Submissives need protection…

Protection from what, you may well ask, and I am glad you did…

Submissives apparently need protection from the Big Bad Dommes (BBDs).

Really.

Why?

Because submissives allegedly can’t say ‘No thank you’ or ‘I’m not interested, strange shouty lady who is ordering me about’ or ‘Are you insane?!’ or ‘Piss off’ or anything of that ilk.

They need their Domme, or some other Domme (one who is *not* a BBD, natch) to filter their interactions, to make smart decisions for them, to jump in with swords at the ready to ‘protect’ them from the BBDs.

I’m not talking about when they are in naked, vulnerable and subspaced somewhere in a play space, I am talking about online BDSM sites and (to a much lesser extent as far as I understand it) real life communities where it seems relatively common for submissives to abdicate responsibility for their ability to look after themselves to this non-BBD in order to keep them safe from the terrible scary BBDs.

Really, why not just make some friends, you know, like normal people… and then… errrmmm… hang out together and look out for each other and give each other advice and… uhhmm… maybe act like grown ups who can take responsibility for themselves?

I really really wanted to keep this neutral and solicit opinions, but, you know, neutral is not somewhere that I live for the most part.

So, do you, dear submissives, need to be protected by a non-BBD so that the BBDs don’t get you? If so, why?

Are any of you dominant women a non-BBD who provides said protection to either your own submissive or to others? If so, why?

Or are any of you (ssshhh, I won’t tell!) a BBD?!! *gasp*

If so, despite my clear bias, I would like to understand and I promise I will listen and not go ‘Pffftt!! Rubbish!!’… not even once!

signed,
a possible but unproven BBD

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71 Comments

  1. No, they don't need protection from BBDs. It's all quite simple, really.

    If the submissive is not prepared do get involved, for whatever reason (don't see the fit, already in a relationship where this would not be permitted, or simply not interested), they don't need protection. No means no. No power surrended, no power to the BBD. Just step away.

    If the submissive is interested, they discuss with the BBD the terms of their surrender. If it's a fit, it's a go, and everyone is on their merry way. Still no need for protection. If this is what they want, this (and more) is what they'll get.

    I hope this provides a perspective on my take on this interesting question.

    Dymion
    Owned & collared by Goddess Selena.

    Despite the common fantasy of the worm serving the all-powerful BBD, there's no respect, and not much interest, for spineless subs.

    1. i think for someone who is new to the scene and unsure of meeting people. having a mentor and someone to advise is helpful and can teach newbys how to spot an actual dom, not just someone calling them self’s one. also teaching good practices for staying safe online and in rt. especially if the person protectong is well known in thier lical bdsm community and online community. having a form of solidarity i feel can never be a bad thing.

      However having said that I can easily see how this may be abused. but to say that the protectee is lazy, i feel is narrow minded. the protectee still makes thier own decisions based on advice given to them by a more exspirenced person or friend they trust.

      1. I agree that kind of help is useful (I never claimed otherwise), but to me ‘a protector’ is not the solution.

        Honestly, IF the solution for unsure newbies to be safe is to have ‘a protector’, how come newbie dominants never have protectors? How come newbie submissives are never protected by experienced fellow submissives?

        For me, this ‘system of protection’ just doesn’t pass the ‘this stinks of domism and stupidity’ test.

        It seems obvious to me that making friends like normal people and getting *their* input on *all the things* is a much more honest and forthright way to get that kind of support.

        Ferns

  2. Dymion: “No, they don't need protection from BBDs. It's all quite simple, really…”

    I agree with you… it *does* seem simple.

    But then why is it so prevalent? What is happening 'out there' that this appears to be so common?

    Curioser and curioser…

    Ferns

  3. “Protection” is nothing more than Laziness, or perhaps lack of interest on the part of one or both parties.

    “Stay here and be a good boy while I do other things … I'll get back to you”
    Just say the magic word (Abracadabra!) and the “protected” sub can now sit around doing nothing while someone else runs his life.

    A “Protector” is like big government. It's the enemy you don't realize you have yet.

  4. Miss Ferns, did the gentleman in your last posting *need* that blowjob? Or was it just something pleasant?

    That's how I view the protection thing. The protector is just a friend and advisor, but it trips their triggers to make it power-exchange lite.

    Besides the little frisson of control between protector and protectee, I suspect the protector really likes the idea that she is transitively controlling the BBD's. I've yet to meet a dominant woman who didn't like telling other dominant women what to do. :-)

    It's not something I've ever been involved in, but I do have some friends who do it.

    Respectfully, Étienne

  5. I can totally see that it pushes some people's buttons to feel vulnerable and defenceless… and I think that's fine as long as you're aware it's just part of your kink and you still have a mind of your own. If you've convinced yourself you can't make sensible decisions without your 'protector' then, well, you're probably not in the healthiest place.

    But having said that, I'm a switch so perhaps it's the BBD in me that keeps the sub safe and protected!

  6. I think I agree with Etienne that there is a sort of lite-kink aspect to the entire relationship of protector-protectee. I personally get off to the idea that there are hypothetical evil forces out to get me and that I have a Domme protecting me from them. It's a very early kink. In reality it would probably lead to some kind of weird paranoia, but it would be good scene I suppose.

  7. (Part 1 of 2.)

    Ferns,

    Precursor: I'm splitting my response into two posts because the blogspot software can't handle posts of more than a few chromosomes. How utterly ironic that a blogging site restricts creative writing with such Draconian aplomb!

    I think there are many drivers behind protection dynamics. Some I believe are healthy, others I'm ambivalent about (I have mixed feelings, but they seem largely harmless), and the remainder seem unhealthy. Most can function in either direction, from dominant to submissive or from submissive to dominant, and indeed it seems these often flow bi-directionally. Some examples:

    – Companionship and sense of belonging
    – Advice from an expert or someone you trust
    – Building self-esteem and/or sharing resources
    – Filtering ability and/or experience with BDSM
    – Predatory behaviour bad (protector unethically manipulates the protectee or vice versa)
    – Predatory behaviour good (you don't get what you want unless you make it happen!)
    – “Option was there to click” (extension of friending and/or collector dynamics)
    – Power-exchange light (per Etienne's post)

    When I read profiles and see “so-and-so is under protection of Uber Domme” or “Uber Domme is protecting her, him, them, and it”, this doesn't leave a good impression. My reaction is perhaps irrational given I think there are healthy reasons for such a chaining. However, I've experienced hidden afflictions and unhealthy support of afflictions enough under the guise of “protection” that I'm uncomfortable with the notion as a whole.

