[Tom Allen] Consent and Sensibility

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[Tom Allen] Consent and Sensibility

Post by Tom Allen »

Most readers already know that I have a somewhat neglected blog over at:
http://vanillaedge.wordpress.com
In fact, some of you may have found this site through my blog.

I'm starting to section to be a collection of some bits and pieces that are too small to bother with blogging, but too big for Twitter or other microblogs. It's also going to serve as a collection of some of those posts that I've made here over the years; manly the ones that I've referenced for other people in answer to questions.

It's also going to be some rehash of older posts on The Edge of Vanilla, so if some things look familiar, there's probably a reason.
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Re: [Tom Allen] Consent and Sensibility

Post by Tom Allen »

Consent & Sensibility, or Is chastity all in your head?

Because the topic come up once in a while, here's an essay I wrote a few years ago. It's just my opinion, of course, but it might be a worthwhile read for both neophytes and know-it-alls.

Having solved the problems of world hunger, universal medical care, and corrupt politicians, it’s good to know that some people still have enough energy to tackle the really important issues of whether or not “enforced” chastity is an actuality, whether or not one needs a device, and what devices are serious enough for consideration.

At the moment, this argument discussion is taking place over on Sarah’s Male Chastity Blog, although this is really just another instance of the discussions that take place on some group or forum just about every freaking month. It’s kind of like the kudzu of the kinky internet; as soon as you think it’s gone, it pops up somewhere else.

So, let’s review a few things. As I’ve said a bazillion times, chastity devices are sex toys, plain and simple. Just like handcuffs, rope, or other restraints, they are equipment to enhance sexual, or more accurately, erotic enjoyment. This is not a paradox; except for extremely rare circumstances, people buy chastity devices in order to engage in erotic control scenes. Yes, the scenes may play out over long periods — weeks or months — but the essence of the play is erotic control of one’s sexuality.

Yeah, yeah, I know that some of you are ready to get on a soapbox about how it has changed your relationship, given you focus, made you a better partner, blah, blah, blah. Well, I call “bullshit” on that entire concept; what you’re describing is not the magical effect of the device anymore than Dumbo’s crow feather gave him magical flying powers (sorry, when you have kids, these kinds of analogies come to mind). Rather, I suspect that you, yourself have become more focused, a better partner, etc., because you’re enjoying the attention and you’re reciprocating in a way that fits the paradigm you’ve set for yourself (actually, since we don’t live in a social vacuum, that other people around the internet have set for you). You want to call the device a symbol of your new life? Hey, great — that’s exactly what those freaking wedding bands do. How well was that working for you?

So, does that mean that chastity devices are toys? Well, that’s a bit more complicated, so to avoid certain emotional connotations, I’m going to call them “equipment”. This makes more sense because that’s how we usually refer to other kink-oriented items; the word “toy”, while having a connotation as being something used for fun, also conveys an image of something that’s not intended for serious usage (fsv of “serious”). Hence, the snobbery of those people who sneer at anything made of plastic, who are in turn frowned on by those espousing the use of anything less than a full stainless steel Tollyboy (or whatever) belt, who are then dismissed as amateurs by those who have spent months of their salary (and months of fitting time) to own custom Latowski metal underwear.

And of course, all of the above people are dissed by the domlier/subbier than thou types who claim that nobody should even need a device, they should simply develop the willpower to do as they are told.

A pox on all of ye, I say.

Those of us who enjoy using chastity devices do so because it takes willpower out of the equation entirely. Does Mrs. Edge tie a ribbon around my cock to remind me that it’s her property? No. “Oh, screw that,” she says. “I want to make sure you don’t even have the temptation, let alone the opportunity.” I believe that this sums up the concept rather well; for us, the kink is about her control, not mine. I believe that most other people into using chastity devices have a similar mindset.

Having eradicated the kudzu set to rest the idea that it’s perfectly okay to use devices, let’s move on to the idea that chastity can be “enforced”.

It can’t.

That is, it can’t in the sense that between consenting adults, nothing can be enforced without some willing participation. There are two aspects to this, the emotional/relationship aspect, and the practical/physical aspect. Let’s tackle the latter because it’s easier.

Okay, I want everybody to sit down and take a deep breath. Most of you have heard this, but not all of you were listening, so it may come as a shock.

There is no such thing as an inescapable chastity device.

I want you to trust Doctor Tom on this one. I have been working with tools since I was a child. I own an entire machine shop. There is no metal that can not be cut, nor any lock that can not be defeated by the proper application of time, effort, and money. Stainless steel? Feh, I cut that in my garage. Titanium? Don’t make me laugh. Carbonite? Get real, that’s only in Star Wars.

