February 1, 2016

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What Does It Take To Be Dominant Part 2


In my last post (found here), I covered some of the basics of domination.  In that article I covered how domination is something that resides in the head, the same as submission yet it is our core that determines which way we lean.  This natural quality is present in everyone since, depending upon the situation, one has the ability to exert control over.  It does not require great insight to determine that even a submissive is not that way in ever instance.  There are times, work or in raising children, where she is required to handle the role of dominant.  While this is not the preferred option, it is something she is capable of.  At the same time, if a dominant has half a brain, he realizes there are times, like in court, where he is at the mercy of another.

I am going to start by delving into the idea that domination is natural.  It is common to see a submissive, especially when she is seeking help with her boyfriend, to state something like "my boyfriend is naturally dominant".  This is a belief that I sense many have.  Taken at face value, it makes some sense but it does require clarification.  As I mentioned, the quality of domination, like submission, are natural.  Both are present within everyone as evidenced by the fact that we all can embrace either role depending upon the situation.  Certainly, it is not comfortable submitting for a dominant yet it is often done.  The same is true for a submissive.  Therefore, I will agree that when one states so and so is naturally dominant, that is a true statement.

The problem arises in the fact that being naturally dominant does not mean one has the ability to dominate.  In other words, simply having the quality of dominance within oneself will not automatically translate to being a good Dom.  Domination is not a natural manifestation.  Yet it does spring from the quality of domination within a person but it requires a great deal more.  True domination necessitates self control, a willingness to take responsibility, dedication, motivation, education/knowledge, and the ability to overcome fear.  Ironically, this is just a small list of some of the attributes needed to excel at the art of domination.  I think you will agree simply being of "dominant nature" is not enough.

It is interesting to note that often those who are deemed naturally dominant have a life that is totally out of control.  I find the best way to measure the effectiveness of a person's domination is to look how he lives.  If you find many areas which seem overlooked or like they are not being tended to, this could be a sign that the "domination" you see is nothing more than a cover.  Remember when I wrote about cockiness not being true esteem but, rather, a way to mask one's personally held inferiority complex.  Cocky people tell you how great they are while confident people show you.  It is the same with domination.  A truly dominant person will have that attribute apply to every area of his life.

At this point I am going to cover some of the areas where you should see his domination manifest.  Again, like always, I am going to make some generalizations here which will encompass most individuals.  Of course, there are going to be individuals who fall out of the range of what I am discussing here or who have circumstances not deemed ordinary.  Yes there are exceptions but this can be a basic checklist to work from.

Inner qualities are manifested in the outer world.  Focusing upon the outer results will likely give you insight into the individual and what is operating within him.

Let us look at a few areas:

1. Physical body

I really love seeing the profile posts stating "I am looking for a fit sub/slave; one who takes care of her body and looks good for her owner".  Obviously, this is a fine desire until you read the specs on the person who posted this and realize he is 150 pounds overweight himself.  Come on...seriously?  And this person espouses to be dominant.

Let us look at some of the facts in this situation.  To start, it is no great secret that excess weight, especially obesity, causes many health issues while also shortening one's life.  Think of all the people you can who lived past the age of, say, 90.  How many of them were extremely overweight?  Very few.  In fact, consider those who lived past 80 and you will see the same thing.  Why is this the case?  Simple...the heavier people died.  So one who is coming from this perspective is basically stating "I do not care about living a long life with you".  In other words, get ready to bury his ass young.

I will specifically insert a caveat here.  I realize there are many who have conditions, such as certain medications, which make weight loss near impossible.  Obviously, these people have a valid reason for it.  However, with almost half the US either overweight or obese, I fail to see how this is the justification for most.  If you are in the 5% of people who have medical conditions/medicines that make weight loss impossible, ignore this.  On the other hand, if you do not fit into that category while also not fitting into your pants, maybe pay attention.

