Exclusive Leather and Lace Advice Guest Article: Dominique Schiavoni, author of “Collared Cooking” dishes up wisdom about D/S relationships
Introduction: Occasionally we find someone with a unique and fascinating lifestyle or point of view that we feel will offer you a new way of thinking about intimacy and relationships. Mostly, we interview them. Occasionally, their authentic voice is just more suitable, as in the case of Dominique Schiavoni the author of Collared Cooking: Recipes to Spice Up Your Kitchen… and Your Love Life (Lulu Publishing Services, 2015). His book is a unique and informative way to look at D/s relationships. We invited Dominique to write a guest article for Leather and Lace Advice, asking him to “dish up” some of his wisdom about the Dominant and Submissive lifestyle that he personally leads. The article that follows our brief review of his book, Collared Cooking, is exclusive to Leather and Lace Advice. We welcome your comments. –Alison and Tony aka. “Leather and Lace”
Brief Review of Collared Cooking: In the wake of so much “50 Shades” hype, there is also a lot of misconceptions about the D/s lifestyle. In fact, most of the books that come across our desk are either pure fiction/fantasy or basic information that “hints” at nothing more than the purely physical aspects of dominance and submission. Collared Cooking goes beyond that (although there is plenty of “how-to” as well), to focus on the emotional and intimate connection involved in Dominant/Submissive relationships. The author has first-hand knowledge of this connection as he is a long time Dominant, and he includes stories and examples from his own life and with his fiance and submissive. What we like so much about Collared Cooking is that Dominique reinforces the notion that D/S relationships are not about whips and chains, aggression or violence, but essentially about building an intimate bond between two people that is based on trust, communication and intimacy. As Dominique explains it, a D/S relationship is one in which two people build a bit of an island of togetherness that no one else is invited into from the outside, although their world on the outside is pretty much the same as anyone else’s.
Dominique is also an Italian chef, and apparently he and his fiance/submissive share a love of cooking together. One of the unique things about Collared Cooking are the recipes that Dominique includes in every chapter that are not just do-able, but delicious. Dominique uses the courses of a meal as a technique to guide people through the stages one might take to introduce and develop a D/S relationship. ,
The book isn’t a big one, you might be able to finish it in one sitting if you’re a fast reader, but it will provide the curious with an honest account of what it takes to be a Dominant man, why women are attracted to the D/S lifestyle, and how a man can create a life into which a willing and happy submissive will fit. Everything is presented gently, part lifestyle primer for novices who want to enter into a Domination and submission relationship safely, and part recipe collection for those who like easy Italian cooking. While the D/S lifestyle is not to everyone’s taste (pun intended), the recipes and the author’s way of describing this alternative lifestyle, is worth the read. The D/S lifestyle might or might not heat up your intimate relationship, but the book will find you heating up your stove. If you are curious about the Dominant/Submissive lifestyle “for real” and not as a fantasy, read Collared Cooking.
Guest Article: So you want to ‘taste’ a Dominant / submissive relationship….
by Dominique Schiavoni,author of “Collared Cooking
Seven hundred million dollars’ worth of books & movie tickets has created a lot of interest in what is referred to as dominance and submission or more generally, BDSM. As I have been interviewed on radio & television I am asked the same three questions: 1. Why have you made your sex life public? 2. How do I get my partner to try this? 3. Where do I find someone who is interested in this?
The first question, “Why?” is easy; to educate the general public on the realities of our lifestyle. I say ‘our’ because there are many contributors to my book: journalists, photographers, (amateur) models and poets. The book is not one man’s opinion, but rather a collection of life stories, life moments, special thoughts and great recipes; recipes being the metaphorical outline for the five course meal that is the seduction of the submissive. Seducing a woman into submission is not fast food, it is not quick, easy or simple; hence the metaphor of a five course meal, which denotes time, preparation, quality, pride and giving pleasure on the part of the dominant.
The entire book is essentially in answer to question #2: How do I get my partner to try this? The answer being first to understand the reality of it and then slowly, in stages, like courses of a romantic Italian meal, one course leading to the next, building up to the main course and ultimately desert,which is a relationship of depth and intimacy that you did not think possible. If you think just buying a riding crop and spanking someone’s butt makes you a Dom you are sadly mistaken. If you think letting your partner spank you makes you a submissive, you are equally mistaken and both of you are missing the real meat of the matter, which is the bond, the closeness, the intimacy that comes forth from a dominant and submissive relationship. It is about the relationship, not the spankings.
