two paradigms, and domism

While domism comes in a lot of forms, facets, ways, places, etc, one particular thread of domism I tend to encounter a lot I see as tying back to/coming out of a particular [domist] paradigm. As such, I wanted to make a brief post about said paradigm.

The way I look at d/s and related things around it tends to go something like ‘various d-types, people who have interest in d-type things, etc, and various s-types, people who have interest in s-type things, etc, have their own various both needs and desires for themselves and things they want to and find it fulfilling to provide for a partner. Some people are compatible with each other in these ways, some people aren’t. Mutually positive relationships can be found through compatibility, care, and communication’.

Conversely, the domist paradigm that can show up goes something like ‘d-types have things they want, and s-types should give that to them’.

(Note: some people have ‘give my partner what they want’ as in fact their desire. To me that fits perfectly well into the paradigm I hold – that can be a desire people can have (which doesn’t in any way mean it needs to be their only desire, or a desire without bounds), and can be part of what they’re looking to have with a partner. My objections to the domist paradigm are in the universalizing and ‘should-ing’, not in the validity of desires that happen to fit with it).


[I know I haven’t tended to post fiction here, but.

Very unfinished bit(s) of a piece; set in a kind of cross between a high-tech-fantasy world of mine and BDSM scene things.

Narrator is male in my head.] 


Honestly, this is what I get for airing my woes to Marcella. Unfamilar city, time, nothing to do…

“Well, what do you do at home?” She was packing while talking to me, off to one of her concerts.

“I go to the dungeon.” Like she didn’t know.

She glances at the camera from across the room.

“Well, it’s not that small a city, I’m sure they have one. Just look it up! Anyway, I really do have to run…”

Once the video closed, the search bar seemed to stare at me like it was going to follow me around the room next. Not that there was much in the room. Some nights, the data hook is about all I could want, but some nights it really isn’t.

So, a search and transit and an entrance later, here I was.

{some time, events, and meeting a person later (first line here is not the narrator’s)}

“So, recap. You want reassurance about causing pain, I like painspells. You’re going to hit me with painspells and voice whatever insecurities you might want to, I’m going to enjoy myself and reassure you. Your safeword is cyan, in which case I should stop reassuring you and do something else. I use the same one if I need to stop reassuring for whatever reason. I’m otherwise not doing anything that requires a special safeword, so I say ‘not that much’ and such if I need to. Red and yellow remain as general emergency safewords. Does that sound right?”

I nod, then feel like I should be saying it out loud. “Yeah – yeah, it does.”

“Excellent!” She sits down on the bench and swings her legs. “Shall we start?” Oh god. But this nervousness is part of the idea, in this case. I take a breath.

“Yeah. Let’s start.” She flashes a stronger smile than usual.

“5 4 3 2 1 go.”

I swallow, breathe again.

“I’m, um, not sure about this. What if I hurt you?”

“You’re not going to hurt me. You’re using a very straightforward painspell, it doesn’t go high enough that it could do damage. You just demonstrated in front of the DM that you could can cast and control it perfectly well, and we just checked to make sure there aren’t any adverse reactions with me. If it’s too much and you can’t fix it for some reason I can grab the analgesic again and I’ll be completely fine while we sort it out. If you turn out to be secretly evil the analgesic will still work and we have a DM team right there to put a stop to things. They know how to deploy shields, protecting and containing. And if something does go wrong we have a great medical response record here and we will deal with it.”

I nod my head, memories coming up with the words. That was actually reassuring. Like to a rhythm, she taps her fingers up and down the strap of the analgesic. Across her shoulder, holding it in place on her chest for hopefully easy and intuitive grabbing, if needed. I’d seen it in effect just minutes ago, holding my spell while she tightened her hand on it, the spell doing its work to no actual effect at all. Which was exactly what should have happened, but still – magic was seriously amazing sometimes.

“But I mean – any time you see it, in history like – bad people use painspells. It’s always terrible.” She’s stopped playing with the strap, put her hand down next to her.

“That’s because of how they’re using them. It’s not an inherent property of painspells any more than it’s an inherent property of canes” she nods sideways toward the trio at the table “moving things around” another nod “or sex for that matter.”

{somewhat later, one branch of the story. (first line here is the narrator’s)}

“Cyan.” She’d exhaled and started untensing back when I’d cut the spell. With barely a pause she swings her legs down, turns, looks at me.

“You OK? What’s wrong?” I clench my eyes shut.

“Cyan. I’m sorry.”

