I am continually amazed about some of the things that I come across as I travel around the wonderful world of online BDSM. Now do not get me wrong, I am all for individuality and people doing what they want for themselves. As long as there is consent (at least initially in the form of M/s submission), then have at it. Nevertheless, once in a while I just have to shake my head.
Recently, I came across a profile of a woman who had a deep desire to be branded. To her, this was a way to really exhibit her "slavery" and really show the world what she was. On one level, I completely understand and respect her view. Slavery is an extreme aspect of our lifestyle. Those who truly follow this path, at least as I embrace it, are choosing a total and complete form of power exchange. That means that all is on the table including branding.
Now come the practical side of me. Branding, while being a symbol of ownership and extreme loyalty, is also very dangerous. For those who are unfamiliar with this practice, simply ponder what ranchers do with their livestock. Now imagine this same process done to a human with the exception of having a hot item pressed against the skin repeatedly as opposed to one time. Essentially, in human branding, the goal is to achieve a 3rd degree burn which emerges in the form of a specific design. Sadly, much of this is dependent upon the aftercare process which actually interrupts the natural healing process to form a scar. The problem is that this aftercare puts one at great risk of infection. The skin is one of the first lines of defense for the body and when that is altered, the potential can be catastrophic. Consider the fact that the leading cause of death of major burn victims is infection.
Here is an excellent article which depicts exactly what I am referring to and explains the process in great detail.
As a practice, I simply cannot condone the idea of branding. Yes, on a particular level it is a powerful sign of our dedication to M/s and the life we lead. However, the risk associated with the practice far outweighs any benefit. BDSM is a lifestyle choice which opens up many avenues. We live in a wide and varied genre. Yet some common sense must be maintained. In lieu of the brand, go for the tattoo. While not as extreme, it still basically has the same permanence as a brand without the potential dangers. Remember, we must be sensible with what we do. Branding simply is not a practice that should be engaged in.
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