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DEBUNKED — Submissive Bill of Rights

So it comes around again.

There’s this list of submissive bill of rights that is being posted again, with dominants urged to re-post it so subs will know where they stand. In doing so, they are encouraging people to commit a copyright violation. Not one of them has permission from the actual author to post it. No one even knows who the original author is anymore.

Problem is that not a one of them is a universal right. Every single thing in the list is up to the two people IN the relationship to decide and determine.

It’s not anyone’s place to write up a universal diktat and say it applies to everyone. Worse still, they copy/paste it from somewhere else without even attempting to personalize it to themselves and how they conduct their own relationships.

Some things in the list very obviously turn the dynamic into a submissive led relationship. That doesn’t work for those who view the dom as the leader and the sub as the follower, those for whom the sub is very much NOT in control.

Some dominants already have their way of doing things and the sub is expected to adjust him/herself fit into that paradigm. In this, the sub has whatever rights the dom wants them to have and does not have whatever rights the dom has decided not to observe.

If the sub isn’t okay with that, he/she shouldn’t get into a relationship with that dom.

It’s not appropriate to say BAD DOM!!! when a dom does things their own way and not according to some presumptuous list written by another person they’ve never even heard of.

Choosing for ourselves how we (meaning doms and subs alike) will or will not do things within our own relationships is our right.

So here is that list, points from it italicized. My responses are in bold.

1. Every submissive has the right to have their body, intellect, and emotions protected by their Dominant.

So the dominant is never to tell the sub what they don’t want to hear?
Is never to give bad news for fear of hurting their feelings?

That isn’t at all reasonable.

2. Every submissive has the right to choose the Dominant whom they serve…

I hope the dom has a say in it too. I’ve had a couple guys tell me they’ll be my submissive without even asking my input on the matter…or meeting me. lol One said “Make me your slave”, literally gave me an order instead of asking if I’d be interested.

I don’t operate from a position of the submissive running the show. Not as the submissive in my marriage and not as the dominant playing with others in the local scene.

…and take their leave without being subjected to physical, mental, or emotional abuse.

They may have that right. It’s almost never observed, however. That part is on the dom. Do the words on the page match how the dom actually behaves when the end comes?

Rarely.

3. Every submissive has the right to be cared for, disciplined appropriately, and allowed to feel pride in their submission.

Feel proud for bending over to get their ass spanked? Or feel proud to stand there and take a flogging? Feel proud to make a phone call that will prolong a woman’s life, against her own better judgment?

The right to be disciplined…the submissive has the RIGHT to be disciplined.

That reads as ridiculous, you know.

The submissive has the right to be disciplined. What if the dominant doesn’t really do that kind of thing? What if the dominant doesn’t use corporal punishment as a form of discipline?

What if the dom’s form of discipline for breaking rules is to release the sub outright?

Maybe the sub should find these things out before getting into the relationship, so he/she can choose NOT to be in a relationship with someone who won’t funnish them on demand.

4. Every submissive has the right to protected sex if they so wish.

So you expect that they’ll be having sex. What if the dom doesn’t have sex with his/her submissives? Does the sub then have a right to demand sex even when the dominant doesn’t do that in the first place?

I think the sex thing should be discussed before the two people get into the relationship.

5. Every submissive has the right to privacy if they so wish. No submissive may be blackmailed, publicly humiliated, or physically coerced into service without their expressed desire to be so.

The two halves of those sentences have nothing to do with one another.
The right to privacy is a separate issue entirely from blackmail and public humiliation (and this sentence supposes that being humiliated in private is okay, when a large number of dynamics don’t include humiliation in the first place). Privacy has nothing to do with being coerced into service.

The submissive has the right to privacy if the dom agrees they do. If the dom doesn’t give his/her sub that right, then I guess the sub better leave the relationship.

Another thing to learn about BEFORE entering into the dynamic.

6. Every submissive has the right to defend themselves from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

Again, this depends on the nature of the relationship.

I know a lot of people who like to be punched, smacked in the face. I personally adore being forcefully taken by my dom and told to shut up and take it. It’s HAWT.

