Preconceived notions are things that we all carry with us. No matter how advanced a person might think he or she is, the simple truth is past experiences and conditioning are ever present. This traits form our view of the world. At the same time, we have a mind that like clarity wherever possible. Every situation we encounter is completely new. However, this idea does not sit well with the mind. Instead, it uses past knowledge while seeking out similarities to create certainty in the present situation. As I will show, this creates a great many problems for us.
The imagery of BDSM is well known. Go to any mainstream website and what do you see? Most often the "whips and chains" side of the lifestyle is pronounced. This is the imagery the porn industry wants people to embrace. Remember, their goal is to sell videos and other products. They are not interested in delving into what is truly being offered in this way of life.
We think in pictures. Consider the saying "a picture is worth a thousand words". Why has this phrase stood the test of time? The answer lies in the fact that our mind is image driven. This is proven by the fact that the best writers are those who are able to "paint a mental picture" for us. All of our vocabulary is nothing more than picture. Think of the word "blue". What happened? Did you see the letters b-l-u-e in your mind or did you see the color itself? I am going to guess you saw the color.
Another interesting aspect of all of this is the power that these images convey. Advertisers know this. It is often called "the shock value". If one can paint a powerful image in your mind, then getting you to take predefined action is easier. Power images evoke emotion which creates a bond within us. A classic example is the little puppy dog at the humane society. This orphan dog is so cute and the story so heartbreaking that you cannot help but to either go adopt an animal or send them money to assist in the work they do.
Believe it or not, the BDSM world is presented in the same way. The porn industry has a goal, to get some of your money. Hence, it creates powerful imagery of BDSM scenes meant to excite (sexually) which creates a powerful bond within yourself. This becomes the overriding image people have in their minds. For this reason, I cannot tell you how many I have come across over the years who believe that BDSM was nothing more than being tied up and beaten. I guess for some, this is enough but, in my view, they are missing a major piece.
Another idea that I need to mention about imagery is that we are also susceptible to the experiences of others. What do I mean by that? When someone else shares something that we have no experience in, whether it be via the spoken or written word, we tend to draw conclusions about that. This is another way that images are created in our mind. Therefore, when reading how others live in the BDSM world, after enough research, we will begin to formulate what is "normal". This is only natural and simply how the mind works. However, being aware of it will allow us to supersede this while moving forward.
Creativity is something that gets a poor reputation in our society. When people typically think of creative individuals, the image (there it is again) of the starving artist comes to mind. Obviously, this is something few would strive for hence we see creativity as characteristic is downplayed. Also, creative individuals are not easy to control since they tend to be "free thinkers" which goes counter to the intentions of the powers that be.
When approaching BDSM, creativity is one of the major qualities required to enjoy fulfillment. Why do I say this? Simply put, BDSM allows you to create whatever life you desire. This is counter to what we are conditioned to believe by society which tends to dictate to us what our lives are to look like (think of the kid who goes to school to become a doctor because his family expects that of him).
I surmise part of the problem with people embracing this idea of creating whatever BDSM life they want is that it puts responsibility upon them. This is something which people often run from. Too often we see people, especially in the BDSM world, who want power but not the responsibility for the results that come with that. We live in a world that specializes in blame. One only needs to look at our political leadership to see that in full force. They are responsible for nothing while always telling us how "it is the other guy's fault".
Individuals operate from this same mindset. Most people have built in answers for what is wrong with their lives. They blame their parents, boss, spouse, kids, economy, or whatever allows them to feel like they are not at fault. However, the truth is the individual is at fault. Now I am not going to say that those factors do not play in and make progress more difficult. However, owning up to our part in things is fundamental to success in anything. Taking responsibility for the path we are on is the first step in changing it.
The other aspect to being able to create whatever life you want within BDSM is that there are no limitations. Many seem to believe that the BDSM relationship will look a certain way. There is no template what anything is suppose to look like. People are free to structure their interactions however they desire. BDSM truly is an open-ended lifestyle. Whatever your mind can conceive is possible. Trust me when I tell you, whatever fetish, idea, or structure you imagine, there is someone out there who is already into that. We truly are dealing with unlimited possibilities.
Which brings us to the final problem that I will discuss today. People tend not to do well with unlimited possibilities. The limitless is incomprehensible to most. Instead, they are conditioned to believe in the limitations they erect for themselves. Negative self talk is the overriding mindset. People can always tell you why something cannot be done. Fear is probably the most felt emotion on a daily basis for the masses. This leads to us saying that it cant be done rather than it can be. To grow and excel, one needs to overcome this limitations. What is ironic is almost all of them reside in the mind. We tend to mentally imprison ourselves. The words "I can't" formulate the actions we take. The situation becomes self fulfilling. Instead of creating, the individual is actually destroying. Is it any wonder people lead such dire existences?
So, your challenge is to question the limitations you erected for yourself. Why do you think or believe what you do? Where did that come from? Who put it there? How do you know you are right? Consider what your thoughts are on BDSM. What do you believe? Are things suppose to look a certain way in your view? Do you embrace and relish the unlimited? Or does it scare you? Is your mind made of concrete incapable of being changed? These are a few questions to get you started.
There is no right or wrong way to approach BDSM. It truly is up to you to create what you want within the lifestyle. Knowing yourself is paramount. That is why I always say it is a journey within. What is it that will fulfill you? That is what is most important. The views and opinions of others means nothing. This is your life we are talking about. What do you want? For too long, most of us were ruled but the shoulds and oughts that those around us set down for us. Now that you took the step to at least research BDSM, be sure to shed the thought process which enslaved you in the first place. Open your mind up to the possibilities. BDSM is truly a limitless lifestyle.
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