    I understand everyone has differing circumstances, but I think a prerequisite for healthy friendships and relationships is to somewhat have your personage in order. This means different things in different cultures, but in some way it universally means you've gained life experience and are in a position to make decisions from a place of solid self esteem. It also means you're not under duress to engage in a given friendship/relationship as your only solution for a problematic situation. Perhaps I'm not wording this correctly, but hopefully my intent is clear.

    (…continued)

  8. (Part 2 of 2.)

    Protection dynamics can validate poor decision making (despite surface presentation to the contrary) and can also provide fertile ground for vaguely defined relationships. Early in my explorations, I felt lucky that any domme paid attention to me. Many offered protection (often with strings attached) and I accepted despite feeling the influence was likely to be negative. I ignored my inner voice that said “don't do this” in favour of what I hoped was a path to becoming a more experienced submissive and to becoming someone's long-term boy/pet. In short order, my domme weltanschauung declined and soon I didn't feel good about myself either. The fact is, I was making poor decisions.

    In some instances, as with legitimate mentorships, I think protection arrangements can be positive. My spider senses tingle though when these arrangements are announced and marketed (as is the case on FL). I can't put my finger on what it is, but there's a component to the announcing/marketing that seems ill-advised. Also, I think it's important to note mentors don't have play and sex with students. Both activities put the mentor in conflict of interest and the student in a position where they can't judge objectively. Thus, when I see protection arrangements where play and/or sex is involved, my spider senses hit the red zone. A submissive asking a domme “will you show me activity X or let me experience activity X with you?” seems fine. Conversely, a domme asking “would you like to try activity X with me” also sits well on my radar. Add the “protector” label though and it feels like a half-defined relationship and an unethical mentorship. FL's “play partners” label similarly confounds me, but to a lesser extent because it is more clear – the participants are playing (which is likely to mean they're engaging in non-sexual play and possibly sexual play).

    I believe kinksters (and not just submissives) are best served being responsible for themselves. Some (kinksters) may find value in protection dynamics, but personally I'm not a fan for the reasons outlined. Of course, Ferns, were you the BBD in question… why would anyone need protection from a woman with beguiling “teeth”? :-)

    Elan.

  9. Everyone,

    About my comments regarding self esteem and duress, there are circumstances where neither baseline I described would apply or could apply. From the perspective of those engaging in consenting BDSM situations though, it seems self esteem and duress are useful metrics to consider. I've certainly gone into new, kinky situations under self esteem lows and feelings of duress, and this has never been a healthy place to start from… at least not for me. My apologies to anyone who may have felt marginalized or generalized by my comments. This was not my intent.

    E.

  10. I think ALL submissives should be horse whipped daily as a matter of principle (it's a joke people). But really I don't “get” the protection thing at all. Either you're collared and mine! Or you aren't. Same as the if you have problems with me contact Madam X….. Why? If I have a problem I'll deal direct with you not your owner.

    Coug

  11. slapshot: “”Protection” is nothing more than Laziness, or perhaps lack of interest on the part of one or both parties…”

    So, you see it as a Domme having 'dibs' on a submissive without commitment? “I don't want this toy, but you can't have it either…” kind of thing? I think that can be right in some cases, absolutely.

    “A “Protector” is like big government. It's the enemy you don't realize you have yet.”

    *laugh* Great line.

    Ferns

  12. Étienne: “That's how I view the protection thing. The protector is just a friend and advisor, but it trips their triggers to make it power-exchange lite.”

    See, *this* actually makes sense to me, but the protector-Dommes NEVER admit to this (ok, I lied, I have heard one woman admit to this, that she gets a D-type thrill out of it). Most Dommes, though, seriously seem to claim that the submissive genuinely cannot look after himself and the submissive seems to accept this infantilism.

    “I suspect the protector really likes the idea that she is transitively controlling the BBD's. I've yet to meet a dominant woman who didn't like telling other dominant women what to do.”

    Ha! Good point! And on the other side, I've yet to meet a dominant woman who likes another dominant woman telling her what to do!

    Personally, I will never never NEVER go through a Domme to get to a submissive… not ever EVER EVER. The very thought makes me roll my eyes.

    Three reasons:
    1. No matter interesting he seems, what is wrong with him that he needs a protector?

    2. I would suspect that there is a level of involvement there that I don't want to get in the middle of

    3. I will not 'prove' myself worthy of him to some woman I don't know, oh hell no!

    If he wants to talk to me, he can extricate himself from his 'protective' status all by himself before I will bother.

    Ferns

  13. J: ” I can totally see that it pushes some people's buttons to feel vulnerable and defenceless… and I think that's fine as long as you're aware it's just part of your kink…”

    Yes, this makes sense to me too. But then, why is it not just call it 'play partners' or some other 'friends with benefits' type arrangement?

    It is the claims of it as something lofty and patronising and the implication that the s-type is an incompetent infant that pushes my 'oh for goodness sakes!' buttons. Is he a grown man capable of functioning in the world or not?

    “If you've convinced yourself you can't make sensible decisions without your 'protector' then, well, you're probably not in the healthiest place.”

    And, this.

    “… perhaps it's BBD in me that keeps the sub safe and protected!”

    No nono…. BBDs CANNOT protect, they can only harass, scare, threaten, humiliate and damage the delicate submissive flowers.

    Ferns

  14. Arnaut Rosseau: “I think I agree with Etienne that there is a sort of lite-kink aspect to the entire relationship of protector-protectee.”

    Yes, I can see that, so then why not call it what it is then… a game, a scene, a roleplay etc.

    “…but it would be good scene I suppose.”

    Ahhh… yes, but that is then something different… and I can see that playing at it could be fun, yes.

    Ferns

  15. Elan: Thank you for your considered comment/s. I can see you have given this a lot of thought, and I appreciate your balanced and detailed response.

    “I've experienced hidden afflictions and unhealthy support of afflictions enough under the guise of “protection” that I'm uncomfortable with the notion as a whole.”

    I'm sorry that you had a bad experience with it, and I really appreciate you sharing. That kind of outcome (where protection can validate poor decision making) had not really occurred to me, but it's a good point.

    “…weltanschauung…”

    Kudos, I had to go and look that up!

