Authors: John Warren,Libby Warren
Entire contents © 2008 by John Warren, Ph.D.
All rights reserved. Except for brief passages quoted in newspaper, magazine, radio, television or Internet reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording or by information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Publisher.
Cover photo by Barbara Nitke, www.barbaranitke.com.
Published in the United States by Greenery Press. Distributed by SCB Distributors, Gardena, CA.
I will never forget the advice and help I received from Len Dworkin. He will always live in my memory, as will the memory of his lovely submissive, Michelle.
While all the mistakes in this book are my fault, there would be many more if not for the efforts of M.M. of San Francisco, Ally of Florida, and Kevin Damore of Oakland, whose editing skills and tact made the book readable and preserved the author’s ego.
Many thanks go to Mistress Margo, Lady J, Mistress Kay, Goddess Sia, Jack McGeorge, Frank Rinella, and Travis for providing an invaluable insight into functioning of female dominant-male submissive relationships. Tatu, a natural fiber rope enthusiast, has done a wonderful section on that specialized area of bondage that explains it better than I could have done
Others, without whom this book might never have been written, the posters on the Prodigy electronic bulletin board, the newsgroups soc.subculture.bondage-bdsm and alt.torture, the CollarMe website, the members of The Boston Dungeon Society, TES, Nashville PEP, SPICE and Threshold.
Warning and Disclaimer:
Readers should understand that all BDSM carries an inherent risk of physical injury, emotional injury, injury to relationships, and other types of harm. While we believe that the guidelines set forth in this book will help you reduce that risk to a reasonable level, the writer and publisher encourage you to understand that you are choosing to take some risk when you decide to engage in these activities, and to accept personal responsibility for that risk.
While we have diligently researched the information we put in this book, it may nonetheless be incomplete, inaccurate, or out of date. Therefore, in acting on the information in this book, you agree to accept its contents “as is” and “with all faults.” Please notify us of any errors so that we may address them in future printings.
The information in this book should not be used as medical or therapeutic advice. Neither the author, the publisher nor anyone else associated with the creation or sale of this book is liable for any damage caused by your participating in the activities described herein.
Foreword to the Third Edition
Those of you who have read the edition of The Loving Dominant that was published by Masquerade Books or its second edition from Greenery Press won’t find many surprises in these pages, although I do appreciate the additional royalties.
There are several new sections and I’ve greatly expanded a few existing ones. For example, the section on electricity is much much larger than it was in either of the previous versions.
The biggest change is on how to find partners. The original Loving Dominant was written at a time when the Internet was largely a thing of corporations, governments and universities. BDSM, when it was mentioned, was a thing of whispers and giggles. Today, we can be much more open and the Internet has changed the world almost beyond imagination.
References to S&M or Domination and Submission have been largely replaced by BDSM, an umbrella term combining the words Bondage, Discipline, Domination, Submission, Sadism and Masochism. While I have some discomfort with “sadism,” I feel it is a more inclusive umbrella and a more accurate representation than simply domination and submission. The shift in terminology has created a bit of a problem in language. To avoid labored constructions, I’ve retained “dominant” or “submissive” where it was appropriate even though the reference could apply equally to a “top” or a “bottom.” I attempted various semantic tricks like “dominant/top,” “dominant or top” and even the generic “player.” All of them did more violence to the flow than I was comfortable with.
I’ll also be spending more time talking about pure sensation players since I admit giving their interests an undeserved short shrift in the original version.
The happiest change from the original volume is that the DSM III, the learned tome that branded what we do as pathologically nuts, has been supplanted by the DSM IV, which takes a lot more understanding view of us whip- swinging perverts.
Aside from those modifications, most of the changes are either fine tuning on my part or a recognition that time has marched on, leaving some parts of the old book more useful as a historical archive than as a guide to what is happening currently.
Foreword to the First Edition
What is “domination and submission?” It is a form of erotic play that takes place when one voluntarily gives up some or all of his or her power and freedom to another for the purpose of sensual excitement. For most practitioners, it is a kind of chocolate frosting on the conventional sexuality cake, an enhancement and expansion rather than a substitute for the genital sex.
To many who indulge in its pleasures, it is a cathartic sexual game based on fantasy, a sensual psychodrama. Moreover, the term describes both activities and relationships. People, who take part in BDSM games at anything more than the most surface level usually discover that these activities intensify the emotional connections between themselves and their partners.
There are only two universals in the practice of BDSM. First, there must be a power transfer between or among the parties in the relationship. Second, all activities must be consensual.
In the transfer, one person gives up a certain amount of power, and another person or persons accept it. The individual who gives up power is the submissive, and the one who accepts it is the dominant. The amount of power given up by the submissive varies widely among couples and may be different at different times for the same couple. At one end of the spectrum, the submissive can agree to remain absolutely still and passive while the other reads a story or describes a fantasy. At the other end, the submissive can display rigorous restraint while enduring (and enjoying) the application of intense and varied stimuli.
This transfer of power doesn’t have to be at the physical level of, “You must do this,” and, “You can’t do that.” It can be on a much deeper spiritual level. A casual play partner showed me an ancient Hindu drawing of a couple making love with curved and straight lines, called chakras, that led from various parts of one body to the comparable parts of the other’s. She explained that they represented energy transfers the Hindus believed took place during sex. As I looked at the picture, I realized that during the scene I felt this energy transfer, but I hadn’t considered visualizing it in such a way. My partner, in some kind of metaphysical way, seemed to be sending me a force that I returned to her through my actions in the scene.
Consensuality means that not only has the submissive partner consent to the activities, but that the dominant or top also consents. The latter point is often overlooked, but it is very important to understanding the true dynamics of the relationship that underlies the activities.
Other terms that have been applied to these games are “B&D” (bondage and discipline) and “S&M” (sadism and masochism). The former is an accurate description of the activities of some members of the greater BDSM community. However, there are many who revel in forms of BDSM with neither a rope or a whip. Although the term S&M is very popular with many BDSM dominants, I feel that we would be better off cutting our ties with it.