Leather and Kink folks are some of the most authentic folks I know… it is a value inherent in so much of what we do in our BDSM world…what an honor to be among you.

What goes on behind closed doors is private… it speaks of trust, honesty and intimate sharing.

I recently presented at the “Behind Closed Doors” conference in Tucson AZ… The weather was fabulous, the hotel and staff were magnificent, and the people… The kinksters that gathered at the conference were beautiful, honest and authentic.

Now, you might wonder why I write about this… Our value and practice of honesty and authenticity is a value spoken of in our larger culture, yet covertly and overtly suppressed and NOT practiced… at least not to the level and degree that W/we do.

Examples:

1.  The Vanilla Networking Meeting: Images are up, personas are on. We are taught to reveal only so much of ourselves…rather, to reveal what we think others will be impressed with. Lots of handshaking, talk about business… authenticity is often left somewhere else. Jockeying for position, business and ego-supporting scripts in support of stories we learned as children.

2.  The Vanilla Marriage:  Often overtly monogamous and often covertly semi-monogamous; things like sex, physical pleasures, unusual interests are often ‘closeted’.  A mutually agreed upon co-dependence that supports the images we hope to be as husband/wife-man/woman.

3. The Kinksters Relationships… vis-a-vis Behind Closed Doors: An open sharing of who we are with each other; a dropping of images, of competition in lieu of authentic sharing, sometimes coupled with emotional, physical and spiritual connections.

At the end of the conference MasterZ spoke about authenticity.  He referred to the movie “Avatar”… if you’ve seen the movie, you’ll recall how the beings greet each other, they say: “I See You”.  The Avatar beings pause, look and ‘take in’ the experience of the other person, and then greet them with: “I See You”.

In our larger culture it is much more common to work at “not” being seen… which is unfortunate… so many bright lights dimmed.  Not us 🙂

 Let us keep lighting up our world with our authenticity, our honesty, our truth.  Celebrate who you are… You are better at being You than anyone else, Rock On!

 

www.BDSMcoach.com

Off W/we go to Arizona this weekend presenting “NLP 201-Other Than Conscious Control” at the Behind Closed Doors Conference. 

As a kinky coach I get many “how to” questions… many have to do with how to influence our partners, submissives and slaves. Influence, control… it is so much of what we do in this BDSM lifestyle… Tops/bottoms; Doms/subs; Masters/slaves…

Influence is easy…really.

     A key to ease in influence is #1 You… Your emotional state and skill levels. One cannot expect to ‘Master’ another until they have mastered their self. If You know what you want, and You are confident in your “dominance” then directing or commanding others will come natural.

Then there’s the Other Than Conscious Influence… that’s the skill part. Knowing that all behaviors are communication is part of it; training yourself to observe things like: breathing changes, body movements, skin color changes, eye movements and then Use these behaviors to influence…. without ever saying a word.  That’s some of that NLP stuff. And there’s more.

Then there’s the ability to influence with just a few words… to influence mood, attitude, thoughts, emotions and behavior… with just a few words…  just a few words.

This NLP stuff is really remarkable.  Here’s a link to Learn More about NLP (NeuroLinguistic Programming) training which includes a short video and a short introductory paper for you to learn more: “NLP-Just the Tip of the Iceburg”

 

Trust In Relationships

We learn to trust early in infancy; trusting we will be fed, diapers changed; that we will be kept comfortable and comforted. We learn to trust from our parents, our families and our teachers. We grow up and form relationships, in part all based on the level of trust we have learned from these fine folks. Eventually most of us marry.  We join with a partner, a husband or wife and build a partnership on trust. Or do we? 

Are we “building trust” or building walls with those most important to us?

Statistics will tell us walls are being built, and wars have been waged. Our society has a 67%+ divorce rate.  It is more common or “normal” to divorce than to stay married!  As a society we are not building trust in our most important of relationships…And Why not? because most folks just haven’t learned how.