The problem with a dominant who fits into the category is that he lacks the qualities necessary to be in good shape.  In view of the shortened life, we can see how the motivation is lacking.  It takes effort to get in shape.  At the same time, it also requires self discipline to shed excess weigh.  One needs to get himself to the gym and work out 4/5 times a week while also eliminating those foods which are harmful to this endeavor.  The truth is we all like cake, ice cream, fast food, and candy.  However, those who are serious about being healthy and fit have the discipline to avoid these foods in mass quantities.  It is said that weight issues are 90% attributed to what we eat as compared to exercise.  One needs the ability to exercise control over what goes into his mouth.  Those who do not either do not care or they lack the ability.  Either is a red flag to me.

Please bear in mind, I am not stating that everyone needs to strive to have a body like a professional body builder.  That is an unrealistic option for most of us.  However, take the daily steps to ensure we are healthy and fit is a much different goal.  Walking 45 minutes a day had incredible healthy benefits.  Eating a diet with many fruits and vegetables aids greatly in getting the pounds off.  These are basic components for overall health.

One final point about this.  Not only can one think about the fact that one's overall healthy is important but also that a certain level of fitness is required for some of the activities we are involved in.  Much of the play in the BDSM world requires stamina and strength.  While one can succeed without being fit, one who is can take things further, hence providing his sub/slave with a enriched experience.

2. Finances

Again, we get to a sore subject with many people.  It is here that I have to admit many people encountered situations that were outside their control which led to dire circumstances.  Loss of job, divorce, or prolonged illness are all situations that arise unexpectedly and can cause extreme financial hardship.  More than one person has ended up in bankruptcy court (submitting to the judge) because of these events.  Many times, a person simply cannot rebound from these situations.  So, if you fall into one of these categories, you are exempt from this section of the article.

It does not require much research to realize that most people have no financial self control.  Credit card balances are so high that people are routinely spending 5%-10% more than they are earning.  The age of consumerism has taken full hold of us.  Sadly, the mass marketers are well aware of our inability to say no and hammer us with ads proclaiming how we need this new car or that latest phone.  Peer pressure is often added to the mix in the "keeping up with the Jonses" mentality.  This leads to excessive spending normally using credit in an effort to make oneself feel better.

It takes great strength to fly counter to what society promotes.  Of course, this is not a novel idea to those of us in the BDSM world.  Each of us had to reject the commonly held ideas of society pertaining to relationships or else we would not be in this way of life.  Certainly, it often was the result of pain that drove us to seek this but, nevertheless, at some point, we all had to question what we were taught.

The same lesson applies to money matters.  We are conditioned by the advertisers that we "deserve" to have whatever product they are selling.  At the same time, our worth and esteem is manipulated into believing that it is somehow tied to what we own in the form of the car we drive, house we live in, or shoes our kids wear.  Whatever the methodology that is used, the result is the same: to separate you from your money.  And trust me when I tell you, judging from the debt the average person has, these techniques are working very well.

A strong man is able to resist the insanity that is consumerism.  Now, that does not mean that he lives like a monk with no material possessions (although he might).  However, it does mean that this individual has the ability to live within his means while spending only on those things that are necessary in addition to select "luxuries".  A person of this ilk also will save and invest his money so that his future is brighter.  He also will have a fund set up to help alleviate one of the aforementioned circumstances should they unfortunately arise.

It takes great discipline to resist the temptation to spend without thought.  Just like with the proper diet, one has to motivate himself towards a greater end.  Sure, in the moment buying that item will provide satisfaction.  However, in the long run, if one ends up in debt because of a lack of financial discipline, the pain is much greater.

Now, please bear in mind that I am not saying that everyone needs to become a multi-millionaire.  Sure it would be great if it happened for all of us.  Nevertheless, regardless of your income (unless it is so low that you are borderline poverty), all of us can save.  A true dominant will control his spending and financial life.  This is not something that he will leave to chance.  Nobody likes the idea of budgeting, refusing one's desires, or hunting for bargains.  However, the fact that one is willing to do these things shows that he is willing to undergo the effort to control something that is vital.

