Okay, here’s something that I rarely do – have a guest blogger here on The Edge of Vanilla.
Of course, I’ve never asked anyone before, either.
Anyway, long-time web surfers looking for femdom-related readings have no doubt stumbled across the Uniquely Rika web site, hosted by Ms. Rika, a non-pro dominatrix who runs an informational web forum and who has spent much of the last two decades counseling couples who have some interest in exploring female domination. She has a very simple, down-to-earth approach to D/s and her web site is laid out as a safe, easy-to-follow guide that reflects her own development over the last twenty years.
Believing that there was a need for a written guide that presents female domination in a safe way, and one that avoids the stereotypes commonly associated with domination – stereotypes that tend to turn women off to the idea – Ms. Rika recently published a book, “Uniquely Rika,” in order to bring the essential points of her web site to a wider audience.
From the Lulu Publishing web site:
This is NOT your typical D/s manual. Uniquely Rika provides a practical, intelligent, common-sense approach to adding / enhancing D/s in your relationship; with long-termed success. You’ll see how fulfilling the inner desire to serve or be served is within your reach – without having to mask yourself in artificial roles and games.
Ms. Rika explains why several popular approaches fail to last. She then details her approach to creating successful D/s relationships; one which has proven as effective with seasoned D/s players as with those who never thought themselves to be a ‘dominant’ or ‘submissive’.
Regardless of your experience level, Uniquely Rika will provide a new insight, a heightened awareness, and a fresh perspective on D/s that will enhance your relationships, forever. Though written from the ‘female-led’ perspective, the concepts are applicable to any loving partners.
If you’re serious about a lasting and meaningful D/s-based relationship, you’ll want to read “Uniquely Rika”.
Okay, enough with the jibber jabber. Ms. Rika agreed to be interviewed by the staff here at The Edge of Vanilla, and our diligent writers spent considerable time in researching in order to come up with questions a little more engaging than “What is your favorite color?” or “What is the average airspeed of a swallow?”
EoV: Self-styled femdom experts are all over the net. What’s your angle on this? Why listen to you, or in this case, read your book?
Ms. Rika: There is so much literature out there on D/s and BDSM, unfortunately, it’s mostly designed to sell to the male-centric fantasy of the whip-wielding, leather-clad, ego-centric bitch. As a fantasy, it’s not such a bad thing; I, too, enjoy the role-playing, dressing up, and scene-games from time time.
However, the problem arises when men who recognize an inner desire to submit mistakenly try to convert this fantasy into a full-time lifestyle, without regard to their partner’s personality. They turn to their wives or girlfriends and try to convince them to take on the role of Dominatrix. The problem is: their partners are seldomly whip-wielding, leather-clad, ego-centric bitches (if they were, the guy wouldn’t be the one initiating the lifestyle, would he?)!
Men need to identify their true inner needs. Do they want to serve a woman who recognizes her position of dominance? Or, would they rather just be ‘done’ while helpless to resist? The former serves the woman… the latter serves the man.
If a man has a true inner desire to serve – and to be subservient to – a woman who openly recognizes and accepts her position of dominance, then he needs to commit himself to learning how to submit to her unique desires and needs. He needs to be taught how to serve the unique woman who has accepted his service.
“Uniquely Rika” addresses this problem from both the male and female point of view. It discusses in depth why other approaches to D/s fail in the long run, and why they often leave the partners dissatisfied and resentful. It then takes a practical approach to creating a long-term dynamic that is layered on top of the relationship, one that works for both parties.
It works because it is rooted in the basic foundations of relationships and open communication of intent. It works because the unique needs and identities of both parties are addressed and preserved. There are no roles to play, no protocols to follow (we leave those concepts to playtime, where they still exist with all their glory!). In my perspective, D/s extends the relationship, it does not replace it.
The book provides a new and different look at D/s that I believe both experienced and novice D/s partners alike will find invaluable.
EoV: What kind of personal information would you like readers to know in order to make them feel comfortable with your style of domination? What works for you and your husband? What did not work for the both of you, and how did you resolve it?
Ms. Rika: When I first realized that I enjoyed dominating men, I was 12. It’s a long story which I’ve told online many times, but I realized having a male at my mercy excited me. I took on the roles and played the scenes. Still, I always felt a little empty. I always realized the men were getting what they wanted and I was judging my “success” on their reactions! It was all about what I did to him or made him do. It didn’t feel like I was the one being served.
Over our 20 years of marriage, my husband and I migrated from the fantasy-oriented, male-centric BDSM scenes to the more practical service-oriented, domme-centric lifestyle of D/s. Neither of us have ever been happier. Now, D/s is about what he does for me, not what I do to him. We judge the success of the D/s dynamic on how satisfied I am; and on how good a job he does in anticipating my needs and fulfilling them.
Sure, we still scene, but that’s playtime – a gift from me to him. “Uniquely Rika” spends a lot of time on gifts, and explains why playtime is so different than real time. It also addresses why gifts are different from – and better than – rewards.
EoV: You claim to be a lifestyle domme. Have you ever subbed? If so, what drew you back to the top side?