“There’s nothing to be sorry for.” I open my eyes and she’s there, standing and keeping distance. Maybe a minute passes. I don’t note it. “Touch?” I nod, prompted to reaction, and she leads me back toward the bench, sits down on it next to me, pausing to telegraph each move before making it. “If you want to talk it’s OK. If you don’t want to talk it’s OK.”

Platform desires: versions

One of the things I really wish I could do, on both my fiction and my post writing platforms, is have versions.

Which is to say, I want to be able to post a thing, and then if I later on have a form of the thing I like better, or I make some edits, or etc, I want to be able to put up the new one as a new version of the old one.

In fiction writing, this is mostly a helping-me-with-my-perfectionism-thing. One of my major barriers to writing tends to be the feeling that I can’t write the thing I want to write well enough to do it justice, and therefore shouldn’t write it unless and until I can. But of course at the same time I’d *like* to write more, to let me do the ‘develop the thing by working on it’ among other reasons. And I think that this kind of affordance could help me, to know that I could do a thing and put it up, maybe with a note or tag about feeling more rough-draft-etc about it, and then if I ended up with a better version put that up in turn. (Which of course I might not and even very likely might not, but again, I think just the affordance/possibility being there would help me).

And, while of course there are ways that I could go do this without specific features for doing it, they’re not really something I like as well. I definitely wouldn’t want to delete the old version – I have loss issues, and I’ve also been on the other side where authors have made a new version of something and gotten rid of the old one and I’ve been sad {though I absolutely recognize this as their right, to be clear}. Meanwhile, just putting up the things separately clutters things and isn’t very good organization and to me at least carries inhibitions in that ‘that’s not a thing people do’ way. (Which I don’t endorse, but have in my brain and affecting things anyway). And so then I also feel that having this kind of thing available as a specific feature would help me feel that this is an ok etc thing to do.

In [blog] post writing, the perfectionism side of things is also there, but some additional others come up as well. One is usefulness for various ‘edited to add’ type things – elaborations, ‘I thought of more examples or categories’, etc. Another is mistakes and reconsiderations.

And, again, while there are definitely ways to do these-kinds-of-things as is, none of them feel quite adequate. Editing the post can feel like a barrier to action (again, to me at least) and is inconvenient if the edits are smaller and throughout rather than a paragraph that can be tacked on. It’s also not very good on the social aspect – someone could be super interested in a given post and want to know if more things related to it happen, and still the only way they’d see an edit would be if they repeatedly revisit the post. Commenting on the post might at least notify people subscribed to comments, but would get lost if there were a lot of other comments and unnoticed by anyone who doesn’t look at them.

Just making a new post (or reblogging the old post with new added content) again feels cluttersome, isn’t helpful for someone seeing the original (it’s possible to go add a link to the new one from the original, but this comes with all the general disadvantages of things that have to be done on top of the platform manually rather than being provided by the platform), and again carries the inhibition issue. And again, for me at least having the affordance feels like it might help me actually do the thing and feel it is an ok etc thing to do.

And, while this is one of those things where I’m largely first thinking in terms of myself, it also is in fact one of those things where I would totally be interested in the other side too. (Which – of course there are plenty of people who would never want to use anything like this ever and that is in no way something I in any way want it to seem like have any kind of issue with, and no one who wouldn’t want to do something like this should in any way do so). But, if some other people were interested, then getting a chance to see people’s process, changes, etc is definitely something I think would be interesting/positivethings.


Many pieces very I-relate for me…
(Also post format thoughts…)


the problem isn’t the hard limits and the clear noes and the senses of conviction;

the problem is the wibbly discomfort and the vague unsettled feeling that fails to yield to internal probing and the faintest hint of friction

it’s lack of real-time experience processing and the filter-barriers to noticing recognizing articulating a thought

it’s why-isn’t-this-right and just-wait-a-bit and but-normally-this-feels-like

it’s the tiny quiet hyper-personal accommodations and the Imposing even on those who want to know and it’s conflicted and changeable and Obnoxious

it’s always making room for and avoiding reactions, it’s cost-benefit calculus constantly and subconsciously and it’s

so uninterruptable.

(and then they say what a nice time that was wholly free of suspicion and when do you ever mention how the story ended for you?)

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Some thoughts about relationship labels, paradigms, etc (or, n-dimensional space, amatonormativity, romantic comedies, and sexist/gendered adventure stories)

Relationship labels in n-dimensional space

In thinking/noticing some things about relationships I have and labels recently, I went thinking about about the general situation.

One of the things I’ve repeatedly run into is that as a culture we have like five or something relationship terms among a very n-dimentional space (the axes/dimensions here being ‘things that can vary between relationships and could be used to categorize them’) for most of which our culture doesn’t give us much tools for really recognizing/thinking about/etc those dimensions to begin with.

