. Just a few notches higher, though. It’s nice, really.

Ninety-nine. Jesus. A little glad it doesn’t go any higher. A little wishing it did. But I do ninety-nine a few times. It’s a massive but pleasant jolt. Like a roller coaster.

Mistress rolls her eyes.

I really like blood. I might even say I need it, and, like shock collars, you can get scalpels delivered and keep them in stock. The future truly is now.

Since I’ve asked, Mistress tells me to go collect the needed items and meet her in her office. I was already undressed, leashed for the night or about to be, at the beginning of this conversation, and goosebumps rise on my skin in anticipation and from exposure.

I kneel next to her in her office, prepped. She selects a spot and tells me to cut a K there, her first initial. I cut the first line, a strange thrill, but am unsure if it was deep enough and actually cut, the bleeding delayed. She’s also unsure, and I’ve redone it when the first one begins to dot with blood. Now, they both do. Oh, well. I cut the next two lines of the letter carefully and without redos. She adds a few miscellaneous lines of her own, a kind of decorative monogrammed pattern.

I clean up, adding enough gauze to not bleed on my slave furs and enjoying the lingering stinging sensations.

Me, from slave furs, to cat looking down at me from the bed: You’re not better than me just because you sleep in the bed.

Mistress, nearby: Am I not better than you because I sleep in the bed?

Me: I mean, not because you sleep in the bed.

You might notice I’m a little hard to challenge in masochism.

The physical stuff is fun, but I’m in the masochism business for the emotion more than anything else. The ever worn down feeling of work well done. The asceticism of the slave life. The self discipline and focus required in 24/7 high protocol service. The creative inspiration it provides; the tortured artist thing.

The talk, with an element of truth, is crucial, too—the themes of Stockholm syndrome and victim blaming and possessiveness.

“You like being owned, don’t you?”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Good girl. That’s exactly what you tell people when they ask.”

And the occasional catharsis. In the moment: fear, humiliation, despair.

Today, she yanks me onto the bed, pinning me. There’s already been the usual hair pulling, collar grabbing, bites, scratches, in this conversation. But on the bed, she clamps her hand over my mouth and nose, not around my throat, her usual choking method.

It’s strange, but it’s the slight change in method that makes me panic. I know what happens with her hand wrapped around my throat. I don’t worry about that. But as my lungs drain the air in the small gap between her skin and mine, the seal kicking in, nothing coming, unable to breathe in, and out of air, like I’m in a vacuum, the edges of my vision start pulsing black, and I panic. Not sure what comes next or when. Not much comes of the panic; I mostly freeze, and she releases me. I gasp for lungfuls of breath. Relief floods me with the oxygen.

That. That was good.

All in a day’s work?

Lifestyle Masochism: What I Talk About When I Talk About Masochism

Lifestyle masochism.

Every now and then, there’s a word or phrase that goes floating around the local community or FetLife that’s useful, relatable, and catches on as part of the widespread vocabulary. While lifestyle masochism is a phrase that came to me basically at random and, to my knowledge, currently lives only inside my head, I hope someone else might find it useful or relatable, because I’d love to be able to just say it and have people really understand what I mean. (Though anyone in the community might get a basic picture from the phrase itself.) 

Of course, first I have to explain what it means.

When we talk about lifestyle D/s, kink, or such, we’re talking about 24/7 dynamics, community involvement, or things that bring kink out from being the dirty secret in the bedroom to something a little more (or a lot more). Something that makes it part of the way we live, not just an activity we partake in from time to time. Y’know, a lifestyle. 

Masochism: deriving pleasure from one’s own pain or humiliation. For some, this pleasure may be sexual; for some, it may not. It’s sexual or physical for me at times, but on the lifestyle front, the sexual part is small. It’s something more like spiritual. A relationship pattern, not a series of isolated incidents. It gives me creative inspiration and catharsis, too. And when I really talk about masochism, I’m talking about the lifestyle version.

I think this has been partially true for me basically forever. Early fantasies revolved around patterns more than single instances. My desire, my need for this type of masochism—and my ability to actually handle it—has grown with time. Isolated scenes used to be a lot more fulfilling, something I craved a lot more. And I still enjoy a proper scene, whether mostly sexual, sensual, or sadistic, now and then. Sex machine? Inverted rope suspension? Hot wax? Fire? Shock collar? Proper beating Just rough sex? I’m usually down. I can go for hours for impact, and I can orgasm from pain by itself, without sexual stimulation. But it’s not really what I talk about when I talk about masochism. It’s an occasional craving, not a need.

While parts of my needed lifestyle version have been a part of our dynamic for a long time, we had a conversation a while back on this. Decided to up the frequency, intensity, and such, and really explore the area, cutting our weekly scenes in favor of focusing on this, still leaving room for occasional proper scenes. Mistress’ first concern, which was fair, was: Can you do this? 

A lot of people, she said—well, if you’re deep in the BDSM world, “a lot of people”—say they want this. Fewer actually do, and fewer yet have both the desire and the ability to handle it. Sometimes you want things you can’t have. Sometimes you find out it’s not what you want at all. 

