I found my interest in BDSM in my early 20s, but I was a young married mother with two children. I was married to a vanilla soldier, so I suppressed the feelings I had, but they were always there. In my early 30s I found the Internet and I found BDSM groups online and I didn’t… whilst I enjoyed the interaction with other people online and other experiences and listening to what people were doing, I found for me I needed the one-to-one interaction. So I did do an online Dom for a while but it didn’t work. I found my first dominant and it was a learning curve for both of us. He was not fully experienced and I was very new, but he had temper flares and one of the temper flares led to me getting a caning for something I had not done. This, no matter how I tried to reconcile it, I could not come to terms with. And so what I did was I gained, thought maybe not on, and I became an online operative, sub operative on bondage.com. There I helped newbies, I answered a lot of questions, I tried to help young subs coming into the scene and I honestly did not think I would venture into the real-life scene again. I met my present dominant online and we spoke a lot, both online and on the phone every day for almost 2 years and over that time. Something inside me said this might work. And I came over and met him and we decided we might give this a try. Just to explain a little bit. We are both very powerful personalities so I did have a worry of how that was going to go because even though I am a submissive, I am a very strong person and he is an extremely strong person, but I found with that it actually came as a bonus. I came over in 2005 and I have now been in my current situation for 11 years and I could not be happier. I find over that period, I have grown. I have learned things I never thought I would learn. I have now have an inner peace I never thought I would file and I couldn’t…I’m at a place in my life where I could not be more content. And as a slave, I am completely happy to keep my Master happy for the rest of his life and I’m very at peace doing that. My biggest challenge would be, and I will admit this, accepting other people’s decisions without me questioning them. That was one thing I had to learn. Being in a position of power in my vanilla life, even though I am a natural submissive, it did come hard in those first couple of years to accept everything just as, without question, but over three or four years I learned that my Master knew what was right for me, has never put me in danger and gradually that just faded away. I never question anything. I just assume everything he wants to do or asks of me is for my well-being. So I no longer question it. That was my hardest thing, learning not to question. Best thing I have received out of my BDSM relationship is an inner peace I did not think was possible. I’ve, I feel so peaceful now, I know what my role in life is, I don’t have to wake up each morning wondering what it’s going to bring. I know what my life is panned out for and I know if anything turbulent is going to come up or any challenges that need dealing with, I know my dominant’s there for me and I don’t have to do it on my own anymore. In both my marriages. I had to make all the decisions. I was the one that had to sort everything out. Everything came to me. They were unable to sort things out themselves. Whereas now I don’t have to give a second thought to the fact that my dominant has dealt with something. If he wants me to do something he will let me know and that inner peace is the most gratifying thing about that. Knowing where your place is in life and being happy being there. Both my children know, my children know, my dominant’s daughter doesn’t so we do have to be a little bit more careful around her. My children both know, I did tell them both and I’ve told both my best friends, closest friends. My family as a family are difficult. My sisters don’t know. It was information I would never have given my mother because she would have used it against me. My father was dead, so that wasn’t an issue, that my father wasn’t alive. Yes, I have had a couple of my friends that have known me for a long time really have trouble dealing with the vanilla Julie and the person I am now and I have had trouble in some people thinking that I’ve been forced to do this or it’s against my will or that I’m being damaged by it or coerced and I take the time to explain to people they could not be more wrong. As I say, I’m at a place now where I am completely content. I suffer badly with depression and the only bouts I’ve had here have been because of family disasters or something that has gone wrong and I find I tend to dip a little in times like that, but I take the time to explain to people that criticises and think it’s something wrong, I just explain to them it’s another way of living, a way of living that fulfils what we need in life because vanilla doesn’t make us learn, have an open mind, seek advice from people that you respect but also people that have been there and can actually give you stepping stones along the way. To subs I would say your first level of information, go to other subs or dominants that have been subs because you’re then learning it from the perspective that you’re going to be living but your dominants can then, once