In the next post, I will expand into a couple other areas which should be examined to see if one is truly dominant.  The point I want you to get is that domination starts with control over oneself.  Far too many people believe, based upon what I read online, that they are capable of dominating another when they exemplify none of that in his own life.  If one cannot exercise control over himself, how can he do it over another?  Sure, it is easy to bark out orders and say "do this because I told you to".  Yet if one is not willing to do the same thing himself, isn't that hugely hypocritical?  I tend to think it is.  Being a true dom is not about being a hypocrite but congruence in one's life.  Self control is the highest form of control one can exert.  It is the major leagues.   One who lacks control over himself will ultimately fail as a master/dom to another.  It all starts with the guy looking back in the mirror and expands out from there.

DN

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January 30, 2016

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What Does It Take To Be Dominant Part 1


Domination is a word that is thrown around, seemingly loosely, in the BDSM community.  It is something that is a basic component of our way of life since power exchange requires a dominant coupled with a submissive.  Therefore, it is crucial that we understand what domination is all about.  Too many seem to embrace the idea without a clear concept of what it is and how to go about developing it.  Over the next few posts. hopefully we will uncover some insight into what this characteristic involves.

A definition of domination is the exercise of control or influence over someone or something.

So far this is rather simple.  Domination is the exercise of control over something.  That makes total sense since, as dominants, the idea is to control a submissive one who turns her control over to you.  This is the foundation of BDSM.

Of course, this is where many go wrong.  The fact that something is rather simple does not equate to it being easy.  The idea that one simply steps into BDSM and is instantly qualified to take control is absurd.  Unfortunately, as we know, this is a common belief held by the majority.  It is further enhanced because the submissive ones also buy into it especially with their significant others.

We must start our investigation into what it takes to be a dominant by mentioning that fact that domination is a quality like any other one within the human race.  What this means is that everyone has the ability to dominate within them.  Of course, this also means that we all have the capability to submit.  This is what throws people.  Therefore, we will look at where different things are stimulated within our body to clarify this idea.

First and foremost, domination exists in the mind.  This is the place where all our qualities, both positive and negative, reside.  Whether one looks at kindness, anger, resentment, apathy, or compassion, these all stem from our thought process.  How we think in particular situations determines the quality or characteristic that emerges.  This is a critical point to domination.  To dominate, one must have thoughts of domination and condition oneself to take control.

Before going any further, I must tangent here and explain what I mean by the fact that everyone has the quality of domination within them.  This is something that seems out of line to many, especially the submissive ones.  I can feel the resistance increasing as many read this.  However, if you think about it in depth, it will make total sense.  Our domination or submission is often tied to the situation at hand.  There are times when one is dominant while being totally submissive in others.  To illustrate this point, just think about the fact that you desire (or do) submit to your dom.  It is something that comes natural to you.  However, is the same true for your children?  Doesn't one seek to control and guide her kids as opposed to submitting to them?  We see the same thing at work.  There are many submissive ones who are dominant at work since they hold positions of responsibility.  Thus. as you can see, the quality of domination resides within them.

Let us look at the flip side and really get things stirred up.  Dominants have the ability to submit.  Read that statement again and feel what emerges from within you.  If you are like most, the instant reaction is resistance.  It is not something that dominants, especially, like to admit to themselves.  Nevertheless, that ability is within one.  Here is an example:  if you were ever in court, is that an area you dominate especially as the defendant?  Of course not.  The truth is a that a courtroom is designed to make the one on trial be in a subservient position.  The judge, the guy in the black robe, physically sits higher than you while looking down from above.  At the same time, the rules are such that he or she is in control of the court room.  Only the most foolish engage in outbursts as he sees fit.  In fact, one who does this is considered a bit off because responsible people understand the basic premise of the court system and who is in charge.  Hence, even the most controlling dominant submits to the wishes of the judge, most often by keeping his thoughts to himself and replying "yes Your Honor".

Now that we understand that domination, like all other qualities, resides in the mind and that all people have this trait within them, it is time to look at the next piece of the puzzle.  For most, when we view things through the domination/submission spectrum, there is one quality that is overwhelming.  Obviously, it is this knowledge which leads us to check the proper box when filling out a profile online.  The majority do not seem confused on this matter in terms of which is more powerful.  Even those who switch tend to have one that is the preference with the other being something he or she prefers to engage upon at times.

