Mistress Karin is the Mistress and owner of Dungeons Down Under in Oklahoma, and the head of her poly family and household. Though she stays busy, she was kind enough to grant me time out of her hectic schedule to share some advice for those within the lifestyle and some of her experiences over the years; first as a submissive and now a Dominant and Mistress.
What does being poly mean to you?
MK: “Being poly in my relationships allows me the freedom to explore who and what I am, without the restraints of guilt. I’m fully capable of being monogamous, but I am bisexual and I believe I can love more than one person in many ways. There are different levels of how you can love someone, and in being poly I can be myself.
What would be your advice to those who are new to poly relationships?
MK: “The most important factors are communication and honesty; you have to know what everyone’s needs and wants are, what their boundaries are, before anything happens or it can completely ruin the relationship. It’s not something you can force someone into doing, and there’s a big difference between being poly and cheating on your partner. With constant communication you can address problematic situations before they happen, because the moment someone gets jealous that’s when the complications begin.”
How has your experiences with being poly changed your perspective on relationships? Has it affected how you look at D/s?
MK: “Yes it has; being poly has made me a much more open and accepting person than I was. Beforehand it felt like something was always missing, it was a very uncontent love, and instead of calling quits we chose to be poly because we loved each other as the people we were. It gave me the freedom to understand the true meaning of what love meant, without feeling guilty about my attractions to other people and I let go of the close minded perceptions I had. It’s ok to love more than one person for us; we are more giving people and our spirits are much happier now for it.”
In your opinion what would be the most important thing to remember about D/s relationships?
MK: “There has to be trust and honesty on both sides; it’s about being upfront from the beginning about what it is and what you both want and need. I have to trust that my entire life is safe, and not just in the dungeon. Privacy is key here. Not only that but we are opening ourselves to be loved, and possibly hurt, and they have to know they are going to be okay with me.”
What made you decide you no longer identified as a submissive? Do you feel those experiences have helped you now in being a Mistress?
MK: “You can’t teach someone to be a submissive; sure, they can learn the fundamentals, like making coffee and such, it’s not rocket science. But to serve someone else it has to be in your heart. It’s putting their needs before yours and I couldn’t do that. I went through the process, but there wasn’t any emotion or fulfillment behind what I was doing. Service is being happy in making the other person happy, and that just wasn’t me.
I’m grateful that I took that path first though and knowing and feeling that struggle. I understand the gift that my submissives freely give and know it can be gone at any moment. There’s not a day in my life that I take them for granted because I know how hard it is at times.”
As the head of your house, what do you feel your most important responsibility is?
MK: “It’s to be there and be aware of their emotional well-being. It’s not my responsibility to make them happy, but it is to recognize when they are struggling. I’m very much an energy person so I can tell when something is wrong. It’s my job to stay conscious of how they are doing. I take who I am very seriously and these people are very important to me; their wants/needs, what I/we can do to enhance their growth takes a priority. I want to give them the encouragement to grow and not be afraid that if it falls apart that I will be here. Everyone knows they can trust me to any measure and that it will be okay. We are very diverse; everyone contributes in some way and they are appreciated and loved. That said, they have to want to grow as a person, I can’t force it. I don’t want them to look back and be the same person they were a year ago before they came into the family.
As a Mistress what do you expect from your submissives? Is there one thing/trait you hold more value to than others?
MK: “Trust, loyalty, and respect – these are the core values I expect and instill in this family. Trust is paramount because of the exposure into myself and personal life. Loyalty because I have to know they will have my back the way I have theirs, I don’t want to question that. Respect I have to earn from them and it can’t be taken for granted. These will all come without question if they truly love and want to serve me. I never say “Because I said so.” to my family; there’s always a reason for what I do, even if they don’t know it at that particular time. All of the rules and protocols are done because of something, and I make it a point to let them know why that is.”
What is sadism to you?
MK: “I get great pleasure from other people’s pain and discomfort, both mentally and physically. Knowing they’re in pain is a rush for me, it just triggers me. It allows me to be primal and is a stress release – the more blood, the more they scream, the more turned on I get and that’s just how I am. But there’s a difference between being sadistic in the dungeon and in every-day life; I wouldn’t do this with a stranger. There are different levels of emotion and pleasure from other people’s pain.
Serving me is not all roses and sunset nights; I love the fact that I have the power and control to be able to hurt them. And they know I will; but I also know their limits and I’m not out to destroy them. The harder I push them and the more I hurt them, the deeper I delve into them, being able to take them to a place they can’t go in a normal setting. I have the capacity because of our relationship and because they know me to push them past their limits, to go deep into who they are. It’s a level of non-existence, another realm that is only created in these situations. It’s a hard thing to explain to someone who has never experienced it before. But it also comes with a lot of responsibility; I’m not there to break them completely and it can be scary, so I have to be careful.”
Do you have any other advice that is important for submissives to remember?
MK: “Don’t be in such a hurry to find a Dominant or get into a relationship; it can get you into trouble when you’re not ready or know what you’re getting into. You could end up being hurt or abused, either physically or emotionally, because of it. Go with your heart, trust your instincts, and take baby steps. You have to trust yourself first.”