Once more, this is that “talk about it beforehand” things. Talk about it constantly, continually. What was a no-go six months ago might be a yes now. What was a yes six months ago might be a no way man now.

We don’t talk about these things one time and that’s it forever. They need to be revisited frequently.

7. Every submissive has the right to consent or not to consent to sexual activities.

Again, depends on the nature of the relationship.

One can be the submissive in a cnc relationship without being slave. If in a cnc relationship, then they do not necessarily get asked “hey, wanna fuck” before the fucking happens. They might get bent over the counter in the kitchen and fucked in the middle of dinner preparations. That’s what makes it HAWT.

8. Every submissive has the right to seek refuge, counsel, and advice from other subs and Dominants without the expectation of sex, money, or any other service in return.

If a sub needs to “seek refuge” from their own dom, it’s time to get out of that relationship.

9. Every submissive has the right to a physically and emotionally available circle of friends.

And if they don’t WANT a circle of such friends?

The dom may very well control access to friends and family. If the sub agrees to that arrangement, then he/she does not have the right.

What if the current circle of friends is toxic and possessive and disapproving and replacements aren’t readily available? You know, because we don’t go to Payless and try on people for friends like we try on shoes.

10. Every submissive has the right to protect their own possessions and finances against intercession, theft, and non-consensual acquisition.

So never marry your dom in a communal property state.

And hide the pop tarts so the dom doesn’t steal them.

Every single thing in this is entirely subjective to the dynamic they have with their partner but reads like you expect this list to be the same for every person in the world.

Every single thing on this list is to be decided between the people in the relationship, not issued wholesale in a diktat.

Try this instead:

Insert the words “with me” into every line so that you are referring to yourself as the dominant.

1. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to have their body, intellect, and emotions protected by me.

See what I did there? You are speaking solely of yourself and people in a relationship with you and not applying it to EVERY submissive and dominant in the world.

It’s that simple.

2. Every submissive who wants a relationship with me has the right to choose me, rather than being chosen by me, and to discontinue that service and take their leave without being subjected to physical, mental, or emotional abuse.

3. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to be cared for, disciplined appropriately, and allowed to feel pride in their submission.

4. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to protected sex if they so wish.

5. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to privacy if they so wish. No submissive may be blackmailed, publicly humiliated, or physically coerced into service without their expressed desire to be so.

6. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to defend themselves from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

7. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to consent or not to consent to sexual activities.

8. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to seek refuge, counsel, and advice from other subs and Dominants.

This other part: without the expectation of sex, money, or any other service in return. Unfortunately, you can’t tell other dominants whether or not they should expect to have sex with the person asking their advice. you don’t have that kind of power.

9. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to a physically and emotionally available circle of friends.

10. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to protect their own possessions and finances against intercession, theft, and non-consensual acquisition.

See how that works?

Speak for yourself.

You’re not qualified to speak for every submissive and every dom everywhere

My own version when I am talking with someone who wants to be my service sub or slave:

1. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to hear the truth, even when it’s painful. I will be honest and forthright and expect the same in return.

See what I did there? I’m speaking solely of my relationship with my submissive. I should point out, however, that I am forthright and honest with everyone. It’s one of the reasons I’m so hated. I don’t coddle people or tell them what they want to hear. I tell them what they need to know, especially when no one else is saying it. Hence this OP/ED piece.

2. Every submissive who wants a relationship with me has the right to approach me to open dialogue about becoming my service sub or slave. A formal relationship will be a mutually agreed upon arrangement.

The sub/slave has the right to discontinue that service (request release) and take their leave at any time. I will not in any way try to stop you or talk you out of it. There’s the door. Bye.

3. Every submissive in a relationship with me has to take care of themselves. I’m not your mommy. Suck it up and be the adult you supposedly are.

If I have to discipline you, you’re not the sub/slave for me. I prefer people who know how to follow instructions and obey.

4. Every submissive in a relationship with me has to know that there will not be any sex.

5a. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to privacy if they so wish. I don’t want your passwords. I’m not going to read your emails.

