There is nothing more precious to me than my family and friends. This page is my attempt to share my world with you and give insight to intimate emotions involved with a BDSM family. In addition to my thoughts, I have included comments from some family members themselves, in their own words.

Anyone who tells you that this is not a LOT of work...

either didn't understand the question or plans to have a good laugh at your expense later.

I had a glorious plan. I was going to get out meet people, find the right submissive, collar him, none of this would impact my every day life, and everyone was going to live happily ever after. That was the plan at least. At that point in time I had a domestic partner who had no interest in the lifestyle and was perfectly content to have me explore those "perverted" interests outside of our domestic partnership. I had learned after trying to "enlighten" other partners that this was probably a win-win situation. This was the first step in the poly family that eventually formed.

Someone suggested to me that I put an ad on the local Alternative newspaper. Not knowing any better, it seemed like a good idea. I placed an ad saying that I was looking for an intelligent, strong male submissive who was service oriented and looking for a long term commitment.  It would never have occurred to me that being an "exotic" Black Domme who was not a Professional Dominatrix (read: Domination without tributes) would illicit mailbox exploding responses. I was not prepared for the level of response. I was not prepared for the scope and variation in submissives and slaves. I had only a limited skill set for scene negotiation. And, most disturbing, I had not fully defined myself and my limits as a Dominant in my own mind. 50 phone interviews, 12 public meetings, 2 play sessions later -- the field had wound down to 1. S/he was a 6'2 cross-dressing sissymaid who enjoyed heavy play, severe CBT, and cuttings. None of which had been on my wish list. But there was something about stephanie which stole my heart.

My domestic partner quickly adjusted to my sissymaid. As a matter of fact after stephanie left my service my partner has been nagging me to find and train another one. Stephanie was usually at the house at least twice a week, helping with chores, gardening, decorating the house for holidays, etc. I was quite impressed with how well s/he fit into the household. At one point my daughter asked if she could borrow stephanie to clean her boyfriend's apartment. I could hear her boyfriend's skepticism over the phone initially, but then he agreed this might not be a bad idea. I remember asking my daughter is she really felt it was necessary to out her mother to her friends, and her response was something like, you haven't seen this apartment. She obviously missed the  point.

The only argument I had with my partner over my sissymaid was when we were having an open house. He didn't seem to understand why stephanie could not dress up and serve as a maid for the party. He had become so used to setphanie he had lost track of the vanilla world. He didn't feel it was fair to force stephanie out of his/her labor of love. I had to carefully explain to him that putting the guests in an uncomfortable position was not consensual for them. Also, many of the guests have not be exposed to Alternative Lifestyles and may not react well, which is a serious consideration with his family and co-workers invited. Grudgingly, he eventually agreed.

These situations and the reactions of my daughter and my partner were not part of the original plan. But this was only the first chapter in the lessons to come.

I once had this mis-guided belief that life of the Dominant was one where the submissives and slaves were doing all the work. What a wonderful fantasy. Lifestyle relationships are the hardest work I have every done. Not only do you have all of the work of any other relationship, but in BDSM relationship there is an even greater need for effective communication, attention to detail and safety, more responsibility for the care and well being of a submissive, and, then there is scene play. Suddenly I was being relied upon to be a structural engineer in designing a play space, a medic in case a scene goes bad, a therapist who can work through all the emotional baggage we all bring to the lifestyle, AND, an expert with dozens of implements, canes, floggers, and activities. Did I mention the part about lacing corsets and other eye candy? The good news is that my partner loves Home Depot as much as the kinky folks do and found my proclivities to be a good excuse to buy some of the tools he had been wanting. He also gave me my first aid kit as a dungeon warming present.

Again, none of this was in the original plan.

I remember the night I told my partner that I had decided to collar another submissive. I think he was expecting me to announce that it would be stephanie or siobhan because he looked at me in total disbelief when I told him it was lynn. Don't get me wrong, he liked lynn but thought the relationship was far too frustrating for me to consider a long term commitment. Lynn and I were engaged in a constant struggle of wills and frequent emotional clashes. It was my belief that lynn was searching for his place in the world. He had a strong need to belong and even stronger fear of abandonment. I decided to take a chance on my gut feeling that in the right environment, he would be a loyal and dutiful submissive. This is one of those rare cases when I followed my instincts and they proved correct.

Joining the Family

On Saturday, April 29, 2000,  a collaring ceremony took place between Lady Cocoa and Lynn at the Galleria Domain. We cordially invited our friends within and outside of the community to join for the formalization of our commitment to the D/s lifestyle. One year later, on the anniversary of the collaring, lynn accepted a permanent mark signifying the lifelong commitment between slave and Mistress.