    I can see the examples of protection you listed being applied, though of course, my response is that most of them are really just parts of normal relationships (even the bad ones) and do not reflect the concept of 'protection'. We seem to have a penchant for making up terms that make us more speshul than 'the vanillas'…

    “…when I see protection arrangements where play and/or sex is involved, my spider senses hit the red zone.”

    Yes, I agree, though I know many see it as 'along the path to ownership', so the term is bastardised beyond redemption. I don't agree with the concept as it was intended, and I certainly don't think highly of the concept when twisted into something else.

    “Ferns, were you the BBD in question… why would anyone need protection from a woman with beguiling “teeth”?”

    They wouldn't, of course! The very thought is an abomination!

    Ferns

  16. Coug: ” Same as the if you have problems with me contact Madam X….. Why? If I have a problem I'll deal direct with you not your owner.”

    Eep!! Don't get me started on this one!!

    I can never quite figure out if this is just a total abdication of responsibility on the part of the submissive (“Yeah, I called you a stinking whore, and if you don't like it, speak to my Mistress, it's not my problem…”). Or if they are somehow scared of the BBD who they might offend and who might go off at them (“Please don't yell at me, Miss… please… waaaaahhh!”)…?

    Ferns

  17. Étienne : “Miss Ferns, did the gentleman in your last posting *need* that blowjob? Or was it just something pleasant?”

    No, no he did not… but I *needed* to have his cock between my teeth. See the difference?

    *laugh*

    Ferns

  18. This strikes a cord, 'cause when I first started down the road as a submissive, I did infact run into several BBDs. Partly because I was desperate to explore, partly because I hadn't figured myself out, and prolly partly because I'm wired to do what a lady tells me I was pretty vulnerable.

    There were a lot of things I did that weren't smart, were not terribly healthy, were not something of value (I won't say “not fun,” because we all know something “not fun” can still be something of value to be sought) just because it was “What I was supposed to do.”

    I think there were plenty of times where a cooler, outside-the-situation head saying, “No, boy. I don't care if it gets her hot to keep you up all night for 3 days in a row. You work 12 hour days on your feet, and you need rest. And if she balks, I'll deal with her” would have been a good thing.

    That being said, I don't always trust someone out to “protect” others, just like the big government quote slapshot wrote. Any sort of power, especially when used for “good,” can get out of hand rather quickly and ruin the initial purpose.

    I was on my own. I had to make the decision to obey BBDs, until I hit a point in my journey where I realized… “I'm still a person here. I still have needs. I'm not taking care of myself.” It can take a lot of effort to apply this to a BDSM setting, but it's also essential to do. If I had someone running interference for me, it's possible I never would have learned to say, “No, I'm safewording” or, “Respectfully, that's a horrible idea to me, can we discuss?” or even, “What the fuck is wrong with you?! Don't talk to me again.”

    Of course, where there's already trust established to some degree, the guards can go down. My Mistress has to step in now and again, and forbid me from following orders given by a dominant friend. Just the other night, a friend of mine was trying to order me to stay up with her all night. Mistress caught wind of it, and asked, ever so threateningly, “You told her 'No,' right boy?”

    It's good to have someone looking out for you. 'cause it can be a scary place out there!

  19. C.S. While I do see your point. It's also your own lookout if you are silly enough to obey blindly something which is detrimental to you and your health. And really what kind of “friend” would give you an order like that let alone the fact you have a Mistress? I think you might need to re-evaluate your friends hon.

    Coug

  20. I was approached by a friend of mine, who in addition to being new to the BDSM scene as a submissive, was horribly shy, and one of those people that won't say “no” when they really need to…. he asked me for help in deciding if he should try hanging out with a particular domme since she'd made some flirtatious comments to him, and I gave him my honest, encouraging opinion. In the end, when he wanted to discontinue getting to know her, he was too cowardly to do so, but wanted to. It was frustrating that he was comfortable enough with me to say “no” but to a new person, he couldn't get up the nerve. He's been a friend of mine for years… and I've tried letting him handle situations like that on his own, while also experimenting with stepping in.

    In the end, I've listed him as under my “protection'' so that if someone has an interest in playing with him, I can talk it over with him, ask him what his true desires are, and if he wants to play, let him tell them so… but if he doesn't want to play with them, I can act as the 'bad guy' and let them know that he isn't able to play with them.

    I don't get off knowing he looks at me like his ''protector.” He enjoys being able to be honest with me though, and I figure that, as his friend, if it keeps him out of situations where he's not being pressured to do things he doesn't want to do, I have no problem being the one to say “NO” for the little yellow belly.

  21. Ferns: BBDs '…can only harass, scare, threaten, humiliate and damage the delicate submissive flowers.'

    Heh heh – that sounds kind of fun :)

  22. Ferns,

    — Heh. Apology slut!

    Perhaps. :-) Showing empathy for the feelings and situations of others seems like a reasonable way to avoid unintended disputes too.

    When I cut my thoughts down to the number of characters allotted by BBDNB (Big Bad Domme Named Blogger), the software still rejected my post. This is why I ended up cutting it in two. While editing, some diluting occurred and several of my ideas were lost, one of them being something we agree on: submissives are people who can make responsible decisions and form friendships just like anyone else. The “can't make good decisions; can't can't manage my psyche, libido, etc.” without a protector seems like a cop-out. I understand that knowing when to get help from others is a useful and essential skill, but having to go through a mediator when meeting someone gives the impression something is wrong, which it may well be. By all means use the resources around you, but there's no need to advertise this and, in effect, to have them become barriers for others who are getting to know you.

    I feel the same way about dommes who use administrative submissives (submissives who the domme is ostensibly not involved with, but who filter introductions on behalf of the domme). For starters, I'm not applying for a job interview and thus funneling me through a second party feels impersonal and is a HUGE turn-off. More importantly, if a domme is so time-limited she can't read letters herself or doesn't see reading introductions as a priority, from my perspective, something is out of balance. These things feel as though strings from previous partners aren't fully severed and/or that the domme isn't at a place where she can commit to a new friendship and/or relationship.

    — Kudos, I had to go and look that up!