Lock shackles can be cut with bolt cutters. Locks with hidden shackles can be drilled out. And there are very few designs that can not be defeated with a Dremel and a couple of grinding discs. Full belts with metal chains? You can cut the chains and wriggle the belt off. Without chains? They have thin sheet metal cutters that you can slide in along your waistband. High-end “trapped ball” devices like the Gerecke or Steelwerkz? A little tougher because you’ve got to work close to sensitive skin, but still doable with a steady hand and the proper tools. Lori’s and other devices that utilize a PA piercing? The area holding the lock itself is thin, and easily accessible with a small jeweler’s saw. And obviously, plastic devices can be cut or broken.

Now, this is the heart of the argument: If any device can be cut apart, then they’re worthless, right?

No. This is where the emotional/relationship aspect comes into play.

Having established that you can’t be locked up without your consent, let’s examine what that consent entails. In any relationship, and especially in a D/s relationship, we take on roles that match up to some script that we have running in our minds. When there is a large disparity between the script and our real life, we become depressed or restless — a symptom of our unhappiness. For an example, pick any one of the dozens of FLR blogs in which the men have been trying for months or years to convince their wives to “take charge” in some way. Those men who resort to “stealth submission” are, in some respects, trying to fit that script to their real life scenarios, and not feeling especially successful.

For the men who somehow manage to talk to their partners about chastity and orgasm denial, a lot of them write about their frustration when their wives or partners lock them up for a few days, then leave the keys in plain sight, or forget to lock them back up again, or pretty much ignore the entire situation. Message boards are filled with “How do I get my wife to…” questions. Consent isn’t a problem in these cases, except on the other side; i.e., men who want their partners to consent to some erotic sexual control.

But for those who actually have partners that want to play along, there is usually have a period in which the man gets accustomed to wearing the device for several hours or days at a time, and once broken in, the play starts. Sometimes they use a point system, sometimes it’s random numbers (dice games, darts, lotto picks), or sometimes it’s a pre-determined number of days. Some guys underestimate their ability to hold out, and begin begging for some kind of release. When they do this, are they doing so because they aren’t able to break the cage and have an orgasm? Of course not. This is simply part of the play itself. Chastity enthusiasts want to feel the loss of control, even if it’s illusory, because this meshes with the script in their heads. That’s why “enforced” chastity is really a scene. It’s extended, and it’s not situationally dependent (e.g., it doesn’t have to be played in a dungeon, or only on a weekend), but it’s still a scene, and a scene requires some kind of consent.

In these scenes, the devices have several purposes. Ostensibly, they are to prevent the men from taking control of their penis, presumably through masturbation. In some cases, partners have discovered that the device helps to ease their own feelings of guilt when they don’t feel like having sex; some women say that they would like a massage or some physical attention, and often feel like their partners keep trying to turn those circumstances into an opportunity for sex; the devices can remove the sense of responsibility (“I’m sorry, honey, but the two weeks aren’t up yet.”). Again, an extremely frustrated man can head down to his basement and cut the cage off to masturbate. But they don’t. It’s not because the cage is unbreakable, it’s because so far real life isn’t running too far off course from that internal script.

Yes, some men say that it’s because of their devotion, but that sense of devotion itself comes from that internal script. In some paradigms, they are bold, but subservient knights, willing to put up with personal trials to win the hand our their princess. In others, they are happy to see the script begin to modify itself (“Be careful what you wish for, you might get it” seems to be their motto). There are other paradigms, but the important point is that they all work as long as real life somewhat matches up to their script.

For some — I suspect most — men, part of that script does entail an inescapable device. This is why some people spend so much time convincing themselves that this or that modification will make their device foolproof. I can personally attest to having spent hours working out ways to improve my CB3000 resistance to pulling out. Some men will take it a step farther and get a piercing (as did I, although it didn’t work out well). The idea is as I wrote above: we want the temptation completely removed, we want to feel a loss of control, even if we temporarily desire otherwise at times.

So, if you have to consent to wearing a device, and if a device can be broken or cut off, how does that give you a situation that removes all control?

It doesn’t, of course. This is where our internal script has to depend upon the willing suspension of disbelief, just as any other Hollywood movie or Barbara Cartland novel does.

