I am terrified that one day, the light will be off.
I am terrified that the darkness will be all consuming.
I am terrified I will be forgotten.
*Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it? It sounds as though I am to be locked in a dark dungeon and left to rot. I am not. No need to dial 911.
In reality, I have an extremely irrational fear that the kitchen light will not be left on for me when I come home in the middle of the night.
Would it be the end of the world? No, not physically. Would I forget where I lived without the bright yellow glow? No.
But, would I feel forgotten? Overwhelmingly so.
The thought of it makes my stomach queasy and my anxiety spike.
It is completely irrational.
And yet, it’s there.
This is part of my rites and rituals that have developed in my relationship with Master.
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This is going to be a very frank conversation that will probably make people uncomfortable. My service has no religious connotations but there are undeniable parallels. This is not a political statement. This is my life, my beliefs, and my dedication to my service.
My hope is to simply relay how rites and rituals can be everyday occurrences and do not need the formal ceremonies flouted online and in BDSM literature.
While I acknowledge and respect the formal ceremonies of our cultural past, I stand by my beliefs that I can show the same dedication, and receive the same reciprocation, in a much simpler way.
Rite: a customary act, practice or tradition.
Ritual: a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone.
When I refer to a rite, I’m referring to the basic etiquette and expectations befitting a role within the dynamic.
When I refer to a ritual, it is the actions of deference and support.
While my experiences are from the eyes of a submissive, I want to make it clear that rites and rituals are relevant regardless of role.
The first of those is the light.
Master is a cautious individual who does not trust easy. He double checks the locks. He closes the curtains when the sun sinks low in the sky. He makes sure we are safe.
I work rotating hours that are often well into the darkness and long after bedtime for my family As such, I have a key to our home. Yet, he always leaves the light on for me and the backdoor unlocked.
No matter what he has done that day or where he has travelled to, whenever he is home before me, the light is on.
He knows I fear the night I come home to the dark. I have confessed to him and admitted I know it’s irrational.
He simply smiles, gives me a hug, and tells me it’s ok. He reminds me that he has never forgotten to leave it on. When I send him a text that reminds him to leave it on, because my anxiety is speaking for me, he obligingly answers me with “of course”.
He indulges me without making me feel ridiculous.
This is his ritual to remind me that he thinks of me even when I’m gone.
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I’ve spoken often in my writings about the mental fuckery I happily subject myself to.
I walk a fine line of love and hate with humiliation, degradation, and predicament play. I find my bliss in the pain of being torn down and rebuilt.
I always give a cautionary warning. You can and will fuck someone up if you aren’t careful.
My first degradation scene was ten minutes long, and the aftercare was double that.
He put his forehead to mine and spoke to me. His voice was firm but soft. He brought me out of sub space with reassurances. He told me that what is said in a scene does not reflect how he feels about or views me. He repeated it as needed until I could answer him and tell him I understood.
This was his rite.
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His rite led to the first ritual I ever asked to implement.
I asked to kiss his boots and thank him after every scene. It defined the end of our play and allowed my mind to separate the fuckery from reality.
The first-time life interrupted a scene, I did not have that closure. It left me with a severe drop. I had never experienced such a hard call back to Earth.
It hurts. It feels like you have fallen a few stories and hit hard on concrete. Your head is fuzzy, you feel abandoned, and you feel confused.
At least, I do.
Now, even when something unexpected comes up, and we do not have time to finish a scene, or do proper aftercare right away, we have a way to end the scene. It helps tide the headspace over and begin the transition back to reality until we can come together again.
**Those of you who would smite Master for letting aftercare go, must not have other responsibilities.
I have never been prouder of him as a person than I am when he drops everything for his kids. Even as they are grown, married, and living on their own, when that call comes in, and they need their dad, I will never put my needs before those.
I will snap into a functioning servitude. “What can I do? How can I help? What do you need?”.
Health and family will always come first.
In no way does this mean I am forgotten. We may not finish our scene, but he will check on me. If I have dropped, he will endeavor to make me smile. He will give me hugs and kiss me, he will invite me to cuddle or kneel, he will rub my back or slip his fingers into my hair…or he will ground me.
Grounding: today you relax. Today you are not allowed to do chores, or serve, or work. Today, we take care of you.
Only in my house is grounding a good thing. *Chuckle*. That does not mean I don’t hate it from time to time. Sometimes I cannot sit still, and I am as jittery as a ten-year-old with ADHD. Sometimes I must remind myself that I am not in trouble. But I always know it comes from a good place.
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As I grew into myself, I had preconceived notions of what made a good submissive. How to act, how to speak (or not), positions to learn, and to never, ever, ever make eye contact with your Dom.
This has been the hardest rite to unlearn.
You see, Master prefers eye contact. Unless it has been restricted, he wishes me to meet his eyes.
The most powerful thing Master ever said to me was that he can see the surrender in my eyes.
He can see when I am blissed out. He can see the shift to sub space. He can see when I am no longer present. He can see the recognition of him when I come back to him. He can see every emotion and every thought running through me.
From that point on, I have always wondered why restricted eye contact has become so ingrained in BDSM culture. You can be submissive and never fully submit. You can fake your body language. But you can never fake the look in your eyes.
**On a side note, I have been told it is both about respect and power. Eye contact can be viewed as a challenge. It also clearly shows your station. This is a tradition groomed through thousands of years and hundreds of cultures**
But, every story, every picture, every bit of media you see, always shows the sub with her eyes down.
I struggle deeply with eye contact. I try my damnedest to look past Master, at a point on the wall, so my head is up but I am avoiding his dark gaze.