Obviously, this leads to a lot of lexical gaps, a lot of words doing coverage over very large and disparate territory, problems that arise when different distinctions in the n-dimentions are important to different people (or there are any of a variety of other things that lead to people trying to draw their word-concept lines pretty differently and then running into disagreements).

Relationship paradigms and amatonormativity

I was also thinking about not having very much material to work with. As noted, we tend to lack the material that would deal explicitly with the axes/dimensions of relationship things – that might help me figure what various ones of them are and thus which ones might matter most to me, which ones feel right as category divisions, etc. (We have material for axes like ‘are you having sex’, but those are often not the ones I’m interested in).

Lacking that, a next best thing might be seeing what relationship categories someone else has and how they work. Or, since I don’t really have someones to survey, and also since people’s personal ideas are likely to have connections to social ideas, what relationship categories some other social relationship paradigms have.

As such it occurred to me that I don’t actually immediately know any.

A relationship paradigm I run into a lot, including often in the context of it being the norm, is amatonormativity. Specifically the ‘you have one sexual, romantic, life partner etc relationship that is your only relationship with those traits and also the most important relationship in your life (this is your partner, and everyone else is friends)’.

This made me realize two issues thinking more about this runs into in my head. One, in my head amatonormativity ends up at odds with the ‘heterosexual couples divide their time between passionate romance and yelling’ view of relationships, which I also run into in the context of social norm narratives etc (I can’t think of the proper term for this, though see Awful Wedded Life and Slap Slap Kiss for some relevant TV Tropes things). (Er, to be clear, this is not a disagreement with amatonormativity things or anything like that, this is just my particular thread of trying to think through some particular things and stuff that ends up in my mind.)

Two, amatonormativity is clearly not a consistently universal norm across time, and what might have been around at other times and how things moved is also relevant.

This ended me up with actually thinking of two particular relationship paradigms, which I then wanted to write about.

Two relationship paradigms

(Note: this is in no way me saying I know things about society or etc. I am not making any kind of claim about something being the case, having been the case, etc. This me working pretty much entirely off media, with the selection heuristic of ‘I’ve run into it and it came to mind when I was thinking about this’. All these things have way more forms and variety than I am going into here. The point of this is helping me think about things and it is not intended to be particularly more meaningful than that.)

Paradigm romantic comedy

(General sources: romanic comedies I have seen, which is mostly a few ones aimed at teenagers and stuff since I don’t actually watch romantic comedies. Romantic comedies I have heard about, read summaries of, watched trailers of, etc. Other media things).

You have a romantic interest/significant other/spouse/etc. (Using the categorization of the-like-five-words-we-have, they are your partner relationship).

You Have Feelings for them. You want to or are having sex with them. You are either on or, in a happy ending, going to be getting on the relationship escalator, involving moving in together, getting married, combining households, and having children if that’s a thing you’re going to do.

You might do fairly intense and intentional thing for your relationship. If you’re separated, you might go across the country to see them, end up moving with them, etc.

Your relationship with them is often very roller-coaster. Some commonly appearing relationship elements are general nice times together (more likely in relationship building stories), general miserable times together (more common in relationship-has-existed-longer-stories), passionate emotional moments, and high-conflict fights.

The core issue of fights is generally whether/how much one of you cares about the other (or both directions of this). Fights generally end via later demonstration that they are over and things have returned back, generally though something that shows you like each other. Sometimes there are apologies of gestures of apology, such as buying nice things for the other person. This tends to be gendered. You are unlikely to discuss the issues behind a fight.

You are often unlikely to go to your partner for support with problems, struggles, etc. (As a particular exception that might also happen, if you have a Central Issue in your life, you might confide it in your partner and they might encourage you.)

You also have friends.

You are likely to be in fairly common casual contact with them. You see (or are otherwise in contact with) them pretty often, but not with high intensity or intention. Most of your time together is spent either doing something else (if you’re coworkers etc) or doing casual nice things (like being in a coffeeshop).

You are likely to go to your friends for support with problems, struggles, etc, including ones re your partner relationship.

If you have a conflict with your friends, it is probably about :lack of loyalty:. You left them for the popular kids or other kinds of similar dynamics. The issue ends with you realizing you were in the wrong and coming back. You will probably apologize, but like the conflict, the apology tends to be fairly standard as opposed more specifically personal to you and them.

Paradigm sexist/gendered adventure story

(General sources: LOTR movies, Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes, somewhat older medieval-type fantasy and non-fantasy, etc).

