As I have said before (and will say again), I am no expert so I rely on others to teach, coach and write. Sometimes I find wonderful things to share (and sometimes I don’t – you know that’s happening when there are long, long breaks between posts!)
BDSM Revisited: Detours & Debris
The trend these days in BDSM seems to be as Noel Coward sang “Anything Goes” except, of course, when it doesn’t. Part of this confusion seems to stem from the migration into the lifestyle of vanillas with its never-changing cast of characters: control freak jerks, players, trolls, drama queens, perpetual virgins, well, you get the picture.
We see guys getting “into the scene” because they have gotten the misinformation that submissives never say no to sex, are easy to manipulate, and as “Doms” or “Masters” they can get away with really bad behavior. We see women getting into it because they have the mistaken idea that all Doms/Masters are sex gods, will tell them exactly what they ought to be doing, will take care of their every need, and are some kind of superior man to spice up their (mostly non-existent) sex lives. Sorry to disabuse you, if that’s what you believe, but it’s hardly the truth.
There is room in the community of BDSM to include a wide variety of folk, this is true. From those who just want to play or scene to those who want a fulfilling relationship with someone who complements their particular set of kinks: Sadists with Masochists, dominants with submissives, complementive fetishists. However, some traditionalists resent the incursion of newbies who are essentially clueless, just looking for easy sex, and basing their expectations and practices on nothing more than fantasies and pornographic fakery.
Like cultists who rush from one to the next when disappointment settles in and the truth be known, it is likely many of these new sojourners will drop away from BDSM practices whenever burnout strikes, yesterday, today, or some tomorrow. To them BDSM will be merely another detour on their life path, a sideroad that goes no further than the dead end sign, and they’ll back up and head back to Vanilla Highway 101. Unfortunately, they may carry with them (as failed conservatives or liberals often do) the “understanding” that it was all a lie to begin with. Perhaps to them specifically, it was, indeed, a lie, but they were lying to themselves or their motivations were false.
BDSM is not about easy sex, not about being excited by whips and chains only when nothing else works, not about being a chauvinist asshole nor a whining victim. But, in future, we may experience meeting up with people for whom that opinion is their guiding factor. The “Dom”, for example, who because of his personality (not his inexperience) still cannot “get laid” will, just as in Vanilla Land, think the women involved are bitches, frigid, or lesbians. The “sub” whose fantasy was never fulfilled, just as it wasn’t in her vanilla life, will continue to think all men are jerks, assholes, and players. It may even seem ironic, to those of us outside this paradigm, that such false Doms and subs often wind up with experience only with each other, not with people actually in the BDSM lifestyle.
So, let’s consider what the difference is, in terms of motivation and expectation. Are you involved or getting involved in BDSM because you must for genuine and sincere fulfillment? Have you explored the pros and cons and find the pros win every time? Do you base your relationship expectations on the long-term, always learning and growing, and changing emotional, mental, and physical needs you consistently experience? Do you realize that while it may be healthy and satisfying to have fantasies, they don’t always have to made manifest in the real world? Do you know, as a submissive, the difference between being pushed/shoved and being led? Are you aware, as a Dominant, that respect, compromise, and responsibility are part of the relationship dynamic?
Here’s a little technique that can help. Sit down and make a list of what you expect from a BDSM or D/s relationship. A real list of practical attributes, not fantasies. If you expect your potential Dominant to be a knight on a white horse to slay your dragons of doubt, shyness, self-recrimination, previous mental, physical, or emotional abuse – cross that off your list. You have to be, as a submissive, your own knight. The Dominant can only help keep your armor intact and hand you the right sword.
If you’re the Dominant, your list shouldn’t include items like “Sex whenever and however I want it”, “The right to do whatever I want with no responsibility”, nor “Someone I can order around like some inferior and low creature”. But it might include things like “Taking responsible care of another person”, “Providing a stable, dependable basis for respect and mutual pleasure”, and “Being a leader, a guide, a mentor, and a lover”.
Another thing, an observation that continues to appear in conversations about the relationship dynamics. In a D/s relationship, particularly, it is the relationship that controls and is the power between the participants. The Dominant is given power to make choices and decisions, the submissive surrenders power to do so – but the real controller is the dynamic of the relationship itself. And that’s a good thing to know and accept.
Oh, and try not to take the detours, but make your own path. And step over or around any debris you find strewn there. Someone else has already thrown it away.