Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rika Revisited

In spite of what I say in this post, the book, “Uniquely Rika” is worth reading. I have had it on the side bar to say exactly that. However, you will have to weigh its implications, for your future is at stake.
When first reading it I was on a hormonal high with a fully established FLR. I read and understood what I thought she was saying in her book. I remember liking the book much when I first encountered it. I remember feeling that I could be hers in a fantasy scenario as she described her views. Now, over three years later, things are different. I have a logical base from which to assess her presentation of the subject. I have re-read the book with a clear mind.

Rika in the first page of the book says, “ … many couples have attempted to establish working D/s relationships. Surprisingly, most fail in the long run. Why should this be?”

Have you asked yourself? Have you come up with an answer? I have some answers.

Uniquely Rika is based on a flawed assumption that men want to be submissive, but are fixated on the assumed ideal of a pornography mistress of whip and stylized femdom-wear. They cannot distinguish between their fetish and their innate submissiveness. She will set that straight so that the men will know right from wrong. Right. Exactly as she sees it.

Some men are confused on that subject. They may be addicted to the shallow unattractive females portrayed by the media in artificial background and no substance. They have not developed a relationship with an understanding female. All they have is their fantasy even when married and with children. I despise the stereotype dominatress, and maintain that my personal fetish does not support the porno industry. I find it disgusting and boring. At the same time I don’t diminish any man’s wishes for fantasy fulfillment as long as it is non-injurious to self or others. They are no worse than any women’s wishes for the same or for benign romantic play. So, starting with the flawed assumption I will elaborate on the book.

Contrary to Rika’s claim, a man needs more than to simply satisfy his need to serve and subsequently be allowed to do so by a woman. Rika’s service oriented submissive is happy just to serve even though his original needs and whishes are not met or even addressed. That is a gross assumption by her, and nowhere substantiated by her or in literature.

She is talking about the supposed fetish that men have for being whipped by a skinny abrasive woman clad in ridiculous leather and rubber outfit. Such man would be a fool to want that and to try to live with 24/7/365. Still, in spite of my aversion to the stereotypical whip-wielding dominatress, I believe that if a man needs just that, he should get it from time to time. As for the simple solution of transforming a man into Rika’s service oriented submissive, it might work on one who is at heart a submissive and has no higher aspirations. It is also easy when her household is simple: up to three bedrooms, no pets, no yard work, few if any children. In other words, an hour or so a day keeps the home clean, rest of the time can be devoted to full-time servitude to the mistress of the home. It is good if one can afford it. Alas, few of us can be kept servants without working for a living on the side. When having to work for a living, personal service for the mistress cuts into sleep time. I know how it is to sleep three hours a day for months without a break.

The “Deal” in chapter three of the book (on page 47 of printed version) is neat and seems fair: he serves, she enjoys. That is what the basic premise is supposed to be, also assumed to be a submissive man’s dream. Alas, nothing is as simple as she presents it. Her rules work in her case only and maybe in some few cases with truly submissive men and the women who are cold and calculating about taking advantage of it.

She talks about making routines to allow her dealing with fewer responsibilities and him more things to do. She says, ”The obvious benefit is that we end up with an ever-expanding, prioritized list of tasks for him to do and a schedule for him to follow to get them done. Once on the list, he can put the task out of his mind. … frees up his time to take on more tasks.” I think that her message is appropriate for young people where the man has not taken responsibility for much, he tends to waste his time on games and video entertainment, and wifey is stuck with the work. For more responsible males already doing realistic home maintenance it is a farce. As much as some of them might want to do personal service for the female in charge, there is only so much time in a day, and one must sleep to survive the next day.

Full time service without compensation is unreal regardless of how kinky the man is. Lack of compensation is Rika’s prime directive. She talks of gifts to be bestowed on occasion just to keep the slave from rebelling under the yoke of her imposed tyranny, but not giving him the idea that he is rewarded for good behavior. Some of us have a problem with that.

Rika simplifies the control that she offers over what she assumes to be submissive men. In her experience it worked. Her experience with submissive men may be limited to one or two possibilities. One possibility is that she is or was a professional dominant whom men pay for her services. Her exposure to and control and observation of these assumed submissive men were limited only to her workplace. It would be limited to these customers who were returning for the coveted mistreatment. That would be mistreatment that she dismisses as undesirable fetish by men that should be channeled into service oriented submission to a woman. She does not know how these men performed on the long run on their own. In addition, an assumed submissive man performs a certain way with a professional, but that is no indication of how he will perform with a personal partner in real life. Now, if she is talking about real experience with respect to her husband, I am somewhat confident that she is telling the truth. That may be where she has collected all of this wisdom, albeit, limited in scope. If true, the problem is, this particular experience is based on one man. We are all different. What worked between her and her husband does not make a general rule. Some of her rules may apply over a short time, but they are not applicable to all men all the time, not even to her husband that she claims to love. There is no such rule.