Yet, he calls me out. Every. Single. Fucking. Time.
He does so with a quiet patience that I am positive I could never achieve.
He will wait for me. He will ask me to look at him and wait. He will watch me blink repeatedly, trying to get his face to focus. He will watch my eyes bounce from his chin, to the wall, to his forehead, and then his nose. He will chuckle softly as he tells me I am almost there.
And then he will smile when I meet his eyes finally. “There you are. That’s my good little pain slut (or piggie)”
The latter depends on the mood (maybe soon I shall regale you with the Piggie Tales).
This is his ritual.
He likes to see me submit. But he likes seeing me come back to him even more.
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When we think of rituals, they are often formal. Sometimes religious. Sometimes they involve many people. Sometimes they involve few.
To me, a ritual is simply an affirmation of our dynamic, our commitment. There needs to be nothing more than him and I.
They are meant to slide into everyday life with minimal disruption.
My rituals are fairly simple:
–I remove Master’s boots at the end of the day (relevant to days I am off or work early). I understand that when I work into the night, he is not sitting up waiting for me simply because it is part of our routine. That would both be inconvenient and restricting.
–Kisses always come in threes. The fact that I am indulged in my OCD, even though he gives only one kiss to everyone else, reaffirms his recognition of my needs…and my quirks.
–What’s His is mine. Sounds possessive…or marital, huh? What this means is I have earned his trust and proven my worth. I am permitted to care for his leather, and I am permitted to lay out and pack up his electrical gear. No one else is given such liberties.
–Parties, and public play events, will always begin with a change of collar. Once his gear is set up, and we are ready to open the doors, he takes ten minutes with just me. I kneel, my forehead inches above his kilt, my palms up and in front of me, as he places his warm hands against the back of my neck. He will squeeze the back of my neck, tight enough for my shoulders to drop and my eyes to slide closed. He will slip the clasp of my day collar out of its rings and lay it across my waiting hands. It sits across my palms, turned up in front of my face. I can hear the heavy metal on my collar clink as he removed it from his bag. He rubs the back of my neck and moves my hair aside. He slides it under my head and pulls it tight to my neck. It always makes my eyes pop open and a sharp intake of breath. He buckled it shut and adjusts the metals to his liking. He asks me if it is too tight and adjusts if needed. Then he pulls my hair back, puts his forehead to mine and stares me down. He always tells me that I am His. He takes the time to connect with me. When he is confident that we are both in a good space, he pulls the center ring, lifts me tall on my knees, and kisses me, three times.
My rites are odd:
–I will always kneel for the removal, adjustment, or changing of my collar. I will always kneel to remove his boots. I will always kneel when I need time and comfort.
–> Kneeling is my expression of respect, need, want, or emotional support.
–No matter where my hands are, at any time, they will never be in a fist. They will always be open because I will never intend him harm.
–My hair. Long and uncut, just as He likes it.
–I will always give him free rights to my mind and my body. I am his to use as he pleases when he pleases. It takes very extreme circumstances to hear an utterance of a safe word.
–My favorite rite and his favorite ritual: no scene will ever be planned. We play organically and react and adjust in real time, without hesitation–
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We do not have the space for elaborate rituals. Nor do we have the time. Its funny really. I am in several online groups, through various platforms, related to BDSM. All of them tell me that if “I am important, there will always be time.”
I am calling bullshit. I work a minimum of 60 hours a week, with travel time. I work a rotating schedule where I can work five days on, one day off, five days on, one day off….over and over again until I am a walking zombie. Somewhere, in that single day off, I must fit in my three partners, social time with friends, household chores, errands, hobbies, and sleep. Then, on top of that, I have to make sure my mental health is perfectly in sync and my body is not in pain from my job and my physical issues. Oh, yes, and our wives and children need to be at top form so that we can be confident that they will be alright if we disappear for a half hour or so.
And that is only from my side.
Then, you add those same stressors from Master’s side.
What happens with unexpected occurrences? Our bathroom was torn apart for a couple of weeks, fixing electrical and plumbing issues. Our fridge has started leaking so bad, we spent my day off getting a new one. With the lockdown from the pandemic, we had a buildup of donations and items for a garbage haul. When they opened, we spent our time getting everything transported.
You can read these as excuses. It makes no difference to me. But, it is our reality.
When I need time, and we don’t have it, I may kneel for a few minutes before I leave for work. I may ask to shine his boots, simply so I can sink into service. I might even tease him ever so slightly, so I can see that glint in his eye—the promise of retribution when we have our next moment in time.
In the end, I know that when we step out to play, and I’m waiting in the silence, with just the blood rushing through my head and the raggedness of my breathing, I have all the time in the world with Him. I am his sole focus and he is mine.
Everything else, beyond that door, becomes static white noise.
The world will always influence how we are able to express ourselves. But, it will never stop the continuation of our Rites and Rituals.
And, of course, it will never turn out the kitchen light.
About the Author
My name is Joji. I am 29 years old currently and I have been in and around the kink community about 15 years.I am a collared submissive to Magick42. I am also a Daddy to a wonderful babygirl, and have been for more than three years now and I find it very fulfilling. I am being mentored in and being taught electroplay. I am a masochist at heart and thoroughly love impact play, especially caning. I enjoy reading anything I can get my hands on and am a die hard Harry Potter and Doctor Who fan. I am also the secretary for a group in Idaho called Moscow S.P.A.R.K.E (Simply Providing Another Route to Kink Education). It is our mission to teach safe practices to those new to the community and give them a safe haven to ask questions and learn without judgement. We accept all kinks and all we ask in return is respect between all our members.