Erotica & Consent


I used to assume that the kind of man who would be deeply interested in domestic discipline (DD) or D/s, would essentially be “that person” regardless of who they were around. 

As an example, I read domestic discipline erotica about a new wife coming in from being with her friends at 3am, completely wasted – and how she was punished. 

  • Because they had a pre-established DD relationship dynamic? No.
  • Because they agreed that she needed permission to drink alcohol? No.
  • Because they at least had some vague agreement that she could be punished for doing dangerous things? No.
  • Why? Just because he was the type of man who wanted to be the head of the household or (Aka Dom in the straightforward D/s world).

She typically starts out shocked and upset, maybe even outraged, but gives in and is warm and docile by the end. I understand the “taming her” kink and how it plays into MANY elements of power exchange, spanking included. However…

When reading stories like this, I never thought twice about the woman’s consent. Maybe in part that was because I was envisioning myself as this woman while reading the stories, and I wanted this – so I “knew” that she did too. However, in large part, I think it’s just an unspoken truth that the stories genuinely are designed to be written about women who do want to be taken in hand, deep down. That fight that she puts up at front? I always read that as just an attempt to spare her ego, even though she was somehow, magically, secretly, consenting. 

It’s completely unspoken, though and in the real world it doesn’t work that way. As a very naive girl I thought that kind of man really would just take it on himself to discipline his girlfriend without any kind of a conversation. He wouldn’t care about her feelings, he would just take charge. This led me to assume that because of my boyfriend (who is now my Dominant / HoH) had never taken it upon himself to discipline me, that he just wasn’t cut out for it. 

I tear up typing that, because it now feels so disrespectful to the Dom that he is now, that I ever thought that. I just was naive, though. 

At that same time period, @cynicaldom (CD) was doing things like providing for us both while I went to school. He was the person his family members sought out for advice, despite being the youngest in the family. If I made it clear that I didn’t care to choose, he’d make decisions for us both without hesitation. He decided what we would have for dinner and I cooked it. When we had vehicle trouble he’d look up tutorials on YouTube to see if it was worth trying to fix it on his own instead of hiring a pro. In hindsight, I see so many tiny ways that he was showing little dominant behaviors. I think I partially overlooked them because I took them for granted in the sense that, they just seemed like elements of who he was. However, I think a lot of it was me truly believing that a “natural” HoH would just punish his girl. 

I even overlooked our playful spankings. One day, very early on he swatted my butt playfully in response to me being sassy. I immediately sassed more intensely. He swatted harder. I sassed harder yet, and so on. He knew from how eager I got to sass back, that I was enjoying the playful spanking in response. The game continued that day, and into consecutive days as an ongoing form of play. Eventually, it escalated further into bare-butt spankings, even. It happened slowly and with excitement each time, so consent was clear. Yet it was just for play, so in my head, it didn’t count. I had not factored in how there is no way to ‘ease up to’ real punishments in that same way. I couldn’t see the forest for the trees. 

Where we are at now, it’s clear to me that I was failing to understand the importance of consent. It didn’t occur to me that it would be innapropriate behavior to punish someone without talking about living DD first. It also did not occur to me that a Dominant or HoH can (and damn well better) suppress any interest in having more power or control within a relationship unless it is consensually given. With play, he felt comfortable enough with slowly building up spanking and watching my reactions to read that as interest and acceptance – AKA consent. You can’t really ‘build up’ punishments slowly and because it’s not intended to be a positive experience, you can’t read their reaction as consent or as a lack of consent. The only way to have punishment be clearly consensual and ethical is to talk about it. In hindsight, I feel like expressing my interest in DD and D/s is what allowed CD to let his dominance out in more ways. He became more commanding and more assertive with me. He gave me rules and followed through with punishing me. He started giving me his opinion more if he didn’t like the way I was doing something. It wasn’t entirely overnight, of course – it took time, communication, and trial and error. It was me expressing interest in D/s that let him start to let it out more though. I don’t think we are a unique case, in that way. 

I hate that I used to think a “real” Dom would just dominate you because he wants to. That’s not how this works, because consent is necessary, and I’m so glad we live in the real world and not the erotica version I used to envision. Plenty of great dominants have yet to discover themselves as a fit for D/s, and are somewhat repressing their desires because they think they ‘should’ maintain a relationship where all things are divided 50/50. Someone living a 50/50 all things split down the center relationship doesn’t mean they aren’t cut out to be a Dom in every case. It might just mean they aren’t familiar with D/s yet, and they value your consent too much to live any other way…until or unless they know you want otherwise.  

I hope I was just an odd duck for failing to recognize the difference between erotica and reality. I just thought this was worth sharing just in case someone sees it who is where I used to be. 

One of the biggest mistakes we can make is assuming everyone else is “just like me.”  Or, possibly, “just like us.”  Just because I like to call people “pumpkin” and “kittycat,” and just because you happen to like it too, does not mean someone else is going to appreciate it even a little bit.

Same with “romance” novels.  

Actually, back in the 1970s the unspoken but absurdly prevalent romance-novel-style “rape fantasy” phenomenon made it a big fucking problem getting people in general and too many women in particular to take it seriously.  With the result that a lot of women who were just trying to clarify the concept of, you know, consent ended up being called “feminazis.”  Which was bullshit then and tbh it’s still bullshit!  BULLSHIT!

Clue: the “sexual revolution” didn’t happen because contraception became legal in the 1960s.  It didn’t really happen until the 1990s when consent with all its conditions of being Freely Given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic, and Specific finally became legitimate.  Because without the right to say “no” the right to say “oh hell yes” was risky at best and meaningless at worst.