If your script considers your personal sense of responsibility to weigh as heavily as the need for a secure device, then your WSD allows you to wear, say, a CB3000, even though you know you could pull out and masturbate in the shower if the pressure gets to be too much to handle. On the other hand, if your script (or your partner’s) calls more heavily for a true loss of control, and you’re unwilling to pretend, then you start looking for something more secure. Perhaps you add a KSD to your device. Or perhaps you get a piercing. Or perhaps you do as so many chastity enthusiasts do — go from device to device, always looking for something that’s just a little bit better than the last.

This is why some smarmy people talk about deviceless chastity; in their internal script, they focus on giving control over to their partners through developing their own self-control, and willingness to forgo temptation. In their scripts, overcoming such trials adds to their sense of self-worth. Similarly, those people who are more serious about their desire for actual loss of control will seek more “serious” devices because it adds to the believability of the script. This is why fantasies of unbreakable, uncuttable carbon-diamond unobtainium devices are so common — a lot of people enjoy the idea of loss of control. This isn’t so surprising when you consider that in other types of scenes, whippings, piercings, cuttings, and other types of sensation play are often accompanied by some kind of restraint. By the way, this points up the reason that the deviceless crowd is so annoying — they don't seem to understand that there is a huge disparity in the internal scripts that we like to play out.

I should point out that in addition to using chastity devices, some people choose to enhance their sense of loss of control by using some kind of a contract. True, it’s not legally enforceable, but that’s beside the point. The contracts usually have clauses and stipulations as to such things as the frequency of orgasm (thereby giving some feeling of safety for men who might not be sure how well they will deal with the denial), and consequences for contrived infractions such as begging for an early release, or “unauthorized” orgasms (via an unsecured device, or for those occasions when their partner fails to lock them back in). Again, the contracts are just a way to add some realism to the script, by reinforcing the idea of relinquishing control.

So, the paradoxical question arises: Can we consent to a loss of control within a relationship?

On one level, I don’t see how that’s possible. One’s willingness to relinquish control is only as strong as one’s desire to continue following (or lightly editing) their internal script. As Sarah points out, if her husband decided that he wanted out, he could either physically overpower her for the key, or head into the garage to cut the device off. However, the consequences for this would probably mean that Sarah would be angry or disappointed, and might not be willing to engage in such play again. If he decided that he could live with those consequences, then there is really nothing stopping him from ending the game unilaterally.

So, regard for the consequences is one of the (and probably the biggest) reasons that chastity can be “enforced.” This is actually a point that reinforces the believability factor with the stainless steel devices and the full belts; the consequences for cutting or breaking one of those affects not only one’s relationship, but also becomes very expensive as the wearer thinks about breaking a device that cost hundreds or possibly a couple of thousand dollars.

So, any degree of enforcement comes down to a regard for the consequences of breaking the agreement (contract, tacit, or otherwise). Now, can we all get back to enjoying our kink, and stop arguing about it?
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Re: [Tom Allen] Consent and Sensibility

Post by Tom Allen »

"Do you miss being able to make choices about your orgasms?"

This is from a twitter thread I just had this morning, and thought some people might find it useful or interesting or something.

This thread is for @MidlifeKink as a result of a poll from @thumperMN . Because I've spent a long time in #male #chastity and #orgasm #denial, she wondered if I missed being able to make choices about my own orgasms.

It's complicated. Back when we were dating, I was def more switchy, and just enjoyed some BDSMy kinds of things. Mrs Edge def did not like being restrained, etc., but she did like having the control, so I learned to enjoy that.

Over time, I became disappointed that she really didn't have any interest in doing those fun little things (handcuffs, blindfolds, tie downs, etc.). It was confusing because on the rare occasions, she seemed to enjoy it, but not enough to do it again.

We hit a period where it affected even our vanilla sex life. In reconciling, she mentioned offhand that the only thing she found exciting were some of the home built cock cages that I had made. The idea of having the final say was exciting to her.

I showed her a picture of the CB3000, and she said "You have got to get one of those!" As it happened, I had already bought one a couple of months previously to experiment with. She demanded that I get the keys and put it on for her.

That started a period of us (but mostly her) experimenting with what she felt comfortable with. Took a few years, but turned out that what she liked was really, really long lockups. Weeks. Months. More months.

She grew very comfortable with me wearing a harness and dildo (Terra Firma with a Vixskin Tex, since people will ask), and eventually decided that she did not feel guilty in denying my orgasms. So, at some point, this became the "new normal" in our marriage.

On my end, it was... different. Denial was not my kink of choice, but since it seemed to be the *only* kink that Mrs Edge was comfortable with, I decided to go with it. I tried a few different cages, but my modded CB3000 was the most comfortable.