Lynn's journey through BDSM

I have been kinky as long as I can remember; I was definitely having kinky thoughts and fantasies before puberty.  Like most of us, I thought for a long time that I was the only one and was weird.  I still remember my excitement when I was 18 and saw the bondage section of an adult bookstore for the first time.  I though, "If there are enough people like me to support not one, but several bondage magazines, maybe I'm not alone."

But I still seemed alone.  These bondage people were in New York or California, and I was in Detroit.  Nobody I knew was kinky, and attempts to gently bring up the subject with girls I knew were not well received.

I moved to Chicago about 15 years ago.  I discovered the BDSM scene here and hung out on its fringes, joining Chicagoland Discussion Group and Club House of Whacks.  I would go to meetings and the occasional play party, but somehow I never clicked with the people there; I always felt like an outsider.

A little over a year ago, I found out about a new club called Galleria Domain that was opening soon. I found Galleria Domain to be very friendly, and I made it my home, coming out every weekend, giving rope demos, tying people up whenever I got a chance.  Eventually I became so involved with the workings of the club that I was asked to join the board.

Late 1998, Lady Cocoa appeared at the club. I immediately took notice of her, but didn't get a chance to talk to her till several weeks later. It turned out that she had noticed me too, and after a comedy of errors, where it seemed like everything and everybody were conspiring to keep us from getting a chance to talk, we were finally able to.  We discovered that we had much in common, our values and ethics, our family backgrounds, even our job experiences.  And we discovered that both shared a love for rope bondage and the sensual side of BDSM.

We knew we needed to be together, but getting there was a struggle.  She is a Domme, and I consider myself a switch.  At first we were constantly getting confused about who was domming whom, and were getting our messages confused, and it was wrecking our relationship.

Eventually, Lady Cocoa offered me her collar.  This would demonstrate our commitment to each other, and would let everyone else know that we were a team.  I balked at first, mostly because I didn't really understand Dominance and submission; my Dom side was really more of a Top side, and I really didn't understand the difference.

Lady Cocoa patiently allayed all my fears and confusion, and convinced me of how fulfilling submitting to her could be.  We are perfect together, and I am having the time of my life.

Lynn has been a very cherished part of my life, and also the life of my family. My parents and my daughter consider him a part of our family -- and introduce him to others as such. He is so much a part of my everyday life that would appear that my "family" is often more sensitive to his needs than mine. (Yet another thing I didn't plan for.) Examples being my daughter being upset that she didn't get to spend any time with lynn during one of her visits, my partner wanting us to spend time with lynn when I am planning to spend time alone, or lynn being more sympathetic to my partner's point of view than mine. None of these are things I foresaw in the over all scheme of things.

My parents have never asked what my relationship is with lynn. They just accept that sometimes when I visit he is with me, sometimes my partner is with me, and sometimes they are both with me. And, each year at Christmas, there is a gift under the tree for him.

You may have met tommy at Ohio Leather Fest in 2002 (he was the taller of the 2 male submissives with me). What is unique about this arrangement is that tommy is married and has a family. From the point in time that I met tommy, I have had numerous conversations with he and his wife concerning the lifestyle. Joy is a very vanilla person who does not understand the motivation or seduction of power exchange, or sensation play. She is, however, scene friendly enough to ask a lot of questions and maintain an open dialog with me about the lifestyle as well a myriad of other things. We both understand that I do not represent a threat to her marriage, and have formed a rather unusual friendship over the years.


Tommy's thoughts

I call her M'lady Cocoa. My name is tommy. I have been fascinated with the whole realm of BDSM for over 20 years (possibly giving my age away here), it intrigues me. I have had only a small dose of r/l experience, which is why I look to the internet for more.

My travels of the net, somehow, someway, brought me to Dark Caverns, Lady Cocoa's domain. How I happened across this site is hard to say...I was drawn to it...not being able to get in at first...but I kept coming back....trying again....until my persistence paid off. It has been 4 years since my first visit to Dark Caverns, and I have relished every minute. M'lady Cocoa took me in...gave me what I so longed for, what I needed.

A very wonderful relationship transpired. She made me hers with her very personal collar, which I proudly wear and cherish. I give myself totally to her, to serve her in whatever way she sees fit. Whether it is to kneel at her feet or comfort her...whatever she may need .. I am there for she is always been there for me...which is what BDSM is to give oneself completely to another........*smiles proudly*

Many times mature Dominants are very hesitant to take on younger submissives. When I met rob he was 23. There is a special innocence about him. When I met him he was quite discouraged because none of the previous Mistresses he had hoped to grow close to had worked out. His age was working against in finding someone who would accept him and also the fact that he lives outside of the US. I must admit my first phone bill to the Netherlands was quite a shock!

