Saturday, March 19, 2011


The secret to living a good life is to remain open to learning and to look for learning wherever and whenever it presents itself. That isn't as easy as it sounds but if we take the time necessary to reflect and evaluate we can often find the silver lining inside the gray cloud. Rather than blame either ourselves or our partners when a scene fails, it is much more helpful to take a deep breath and try to understand what went wrong and why. By doing so we may not turn a bad experience around but we will at least be better equipped to avoid a similar fate at a later date.

So it is that I share with you last Sunday night's scene. First a little background: I had been talking with this guy (I'll call him Reggie) for some four months about complete surrender to me as a slave, something that he admitted he wanted very much. I found him especially attractive, somewhat experienced, and very likeable. It was also a plus that he lived in Chicago. Unfortunately, he also demonstrated a good deal of hesitation, to the point of what seemed a great deal of fear, even paranoia. I did my best to earn his trust.

Our negotiations stumbled along for all those months and over time I was able to discern, and he admit to, several of the factors which held back any play between us. For his part he sporadically contacted me with emails and instant messages (IM) that affirmed his continued interest.

Last Sunday afternoon he sent me an IM to which I responded and which led to a phone conversation of some length. It was during that chat that I learned much more about the sources of his hesitation and agreed to a number of limits that I thought would make him more comfortable in arranging a first meeting. That phone call ended with no agreement to play.

Later in the evening he contacted me again, this time with more explicit IMs of an erotic nature. I called him a second time (if memory serves me correctly), agreed to a list of limits and told him that when he was ready, I would be too. I also discovered that he was free for the whole week and would even consider coming over to spend the week in service. The last round of IMs went like this:

Reggie: OK. Every so often I get carried away by thoughts… so forgive if I persist.

Jack: As long as you persist I have a chance of getting what I want from you.

Reggie: Indeed Sir. Wish arms were cuffed behind me and I was on floor eating this food I have like an animal now.

Jack: You have to make the first move. Unless you want me to kidnap you.

Reggie: I know. Never been kidnapped… but I do not think it necessary.

Jack: And I seek your voluntary surrender

Reggie: Of course Sir. Trust me, it is a struggle. [then 50 minutes later he continues] I am shaking. Cannot eat. I could be kneeling all night, cuffed, gagged, awaiting the morn.

Jack: You're right.

Reggie: Forced to piss in this food, eat every bite. Then made to endure a night of bondage. I am sorry. It is just the easy way to engage the fantasy.

Jack: Then you won't mind if I don't engage back in the same way. I prefer to make my fantasies as real as I can.

Reggie: I understand. But what I describe appeals to you as well I believe?

Jack: [no response]

Reggie: I can take a taxi Sir

Jack: Then do it.

Reggie: What are your instructions?

Jack: Just show up. Bring work clothes, medications, toothbrush

Reggie: Address?

I gave it to him. He arrived with his take-out dinner in a bag. We went into the dungeon. I ordered him to strip. I bound him in a kneeling position, poured his food into a dog dish, made him piss into it, and ordered him to eat. He did and I watched. After some time (10 minutes? 15?) he said it wasn't working. I unbound him, we agreed it was "nobody's fault" and he went home.

Make no bones about it. I was disappointed. I greatly prefer scenes that go well. As you can see, so much for that fantasy.

How, I pondered, could it have been different? What went wrong?

First off, I am of the firm conviction, though there are certainly times when I honestly don't feel the conviction, that "wrong" is not the right word to use. Scenes don't go wrong. They go the way they go, although they don't always go the way we want them to. "Ah," to quote someone, "there's the rub."

So introspective, thinks-too-much, Jack is left pondering whatever lessons this sad evening held. It's important to learn those lessons or we are destined to replay the behavior over and over. My practice is to ask myself a simple question, one without unfortunately a simple answer, i.e., "How do I have to change so this doesn't happen again?" 