Over time, I grew to appreciate, and then enjoy the constant, warm, low-level simmer of erotic orgasm denial. It felt like I was on the verge of boiling over all the time. On one hand, I wanted to come, but on the other, I didn't want to lose the warm internal glow.

We played at this on and off for years, and each time, having her lock on the cage made me feel energized. We would tease each other about making it permanent, which would only drive her into longer and longer lockup periods. And I began to look forward to them.

Almost every time, those periods would end when a plastic piece of a cage broke. I finally tried some of those inexpensive Chinese ones, with an eye to getting a custom one made. I stumbled across one called the A272, which turned out to be the most comfortable and convenient.

So then I was in a cage that was, essentially, unbreakable. The teasing about "making it permanent" took on a note of reality that was missing with the plastic cages.

My birthday, anniversary, Xmas, NYE, and other holidays passed, and became a full year.
Mrs Edge, who had once said that she had considered giving me an orgasm after a year, said that she was fine to keep going.

I was still enjoying the simmer (yes, even after 20 years). Our intimate life was the best it had been in years.

I agreed to keep going.

So, now it's another year passed. I have not lost the desire for an orgasm. I wake up almost every day wanting one.

But I've come to realize that it's the desire to have an orgasm that fuels the warm, simmer that I have. If I had no desire, there would be no ache.
Along the same lines, if I could make that decision at any time to have one, then I'd probably choose to have one frequently, or at least sometimes. So I've also come to realize that not having a choice also fuels the simmer. With a choice, there's no frustration.

So, do I miss being able to make choices about having them? At times I do, but I also understand that not having the choice (unless I decide to stop playing) is what makes things hot overall for me, and for Mrs Edge.

Mrs Edge has gotten to a point where she thinks that she really would like this to go on forever, and that she would be disappointed if I wanted to stop. Since my abdicating choice to her is part of what makes things hot for the both of us, I can live with this.

I miss not being able to make the choice *in the moment,* but when I step back for the bigger picture, I'm content in not being able to.

This was a long thread to get to that last paragraph, wasn't it?

For those of you who are on Twitter, the thread and interspersed comments and replies can be found here:
https://twitter.com/taomlin/status/1227984221353975808
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Re: [Tom Allen] Consent and Sensibility

Post by Tom Allen »

Re: Hot dildo sex

So, if you’re having trouble introducing a dildo to your significant other perhaps you need to put more thought into what you’ve purchased (by the way bigger isn’t better usually past a certain point) and whether the process is real or not.
It's funny that I've been working on a blog post about this very thing - and I'm surprised that I haven't written about it before, or that few other people seem to have done so.

Dildos are going to be room temp (64º to 72º F) in a drawer, which doesn't feel cold... until you put them next to or into a 98º body. Same thing with lube (if you use that).

I have an old Thermos mug with a base that's too large for the cup holders in my car. If there's a chance of talking Mrs Edge into a little nookie, I fill it with the hottest water out of the tap, and submerge my Vixskin replacement. After a little while, the temperatures will normalize, leaving the silicone fairly close to body temp - and sometimes just a few degrees warrmer, which sends Mrs Edge over the, err, edge pretty quickly.

And if you have a large bottle of lube, instead of heating up the entire thing, put just a couple ounces in a TSA travel sized container, and place it in a cup of warm water. It will heave up more quickly, and the smaller bottle is easier to manage in bed.

Also, if cleanup is an issue, wave a warm towel or two already at the bedside. Or put a larger bathtowel on the bed, and use that as your staging area. You can wipe your hands, and clean up by whisking the towel off, then drift off to sleep.

And I can't stress enough that a really good dildo will look and feel much better than those $20 "adult toys" that are commonly sold all over. I can't say enough good things about the Vixskin, and it's lasted for years. I clean it with anti-bacterial soap before and after, and let it dry in a loosely wrapped cotton cloth.

Likewise, get a good harness that has 2 straps going underneath you, so you can put them on either side of the cage, and allow the "replacement" to ride lower on your hips for a more natural feel.

We've got this down to a fine art, and Mrs Edge could tell you that she now considers it more of an upgrade than a replacement. Hmm...