I agreed; but I was, and am, reasonably confident. We’ve had elements of this in our dynamic for a long time, and a solid foundation of mutual respect, trust, and love. We understood the risks and felt willing to take them. I’m not too fragile. She agreed.

One minority niche we fall into is (and this is another kink phrase I basically made up, as far as I know—though I’ve seen it in law occasionally) irrevocable consent. It’s my current catch all for what some call CNC, some call TPE, some call blanket consent—all with a lot of leeway in meaning. Irrevocable consent, for me, means I gave Mistress full consent once, and I can’t take it back now. No no, no safewords, no limits, no contract termination, no rights, no privacy, no initiating a divorce. Down to no suicide, there is no way out. She has 24/7, no conditions power over me, all areas of life. I don’t get a guarantee of aftercare, sobriety, or safety practices. She does things I would call limits if I currently defined them (inside of play and out), goes past when I would use a safeword if that was something I did. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. The agreement may be honor bound, but that doesn’t mean I take it lightly.

What with this being our framework, this means that by introducing more lifestyle masochism practices, we ran one major risk: that if I could not truly say no (via safewording or declaring limits or whatnot), and with these practices designed to bring about certain emotions, it would be hard to tell what was the desired level of suffering and what was the you can’t handle it; this is a bad idea scenario. We agreed to ongoing “outside of the moment” communication, mostly via adding a question about it to Meta Friday (our weekly check in, via written survey) and agreeing to use the written form we have for raising such issues if it came up. I’d recommend these highly.

Now that I’ve said all this: what is it I’m on about? 

What we decided to introduce was more—what we call—“random acts of violence”. Slapping, hair pulling, choking, collar grabbing, biting, scratching, pressure point using, pinning, knifeplay—on the short and quick side. Just throughout the day. Not as sex (necessarily), play, special event, discipline. Just as its own thing, scattered throughout time. Things I can dislike in the moment, but overall gain a deeper sense of submission from, because I don’t like it in the moment, but submit anyway. 

None of these acts were new; it was just increasing frequency and intensity. Making it look less like kinky flirting and more like something easily mistaken for abuse. On the slightly longer side: more watersports (sometimes complete with turning the shower on cold), beating (less so the multiple implement, long, planned scenes in the dungeon with warmup and cooldown, but more of impulsively grabbing the nearest suitable object and going hard and fast wherever we may be in the house—kicking and punching always easily accessible), sex when I’m not in the mood at least to start (maybe paired with not being allowed to orgasm) or with humiliation and pain. Also nothing new, but now upped. All paired with suited verbal exchanges—mostly humiliation, themes of Stockholm syndrome and victim blaming, martyrdom and the kicked puppy complex, possessiveness. A consistent element of truth—not taking it back—is essential for me. 

A character touched on this recently in my BDSM fiction series: 

“No. Don’t take it back. Say it. Mean it. Mean it even when we’re done, and don’t care. Tell me I’m worthless. Mean it. Prove it. Make it true. Keep me anyway to tell me again tomorrow. Let me be nothing and love me for it. Break me just so you can fix it and do it again. Make me harder to break next time. Make me able to take more and more. Just for the challenge. Make me run so you can catch me. Make me fight so you can pin me down. Make me bleed so you can treat my wounds. Hurt me until I beg for mercy just so you can give it to me and feel good about it. Let me be grateful for it. Make me wait longer to beg next time. Make my head spin. Make my world spin until I can only cling to you; control it until you become my God. Take out the rest of the world on me. Hurt me when you want to hurt someone else, because I’ll let you. Let me be good and love you and love you and love you no matter what you do. Let me love you because of it. Be sadistic. Be cruel. Be merciless. Teach me to love you anyway. Let me feel good about it. Let me be the kicked puppy that follows you home anyway. Take it all out on me and let me love you for taking it out on me instead of the world who didn’t ask for it. Let me be your reward for being good to everyone else. Tell me that’s pathetic. Believe it. Love me for it anyway. Tell me I’m pathetic. Mean it more than you’ve ever meant anything else. But keep me to tell me again tomorrow.” 

It’s been excellent so far, and we are diving deeper into it. 

There are other ways that forms of masochism creep into our dynamic. We thrive on 24/7 high protocol, and being a service slave is happily my full time job. This introduces elements of masochistic asceticism (in protocols that limit my “indulgences”—whether it’s wearing something that’s not my very specific uniform, sitting on or sleeping on the furniture, etc.) as well as the energy challenges of providing consistently excellent service (full time level hours and 24/7 on call adds up; not to mention my love of serving the kink and vanilla community—volunteering, teaching—and guests). Keeping focused requires a level of minimalism and mindfulness. There is not room for much in my life that doesn’t come back to being a slave in some way, distractions, and I have to be constantly “on” to not slip on protocol, no matter what, even if it’s the tiniest details—finger or toe placement—of our daily slave position repertoire. We have a firm disciplinary dynamic as well, and while I behave, there are occasional accidents and such—and lack of lenience here goes hand in hand with everything else (complete with two daily inspections and weekly maintenance discipline). I’m summing these elements up quickly here, but they’re not a small part of it. 

It’s definitely not for everyone, but it seems like it sure is for us.