    Originally, I'd written “weltanschauung (i.e. world view)” to add panache while retaining clarity. While trimming for “compliance” though, I removed the extra description. Perhaps I should have defaulted on the side of clarity, but I do so enjoy wordsmithing that has a broader palette. The fact you looked this up, well… that adds a lovely, though unintended, juxtaposition – sub helping BBD learn new tricks. :-) All of this said, just so I can't be fully roasted for pedantry, direct writing works for me too: “he kissed her hard, accidentally biting his own lip while focusing on the intensity in her eyes, as her fingers bit into the wet, thrusting flesh of his arse to bury his cock in the turbulence of her next orgasm”. Yep. This works just fine for me.

    Elan.

  23. Coug,

    — I think ALL submissives should be horse
    — whipped daily as a matter of principle…

    This is brilliant. The caveat that followed is really quite unnecessary. :-)

    E.

  24. Ferns wrote: “It is the claims of it as something lofty and patronising and the implication that the s-type is an incompetent infant that pushes my 'oh for goodness sakes!' buttons. Is he a grown man capable of functioning in the world or not?

    Exactly.

    J wrote: “If you've convinced yourself you can't make sensible decisions without your 'protector' then, well, you're probably not in the healthiest place.”

    Just as exact.

    E.

  25. C.S. Blogger,

    This aspect of your post resonates with me: “partly because I was desperate to explore, partly because I hadn't figured myself out”.

    When starting out, kinsters are often unsure and excited to explore, and are not quite sure what they're looking for. This can cause bad decision making or, minimally, decision making that will likely be considerably different once the person has gained some experience.

    But, here you lost me: “prolly partly because I'm wired to do what a lady tells me I was pretty vulnerable”.

    Now if you reword this as “I was so turned on at the idea of exploring my fantasies, I was vulnerable” or something of this ilk, that flies a little smoother. Lack of assertiveness… yes, I've experienced this in people. Shyness… yes, this too. But, the submissively wired modus operandi (as in “I just can't help myself that I bow to women”)… honestly, to date, the only place I've seen this is in fantasy writing online. I used to use the expression “intoxicated by kink” and this I've seen plenty of and I've been there myself. When you're intoxicated by BDSM, by the notion of exploring your fantasies, and by an enticing partner, it is indeed hard to say “no” when someone offers an opportunity to explore, even when the opportunity isn't a good one. Question: when a female clerk is rude to you, are you submissive then? What about when a woman steels from you or puts you, your family, or your friends in danger? Food for thought and something to think about at any rate.

    — I was on my own. I had to make the
    — decision to obey BBDs, until I hit a point
    — in my journey where I realized… “I'm still
    — a person here. I still have needs. I'm
    — not taking care of myself.” It can take a
    — lot of effort to apply this to a BDSM
    — setting, but it's also essential to do.

    This is exactly what I was talking about. We're on the same page. :-)

    — Of course, where there's already trust
    — established to some degree, the guards
    — can go down. My Mistress has to step
    — in now and again, and forbid me from
    — following orders given by a dominant
    — friend. Just the other night, a friend of
    — mine was trying to order me to stay up
    — with her all night. Mistress caught wind
    — of it, and asked, ever so threateningly,
    — “You told her 'No,' right boy?”

    Eh wot? You lost me again. Someone who has a job, a dominant partner, and friends presumably knows how to manage their responsibilities. Albeit, I understand it's sometimes useful to have a sounding board or guidance when making decisions. Perhaps that's what you mean here because otherwise my brain throws an exception (software engineering parlance for “an error”).

    Elan.

  26. C.S.Blogger: Thank you so much for sharing your perspective.

    “I think there were plenty of times where a cooler, outside-the-situation head saying, “No, boy. I don't care if it gets her hot to keep you up all night for 3 days in a row. You work 12 hour days on your feet, and you need rest. And if she balks, I'll deal with her” would have been a good thing.”

    I agree with a big chunk of this, in the sense that you would have benefitted from having a friend to provide that sounding board and reality checking type advice for you. In my experience, that's what friends *do*.

    That is very different from someone calling you 'boy' (with the implied D/s dynamic) and stepping in like you are a child. As you say, you NEEDED to learn those lessons, and it would have been helpful to have someone help you learn them a bit quicker, but it would *not* have been helpful to have someone to whom you could abdicate that responsibility.

    Do BDSMers not have normal friends?

    “My Mistress has to step in now and again, and forbid me from following orders given by a dominant friend. Just the other night, a friend of mine was trying to order me to stay up with her all night. Mistress caught wind of it, and asked, ever so threateningly, “You told her 'No,' right boy?”

    Now, I have to say that I have a different view of your Mistress stepping in and ordering you to do whatever for any reason she wants – then we are talking about a very different dynamic. She is the one in control, that's her right, and if she is doing it for control, for protection, for thrills, for fun etc, then that's up to her. But as you say, she expected *you* to handle it, she did not jump into the fray to 'protect' you from this person. That seems a perfectly sensible and wise approach.

    Ferns

  27. I am tired and not really someone who should post, period. *Ignores the little voice of levity and reason* Some people have too much to say and take themselves waaayyy to seriously. I understood the uncles that sat quietly *nodding* and *chuckling* when the newbies blundered. I imagine the thoughts that ran through their heads…

    Well wishes to All. I will nap, now.

  28. Chappee: A lot of what you describe sounds like friendship, looking out for someone, giving advice, and I think that's so so valuable… but on this…:

    “…if he doesn't want to play with them, I can act as the 'bad guy' and let them know that he isn't able to play with them.”

    I absolutely understand that you have tried to encourage him to be able to do this on his own, but honestly… does he then not need help in boundary setting and dealing with people instead of someone who will step in on his behalf so that he doesn't have to face up to it?

    Until he can do that, he should not be putting himself in these situations. In other words, he is not ready to have an adult relationship, much less a BDSM one until he can negotiate successfully, until he can set boundaries, until he can say 'no', until he can recognises things that are unhealthy for him and can deal with them.

    Helping him to do that for himself is wonderful. Taking that on *for* him… to me that's ill-advised regardless of best intentions (and I have absolutely no doubt that your intentions *are* of the best kind and well-meaning and I am not at all questioning them).

    Ferns

  29. I want to distance this from commenting on you and your friend, Chappee… this is NOT aimed at you, or him, and you do not at all have to answer in relation to your personal situation, but I still have these questions…

    To me, a man is either an adult who can handle a relationship *and all that entails*, or he is not. Why does he get a special pass to be a coward when something is difficult? What does he learn about himself when he has a pretty easy 'way out' of those situations? What does it say about him that it is ok for him to abdicate that responsibility?