She advocates communication. That is a platitude, no different from saying, “I like nice. Nice is nice.” Some people are incapable of communication. They are capable of yelling, berating, hurting, whining, playing victim, etc., but communication to resolve issues is beyond them. That leaves out a large segment of the population. Sure, it is best to try to communicate. Did that work in your case?

She explains Rules of Engagement:
  1. You [the female] decide if and when you play
  2. These are gifts you’re giving him …
  3. They should never be confused with his service to you …
  4. When you’re done playing, things go back to normal …

This is fine if you are giving him gifts and that is all he will ever want. If he is a true slave, than his feelings are of no concern. Otherwise, he will falter. Not many of us are true slaves.

At the end I think that she is more warped than the professional dominatresses. Professionals do it for the money. She does it, if she is honest, from conviction. She wants service. She promises nothing. Only a foolish man would go into such relationship with her. Despite her claim to love her husband, her words refute them. Her manipulations in chapter 5 (starting on page 66) are cold. They simply treat a symptom that she would rather not, but realizes that one must pay the bills. There is no love, not even liking in her description of what a woman should do to her submissive man on “Simple Gifts” (page 68 an on). She says, “ … [in] D/s relationship the focus is on what the man can do for the woman rather than what the woman does to the man. In this context the concepts of limits and safe-words do not apply …” I am not much for safe words, for I don’t care for role acting where “no” means “yes”, etc. However, completely detaching herself from what the man wants and needs is perverse. She may as well hire some schmuck from skid row to mistreat and not deal with the continuous education of her in-house submissive man. I know, some of you men out there think, “Hey, that’s exactly what I want!” Right. You might want that for a sex scene or maybe for a weekend before you return to your normal life. As for living with it, well, maybe, if you are bent that way, which is not true for most of us.

I am disillusioned with her book and her view. Although both have some useful qualities, she destroys the good with her cold execution of her rule. You can use the book as an instruction manual for many things in D/S and have fun on the short term. In chapter 6 and subsequent she presents many scenarios that can be kinky fun for both partners, but not in her ice-queen setting. As for applying it to your “submissive” man as a lifestyle, it is very unrealistic. Even if he is truly submissive he will have a problem with the execution of his sentence and consequently will rebel. I have my extreme and weird fantasies, but this is not one. I am strange when it comes to D/S, but I want to relate to and with a woman who has feelings for me, rather than just for herself. I guess you can call me a non-submissive.


4 comments:

I'm-Hers said...

Hers Forever,
I really did appreciate the time you took to write this lengthy post on Rika's book. I recently read it, maybe a few months ago, but came to a different conclusion. Let me preface my thoughts by stating that I am a submissive. I am not married yet to the woman that is the dominant partner. What that means is that we are together about 40% of the time, yet I am away from her a good bit as well.

The gist of the book from my perspective was:
1. She wanted 24/4 service and not play time from her submissive husband.
2. That it was the husband that 'offered' services that he wanted to perform or give to her that she could accept or reject and accept them as daily/periodic tasks that made her life easier, or as gifts that she could do as fun things to give back to her husband.
3. That when gifts were given and the fun-time over, she wanted to reinforce their status as D and s by making him serve her afterward.

What was helpful for me was seeing the list that she provided - listing the tasks he had offered to give her. My list is quite long and you can read my 'daily doings' post but personally I find that I can complete that list quite easily. Food prep and clean-up is the time-consuming task but even then, I don't make something new every night - leftovers need to be eaten and so cooking is not as involved as I initially thought it was going to be.

Finally, I would agree that it is the attitude of the dominant partner/wife that is key. Katie wants to do things with me. She loves me and I her. Relationships are built around time spent together - talking and enjoying one anothers company. I just know that underlying that time is the fact that I am there to serve her at all times - but luckily for me, she wants to be with me, helping me do things more often than not.

In summary, I thought the book was quite helpful and came away from it with a very different taste than you.

Her Majesty's Plaything said...

Hi SP:

I really enjoyed reading your review. As always it was very well thought out and extremely well written.

