Monday, April 11, 2011

The MBS Interviews: Joss

I always said that any interviews I did for this blog would have to be unique and different. Several blogs already offer excellent interviews of various models, bloggers, and others well known in the scene. I have no intention of trying to compete with the likes of Brushstrokes or Suzy.

Which brings us to Joss. Joss is a bright, introspective young woman who recently started a blog named Confusing Territory. She has acknowledged her interest in domestic discipline, but many unanswered questions remain.

Because I hear from quite a few readers in a similar situation, I asked Joss if she would consent to share her story in the form of an interview. Happily, she agreed. We both hope that her thoughts, feelings, and experiences will give other readers the courage to accept this part of themselves and perhaps begin their own journeys.

Could you tell us a little about yourself and your life?

I am a Christian and I have mostly conservative values. There are a lot of experiences that I’ve avoided including smoking, drinking, and drugs. I have earned the good girl image, but I don’t consider myself virtuous. I’ve just never had the desire to do those things.

I have an older brother and my parents have been happily married for almost 35 years. We’re just an average middle class family. My parents always encouraged me to be involved in activities that interested me. When I was five, they enrolled me into ballet classes and I’ve taken them ever since. I did well in public school and received a full scholarship to a small university a couple of hours from my hometown. I’ll graduate with a double major in May.

Can you recount the time when you first realized that you had an interest in domestic discipline? How did you react to these feelings?

After coming across a domestic discipline web site, I developed an intense fascination. I felt as though I should understand where these women were coming from before making comments intended to “help them.” The interest was developing at that point, but I was still in denial.

Soon after, I was reading a post and trying to put myself in the writer's place when I realized that I was a little envious. What the heck? Yeah, I was envious and little disappointed because it would never be acceptable. Shock was the most prominent feeling and I refused to go back to any DD website for a couple of days. I finally admitted my interest, and that brings me to where I am today, which is trying to understand it.

As you worked to come to terms with this interest, what sources of information did you find beneficial?

I am still trying to come to terms with this. My mind no longer shouts “NO” every time I think about it, but there are still moments when I wonder what’s wrong with me. I referred to the Taken in Hand site the most at first. I read it before I realized I was interested in DD and then read it again after I became interested. It’s amazing how perspective changes everything. From there I went to blogs. Some were mentioned on Taken in Hand and others I just Googled (be careful with that by the way). I have scholarly, peer reviewed journal articles I found on Google Scholar. I also tried a few fiction pieces, but I didn’t feel comfortable reading them. I figure that fiction is not so reliable as a source of information.

As a new blogger, what are your impressions of our community?

The community has been very welcoming. No one has been critical or judgmental. There has been a lot of great advice and support. I think the best thing is how open the community is. It’s OK to be different. It’s OK that I’m a 22-year old innocent pestering all the adults in the community. I feel like a kid with a thousand questions, curious about this new world I’ve found and the community is full of wise scholars patiently guiding me on my path.

What is it about domestic discipline that fascinates you?

The idea of a HoH makes me feel centered. It appeals to me to know that one person is going to make the decisions and the relationship won't get rocky because we couldn’t agree on something trivial. I’m the kind of person who feels better after a decision is made, even if I don’t like it. It’s done and we can move on. I mean we can talk about it. I can give my opinions, views, and feelings so he’ll know to take those into account, but I don’t want to negotiate, argue, or fight.

Dominance is also something I find very appealing. Dominant men can make me feel grounded and safe. Their confidence inspires my confidence. I know that’s kind of generic, but it’s really the only way I know to explain it.

The last thing I find fascinating is being held accountable. I’m an adult and I don’t need someone making rules for me. But it would feel reassuring to know that when I slipped, when I messed up, when I’m not making progress, or when I start moving backwards, someone will be there to help me get back on track. I hope that I can do the same thing for him, though in a different way of course.

Can you imagine yourself someday submitting to a husband or boyfriend? How about allowing him to spank you?

I want to be able to submit to my husband someday, but I probably will never be submissive outside of marriage. I believe in waiting until you're married to have sex (I know, it's old fashioned) and I think that submission, even though it may not always be overtly sexual, is very intimate. I will only submit to one man and he will be my husband. It’s not something I could do in a casual relationship or in a relationship without serious commitment.

I feel out of place in the community at times because the idea of spanking is not appealing to me. I like reading Stormy’s blog because I can relate. She doesn’t like spanking either. However, it is something I would submit to. I wouldn’t ask for it, wouldn’t suggest it, but if my husband thought that it was the best for our relationship, I would submit to it. He would probably have to help me along with that submission.

Do you feel that spanking is an appropriate tool for maintaining accountability within a DD relationship?

It depends on the relationship and the couple. Even the thought of a spanking makes me cringe, so it would probably serve as a good deterrent. I'm willing to submit to it if it's what my husband wants.

However, if the wife or submissive, isn't willing to submit to spanking in the relationship, it doesn't matter how great the husband or dominant, it's not appropriate. When I say submit to spanking, I don't necessarily mean an individual spanking, but in general in the relationship. For example, there may be an instance when the wife is being stubborn and doesn't want to submit to a specific incident, but she's agreed to the lifestyle. In that case, it's OK for the husband to go through with the spanking. However, if the wife decides she does not want to submit to any spanking, then it wouldn't be appropriate.