    As a further stretch question: Why do we not see this in the vanilla world if it's an ok and normal thing to do? We don't see women stepping in (even if we put aside those with a suspect agenda) to 'protect' men from other women – we see female friends advising their nervous and shy and cowardly male friends, sure… but I have never seen it as an acceptable 'thing' that a vanilla woman would step in front of him and 'protect' him from having to deal with what he has to deal with. Why are we so special?

    We (generalised 'we' here) hate the stereotype that submissive men are weak and incapable… does this not feed right into that stereotype, and in fact, support it?

    Ferns

  30. Anonymous: “Some people have too much to say and take themselves waaayyy to seriously.”

    I, for one, am enjoying hearing people's perspectives very much and appreciate everyone's thoughtful input. If I didn't want to have some discussion about it, I would not have asked for it.

    If you don't want to add anything of value, then that's fine, but denigrating others for contributing their views is pointless.

    Ferns

  31. J: “Ferns: BBDs '…can only harass, scare, threaten, humiliate and damage the delicate submissive flowers.'

    Heh heh – that sounds kind of fun…”

    *grin* Yeah, I know! Between this and Coug's horsewhipping, I think we *are* the BBDs that their mothers warned them about…

    Ferns

  32. Oh Good grief !! I think this is a great blog !!

    I didnt realise that the world of bdsm was inhabited by many of these needy, irresponsible, non thinking, totally subservient, cowardly behavioural types.

    Seems I am wrong. Regardless of status within a D/s relationship several things ring true . The ability to respect and be respected, to stand on your own two feet and to be able to talk to another Domme/Dom face to face with equality and impunity and to be able to reject and protect yourself without running to a BBD :)

    I have yet to find any scary BBDs other than the beautiful, magnificent Ferns.

    Regards to all subrob

  33. “*grin* Yeah, I know! Between this and Coug's horsewhipping, I think we *are* the BBDs that their mothers warned them about…”

    Speak for yourself I'm a kindly old lady who just wants to cuddle them

    – hides the various implements of torture –
    Honest………………
    Seriously though there's a world of difference between being a BBD and a bitch which is something sadly that some people don't grasp

    Coug

  34. Geez…I don't check your blog for a couple days and BAM! 34 (or is it 36?) comments. You seem to have built up a following, which is good, up until you get so many comments that you're unable to read/reply to them all…

    Negativity aside,

    “So, do you, dear submissives, need to be protected by a non-BBD so that the BBDs don't get you? If so, why?”

    Originally I thought to myself, absolutely not. However after stopping and thinking about the question I've decided it would be in my best interest to say yes. But why you may ask?

    Because I just realized I've never actually met a domme in person and so to have a good one following me about trying to protect me very well could improve my chances of actually getting into a relationship with one.

    That said,

    Halp! I'm being yelled at by an amry of BBDs and I can't tell them to fuck off! Save me dommes!

  35. —Coug: You hit the nail on the head. At first when exploring my submissive side, I didn't realize the onus was on me to care for me. I do realize it now, and it's been some years since I blindly followed any orders that had even a hint of being detrimental. I've gotten very picky with who I play with and submit to because I was such a twit early on.

    As for the friends comment… I failed to convey it was a 3/4-joking, flirtatious order to stay up all night. I had already made it clear that I was going to bed as I had planned, and my Mistress didn't need to “save me.” If it's the fact that Mistress occasionally allows our mutual friends to give me instructions that's the sticking point? All I can say is that's just how the kink works for us. I apologize for misleading you on the emotional make up of my friends :-(

    —Elan: You did an excellent job tweaking my statements! Nice work reading between the lines, lol. Wherever you suggested what I was actually saying you've captured the meaning, and very close to what I would have written had I taken the time for another revision.

    As for <> I failed to clarify the context. It's not any time, any female, “Oh I'm a lowly submissive male let me do your bidding” that you point out is only found in wank stories or bad personal ads. But, more often than not, I DO have a biological reaction to a woman giving me directions, however slight, however inappropriate the setting (but it HAS made it easier to be polite to rude clerks!). It's not always a full on sexual arousal, but my heart rate will pick up, I'll become a little more focused, my mind a little more awake. To me that's being wired for it, but just because you have four-wheel-drive on a car doesn't mean you're always gonna take it offroading. In fact, it means being more vigilant about ones own behavior and NOT using it as an excuse.

    But I'm preaching to the choir…as I said, you seemed to gather what was between the lines perfectly, and I appreciate it.

    —Ferns: You and I are in agreement on all these points you voiced. I'm happy to see you were able to tease out the meaning I so cleverly (and unintentionally) hid. As an adult, one cannot abdicate responsibility, especially in a D/s setting. One CAN, however, enlist the help of others to face challenges. I see the difference you're drawing between “friend” and “protector domme,” and I get it and agree.

    If your question about normal friends can be rephrased as, “Do BDSMers know how friendship is supposed to work?” I find it an interesting point. I think there is a segment in the community that either thinks they aren't “supposed” to behave that way, or maybe they haven't made the connection yet. For my part, let me clarify my comment: I don't wish I had a protector domme, per se. Anyone objective, willing to discuss D/s in D/s terms (not, “Why should you have to do ANYTHING she says? That's dumb.” as some of my 'nilla friends have said) would have been great :-)

    You're also absolutely right in your interpretation of Mistress's action. I wrote it in terms of her “stepping in,” when that's really not what happened at all.

  36. Horse shit.

    People with too much time on their hands, who are perhaps lonely and need some kind of connection. Maybe too scared for the real thing. Who knows, but it is all play acting and nonsense. It reminds me of teenagers who like to create drama. The ones who want to have a 'relationship status' on their Facebook or they dont feel complete.

    I cant stand grown people who act like children.

    -MistressKimm

  37. I, as a submissive, had a situation like this once. A guy wouldn't stop hitting on me and I innocently told my domme about it (and why not, isn't is usual to just tell things to each other?) and she stared at me and asked: “Which one is it?” in _that_ tone, as if she was going to kill him.
    While I was embarassed that she obviously wanted to do something about it, I was also flattered that she wanted to establish that I was hers alone. In the end she didn't do anything, since the guy was gone by that time, but you get the picture.