you’ve absorbed that information, dominants can then explain it to you from their perspective. So you’ve got the balance but I always say to new subs, learn, have an open mind, don’t walk in with a pre-conceived idea because everybody’s different or your dominants are different or your tops are different, but learn, that’s what I’d say. I’ve seen some subs stuff up royally. Dominants are funny creatures, you have to get used to that. But I have seen a sub, actually, which my dominant… I just cringed at the thought. She flicked his collar in public. We were at a munch and she flicked the collar of her dominant. I died on the spot for her. Afterwards I found it amusing. But at the time I thought are you crazy? You’ve taken leave of your senses? Even her dom was so shocked he didn’t move for two or three minute. I’ve also seen, I’ve seen a dominant dance on the table and fall on his head, and I did not laugh. I did not laugh, but I thought that was highly amusing. How to lose any sense of structure in two minutes or less, but you learn as a sub. You do not laugh hysterically when the dominant makes a complete fool of himself. I like it. I am a structure and routine person. I come from the old school where routines and structures have been all my life. even in my vanilla life, as a child I lived a very structured, orderly life. I learnt formal service at 14, how to hold a formal dinner. I learned all the graces in England at a very young and my family was exceedingly structured. But I don’t find it constraining it all. To me it gives me peace of mind because I know what is coming and I know what is expected in different circumstances. I don’t have to second-guess myself or second-guess what my dominant might want because I know. I’d like to be 20 years younger, so that I actually have the energy to do some of the things that the younger subs can do these days but I think in the essential structure, no, because I like the old school structure. It gives me grounding, and it gives me security, something I have never had in my life. Gives me the security of knowing who I am and where I am. I just think for people that don’t know anything about it, it’d be nice if they took a little bit of time to find out who we were and what we’re about because I think DS relationships or any BDSM relationship are actually more rewarding than any vanilla relationship I’ve ever been in and BDSM people and the other BDSM people you meet we’re a very close family, we’re like a big extended family and you will always find somebody that can help you, always. There’s always somebody to give you time. Now to answer your question Tia, we were online for two years. I came here December 30, 2005. I stayed with some friends in Brisbane and Sir, off and on. I had to go to Perth for an emergency in April 2006 and when I came back Sir and I decided the time was right. I moved in with Sir in May 2006 and September 2006 he bought me the silver collar. The reason I say I didn’t have a training collar, this is just my belief, I believe if you are collared to your dominant, the collar is around your heart. The collar you put on outside is to show other people you are collared, but I believe a collar is around the heart. Yes, to me it is a mind, it’s a mind thing. If he owns your heart, he owns you. Yes, yes, that’s one thing I have found, I haven’t had a problem with that. I’ve not had a problem with that. Most people realise the symbolism of what it is, even though it’s not a standard collar, and when were out I am very close in proximity to my dominant. I don’t move far from his side unless he wishes me to fetch him something like a drink or something but having said that he doesn’t isolate me in a little cage. I do get to walk around and speak to other submissives and other people that are there and mix with people and I find that a great learning experience when you’re out at these sort of functions because everybody lives at different levels and your learning all the time. When I first came we’d only been together three days and Sir took me to Liberty for a New Year’s Eve party and it was my first live BDSM function. I hadn’t been to one before and I just found the whole thing amazing. I was overawed, I will admit, I was overawed to see all the equipment, all the people, all the things people would doing. The fact that you could talk freely and the other people in the room know exactly what you were talking about. And it was 3 o’clock in the morning before I even realised that I had a wonderful time. Other clubs we have been to. We regularly go to Evolution and even though it’s a predominantly rope based club, they do have all the equipment for everything else. And just to occasionally mix would like minded people where you can have the conversations you cannot have in vanilla society. And I meet different people all the time and it’s surprising. What I found surprising to begin with was the amount of people you would never have guessed what in the scene that actually were. All different types of people from different walks of life, yet we all share the same common interest. Yes, I have all my life, not always, not always to my betterment. One talent I have, unfortunately, is I can read body language very quickly and very easily and people will tell you things in their