In other words "What do I have to learn?" Lessons marked with an asterisk are hardly new. They are repeated lessons and, since I don't always follow my own advice, an indication that I am a slow learner. Here, in no certain order, is what my scene with Reggie taught me:

"Hold'em or fold'em.*"

It was a blessing that the scene only lasted a few minutes and that Reggie was aware enough to end it. In fact, I should have "folded" long before I ever invited him. My error was not in talking to him but in inviting him. He wasn't ready and, obviously, neither was I.

"Know thyself.*"

I do know myself but my problem is that I too often forget who I am. Knowing who I am, I should be who I know I am. By compromising my dominant persona, I failed to act in the dominant manner that would have been authentic. Doing so, of course, meant that Reggie didn't get to have a scene with the dominant man he was seeking.

"Be ready or not."

Either it's time or it's not. There's no almost ready and to pretend that you are ready when you're not is to set yourself up to fail. I wasn't ready to insist on what I wanted. If I had, I might have gotten it, or if I didn't at least I wouldn't have gotten a failed scene. Better wait. No scene is better than one that only gives lessons and holds no fun for either partner.

"Know what motivates you at any given time."

I was negotiating to gain control, to have power. I was pre-occupied with the guy's fantasy and his looks, both of which distracted me and led me into a scene that was not the one either of us wanted. Honestly, having sex with him become more important than dominating him and since I failed (from the very beginning) to dominate him, we didn't have sex either. My secondary motivation (sex) trumped my primary motivation (control) and I got neither.

"Say No!*"

All of this could have been avoided with one simple word. But, of course, I didn't want to use it and so I had to learn the lesson the hard way.

"Are you listening?"

Great creativity, in the art room, the writing room, the business office, or the dungeon comes from listening to the quiet inner voice of inspiration. When we negotiate we must listen to more than just the words that a potential partner uses. We must listen to their quiet inner voice that shows itself in its actions, its body language, its vocal tone, and, yes, in what he or she says and doesn't say. Likewise we must listen to ourselves and make certain that what we hear ourselves vocalizing is what we hear our hearts telling us.

"Compromise carefully, very carefully."

It's not as if we can always get everything we want, because we can't. And a half a loaf can be better than none. On the other hand it is necessary that we heed what we agree to, lest, quite frankly, we throw out the essentials and are left with the frivolous.


In the final analysis, the only saving action was to send Reggie an apology. I did so on Tuesday with this email:

"It has been weighing heavily on me that I owe you two apologies and so I am writing this email in order to do so. First, I apologize for asking you to come over to play on Sunday night. It is obvious now that neither of us was ready to do so. It was, to say the least, a premature invitation. 
Secondly, I apologize that I acquiesced to respecting your limits. I shouldn't have done so. Instead I should have done what I am doing now, i.e., tell you to re-read my profile and when you are ready to experience full surrender, let me know. The fact that I repeatedly compromised on what I was seeking meant that neither of us got what we sought. I hope you will accept my apologies and that there will be a time when you are ready to become the dungeon object you so obviously (and desperately) want to be."

"Fear sets us up for failure. To fear is to fail."

This lesson came in a book I was reading on Monday. When I read it I knew it applied to Sunday night. 

We all have fears. Most of them, though, are mere shadows and imagery that abides in our minds without substance or basis in fact. Reggie, for instance, suffers from the fear that several past unsatisfactory scenes will be repeated. He really can't trust me. There are many ways for him to overcome his fear of me, if he would but do them. The most important one here is to simple ask me for a list of references and call them to ascertain my trust-worthiness.

His not doing so meant he continued to fear me in the dungeon and therefore contributed to the scene's failure.

"There are few bad scenes."

What might be called a "bad scene" can be redeemed by what we learn and, of course, "There can always be a next time."

Learn something today and have a great week. Jack

You can send me email at or visit my website at You can also subscribe to my blog at Copyright 2011 by Jack Rinella, all rights reserved.

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