    Anyhoo, I don't think we need to be protected by our dom/mes, but I think it sometimes helps to reinforce the feeling of belonging TO someone. It's the same when she says: “Look, that's _my_ girl there on the floor.” in a club.
    I can imagine that, for some, the protection-part is a part of the D/s experience, that not permitting the submissive to choose for him/herself who to say no to but to decide on what which person can do to him/her. A kind of role-play fantasy perhaps, of the poor defensive slave. Some people above pretty much got what I mean :) (Rousseau, Étienne)

  38. Ms Ferns:

    I can only relate my experiences and my thoughts, and naturally my thoughts follow my experiences.
    So I shall be perverse and give you my thoughts first.

    A. There's nothing wrong with a limited protector/mentor role when someone is just starting out. A wise Master or Mistress (Domme/Dom) who can give advice and possibly a few orders (no you will NOT try electrocution play with that fellow newbie!)for your first time or two out there in the “wild”. Someone to help you navigate your local scene, that sort of thing. Someone to give you some social proof.

    But after that, your cautions are well-taken. The whole goal of a protector should be to be like a mother or father or mentor in some ways – at some point the little birdy has to fly the nest. The person must grow into an individual who can make informed choices.

    Now, that being said, I think you are a bit hard on people. Not everyone leaves the world of high school or even college fully hatched. In my case, I was shy, socially awkward and religious in high school. My first kiss was in college, at 21. My first act of sexual intercourse was at 26. It's not that I didn't have choices before – one girl offered to go down on me in a bathroom when I was 15. But I turned her down, because at the time to me -it would have been a sin. And, looking back, there were clear signals of attraction I sometimes missed.The few times I asked a girl out I got turned down. There was no script for me to follow, and because I wasn't very popular I didn't have the best opinion of myself, yet I couldn't see faking confidence.

    So then you add the fact that while I'm a switch, my primary orientation is submissive. Imagine the shame of someone of my awkward social status during the 80's/early 90's in America. Before the internet. No car, no way of finding out about local BDSM clubs. I told you of the fun way I had to go about purchasing porn in those earlier days. So not only am I awkward and unpopular, I'm afraid that when a girl finds out my desires- well, why would she want to be with a freak like me?
    continued next post*
    Clarence

  39. This is continued:

    My first BDSM experience was with a pro. Thank God for my local “alternative” weekly paper. Still, I was so shy it was hard to tell her what I wanted. I tried 2 more pros over the next three years. Mostly spanking and mild bondage.
    Then came the internet. Liberation! I learned so much in a very short time, or so I thought. I began to meet people, joined two local groups, etc. Went off to New York City and found some Kinksters there. Understand that at this point I was 25, I hadn't had a real girlfriend yet, and I hadn't “went all the way” either. Needless to say I learned a hell of a lot of painful lessons. For awhile, I thought all Dommes were untrustworthy, and all women were crazy. I had no mentors other than “safe, sane, consensual” and a few friends mostly long distance that I could call/ or write for advice. And I didn't even know what the questions I should be asking WERE.

    Now, I'm almost 40. I've had to work hard to learn social skills and to learn thru painful self introspection my place in the “bdsm” world. I know now, what I would have done different THEN, but alas, there's no going back or worrying about opportunities wasted or hearts broken. I could have used a “protector” for a while. Someone who truly had my best interests at heart and would have recognized my weaknesses and perhaps warned me if they thought I was rushing too fast into something.

    Yes, I could probably be a mentor or protector now, because I have the scars to prove the emotional and mental battles I've survived. But I could have learned what I know now with half the heartbreak and in probably 1/3 of the time.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that many newbies would benefit from such an arrangement for a short period of time and that I don't feel you should judge a newbie to the scene harshly no matter what their chronological age. This stuff is well outside the mainstream and the mainstream mostly doesn't cover it in any real depth.

    Clarence

  40. subrob: “I think this is a great blog !!”

    Thank you.

    “I didnt realise that the world of bdsm was inhabited by many of these needy, irresponsible, non thinking, totally subservient, cowardly behavioural types.”

    I don't think it is… I think the concept of protection is more complex than that, and the responses here do reflect that.

    “The ability to respect and be respected, to stand on your own two feet and to be able to talk to another Domme/Dom face to face with equality and impunity and to be able to reject and protect yourself…”

    Agreed.

    “… without running to a BBD…”

    People seem to be struggling with the concept of a BBD… they are the ones you run *from* not to! FROM!! No wonder submissive men get themselves into trouble!

    Ferns

  41. Brids: “…so to have a good one following me about trying to protect me very well could improve my chances of actually getting into a relationship with one.”

    How would it help you? Many (like me) would never approach a submissive who was 'under protection' because of the implications (whether right or wrong)… so I am not sure how it would help…

    “Halp! I'm being yelled at by an amry of BBDs and I can't tell them to fuck off! Save me dommes!”

    *rushing to get changed in the phone box before dramatically coming to the rescue, cape flowing and stilettos click-clacking my imminent arrival* “Hold on Brids, I'm coming!!!”

    Ferns

  42. C.S. Blogger: “If your question about normal friends can be rephrased as, “Do BDSMers know how friendship is supposed to work?” I find it an interesting point.”

    *nod* Yes, it is, but also a worrying one if it has to be asked, no?

    “I think there is a segment in the community that either thinks they aren't “supposed” to behave that way, or maybe they haven't made the connection yet.”

    Aren't supposed to behave as friends?

    “For my part…Anyone objective, willing to discuss D/s in D/s terms (not, “Why should you have to do ANYTHING she says? That's dumb.” as some of my 'nilla friends have said) would have been great”

    Yes!! This. Why does this not happen? Why does it have to be a 'speshul thing' as if BDSMers can't just make friends and ask for or offer advice?

    Goodness knows, I befriend lots of newbies and I give out advice left right and centre (yes, hard to imagine , I know!), but I make no claim on them as 'protected' by me. They are friends!

    Ferns

  43. MistressKimm: “People…who are perhaps lonely and need some kind of connection.”

    Now this, THIS is a really valid point and I think more common than not – that each party wants to form a connection of some sort, but does not want to enter into a full-on 'relationship' or close down other options.

    If someone is just a friend who tells you what's what, there is no formal or special 'connection' and I guess that's kind of boring.

    “The ones who want to have a 'relationship status' on their Facebook or they dont feel complete.”