Edit: Equipment Links

https://www.stockroom.com/terra-firma-d ... ess-r.html

https://vixen-creations.myshopify.com/p ... 1662821956
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Re: [Tom Allen] Consent and Sensibility

Post by Tom Allen »

Since I've started using a thermos mug (instead of just a bowl or regular mug), the vixskin has gone from "good" to "awesome" for Mrs Edge. Last week, out of curiosity, I did a temperature test. Using just a tall mug of hot water, after a half hour the water temp went from 130º F (from the tap) down to 95º after an hour. In the thermos, it went down to 120º and stayed there. While the vixskin is not a good heat conductor, it allowed it to get up to 110º, making it noticeably warmer than body temperature, but not too hot.

By putting the vixskin into the thermos much and letting the temperature normalize for 15-20 minutes, and then refreshing the hot water again, the entire contents remained at 120º. This seems to be a sweet spot for Mrs Edge, because she can feel the warmth internally. I suspected this for a while, but I found an old thermometer for testing solution temps (from when I used to do actual film photography), and did the actual measurements.

Mrs Edge found this amusing, but ultimately, all she cared about was that it's been feeling absolutely wonderful lately, and has repeatedly said that all these improvements have just made it more obvious that not only is the vixskin a replacement, it's an upgrade.
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Re: [Tom Allen] Consent and Sensibility

Post by Tom Allen »

"This is permanent arrangement now."


My wife and I usually play long term, and I've had the CBX devices, I've made metal parts for them, I've worn The Fort, and more recently I've been using a stainless steel Chinese device; each device has been more unbreakable and secure than the previous.

Several times over the last two or three years, I've had dreams in which Mrs Edge orders (or has me order), and subsequently locks me into a full stainless steel belt, sometimes a Latowski-ish, other times more like a CS-100, but always a full style belt, going around my waist. In the dreams she tells me that this will be a permanent arrangement. I know (in the dream) that I won't be able to "cheat" the belt by having a ruined orgasm in it, the way I sometimes can (or the way Mrs will sometimes force it along) while wearing the cages.

I usually wake up from these dreams feeling *very* anxious (it's the word I've used to describe it to her). I'm not having a panic attack, but the anxiety that I feel is probably a factor of feeling a loss of control.

Interestingly, in our waking lives, we both find the idea of permanent chastity and denial very hot, so I'm not sure why I get anxious and nervous in the dreams. I have them every few months, and have not seen any pattern to when or why.
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Re: [Tom Allen] Consent and Sensibility

Post by Tom Allen »

TwistedMister wrote: ↑Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:11 am
I wonder if the dreams would stop, if she did indeed announce that it is a 'permanent arrangement'.
I'm revisiting this because I realized that ever since we seem to be moving into a permanent arrangement, I have not had any dreams like what I've mentioned.

Oddly, though, I did have a few recently about getting a titanium device that needed to be surgically implanted, and would not be able to be removed. But I don't remember waking up with feelings of anxiety.
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Re: [Tom Allen] Consent and Sensibility

Post by Tom Allen »

Oh, Tumblr

Since the Great Tumblr Purge of Dec 2018, my own blogs have been marked explicit and hidden, and the one SFW blog with the captions has been up and down as Tumblr AI finds nipples were there were none, or hints of nipples, or has deemed various things inappropriate.

Anyhow, they took down my entire account, my main blog and several sub-accounts, including the Mrs Edge Says caption blog. The part that others me is that there was no warning, no explanation, no opportunity for me to correct something.

So, while the Tumblr app was convenient, and the followers were still there giving feedback, I'm done arguing, and I'm no longer in the mood to worry about if an accidental nipple view is going to ruin months of work. ILast year when something similar happened, I exported my Tumblr to WordPress. I'm going to use that blog to start reblogging the captions, and just stop worrying. WP doesn't want graphic imagines, but on the other hand, neither do I. And they seem more forgiving about nipples showing through a tee shirt.

I've got over 1500 pictures saved to my phone SD card, so at least I can upload original content, instead of just reblogs.

Anyhow, the new site for captioned pictues is:
http://MrsEdgeSays.wordpress.com
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Re: [Tom Allen] Consent and Sensibility

Post by Schnoff »

Woot! Also, if Wordpress ever balks, you can take your site and self host it on Wordpress code, which is literally 3.50/month with OVH. That way, you are not bound by Wordpress’ content restrictions.

For reference: That badger infested basement is at https://www.ovh.com/world/vps/vps-ssd.xml. Ability to follow Wordpress installation instructions on Ubuntu Linux required; actual admin level knowledge of Linux not required.
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Re: [Tom Allen] Consent and Sensibility

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Do you have a link for that? All I see are "business solutions." I'd just be looking for a private web hosting service with some low level traffic.

NVM, found it. It was in a locked filing cabinet in the basement, with a sign saying "Beware of badgers"
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