5b. No submissive will be blackmailed or physically coerced into service. Period. I’m not interested in any of that. If you don’t want to be there and serve, there’s the door.

5c.  Public humiliation — is too broad a topic to be decisively covered here. Some feel being nude around others is humiliating. Others think being called fat or worthless is humiliating. This is entirely dependent upon the submissive’s personal psychology and cannot be laid out as a blanket clause.

6. No submissive in a relationship with me will be subjected to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. If you want a spanking or a whipping, that’s not abuse because you will have to ask me nicely in order to get it. I, however, have the right to say no/later/maybe if I don’t feel like doing it at that moment.

7. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to consent or not to consent to activities…until they decide they no longer want to have the option of consent. This can happen as soon as five minutes into a play session. Or never.

8. Every submissive in a relationship with me can talk to whomever they want. They do not, however, have the right to expect me to abide by whatever advice they are given.

I keep my own counsel.

9. See #8.

10. Every submissive in a relationship with me has the right to their own possessions and finances against intercession, theft, and non-consensual acquisition. I’m not interested in owning all your stuff. I don’t want an ATM or a paypig. I won’t ask you to buy all the things, or even a bottle of water for me.

See how simple that was? I turned each of those diktats into something that applies to how I personally want to conduct my relationships and how I conduct myself.

We should all do that.

 

12 Lessons of BDSM

Anyone who has known me for any length of time knows that I’m something of a philosopher. I have always been about the Why even more so than the How.

How is easy. Floggings and spankings and fucking and bringing a plate of food and a cup of tea and Yes, Master and doing my best to help him through a rough day, knowing what he needs to distract and offering myself for play whenever the opportunity <ahem> arises. This stuff has always been easy for me.

WHY can be much more difficult. Why is fraught with guilt and uncertainty, second-guessing and is this right or is it not? and should I be doing this?, am I this or am I that and?…Groups here are stuffed to the gills with the various questions of the Why.

Though the concept is not new to humanity, I learned of the 12 Lessons of Taoism through my x husband and David Carradine’s Spirit of Shaolin book.

Going through some papers on my desk, a fold with red ink inside fell in front of me. The handwritten list of the 12 Lessons I’d jotted down a long time ago and had kept in my wallet for several years after I moved here.

Reading them over, I realized how readily they applied to BDSM as practiced in the really realz world. As always, cyberplayers need not apply.

These are MY interpretations.
If you don’t like them, go make your own.

1. There are no secrets.

There are only questions and puzzles to which you do not yet know the answers.

I don’t mean you have to go ask questions in group threads and a zillion people will give you a zillion different answers and maybe have a fight over them. Not at all. You can’t trust that what you are told is truth and told by people who have real and practical experience.

I mean this stuff isn’t as mystical and magical as some might have you believe.

Anyone who has the inclination can learn and do any of this stuff, and it means for you what it means for you. Quite a large number of us have figured out for ourselves that we’re dom, we’re sub, we’re a little of both, we’re sadist or masochist…or both. Some of us find great spiritual satisfaction in what we do and others know it purely as physical pleasure and there’s nothing spiritual about it.

It is for you what it is for you. It is for you whatever it needs to be to fulfill you – THAT is the great secret.

There is no super secret society one must first join in order to learn how to flog or how to tie rope. There’s no super secret society everyone must fulfill all the requirements of before they can be called a proper submissive. That is the stuff of fiction novels.

Reality is that there is no one standard for anything. My House is run differently from your house, each according to its own needs and desires.

That is as it should be.

 

2. Follow the Heart

Let your mind have its say, of course. You cannot lose your head while pursuing this. But for a great many of us, being sub or dom resides in our heart. For a great many of us, it’s not something we consciously chose but what we evolved into as a natural course of becoming a mature adult. It is our essence and not something we’ve struggled with much.

Our heart has said “this is what you are.” We listened and accepted our innermost nature.

If it is who you are, then go with it.