    I think this is Elan's point… about the ones (obviously online) who 'announce' and 'market' the protection… the publicising of it is, of course, a big (huge!) part of it online. I wonder if there was no public notice, would there be some who would then not do it?

    Ferns

  44. Clarence: “[…personal story…]”

    Oh Clarence, thank you so much for sharing your story. It is very generous of you, and I am sorry you had such a hard time of it – I do wish young Clarence had had someone to hold his hand.

    “I could have used a “protector” for a while. Someone who truly had my best interests at heart and would have recognized my weaknesses and perhaps warned me if they thought I was rushing too fast into something.”

    But but… that's not a protector, that's a friend! I do not at all question the value of this, but why is it a BDSM 'thing' of 'protection', why is it used in a way that implies that the submissive is a child, why is it not about friendship and experience and hanging out and having them help you get to know people and new things and new places etc etc…?

    “Yes, I could probably be a … protector now…”

    I LOVE this! Yes! Let me ask you this… Have you ever EVER seen or heard of an experienced submissive 'protecting' either:
    a) a new Domme? or
    b) a new submissive?

    NO!

    You know why? because:
    a) new or not, it is not acceptable to infantilise Dommes and
    b) there is no 'frisson', no desired 'connection', no 'play' in a submissive protecting another submissive…

    Both a) and b) then imply that some of the comments above are spot on… the goal of 'protection' is about playing at D/s. I actually have no problem with that, go wild, just don't pretend it's something else.

    “I guess what I'm trying to say is that many newbies would benefit from such an arrangement for a short period of time and that I don't feel you should judge a newbie to the scene harshly no matter what their chronological age.”

    I do judge harshly here, it's true. Not at all because I begrudge newbies a helping hand, or guidance, or advice, or any of that. I think we should *all* be prepared to help out newbies, to provide input and advice, and if we like them, we might even *gasp* become friends! But the idea of 'protection' totally rubs me the wrong way!

    Ferns

  45. Ms Ferns:

    Thank you for your kind comments. I don't know if I've ever put so much on the internet before.

    To be fair, the last time I was “in the community” was 6 years ago with my girlfriend of the time, but- While I've never seen an experienced submissive (though remember I am NOT a slave and I do switch) mentor or “protect” a Dom/Domme, I did see in a few cases them protect a fellow submissive. Of course when I say that, I mean “mentoring” and I don't recall all this protocol that seems to have sprung up over the past few years being used, but nonetheless there were cases of subs domming fellow subs who were new and otherwise asserting “you don't mess with my friend!”. And yes, in some cases play was involved but in a few it seemed platonic and very selfless of the one doing the protecting.

    Now let me mention “infantalization” and not the “diaper play” or “age play” kinds. To an extent while everyone we play with is an adult or near adult (with her mothers permission and presence I once got paddled by a 17 year old whome her mother was training to domme for a boyfriend), people do come into this with all sorts of levels of social and personal awareness. Some truly aren't aware of how dangerous things can be either emotionally or even physically in a few cases. They think it's just play, how could it be dangerous? I don't think treating the newbie Ferns with a bit of kid gloves would be an insult at that time, though now of course that you are experienced and fully actualized it is different. Think of newbies as rookies or teenagers. They need freedom to make mistakes, they need tutoring, and in rare cases they still need discipline or someone to at least impose order on them and give them a managable list of choices. They are still ultimately responsible for the choices they make, but they have to know what their true choices are. For instance highly dangerous play is probably best avoided by newbies ESP with OTHER newbies. Common sense, you'd think, but don't forget esp how younger males and females can be shamed into things via exploiting shaming language from their gender roles.

    Anyway, I'm not saying all newbies are as clueless and vulnerable as I was. Esp in this age of the internet, they often come with more knowledge than I started with,some idea of their place in the bdsm world, and of course a socially smooth Clarence would have had a much easier time in BDSM, indeed in life than I really did. My recommendation:

    A. Get a clue what kind of newbie you are involved with. Someone like me would probably needs more direct mentoring and it may or may not be worth your time to do so. But at least try to steer them to someone who could help them.
    B. People with 30 years experience in the “scene” are still making mistakes and learning things, so a bit of humbleness and an open heart towards others for their mistakes goes a long way.

    C. In my opinion for the first time or two or three someone who is new might be able to use someone who publicly proclaims their protection of them. It could scare off some of the users. You are right in that there is often more going on then necessarily meets the eye and that some people who've been “protected” for a long period of time might very well simply be weak or otherwise deficient in terms of fully participating in BDSM. Protection might be a “nest” but it also stunts after awhile.

    Clarence

  46. “I think ALL submissives should be horse whipped daily as a matter of principle”

    “BBDs CANNOT protect, they can only harass, scare, threaten, humiliate and damage the delicate submissive flowers”

    Of course, but do we get cookies with that?

  47. “Heahehaehaheehaehaheahaa… oops, fell off my chair!

    Ferns”

    Bless poor thing forgot her meds tucks Fern up back in her chair

    Coug mit der Perfect Arse®

  48. Ferns,

    Not sure if you're getting mail (and, yes, I know you've got a lot going on so no reply is necessary). Given all of this, I thought I'd post the following: congrats on making it to October. November is just around the corner. These are milestones I know you were a tad anxious about getting to. Warm thoughts and lots of positive energy going your way for you and your family.

    E.

  49. Clarence: “Thank you for your kind comments. I don't know if I've ever put so much on the internet before.”

    You are so welcome, and I am really glad you feel comfortable to share your experience here.

    “Some truly aren't aware of how dangerous things can be either emotionally or even physically in a few cases. They think it's just play, how could it be dangerous?”

    I am in total agreement… I am not at all arguing that newbies should not have help, guidance, advice, input etc… My point is *that's what friends do!!!*.

    Make some frigging friends, people!! Why is that somehow harder or less obvious than finding a 'protector'?

    Choose wisely, ask them for their counsel and help. That's what normal people do!! They don't go out and find a 'shield of steel' to step between them and the world.

    “In my opinion for the first time or two or three someone who is new might be able to use someone who publicly proclaims their protection of them. It could scare off some of the users.”

    I disagree with this, though I don't disagree with the problem you are identifying. It's just that I disagree with the idea of having a
    'protector' to save them. I would prefer they get exposed to the users, the BBDs, the 'scary predators' and have friends to turn to who they can talk to about these types of contacts and get valuable input on how to handle them. That's how people grow and learn, NOT by having das Uber Domme step in to 'save' them.