In his newest book: “The Science of Trust-Emotional Attunement for Couples[i]” John Gottman Ph.D. reveals the “how” of trusting as well as the many subtle forms of betrayal that go on in relationship…  

From his book: “A committed romantic relationship is a contract of mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual protection, and mutual nurturance.” (The Science of Trust: p 350)

Dr. Gottman has spent the last 30 years researching ‘couples’. He has developed a theory of marital discord and happiness and with great accuracy can predict divorce or a happy marriage!  Quite simply this remarkable research has led to the development of simple tools that work. There is a science of trust and there are specific components that are inherent in trust, trusting and being trustworthy.

In the article that follows I will share the components of trust and how to build trust. I will also share from Gottman’s “The Science of Trust” the 12 specific ways (other than sexual infidelity) that betrayal shows up in relationships.

You have the opportunity to build love and intimacy instead of walls and wars. You, how you are and what you do matters!  And, as you may already know, loving always works better.  

Trust is the deliberate and delicate balance between hope, belief and reliance.[ii] We are always trusting ourselves and others: sometimes poorly, sometimes adequately and sometimes magnificently! It is the hinge to love,

 

caring and intimacy. Trust cannot be nurtured in a relationship beset with betrayal.

Trust like love, is a verb. When we trust we ‘rely’ on something or someone we are trusting. When we can be relied upon we are being trustworthy. The action of relying upon is inherent in ‘trusting’; we are or we are not ‘trusting’ at some level.

Here are the 4 Components of Trust[iii].

  1. 1.    There must be a beneficial and a harmful result possible.  When we ‘risk’ trusting we are hoping for a potentially beneficial outcome over the possibility of a harmful result. If you tell a friend a secret, the hope is that you can trust your friend to keep the secret rather than to reveal it. If you form a business partnership or marry there is the possibility of beneficial or harmful results.
  2. 2.    The result of risking and trusting depends upon the future.   Whether it is a friend keeping a secret, a partner keeping an agreement or fidelity in marriage, the outcomes are in the future.
  3. 3.    The harm must be potentially more harmful than the benefit is beneficial. Why does this matter?  It has to do with the emotional payoff involved!  When we bet on a horse or play the lottery the belief that we will win is much lower. If we bet $5.00, we are only out $5.00, there is very little risk.

When we are involved in a business venture or are in a marriage there are multiple levels and contexts where trust or walls are built. In business and marriage our livelihood and well-being are “at stake” and “on the line”. We have large emotional, physical, financial and other investments in the outcome. When we share a secret with a friend we are risking more if the secret is revealed than if it is not, and the ‘trust’ is more limited to this specific context.

  1. 4.    We honestly expect the benefit to occur. At a horserace or lottery we would like to win, we might hope to win, yet for most of us that is where it stops. We don’t actually “believe” we will win! When we trust, we have hope with the belief that we can rely on the person or thing to produce the result we want. If it is a business venture then the amount of ‘trust’ we have may have to do with our business abilities accepting a certain amount of risk involved.

 

Specifically for Married Folks

In a marriage the issue of trust is multi-faceted. Some agreements are made consciously while many agreements are made covertly and left unspoken until broken. We learn in our marriages to rely partners in some areas, and not in others: housecleaning, finances, children, future planning, emotional support, sexual satisfaction, and more. Clear agreements are made openly, verbally stated and discussed; they can be agreed upon. Most often each spouse has unspoken beliefs and expectations of how things ‘should be’. They “think” these things are agreed upon as “common sense”. These agreements are only revealed when these unspoken agreements are broken, and one partner feels betrayed.

Gottman’ s research shows how these ‘agreements’ that go on in marriage will indicate trust levels by measuring interactional patterns.  The research also shows great accuracy in predicting potential success in coaching or therapy as well as whether a couple will stay together or divorce. It’s NOT just the ‘big’ betrayals that matter: infidelity, lying, emotional or physical abuse. The results of study after study show that the biggest indicator of a lasting marriage is: The perception of trust in the relationship.