 

3. Laugh at the cleverness of the Beast and the Beast will defeat itself.

I love this one. I employ it every time someone tries to insult me. I call myself a cunt, the cunt from hell, meanest bitch they’ll ever meet, thus rendering the words impotent when someone else tries to hurl them at me. I laugh at the words and the person. I laugh at myself. I mock them and I mock myself.

Those people have zero power over me and I make sure they know it.

 

4. Love, in the pain of its loss, is finally realized for the first time.

Over and over we see it. How do you get over the loss of the relationship? I can never replace the dom I had.

We rarely realize what we have until we’re about to lose it. I went through this personally when EW fell on the ice at Bryant Park in November of 2011. A little harder of an impact and I’d have been a widow. Then he was diagnosed with skin cancer in several spots on his face and shoulder and went through numerous surgeries – two of them quite dramatic.

Fortunately the cancer had not spread to the point that it needed chemical intervention. But what would I have done if he’d hit so hard that he had died? What would I have done if one of the cancers had spread to his brain and he had died?

Open your eyes and see the good thing you have and balance the good and the bad before you go chucking it out the window over a minor tiff.

 

5. Death Means Nothing to One Who Does Not Fear It

I’ve stood toe to toe and eye to eye with Death. Death backed down and I’m still alive. I don’t fear many things and I fear no person.

But I do prefer NOT to tempt Fate. You never know when she’s going to take you up on your offer.

I will never say I’m no limits. I absolutely have limits, and quite a long list of them. lol Some are there because “that’s just gross, man” and others are there because I’m not insane. But I’m not afraid to lie back for EW to do whatever it is that he feels like doing to me. I’m not afraid for him to take me wherever it is that he’s going to take me during that session.

Will it mean my death? No, of course not. No sane person is going to WANT to kill their submissive during play and no sane submissive WANTS to be killed during play.

It means I do not hesitate to put my life into his hands.

I don’t have to negotiate every time we play. I don’t have to put on a thousand conditions and limits in order to feel safe and know nothing outside of my immediate sphere of acceptability will ever be done.

Evel Knievel broke nearly every bone in his body but it didn’t stop him from getting back on the bike and jumping the next big whatever.

So a little wraparound doesn’t bother us. We go back for more beating. A little rope burn is no big deal. Next chance we get, we’re all trussed up again and loving it. The lingering sting from a quirt well-laid is a comfort we relish.

This is BDSM, people. What a lot of us do IS NOT SAFE! We are mindful of the dangers inherent in the activities in which we engage, but those dangers do not stop us.

 

6. You are your own greatest teacher.

So many ways this can be applied.

You can have ten people standing around you, teaching you how to use the flogger. In the end, you have to figure it out for yourself.

You can have a dozen people telling you that you need to do this or that in order to be a good sub or a good dom, a good whip artist, a good rope artist. In the end, you have to do the work and figure out how it works BEST for you.

You can have 100 people telling you that you’re supposed to like doing this and that and the other in order to be a valid bdsm participant. But if you don’t like this and that, then you don’t HAVE to learn it. You don’t HAVE to learn to like anything. Like what you like and learn everything you want to and everything you CAN learn about it. Blaze your own path, as EW and I have with how we go about our clothespin play.

If you’re sub and you don’t have anyone to do all those fun pleasurable things with, you can DO THEM TO YOURSELF! Teach yourself about your own body and what it likes and what it doesn’t like. There’s no need to wait around for some dom to finally show interest enough to teach you stuff. You can learn to beat your own backside, to apply the clothespins to yourself, to whip your own thighs with a quirt. To do needles on yourself and make your own designs on your own thigh.

There is this erroneous belief that everything bdsm must be a team or partner sport when that simply is not true. Let go your need to have that special One. You already HAVE that special one and he/she resides inside your own head. Let THAT VOICE be your Master and direct your hands and drive you insane with teasing and denial.

I assure you that the Master in Your Head is likely to be far more cruel than most you’ll ever meet face to face. lol

 

7. Kindness is cruelty. Cruelty is kindness.

There are a great many people around these cyberland parts who like to hold the hands of the newbies and make it all gentle and nice.