Most people seem to think that a Dominant and submissive relationship is just about sex toys but that is far from reality. Dominant and submissive relationships are about respect, intimacy, trust, connection and passion. It is that intimacy, that passion that holds couples together and once felt will not allow you to go back to a world where respect and intimacy are things not valued to the degree that we do.
Collared Cooking is not a legalistic book of ”how to properly obey your Dom”, or an instruction book on how to tie knots or anything of that nature. The book deals with the heart and soul of the submissive, and the responsibility of the Dom to value and protect that heart and soul. It addresses the emotional journey that both parties undertake when they leave the safe shores of the vanilla world behind and venture into the deep waters of BDSM. I speak to the realities of the fear inherent in being bound, struck and possibly hurt by a novice that has no conception of ‘how to’, ‘how much’ or ‘how soon’. I explain to both parties what can happen when a man thinks that taking off your belt and beating a woman while demanding blow jobs is all there is to being a Dominant, and how both the body and the spirit can be terribly damaged when the Dom does not understand his responsibility for the safety and well-being of the submissive. It explains to the Dom the intense fears and feelings the submissive will go through as they give up years of feeling in control and release that control, and give that power to someone else. There is far more to this than just buying a riding crop and smacking someone’s behind.
One main and very different aspect is respect. If you served in the military you understand the meaning , manifestation and pride of showing respect to others, but only 1% of the population does indeed serve. The other 99% may well not understand the depth of that term “respect” and what it means to both parties, the sense of connection that comes from giving or receiving true respect. Doms & subs do understand what it means to a loving dominant and submissive couple; both how it is earned and how it is given. That respect and trust of the two parties (in D/s) is 24 x 7 x 365 and is a feeling of security and commitment that binds couples together at a level not generally felt in the vanilla world. In a world where most relationship counselors essentially talk about bargaining for what each party wants, dominant and submissive couples focus on giving to the other with a sense of responsibility and knowledge that each party carries its share of the weight to make the union complete. The intensity of this type of relationship will be very new to both parties and will change your outlook on friends, family & work, all of which will become ‘small’ compared to what you learn to feel inside.
How does one get to this point? How does one introduce and entice a partner to want to taste a bit of this intoxicating lifestyle? Simply put, in courses. In my book, I use the metaphor of a five-course meal to discuss what happens at the appetizer stage, at the secondo corso stage, etc. and how each course leads to the next, in dare I say palatable bites because the reality is, if you try to force too much too fast they will choke and leave the table, and your exotic dining experience will be over. Collared Cooking offers a slow teaching experience and you must do so with genuine love and concern in your heart, especially if you are the in the dominant role, because as such you are the leader and carry most all the responsibility for what happens physically and mentally to your submissive, and this is no small weight to carry. Yes you may have a safe word, but if you are a competent Dom, one who understands the dynamics and psychology of submission, and is sensitive and attuned to your submissive as you engage her is a scene, she will never have to use that word.
Collared Cooking in not a book for the “you spank me and then I will spank you because it looked cool on 50 Shades” crowd. It is for couples whose relationship has either grown stale, or who have realized they never actually got to that place of intimacy that they had hoped for when things were new and shiny; and this is a large percentage of couples worldwide. Women who wonder “Does my man find me attractive, exciting?” and men who wonder “Does my woman respect me?” will find those insecurities drifting away should they adopt the outlook, the mind set of couples in D/S relationships and not just playing at sex, but living the lifestyle. Both men and women might be very surprised to find that same feeling of belonging, that sense of pride and that each felt back in high school when she wore his varsity jacket or his ring around her neck on a chain. A feeling very different than ‘being married’, more basic, more primal, something deeply personal to only the two of you that no one else is privy to or understands. It’s good to share ‘a secret’. It’s good to feel young again.
And as to question #3, the “where?” question, $700 million dollars is a lot of books, movies and fantasies. It’s all around you if you have the courage, the open mindedness to just let it happen. I suggest you read the book and talk about it, asking questions: “What do you think of this?” or “Have you ever fantasized about this?” This is a very good way to start that conversation!
New! Get the Collared Cooking Special Color Edition: Recipes to spice up your kitchen… and your love life