As the months passed, we became a bit closer, and gradually, I came to call him friend, then teacher, now mentor.
Dom/sub, Master/slave -- I've seen so much of it, in my travels around the grid, that I wondered just what it was all about.
I've met so many people, who are in some sort of 'owned' relationship, that seem to be happy, and even fulfilled by it, that it can't completely be a bad thing - can it ?
But then there are the others... the women (and men) being dragged around on the end of a chain, most of them partly to completely naked, pathetically running to try to keep up, filling their speech with capital letters and "Yes, Master" and "Please, Mistress." This doesn't look like anything I'd ever be interested in, much less enjoy.
But one of the things I find about Second Life, is that I'm using it as a tool to explore myself. I've already explored some, on the adult side of the curtain and discovered the worlds of roleplay, and cyber and forced fantasies. It was mostly good, and I feel comfortable about what I've learned. I'd like to think I also learned from the not-so-good.
So, I decided to expand my horizons, and to have a look into this side of SL.
Through the excellent classes that Forceme Silverspar runs, and the weekly discussions at Lost Eden (Tuesdays - 1pm SLT), I've been learning about the world of BDSM in Second Life.
It's not what I feared it might be -- a world filled with cringing, mindless slaves/sluts, desperate for any kind of relationship, and evil, sadistic whip wielding Masters -- rather, it's an extension of 'conventional' or 'vanilla' relationships, with, I think, more emphasis placed on trust and exchange of committments. (Although, I do think the other type of relationship exists - but I just don't understand that mind-set.)
Yes, it can include whippings and punishment - but so does growing up; who hasn't been spanked, or grounded, or kept after school, for not doing what Mom, or your teachers, told you to do. Darn few of us, I'll bet. So, seen in that way, it's a perfectly normal relationship, just taken a bit further along the road. Nothing to be afraid of, except the unknown - and life is full of unknowns. But now there is someone to guide you, to help you find your way, to protect you. It's not exactly a relationship of equals, but I feel that it's more than equals, not less.
Kresten is a Master, with subs in his care. I asked him if he could show me what it meant to be a submissive, and he agreed. So I placed myself under his mentorship, and he has taken me under his wing, as I began to explore my submissive side. I've been wearing a collar for quite a while, but not as a sign of submissiveness - just as a pretty tool. It's useful for changing clothes, playing with RLV toys, and fending off the occaisional idiot who just want to use me as a dishrag - "collar = owned, so leave this one alone". I gave him the rights to use it, but I retained ownership of myself.
Surprisingly, I found that I actually enjoy having someone watch over me, teach me and care for me. He has given me a few 'tasks' to do, and I've done my best to follow his instructions. Calling him "Sir" is coming easier; at first I thought it was just sort of silly, and only said it because I'd been told to. Now I call him Sir because I want to - in my eyes, he's earned the respect which it denotes. Kneeling is a bit harder, since we started this relationship as 'friends with benefits', and kneeling isn't a thing friends do. (Well, not without something else to follow....) Therefore, I found myself questioning this at times, but it actually makes sense; I look up to him, so I should be lower. Dropping to my knees is almost automatic, now, and not at all demeaning at this point. I like the secure feeling that comes from being leashed, knowing that he's holding the other end, keeping me safe. I do find it harder to cyber with him, since we had previously been operating on the level of bedbuddies, and now there's a higher level of committment exchange, and a difference in perceived status. I'm not quite sure how to address this - am I still supposed to call him Sir? or do I just flow with the action, and behave as I used to? *shrug* We'll work it out.
Last night I spent a hour or so in a cage.
He sent me a TP request to join him, I obeyed, and at his direction, willingly walked into a glass sided box, kneeled, and let him lock the door. He'd told me that I wasn't allowed to websurf, and that my IMs would be restricted: I'm not sure they actually were, since I got 3 group chat messages, but I closed each window as they appeared. My 'voice' was forced into a whisper. What he didn't tell me (possibly because I don't think he knew), was that my maps, inventory and build buttons, and ability to TP would all be blocked, too. I was isolated from everything except him - and a stranger who dropped by to see what we were doing. Every so often he would ask a random math question, which I had 10 seconds to answer. This was to ensure that I hadn't just vegged out, or gone afk.
Things went well, for the most part. The cage added a few extra punishment minutes for camming outside of it - which I didn't actually do - since I had already been focused on myself, from outside the cage, when the timer started. Also, in the second part of the hour, I was punished for that again. (Not being used to operating in Mouselook, I didn't know you could call up the chat bar by pressing Enter, and had minutes added when I hit Esc to get out of it to get my chat bar back to answer the questions.)
I became surprisingly anxious when he went out of sight, since I had no radar/map to know he was still there. I think I'd rather know he wasn't there if I couldn't see him, instead of not knowing where he was. After our visitor left, he stripped me, which I had said was okay, since it wasn't in an inappropriate location. He's told me he won't humiliate me in public - but this was a place designed specifically for caging, so I didn't really see it as "public" - not in the strict sense of the word. I was in a cage, on an Adult sim, and if naked was how he wanted me, then it wasn't my place to whine about it.
For the last 30 minutes, he asked me to go into first-person cam mode (mouselook). I did, but I didn't really like it. When I tried to look around, I was scolded - but I don't remember him tellling me I had to look ahead at all times. One of my problems was my current AO - when I'm kneeling, if I use alt-mouse to look at something, my avi moves, even though it's in ground-sit mode - I pop up, turn and sit again. Also, I think the cage overrode my own preferences to be able to see myself in mouselook - even looking down towards the floor, I wasn't there, and that bothered me a bit.
This change in pov was a semi-serious problem for me at the end of my hour -- when the door opened, I found I'd lost my cam-focus. No matter how I tried, no matter which buttons I pushed, I couldn't find my way back to me.
This had me nearly to the point of tears, until he managed to reset it, I think with my collar. But I was still so messed up that I actually wore a box; fumbling through my inventory for my clothes, I grabbed the first thing that matched my search, not noticing it was the package, rather than the sweater. Of course, this embarassed the hell out of me, and got me more upset.
It was a little while after he left, until I felt mentally able to leave, and wander the Grid again. He wasn't there, or even online, and I wasn't feeling all that secure, yet, about being left on my own.
I don't know if it was residuals from the cage restrictions, or just the fact that SL was sort of borked, but I had TP problems for a while after, and I finally had to relog to get myself out of limbo.
Would I do it again ? Yes.
But I think I'll want a better idea of the rules. I was punished for something I didn't know was going to be an offence, and there were restrictions I didn't know about. Neither of these are anybody's fault, and I'm not really whining, but it's just a tad unfair to be bagged for not 'playing by the rules' when you don't have them to play by.
I'd sort of like to know where my keyholder is -- I actually felt abandoned at times, until he suddenly came into view - I didn't know if he was exploring, or had crashed - and would my cage unlock, if he had crashed?
The cage next to me was saying that it's occupant had gone offline while caged - timer suspended. Was that going to happen to me, if it couldn't be unlocked, or would the timer just expire and set me free? If he was gone, could anybody use the controls to keep me there longer? These were some of the thoughts that wandered through my mind while I was waiting.
Thinking about it now, I'd say that it actually required a high level of trust - a trust I didn't know I was able, or willing, to give. I stepped into a box, from which I had no easy way of leaving, trusting that someone else would take care of me, see that I didn't come to harm, and be willing to let me out.
Thank you, Master Kresten. ♥