body language that they won’t verbalise and yes, I can now walk amongst a group of people and I could probably pick out the kinksters for you because we have a different air about us from vanilla people. We have a different presence and I think it’s a confidence we all have because we don’t live in that chaotic lifestyle. We live in a very structured, stabilised lifestyle. Yet, no, that is Master’s collar, but it… he… that is the most meaningful collar because he put that on me when we decided to cement a DS relationship and you feel completely different. You go and slip your collar on and immediately that peace comes over you because you know you’re protected you. Sir saw it in a window and he just said that would be perfect. At the time I did not know what he meant. But when he gave it to me I realised that he meant it’s perfect for the collar that he wanted. Yes, yes, that came from a vanilla jewellery shop. Of the only other place we’ve been is in, we’ve been to Chain. We found that very different to our club up, up the coast but again another different set of people with different likes and aims, but still that BDSM community type. We were meant, we were made to feel very welcome in a community that was not ours. We were only visiting Melbourne, but we were made to feel very welcome by the community down there. I think if you go and mix, perhaps with the more old school BDSMers but even with the new people, the new generations coming in, I think because we are a society in a society, people do tend to be automatically welcoming unless you do something that upsets them. But I found most people were quite gracious in the, within the scene. No, I think a lot of people I know it progress like that, they, especially with the burst in the Internet. I think a lot of people came out of the closet, so to speak. I tried the online relationship. I think a lot of people start there. Finding a long-term relationship in the scene is not easy, it, but having said that, it’s no different to finding a long-term vanilla relationship that works either. But this DS relationship there’s extra work involved by both sides and I honestly believe that when you get in a good relationship they do last longer because there is no confusion. Both parties know where they are. Vanilla life changes from day to day. The rules change from day to day but in DS they don’t. You know what you doing all the time. But, having said that, there are times when we have had to have discussions over different things where I would actually say to my Master, Sir, I need to step out for a moment and we need to discuss this one-to-one. And it will be a life issue that we are discussing at the time. But to do that, I have to step out of my slave role and we discussed as equals because it’s something that needs sorting out as equals. And then as soon as that’s done, I slip back into my desired role, yes. Now it’s not a role, it’s my life. But yes, we have never in 11 years, we have never had an argument, we have never allowed anything to get to that level. And yes, life decisions have been made at the time and then I automatically go back to my position regardless of how the decision turns out to be, but that’s something you have to agree on in advance. If you’re going to do that, even when we’re having one-to-one discussions, Sir has the final say. If Sir decides that we are going to do XYZ for whatever reason, that is what we will always do. I am never left in the dark as to why he has decided something or why he’s doing something. And he doesn’t do things frivolously just to boost his ego. My dominant is not like that. He’s always got a reason for what he’s doing and he explains it to me. No, he does not always explain it beforehand, but he also does not leave me waiting for days and days. He will tell me quite quickly why he did what he did. Oh the garage door yesterday! Yes, you do have times of misunderstanding and yesterday was a prime example. Like Sir said “close the garage door” so I close the garage door. I did not realise that Sir was not outside the garage door but that, that, doms make mistakes too. They’re not infallible, they’re not infallible they’re not gods and people should remember that even though we give them the power over us and we submit to them willingly. They are not gods, they too make mistakes and a good dominant will own up to that. I managed to let him out. But that was a mistake on his behalf because he knew from the position that I was standing I could not see the garage door. I could only operate the door, I could not see where he was actually standing but then he, see he didn’t get angry he just asked me to let him out. Mildly amused actually. No, I couldn’t see and he knew I couldn’t see. I will take, in the early days I used to feel guilty about every little thing I did wrong. Or in my mind that I did wrong, but I soon learnt that if I was wrong he would let me know and a lot of the things I thought I was doing wrong I actually wasn’t, it was just learning. You can’t walk into the role knowing everything, nobody does. You’ve got to learn and you’ve got to grow and as you do that you make less and less mistakes and the ones you make you surprisingly learn to live with. You adjust, you realise what you have done wrong and you move on with your work.