There are many ways that we can actively build trust and love in relationship. Gottman recommends a 5:1 ratio (nice to neutral and “non-nice” interaction to insure of a healthy relationship. I have written elsewhere with ways to do so. (See article: Love is a Verb)

I’ll end the article today with Gottman’s list of 12 ways that partners betray each other in relationship. It is my hope that if you recognize these types of betrayal in your relationship, you can do something to change it… and live happily ever after.

Yes, sleeping around is a big way to ruin a committed relationship but there are others that are as devastating. Gottman has identified 12 more, here they are.

Twelve Ways (Other than Sexual Infidelity) to Betray Your Partner[iv]:

  1. Violations of commitment. Your commitment is conditional, and some part of you is still waiting for someone better to come along. You may check out other people, flirt, or in other ways suggest you are still available. Illness, arguments, money issues, distance (travel, work)…when the going gets tough you consider going.
  2. Betrayals of emotional exclusivity. Flirtations or secret emotional attachments.
  3. Secrets, lies, deceptions. These include lies of omission, deceptions, and violations of confidence, broken promises, and inconsistencies.
  4. Coalitions against your partner. You form coalitions that hurt or exclude your partner, talk negatively behind their back, etc.
  5. Disinterest. You are disinterested in or rejecting of your partner’s thoughts, feelings or inner life.
  6. Unfairness or lack of care. Resources, time and responsibilities are not shared equally, and partners do not offer emotional support or understanding. They are not “there” for one another.
  7. Betrayal of affection. Coldness, unresponsiveness.
  8. Lack of sexual interest. Ignoring your partner’s need for sexual intimacy, physical closeness and touch.
  9. Abuse. Social isolation, sexual degradation, humiliation, belittling, threats, property damage, physical abuse.
  10. Disrespect. Partners do not cherish each other, express pride, and complement each other. Instead, thy ridicule, denigrate, mock, use sarcasm, contempt.
  11. Not meeting each other’s needs. (Copied verbatim from p 352): A relationship is about legitimating dependency upon each other. Partners violate the principle that they should try to meet each other’s essential needs cooperatively and honestly. This involves agreeing to emotional presence, openness, emotional availability, and responsiveness to the partner. They do not agree, or act as if they do not agree, that the relationship will entail sacrifice at times, putting one’s partner’s needs or the family’s needs ahead of one’s own.
  12. Breaking sacred promises and vows.

 

Brutal? Yes sometimes.

Is it happening in your relationship? In the relationship of close friend?

 If you recognize some of these various ways spouses/partners betray each other, then ouch and good! Recognition is the first step toward change.

 Acknowledge that something is wrong, talk with your beloved then change! Unless of course you’re building those walls before the final battle; intimacy feels so much better!

It’s not easy, not at all. If you are like so many other couples and just need a bit of guidance please contact me. I offer free sample sessions. Here is a testimonial from a fine woman who DID contact me for a free session last year (2010)

“I want to tell you that you were invaluable to me during a very tough time last year. We only spoke on the phone as an intro, but I will be forever grateful for your words to me that day Jim. You helped set me on a very good path. Thank you! Cindy”

Call 847-748-8006 or write Jim@BDSMcoach.com today, I can help you get started; your marriage is worth your time and energy.

 “A committed romantic relationship is a contract of mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual protection, and mutual nurturance.” (The Science of Trust: p 350)

Enjoy building Trust. Here are other sources for you to help you identify less than healthy patterns in your life. I have written elsewhere about the subtle signs of emotional abuse, lethal patterns that can ruin relationship and how we learn them (Normal? Socialization, Domestication and Consensus Hypnosis & Co-Dependency-Our Social Disease)  Blessings.


[i] The Science of Trust, John Gottman, Ph.D

[ii] Quoted Directly from Lazaris audio download: “Synergy of Trust” www.lazaris.com

[iii] ibid

[iv] The Science of Trust, John Gottman, Ph.D

Hello fellow sadists and all other curious folks.

The emotional laden predjudice of words keep so many folks from expressing the magnificant parts of their selves. Sexually and personally “kinky” folks… folks who indulge in the BDSM lifestyle are much more open and inclined to embrace parts of their selves normally deamed “bad/wrong” by parents and society.

