Monday, November 14, 2022

GUEST POST: My sign you shall bear... by May B Bound (bdsm, erotica, thriller)

Earlier this year I had the great pleasure of working with May B Bound on Hunter's List - 12 books and over 300,000 words of BDSM erotica with a slow-build thriller element. With the 4th book (Hunter's List: Subdued) now available for pre-order, May kindly agreed to share some of her thoughts on submission and the lifestyle.


My sign you shall bear... 

But which one?

To mark one's property or to document one's partnership is a desire that is probably as old as mankind. Not surprisingly, we wear wedding rings, friendship rings or bands, necklaces with parts of hearts that belong together. Because that is exactly what we want to show to the outside world: We belong together. Or, as is more common in BDSM: The other belongs to me - I belong to someone.

But how do you show that?

There are, of course, the temporary marks that everyone knows: welts from caning or a whip, a discolored butt or thigh from a very extensive spanking, marks from clothespins, burn marks, needle marks, or scores in the skin from knife play. Some of these marks remain, especially burn marks or lacerations, which heal but leave scars.

Or even more short-lived: semen or urine or vaginal secretions on the skin, face, hair. Nice for the moment, but gone again after the next shower/hair wash.

If one looks around the scene, one finds, above all, the ring of O as a symbol. It is a heavy metal ring, on which a smaller ring is movably set in a ball. Often this is generally seen as a sign of belonging to the community of BDSM practitioners. Sometimes it is presented engraved as a gift in a ceremony, but I also know of some who have bought the ring for themselves.

Personally, I don't like the symbol that much, partly because it's not the original from the book, but a ring that was worn in one of the film adaptations. Sure, you can appreciate the symbolism - the little ring is reminiscent of a device used to leash animals.

On the other hand, I dislike the symbol because its meaning goes way too far for me. Anyone who has read The Story of O (required reading!) knows that Pauline Réage does not see the ring simply as a sign for a submissive woman. Rather, it denotes a slave who is (or is to be) at the disposal of all members of the coven. This is not what I understand by BDSM, it is too much meta-consensus for me.

Described in the book is another form: A heavy ring with a disc, this "... carried in niello work a golden wheel with three spokes bent in a spiral, like the sun wheel of the Celts."

An emblem was sought by a BDSM group in the USA and designed by Quagmire (the story can be read here), specifically with the intention of finding a distinctive sign that would not be conspicuous and would show in a discreet way that the wearer practices BDSM, that is, is part of the community. In doing so, Quagmire drew on the description in 'History of O', but also tried to consider the meaning of the actual symbol. He wanted a symbol that is not too obvious, that is not conspicuous, that has as little preconception as possible.

From this point of view, I find the triskele (or more precisely, the modification of the triskele to the BDSM emblem) good, even if the background is questionable. After all, something new has emerged from the description, something that serves a specific purpose.

I myself now have various pieces of jewelry that simply show a triskele, they are quite inconspicuous to wear and you can, if you do not want to out yourself, refer to the origin as a Celtic symbol or to a trip to Brittany, which carries the triskele in its coat of arms.

But back to the marking.

You can take off a ring. Blue spots fade and disappear. What remains? A tattoo, of course. Yes, I know, even tattoos can be removed or covered up, but they are the most permanent thing possible. Only scars last longer.

As with all permanent marks, of course, women/men should think carefully beforehand whether this is even desired - and whether the desire goes deep enough, at least as deep as the scar or color under the skin. Consensus is as important here as with any other action in BDSM.

In addition, there is the question of how openly the symbol - whichever one - may be shown. If you need a doctor, there might be practically no place on the body that is not visible somewhere at some time. Or is it enough if the place is covered at work? But what if the boss sees the sign on Casual Friday? Is that still okay?

The same applies to a collar. Sure you can wear it only when you 'play'. Or sub wears it permanently, maybe even one that has been locked by Dom and can only be opened with special tools or keys. How visible do you want the collar to be?

I fear (and have experienced) a sub being treated by a (semi) initiated stranger as if being sub is a sign not only of submissiveness to a partner, but as if this sub can be overrun. After all, she is submissive, so the other person only needs to appear dominant enough and there is no need for any consideration. An experience that sub can gladly do without. Dom is not always standing behind, not always the self-confidence is enough to insist on one's right. No matter if woman or man, it can bring disadvantages in the job, or in dealing with strangers, if you not only out yourself as part of the community, but at the same time announce your position.

Please keep that in mind with any marking.

There are also signs that reveal their meaning only to the initiated. This can be a necklace or an anklet, a bracelet, or even a tattoo. It just depends on what is shown. There are commercial necklaces that look like twisted ropes, chokers are coming back in, reminiscent of a necklace, bracelets decorated with a discreet triskele (like mine), or you wear the movable ring on the ring of O inside.

Inconspicuous is also a pendant with a shopping cart chip that you can carry on your keychain, like this one in the picture. I had a few of these that I raffled off in my Facebook group at the beginning, and of course one hangs on my key ring.

Or you could just settle for the temporary kind of marking. I find it extremely sexy when marked with sperm. Of course, only from a certain man (mine!), not from a stranger, and only in this situation in which I helped to produce it - it's obvious, isn't it?

Well, how do you feel about it? Do you want a permanent sign? Can it be visible? Or are you content with a hidden or temporary one?


May B Bound

Hunter's List: Held | Hunter's List: Trained | Hunter's List: Tamed | Hunter's List: Subdued

You like dominant men who carry their women on their hands? Who give them what they need?

You like women who are happy when they can give up control? Who are so strong that they kneel down voluntarily?

Then you are right where you belong!

I like strong men AND strong women, I write about couples where submission doesn't mean oppression, who consider trust, respect and consent important. Add a happy ending, suspense and a lot of hot scenes and you have a true May B Bound book!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sally,
    thank you for presenting my post and books on your website! And, which is most important, for your kindness and support. You are the best!