I remember the incredible anticipation when we were awaiting his arrival at the airport. He was the first of my submissives that I introduced to my partner. We didn't now what to expect ... or how this would all work out.


Rob speaks from across the ocean

I am rob

I am a man from Holland, 27 years old and single. Work as a support Engineer at a computer company.

I met Mistress after coming on the net trough a friend of mine. That friend was interested in BDSM and was chatting with people about this. At first I run in to a lot of trouble in various places, then  I got to know Mistress Cocoa. Mistress helped me back on my feet and made sure I was safe and well taken care off. When I got back on my feet Mistress learned to express myself better and learned me a lot about my feelings. Feelings about myself and BDSM.

After what seemed just days Mistress decided that I could become her student I was so happy when she asked that to me. I learned and still learn so much about myself and the lifestyle. After some time Mistress collared me with her permanent collar. This collar I wear always when I am whit her on even if we are online. When Mistress collared me I was given a r/l collar to wear.  

Mistress is one of the most important people in my life. Even before we ever meet in person she knows all my thoughts and cares for me even though she is 6 time zones away.

BDSM means much to me, but I am not sure I can describe it well. I love to be submissive to Mistress. The feeling it gives me brings me great joy. I love the fact that Mistress is always there in my mind guiding me even when we are not in direct contact. It may seem strange to someone what I am or what I do, but it feels natural to me and it gives me pleasure. I hope this does explain a bit what BDSM means to me.  

As I last note I want to apologize about my English. My mother language is not English so I hope I did not make to much mistakes.

Does it always work out? Of course not. There are some situations which cannot be worked out not matter how much of a hold a submissive may have on your heart or how well they may have been integrated into your family. Situations can and will arise. There may come a time when a submissive or slave violate a principle that you hold dear and takes an action for which there is no excuse. There came a point in time when I had no choice other than to release stephanie. S/he is and will always be an important part of who I am today, and for that reason I include her story in mine.


A sissymaid's tale

My name is Stephanie. I am Mistress Cocoa's sissymaid in training. I am
26 and have been interested in cross-dressing since a young child maybe 10 or
11. ever since I put on my first pair of heel i knew that i liked dressing up. I have been dressing in secret for most of my life in one form or another. found that i liked lingerie, satin and silk, and wearing women's clothes. Now I have expanded my interests to include bondage and submission, latex, leather, and i love pvc - that wonderful smooth and shiny material. Once i found the internet i discovered that i was not alone and that to my surprise boys actually could become girls.

i also discovered the sissymaid. I fell in love with the outfits and knew that this was what i wanted, to become a sissymaid to a beautiful Mistress.  i started searching for a Mistress to train me, for i did not know the first thing about becoming a sissymaid, except for the fact that this was something that i wanted to do. I can't describe the emotions i felt when i first contacted Mistress Cocoa. excitement, fear, and disbelief that i am actually making a fantasy a reality. 

My life has not been the same since Mistress Cocoa took me under her wing and i would not have it any other way. 

Not all bottoms are submissives or slaves... There are two members of my family who are neither owned submissives or slaves, nor do they chose to be. This is very advantageous for both sides. If either side were limited to a set of rigid commitments, neither would be pleased. In this set of cases, the submissives need a home base where they are safe while they are still defining themselves, and there is always room in the in for them.


Boys will be girls...

i'm siobhan, a male-born, transgender (hope to be a born-again woman some day) submissive bottom (have i run out of adjectives yet?); uncollared so far, but feeling very close to Lady Cocoa (deep respectful curtsey). You'll sometimes see me at the club in boy-mode, but not too often --  his name is sean, and he's okay ... for a boy.

i grew up in a South Side Irish (Chicago) working-class family, and The Old Man relied a whole lot on leather-strap punishment scenes; and believe me, they were anything but erotic. When i first learned that there really were sadists and masochists out there *having*fun* with this sort of thing, i couldn't believe anybody could be so crazy, sick, stupid, dumb and perverted. i mean, i knew *i* was crazy, sick, stupid, dumb and perverted for wanting to be a girl, but THIS!!!!!!!  But then a few years ago a very close friend came out in the Scene, and i had to admit i was drawn to it.

So i started hanging out at the Rose, and later here at Galleria Domain where i've met lots of new friends, including some wonderful, beautiful Dommes who've been nice enough to play with me, and have led me out into a really happy part of sub-space (wheeee!).

This is a glimpse of some of the facets of my family. If anyone had said to me when I started out that this is how my "world" would be, I would have said they were on crack. But you know, I would not trade them, or any of the wonderful experiences I have had for any thing in the world -- even my dreams of how I *thought* it would be.


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