Would you consider exploring aspects of this lifestyle outside of a conventional relationship (for example, visiting a disciplinarian or attending a spanking party)?

I’m a very vanilla person, and while I think it’s great that other people participate in other aspects of the lifestyle, they’re really not for me. I’m only interested in being with one man and having a monogamous relationship. It has more to do with my trust issues. I’ll have a hard enough time trusting one person. I don’t think I could trust a lot of other people or a person with whom I don’t have a serious committed relationship.

How has your exploration changed your life and your viewpoint so far? Can you envision where this might lead?

The most significant change in my life, other than the fact that I now spend a good deal of time reading blogs, is that I have realized that I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life. My friends and I have always joked that I’ll never be married. I’m just not made to have long term relationships because I can’t attach myself to people, I’m not loving enough, etc. I just wasn’t interested in what I was seeing in the relationships of people around me.

After I started reading more and exploring DD, I realized that I actually do want a relationship. I don’t want a relationship where I am the leader, and I am taking care of everything. I want to be submissive. So I’m hoping this will lead me to a relationship, a real one, which is something I never thought was possible before.

Were you surprised to find and meet people who have embraced spanking, domestic discipline, and alternative lifestyles for decades?

I was surprised there were so many. I had a friend who was openly into BDSM, so I was somewhat aware of the culture, that is to say I knew it was there. I think what surprised me most is that there are so many couples who have DD relationships. I know it’s similar to BDSM, but in my mind it’s still separate. It’s also surprising how natural their relationships are and how loving and committed the couples seem to be. Another thing that kind of caught me off guard is that with DD, it’s not a kink that you only play with during the weekend. It’s a lifestyle that influences how you live every day.

Can you offer any advice to those who follow you along this path? What is the most important thing you have learned about kink or about yourself?

I think the best advice I could offer is to ask questions. I’m making a list of concerns that I have and I plan on bombarding all the wise scholars in the community. If there’s something that bothers you or something that you don’t understand, ask questions. Most bloggers are open and will always try to help. I would also advise taking things slowly. You don’t have to completely redefine yourself in one day. You don’t even have to come to terms with DD in one day. Walk before you run.

On almost every blog and DD website I’ve read, there has been a post that said there are no set rules for DD and I think this is a very important thing to know. When I first started exploring the community, I thought since there is no way I would do things like bondage, needle play, or breath play, there is no way I could have this type of relationship. Then I read on someone’s blog that a relationship doesn’t have to meet a community’s standards, but it can be whatever you and your partner want it to be. You can make your own rules based on what you need as a couple.

Thank you, Joss. Your knowledge and understanding are obviously growing fast. I wish you the very best as you continue to learn and discover.


joeyred51 said...

Thank you Bonnie and thank you Joss for sharing your very intimate feelings with us. Joss: Good luck on your journey. You will find very many wonderful people in this community that will help you along the way.

Anonymous said...

"From there I went to blogs. Some were mentioned on Taken in Hand and others I just Googled (be careful with that by the way)." What's the harm of googling for spanking blogs or websites? Please explain.

Bonnie said...

Anon - I believe Joss was referring to the fact that it's easy to stumble across some very graphic web sites through a Google query. This content may shock someone who is not expecting to see it.

CedenoGems said...

Wow! That was amazing. Best of luck to Joss in her relationship journey. I think that was awseome of her to offer up her feelings on those things. It is a very unique dynamic DD.

sarah thorne said...

That was a great interview! Kudos!


Ally said...

Great interview!

Neo Dom Tom said...

I think this is a fascinating interview. As someone still lurking around the outside edges of D/s, I am always happy to hear other points of view. in this case, in particular, I was really pleased to hear someone who has a very different perspective. It just goes to show how we are all so different in what we get out of this type of relationship. Also, I am glad Joss does not judge those who happen to enjoy the lifestyle in a different way from her understanding of it.

Spanking Desire said...

I am in a similar position as you, Joss, in that I am new to the community. I too was surprised at the extent of this community. I really hope that you will find what you are looking for.

Hermione said...

I was surprised to read that Joss is not interested in spanking. I wasn't expecting that at all. To me, that's the appealing part of a DD relationship. But then, everyone's take on it is different.

Good luck with your blog, Joss!


ronnie said...

Excellent interview, thanks for sharing Joss.

Good luck with your blog and I hope you find what your looking for.

Thanks Bonnie.


Suzy said...

Very good post Bonnie and thank you Joss for sharing a bit of your entrance into the community with us.

I enjoy interviewing and was thrilled when Bonnie let me do her interview on my blog, so thank you very much Bonnie for your kind words and I think you did a fantastic interview with a lot of very interesting questions for Joss :)

spankedhortic said...

It was interesting to read an interview about someone that counts them self as a submissive but is not that into spanking.

Sorry to do this in your comment box but as many know, I am ridiculously bad with emails.

My blog has been deleted (not by me). I have set up a new Wordpress blog. It is going to take me a little time to figure out how Wordpress works but the new blog is...


and can be found at...


Stormy said...

Joss, this was a fascinating interview. I loved reading it and it was quite brave to do it. Thank you, Bonnie..for sharing her perspective.

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