Then those people get into a real play situation and FUCK ME! It’s NOT gentle! It’s NOT nice! Damn it all to hell that paddle fucking HURTS! This is not the role playing game I thought it was.

“Butbutbut…I’m supposed to dictate everything and call it hard limits and he’s supposed to strictly stay within those lines, but he laughed at me.”

It is a cruelty to hold the hands and make it all gentle and palatable. It is cruelty to let a brand-new-never-done-a-thing-but-think-I’m-so-slave think they will have everything exactly how they want it at all times.

And it is kindness when a sadist delivers a most cruel and excruciating pleasure to the one craving that touch.

It is kindness to tell someone they’re dreaming an unrealistic and unobtainable fantasy that doesn’t happen in real life. They may not think so at the time, but eventually they come around and realize how blinded they’ve been by the ardent desires they’ve allowed to run completely unchecked. And they’ll go forth with a bit more caution and a little more wisdom.

It is kindness to inform a brand-new-never-done-a-thing-but-think-I’m-so-sub that, no, they will NOT get everything they want. Submissives do not get everything their way because theirs is a position of GIVING OF THEMSELVES to another person’s pleasures and authority.

That is the definition of “submissive” – to give authority to SOMEONE ELSE.

 

8. The Universe unfolds as it should – as it cannot help but do.

You cannot force an outcome in your favor and preferences. It doesn’t matter how hard you want something to work out. If you’re not on the same page as your partner, it’s not going to work out at all.

The Universe has its own ideas of how things should be and you can fight it all you want and not be able to change a thing.

People still get cancer. Lovers outgrow each other. New subs outgrow their first Masters. Students outgrow their first teachers.

It cannot be helped. It is as it must be.

 

9. Stop for charity, no matter the cost, and there will be benefit instead of cost. It does not matter for whom.

Define charity as you will. Issues of personal safety demand I not pull over in the middle of the night to help the guy on the road with a flat tire.

However, I would not consider all the people I’ve helped to be charity…but helping is helping whether it’s making sure someone gets on the right train or off at the right stop or donating a few bucks to the medical fund or helping them to accept the deepest, darkest reaches of their soul.

 

10. There are no prizes worth having

I find it most dismaying, this notion that a collar is a goal to be coveted. That being slave, the lowest member of any society around planet Earth, is a lofty goal to reach above all other ways of being.

If you make the collar a prize, which is more valued? The accessory or the person wearing it?

If the prize is being slave regardless of personal inclination and talent and low societal stature, then where is the value in the person as an individual?

 

11. Tie two birds together and they can fly – if they become one.

If you want to succeed in a d/s relationship (in ANY relationship, regardless of kink or d/s level), you have to both have the same goals, want the same things in life and out of your relationship.

You have to operate as one cohesive unit rather than factions fighting against each other for supremacy.

Both have to know and understand their place within the relationship and fulfill the requirements of their role. If you are d/s or m/s, one of you is the authority and the other is not. If you think the s side of that slash is the authority in the relationship and holds all the power, then you have more relationship and perspective problems than anyone here can help you with.

If the two in the relationship do not work together in harmony, if they only struggle against each other in a mini war, then both will fall.

 

12. The Ultimate Journey has no end – which is what gives it ultimate value.

Just because you’ve gotten into your most coveted and long-sought relationship does not mean that is the end of who you are and shall ever be and the end of what you will ever do.

Having obtained the relationship does not mean you can now sit back and do nothing. You both have to WORK to keep it. Work to please Master. Work to keep the sub feeling secure enough and happy enough that she doesn’t want to go off and find another Master.

We are forever in evolution. We are forever learning, whether we realize it or not. Who you are now is not who you will be in five years, is not who you were five years ago.

We take on new interests. We explore new pleasures. No relationship ever remains exactly the same from start to finish.

Neither does a person.

Dame Tyler

Excerpt from my 69 Shades of Crimson: The ANTI-Primer of Dominance and Submission, available on Amazon.