Ms Rika: I’ve not subbed for very long. I’ve done a few scenes which I didn’t enjoy. I’m defintely not submissive!
EoV: What made you decide to write a book? What’s different about your approach than we might read in some of the other books out there?
Ms. Rika: Over the past 15 years, I’ve been refining this approach. Starting back in the days of Compu$erve’s channel 12, through Yahoo Groups, and most recently my own forum (www.msrika.com) I’ve been learning what’s in and on the minds of submissive guys and dominant women around the world. I have been reshaping their minds for many, many years through common sense, irrefutable logic, and an empathy for their true inner needs. I felt the approach had matured enough to put it all together into a single reference; a reference sadly missing on today’s shelves. I wanted it to be out there, generally available!
EoV: Can you give some examples of situations in which you’ve helped others?
Ms. Rika: There are many couples who came to my forum; usually it’s the guy who tells me his wife can’t dominate him “correctly”. I just love that. It doesn’t take more than a short conversation to make him understand how what he’s asking for is for only himself; a very self-serving and selfishly motivated request hidden in mock-subservience. In most cases, we can delve into what he really needs at his core; sometimes it’s a “do me while I’m helpless” scene, but more often he really does want to submit and serve. When it’s the latter, I help them – sometimes over a period of a year or more – to learn to serve and self-discipline… and they are so much happier! It’s very rewarding for me.
The contact sometimes comes from a woman trying to become her husband’s fantasy domme. As I point out in “Uniquely Rika”, there is no way to keep up with a man’s fantasy; it’s an ever-escalating, ever-modulating, unachievable goal that will swallow up her identity and leave her very unsatisfied. I have to help her understand this, and that the key to happiness for both of them is for her to assume a truly dominant and confident role and openly accept his submission on her terms.
I go into detail on all of this in the book – there’s a lot to it.
EoV: Here’s a question that I think will be the most interesting to the male readers. What can a man do if his partner seems to be hopelessly vanilla?
Ms. Rika: Read “Uniquely Rika”! Seriously, there is nobody who is “hopelessly vanilla”. The battle for a successful D/s dynamic is not about teaching the woman to be a fantasy dominatrix, it’s about teaching the man how to serve the unique needs of his partner! Once the dynamic of service-oriented D/s is properly established, everything else falls into place. His actions towards her are based in his intent of service and she accepts them from a position of dominance.
This happens because they’ve openly communicated and accepted the intents of their actions. The roles and games of playtime become gifts for the man… gifts his partner can feel comfortable giving whenever she wants, because she knows she’s playing a game in the context of her own generosity.
And if she happens to be a closet whip-wielding, leather-clad, ego-centric bitch – he’s going to find that out very, very quickly! But the chances are that he’ll just be more satisfied than he could ever have imagined simply serving the needs of the woman he loves.
EoV: I see your site – and presumably your book- aimed at newbies or mainly-vanilla couples. Why do you believe that your book has something to offer experienced D/s players?
Ms. Rika: There are two reasons: one as it relates to the nature of service-oriented D/s and the second as it relates to the “male-centric” activities section of “Uniquely Rika”.
Firstly, the interesting thing about service-oriented D/s is that it doesn’t matter what the action is, the power exchange itself is the context in which all actions take place. Remember, the focus for the submissive guy is to learn to please his partner. If the dominant partner is most happy when torturing him, then it is his duty to learn how to suffer for her. If she is not into that, he must give her whatever else she needs and wants.
Even if it’s a seemingly non-kinky activity, the fact that it’s based in the power exchange and that he offers it with the intent to serve and that she accepts it from her position of dominance, it will be D/s-based and charged with the excitement of power-exchange activity!
Whether you’re a pure-service partner getting your clothes folded or a BDSM-aficionado enjoying the pain you’ve created for your sub, the power exchange is the same! The difference lies in the individual and unique likes and desires of the dominant partner. “Uniquely Rika” makes this clear – the concepts are suitable to all people regardless of the degree to which they are involved in traditional BDSM activities!
Secondly, “Uniquely Rika” covers gifts and playtime in depth. Topics that fall under this category tend to be more male-centric and include chastity devices, tease and denial, educational scenarios, a little bit on bondage, and a bit on post-orgasmic torture. I think that the fantasy-based players will find these topics both interesting and educational.
EoV: What is the average airspeed of a swallow?
Ms. Rika: Did you mean a European or African swallow?
Despite the fact that she considers chastity devices to be sex toys – a view which I can’t really dispute – I’ve always liked Rika’s approach. Back when Mrs. Edge took an interest in wanting to learn about the subject, Rika’s web site was one of the resources to which I pointed her. I also look in on the forums at her website, on which Ms Rika usually takes the time to reply to just about every question.
Her book is available at Lulu, and will shortly be available in the mainstream outlets (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.). Considering some of the books on female domination that have been published in the last few years, I’m sure that it will be a welcome
edition addition to those who are looking for a safe and sane introduction to the lifestyle.
Ms. Rika, thank you for taking the time for this interview. The staff here at The Edge of Vanilla enjoyed working with you, and we wish you continued success.