You are a man.

Of very high importance in your life are your comrades (using the categorization of the-like-five-words-we-have, they are your friends). Together you do important things such as fight for your cause, go on important missions, etc. You give assistance to your comrades in times of danger, would go to great lengths for them, etc.

You are less likely to confide your emotional struggles to anyone. However, if you do, you are likely to go for support to your comrades and to older and more experienced mentor figures who are also among your comrades.

You might have conflict with your comrades about decisions relevant to pursuing your cause. If this happens, you might separate and pursue separately for some amount of time.  This generally ends through you coming together again.

The greatest conflict comes if a comrade betrays your cause. You will consider them an enemy because that is how it is, but will retain comrade-originated feelings. You will have a physical fight with great emotion and bury them with grief.

At home, you have a wife/fiancee/beloved (using the categorization of the-like-five-words-we-have, this is your partner relationship). You love them. You do or will have sex with them, though this is less likely to be brought up. You plan to or do live together and have children together if you will do that.

When you are away from them you feel longing/yearning for them. They likely represent peace, a reason you fight, hope for afterwards, etc.

Much of your relationship is likely to be in less verbal terms. You think of them as images. You express emotions by crying, laughing and running to each other, gestures of care, etc.

If you have conflict it is about moments of them not wanting you to leave. It resolves, likely in emotions, as you both know you must.

Your partner is also likely to have friends, who are people in a similar situation to them. They and their friends are in contact through the general activities of living, and might also visit separately. They are likely to commiserate together. If your partner needs advice, they are likely to go to their own older mentor figures. This is likely to be about your relationship.

A few immediate thoughts

  • One thing this immediately helps me thing about is what ‘friends with benefits’ (which could be seen as one of our ‘secondary’ (in the like-primary-and-secondary-colors sense, not the importance sense) existing relationship labels) means. Within a relationship paradigm, this is someone where your relationship has the tone and other features of a ‘friends’ relationship, but you also have sex with them.
  • The older mentor figure relationships appear in the second paradigm in a way that I don’t thing I see them appearing so much in ‘more contemporary’ relationship paradigm things.

Systems that do harm, psych important things, typical mind fallacy, and argument dynamics

{crossposted from my tumblr here}

A dynamic I think I’ve run into repeatedly:

There’s some kind of thing that, as it exists right now, does levels of harm. At the same time, some people get psych important things out of it (to be clear, notout of the harm aspect itself, here).

Some people *don’t* get psych important things out of it, might get psych important things out of the other direction, etc. They might themselves get hit harder by the harm, or they just personally run into only the harm, since as noted they’re not getting things out of it. They can also have some typical mind fallacy about this (generally on the ‘underlying, wouldn’t even consciously think of it’ level). So when they call out the harm etc, they can take the approach of ‘get rid of the whole thing, it’s just awful’.

People who aren’t concerned with the harm *and* get psych important things out of the thing or have other reasons to support it then often regard those first people as enemies and reject the calling out parts. (Depending on people and dynamics, there might be typical mind fallacy here too, there might be not caring, etc).

This then puts into a pretty bad situation the people who *do* care about the harm and would want it not to happen, *and* get psych important things out of the thing. They’re unlikely to be comfortable with the first group, who not only don’t give weight to something psych important for them, but don’t see it. They’re unlikely to be comfortable with the second group, who aren’t caring about the harm. Neither group is likely to like them, and they can get caught in crossfire a lot. There isn’t particularly much space for ‘ok, let’s do work re things that can give this psych important things and *not* do this harm. How can we do that’ (this can often involve trying to identify the psych important things, which can also vary between people).

And then there’s often a lot of really sucky argument dynamics, on overt levels (what you see in arguments) as well as not (who might not even be entering the discussion even though the topic affects them and they have a perspective and etc). And other things.

and/well given that a thing showed up

So as is pretty obvious again, I haven’t been on here in a while, again.

I had the intention of doing more crossposting of backlog from my tumblr, but as is also pretty obvious I in fact did not, and I’d like to be able to write etc on here if I want to without feeling like I can’t until I do that.

So, noting as such. I still have a bunch of backlog on my tumblr that is not here, most of the writing is probably at this tag, I’m not sure what I’m going to end up doing about this given that I’d continue to prefer to have things on here for organizational purposes but having things out of order would bother me too much to go for that, I’ll see if I can think of something, and meanwhile if I want to write something on here I can (which as always may or may not happen as that decision is largely made by parts of my brain I do not control).

(…my brain is really bad at ending posts…)