Despite the ‘labels’ of bad/wrong around sadism that exist today, multiple images and celebrities emerge and are held up as icons as a result of their sadist nature so vividly displayed on the silver screen… and in our living rooms.

It is incomprehensible that a nation and culture can celebrate sadistic hero’s yet popularly deny and wrong sadism and masochism as practices. Yet, there it is.

I’ve included a couple of my favorite sadistic torture scenes with a bit of narrative.  Enjoy…

Dirty Harry- Scorpio paid to get a beating… wanna play?

One of my two favorite scenes from Dirty Harry… The First:  “Do ya think  you’re luck punk…” and the scene above. 

Dirty Harry has been a cultural icon since  (or likely even before) the first “Dirty Harry” movie in 1971.  Toys, movies, gun replica sales, video games etc… sore worldwide. 

So what’s the facination with this tough guy who doesn’t like to follow the rules and get’s a non-chalant sadistic pleasure from his brutal job?

And what about Jack Bauer.  If you have any sadistic tendencies at all, watch the show 24.  In March of 2007 CNN ran a news story entitled: “Is Jack Bauer teaching torture to the U.S.”.  Human Rights organizations have fought to have “24” banned from television as a “Prime Time Torture Project”.  I’ve included an excellent torture scene provided by one of these organizations… Thanks 🙂

The show “24” ran over 8 seasons for 192 episodes and won 20 Emmy awards.  Popular??  VERY!! 

We sadists get a bad rap… go ahead, I dare ya, tell 10 of your ‘vanilla’ friends or business associates that you are a sadist… or to be safer, ask their thoughts on sadism… then: watch their emotional reaction/s, listen to them… do you  notice where it stirs them in uncomfortable places?  Well, if you are a sadist, you’ll like the show!

Enjoy the short clip, embrace your sadism… have some fun… With safe, sane and consensual permission of course.

Jack Bauer Tortures…it\’s just the way it is

I was doing some reading  of one of my favorite BDSM authors, Jack Rinella. His new book “More from the Master” is excellent! I’m sure to comment on it again. In a chapter entitled “Daddies & Sirs” he speaks to an acceptance of others inherent in our BDSM culture that is the epitome of health in relationships.

 “And therein lays the beauty of Leather folk.  We don’t agree
  and don’t have to. We are free to explore our own relationships
  and define them as best suits us and our partners.” p. 109 

On the surface this sounds like any other two people, kinky or vanilla. Then notion of ‘being free’ is who we are as a people, its part of our being.  And it’s important to note here… it IS just a notion.

Free? Well, not so much.  What is considered “normal” in popular culture is really co-dependent. “Normal” marriages/families are beset with co-dependency, a denial of ‘self’, a denial of desires, and a tacit agreement to pretend there are no agreements. That’s right; we the kinky folk really do know how to do this relationship thing right…which doesn’t mean that we always do. 

Jack goes on: 

 “What matters is that the relationship between Dad/Mom and
  Son/Girl satisfies the men and women in that particular relationship.
  And it is just that: two people relating for the reasons personally
  defined and meaningful to their authentic selves.” Pp. 109-110

So not only are we more often much clearer in our defining of roles, power dynamics, communication, etc… AND…unlike more traditional/normal relationships, we are honoring ourselves. 

“So Jim, are you saying that in our popular culture It is more normal to NOT honor ourselves?”

Exactly.  You see, unlike our majority counterparts who have tacit agreements to not be intentional and conscious about their agreements… We are intentional; we are or at least work toward clarity in relationship.  We want to be clear about who has power, authority and control and when. We want to be clear about what we want personally and sexually, we strive for balance of self in relationship, talking after scenes or regularly to insure each person in the relationship is getting what they need… at least ideally.

We live among the majority, we have all been there. In that world I help men, women and families to move toward the kind of healthy dynamics that we in the BDSM community consider normal. Way to go folks!

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