I reviewed “Uniquely Rika” a few years ago myself and did so pretty enthusiastically. I think she makes some good points though it would be a mistake to take her book as a one size fits all instruction manual. Nothing is. Maintaining anything like a 24/7 Mistress/slave relationship in the context of a loving marriage is no easy task. In fact I think it’s pretty much impossible unless both parties remain extremely open minded and flexible. No book is going teach you everything you need to know to make it work.

It has been a while since I read “Uniquely Rika” so I can only go off what I remember. I very much agreed with her premise that a D/s relationship should be built on a firm foundation of love first and foremost and that the relationship between husband and wife should take priority over the relationship between Mistress and sub. I also agreed with her approach to play being be a gift from Mistress to sub not some kind of faux punishment scenario. That is the model Her Majesty and I have worked with and we have done pretty well by it.

I am not saying Her Majesty read the book because she has not. I gave it to her and it still sits collecting dust on her night table. When I showed her Rika’s method of keeping her husband in perpetual servitude with never ending lists of chores she said; “how horrible!” In retrospect I am relieved she felt that way! ;-)

I agree with your point that in a real world relationship involving careers, jobs, houses, family etc. the never ending servitude thing could get old pretty quickly. Don’t get me wrong. Loving service is the cornerstone of my D/s relationship with Her Majesty and there is nothing I love more than making her smile. But there are limits to what is humanly possible or can be reasonably expected in a real world relationship.

I also agree that a submissive should get something more from his Mistress than a “to do” list. If his deepest desire is to scrub the kitchen floor then so be it, but that is usually not the case. Most of us have fetishes, desires and longings that led us to explore this lifestyle in the first place and while loving service may be complementary to those desires it is not a substitute for them. No amount of washing dishes or folding laundry will make me stop craving the kiss of Her Majesty’s whip or the taste of her when she uses me as her throne. All work and no play will probably lead to trouble on the home front eventually.

I found this a very thought provoking review. Thanks for posting it.

Susan's Pet said...

Hers,

I saw the world through rose-colored glasses back when I bought and first read this book, maybe four years ago. Even though I knew I was not and still am not submissive, I wanted to submit to my wonderful wife. The book seemed a natural set of informative instructions for an otherwise non-dominant female to read. It turned me on to read it myself. It was not until, my wife became interested in it about a month ago that I re-red the book and began to see how it did not apply to me as much as I assumed.

I do try to keep an open mind about other people’s views as long as they don’t harm me or others in general. By your admission you are submissive, so it might work for you and your partner. This is benign. If you are right about your mutual love, your Rika-like relationship would be richer than the drab “service oriented submission” that Rika describes. Actually, I could live with that.

Plaything,

There are many blogs that come and go which are based on mistress/slave, and female supremacy views. They mostly just go away, for most are written by unrealistic males. Your sober view is refreshing, “Maintaining anything like a 24/7 Mistress/slave relationship in the context of a loving marriage is no easy task.” In fact, they are impossible unless one is truly a slave, and I don’t know any even by self-admission. One can play being a slave, even take it seriously for a while or from time to time. However, that is different from actually being one.

Rika does make at least one good point. If a man is willing to submit to a woman, then the measure of “her performance” is truly the indication of how happy she is with his submission, rather than how happy he is by serving her. I agree with that. However, I disconnect from her generalization that a man can exist serving her with nothing but an occasional gift thrown at him. If a man is bent that way, good for him. I doubt, however, that most supposedly submissive men will happily live with that. Referring to my previous post on love, she can mistreat him to any extent out of love, as long as they both know that is what he wants. I would need a lot more than just an occasional gift that is disconnected from my performance.

brainfront said...

Thank you for your well-written commentary. After reading the first few pages of the book I put it down with a feeling of slight disgust and slightly injured self-confidence. Reading your post makes me feel relieved that there are other people that, while I wont go so far as to say "come from the same standpoint as I" so at least from some kind of adjacent standpoint.

To be fair I should probably have read the entire thing before judging it but for one thing I just just borrowed the book and had to hand it back, and for another it felt like her and my standpoints where just irreconcilable.

I can never be a True(tm) submissive in the terms of being in a 24/7 relationship and even less so on the premises that the entire point of the relationship is that I would get no rewards for service but rather dispensed randomly and at Mistress discretion. Giving rewards and punishments randomly are a well proven way of domineering and suppressing your employees in a work environment so while I can see it as being an effective way of a certain kind of domination; it is nothing i would touch with a five foot long-time-relationship-pole.

Furthermore it is always interesting to see what happens to a text if you mentally switch the genders. In the case of this book you get pretty much the classic house-wife / working husband relationship. Realistically today both parties would be working though. I can see why that would be appealing to some people, still it is nothing for me.