    Ferns

  50. slapshot: “Of course, but do we get cookies with that?”

    Yes, of course… Once Cougs gets her toaster oven, I am sure she will bake you up a batch… Kindly old ladies do like to bake, I hear…

    Ferns

  51. Don't like the protection thing, either, but I understand the reason why it exists —

    1. The submissive might want to be in a relationship, but being protected is as much as they're able to get right now, so they happily agree to the arrangement, or even initiate it. Ditto for the protector, who, I'm sure, wouldn't do it if they didn't get something out of it.

    2. If you're a guy and submissive at a party or event, having a respected dominant woman as a wing-domme will make you much less threatening and less creepy to potential female friends, playpartners, owners, etc. There are trolls, and they behave predictably at parties. Being with a wing-domme separates you from the troll contingent and gives you credibility with the people that you are most likely interested in — female dominants.

    3. Some submissives genuinely need protecting from themselves — they make bad decisions and make them often, possibly even more so when they are aroused or undersexed. Some people get off on “fixing” or taking care of others in relationships. Some people like being with someone who takes care of them so they can avoid responsibility for their behavior. Welcome to codependency.

    4. There are some scary people out there. When bad things have happened to friends, it was mostly with submissive women being harassed by male tops: unwanted attention, not taking no for an answer, unwanted touching, not respecting safewords, other creepy stuff. So someone who “protects” their friends from the creeps at a party can be nice (“Get the fuck away, she's with me!”).

    With the submissive men I know, the bad things weren't usually forced on them so much as endured out of fear of rejection, low self esteem, fear of failure, fear of appearing weak, and the fear that no one else will take them if they blow this opportunity. So they tough out a bad situation with either ill-matched or out-and-out bad people, sometimes with disastrous consequences. The responsibility here is with the guy, but I can see the benefit of having a protector around to help him think past his dick, and maybe choose someone more compatible.

    I've seen a couple of situations where the guy froze up because someone was hot for him, very aggressive and touchy, and he didn't know how to say no, but that's pretty infrequent unless I am at a gay male leather bar or in a space where the ground rules state that dominants are allowed to do that sort of thing.

    5. Having someone to say “no” for you is pretty convenient. Don't want to offend someone who is giving you “the look,” but who doesn't interest you in the least? Have the protector politely decline their advances as you give a “I would, but it's not up to me” shrug. You get to enjoy being desired by others without having to endure their company.

    iggystooge

  52. iggystooge: “[… reasons 1 through 5…]

    I see 1 and 2 as reasons for him to make some *gasp* friends! I see 3, 4 and 5 as reasons to look at ways to improve himself because he has some problems that need sorting.

    But I can't argue with you… these *are* indeed reasons that submissive men get a 'protector', I just think it's… well… stupid!

    Ferns

  53. Coug: “So basically Iggy you just use the Domme as an excuse factory?”

    Coug, read his first sentence again. The rest is him explaining the reasons he sees it being used, and I think he has covered those reasons pretty well, much as I think those things would be better addressed by another method.

    @All: I suppose in the end, I should be going “if it works for them, great, I'll shut the hell up!”, but what it says about submissive men, what it says about Dommes and what it says about how they relate bugs the bejesus out of me, so when I see it becoming some sort of strange 'norm' without honesty, I want to smack someone!

    Ferns

  54. Yes sorry I mis phrased it so it read badly. It should maybe have read

    So Iggy you see the protector as an excuse factory.

    Wasn't meant as a dig at you Iggy in any way

    Coug

  55. So, do you, dear submissives, need to be protected by a non-BBD so that the BBDs don’t get you? If so, why?

    Nope, can handle myself thank you.

    Or are any of you (ssshhh, I won’t tell!) a BBD?!! *gasp*

    Ha! could you see me trying to be a Domm much less a BBD?! lol

    Tagging your older posts :)

    Respectfully,
    brattyboi

  56. Now, however, if I feel I need some guidance or maybe some wisdom or have any attraction with or to a very intelligent and completely gorgeous older FemDom I may wait in the background watching fetlife posts waiting for just the right reason to go into her inbox and go “suggestion if I may please”. Yes, I may do this, I think I have been known to do this on an occassion.

    ~laughs~

    Respectfully,
    brattyboi

  57. A kink? Hmm that makes sense.
    A newbie, yes I think there’s a few uses there. I did that myself to a friend, and then he didn’t need it anymore, though it was more of a ‘feel comfortable at the party by knowing someone first’ kind of thing.
    Not everyone starts out from the most healthy place. Me and bf have each our own personal things, we support each other as we each work on ourselves. We’ve grown together, which is awesome, and kind of where we are at this stage. We are moving fast towards a more healthy place.
    Also, in our relationship, as in many vanilla ones, we ‘protect’ each other, in different areas. A very nice ying-yang. Though it isn’t necessary, just each of us expressing love in an accepted way by the other. We don’t need it, but we like it. ^^
    I do say, where there is vulnerability, esp of the sort s-types can face, I don’t see protection as a bad thing. Totally. If acceptable to them. Esp when they start out.
    I don’t agree with it totally, as its been detailed well on other comments. Power can be abused, or subby can be just hiding without taking steps to be his own responsible self, or can be turn off to others. Etc…
    But to me, the biggest, and perhaps baddest, aspect of this mindset, this activity, this way of living or playing, is simply a bdsm/ femdom cultural thing. Its almost like, its expected of subs to act this way. And perhaps of some dommes as well. Talk about unhealthy. lols
    SW

    1. To me, there is a big difference between being friends, looking out for newbies, sharing information, showing someone around, providing support, answering questions etc etc (all good things) and ‘being under protection’ which implies a level of ‘helpless submissive/all powerful dominant’ that bugs the hell out of me.

      These are grown men for goodness’ sakes, not helpless babies, and I hate that ANYONE infantilises them in some systematic ‘community-minded’ way or that people think it’s acceptable to do so. WTF is that?!

      /rant rave

      I expect I was much more reasonable above (immediately after I wrote the post and promised to be open minded about it) *laugh*. But the time limit on open mindedness has surely expired by now!

      Ferns

  58. “I expect I was much more reasonable above (immediately after I wrote the post and promised to be open minded about it) *laugh*. But the time limit on open mindedness has surely expired by now!”
    *coughs*
    An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded *sniggers*
    Coug

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