This leads us to investigate what I term "the core".  It is our core that determines whether we prefer domination or submission.  The quality, itself, is neutral in our minds yet it is the core that embraces one fully while abhorring the other.  That resistance which arose when I stated that dominants have the ability to submit, that came from your core.  A true dominant detests the idea of submission.  Again, unless he is a total idiot, he realizes there are times in society when one must submit especially to a societal established authority figure like a judge or police officer.  Of course, this is something he does not like and that feeling comes directly from the core.

So, what is this core and where is it located?  For those who have some experience/understanding with Eastern traditions, the core is what is often referred to as the second Chakra within the body.  This is located below the navel right around the pubic line.  This is where those traditions believe one's sexual energy resides, which is the most powerful energy in the body.  My feeling is this is where all of our deeply preferences reside.  It is this place which determines whether we are sexually attracted to men or women.  Whether we are an introvert or extrovert is imprinted here.  And, yes, this is where we find out domination or submission.

Here is a quick exercise.  Close your eyes and breathe deeply for 20 or 30 seconds.  Relax your body; do this in a laying down or comfortable sitting posture.  Feel the tension within you being pulled down and exiting through your feet.  Do this starting at the head and continue until you reach your toes.   Now that you are free from tension, I want you to think about being tied up.  What arises within you?  If the thought is something you detest and the words "no way" are ready to spring from your mouth, then the core just resisted the idea.  Of course, if you thought about it and said "when", that also comes from the same place.  What I want you to notice is how powerful the desire, either for or against, is.  This came from deep within you.  It is for this reason that the idea becomes intensified and emotionalized.

To quickly recap, domination is a natural quality that is in everyone and resides in the mind yet it is the core which determines whether we are identified as a dominant or a submissive.  The emotionalizing of the quality is where the power is generated and comes from deep within us.  While one might not like being dominant, there are situations where it is required, hence one is able to fulfill that role.

Next time we will delve into the "naturalness" of domination while investigating how this manifests and what one should look for.

DN 

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January 27, 2016

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Shouldn't You Be In Therapy


 This is going to be a controversial post but it is something I see far too often.

To start, I must say that I am making large generalizations here but the overall theme holds true.  I got the idea for this post in reading what many post online and interacting with a lot of different people over the years who fall into this category.

My first question is this : do you belong in a relationship?

Think about that for a second before jumping to a quick answer.  Many put up profiles on different BDSM sites in an effort to find someone to get involved with.  However, when you start to learn more about these people, it is easy to conclude that this person belongs in therapy, not in a relationship.

People go through a lot of difficult things in their life.  We know sexual abuse, abandonment, and physical violence are part of many people's personal history.  These circumstances can take quite a toll on the psyche of many.  Unfortunately, few get the help required to deal with the damage that is done.  We see this in the esteem of many of those we interact with.  Either they have the cockiness which is a sign of underlying insecurity or they believe they are the worst thing ever to walk the planet.  No matter how this materializes, the bottom line is a person with such esteem issues really needs help.

BDSM is often a guise for abusers.  We read about and hear the stories of what some are made to endure.  The problem with these situations, many of them, is that the person volunteered for this.  It is quite common for our sub, with no self-esteem, to be so desperate that she submits to the first person who comes along.  Simply showing attention to her enables him to stimulate her low esteem and reel her in.  Naturally, this is problematic since he has ill intentions.  Now, please bear in mind that I am making a distinction between one who truly is prey versus someone who simply makes a mistake by submitting to the wrong fool.  The later is understandable since all of us who are in this way of life for any length of time get taken.  We all know the pretenders are large in number.

I use the word prey because our sub with substandard self worth portrays the victim.  On a certain level, she likes being treated so poorly since it reinforces what she believes.  When one has the outlook "nobody cares about me" or "I deserve to be treated like this", the predators are going to exploit that mindset.  Of course, once they do, it only enhances the belief which creates a revolving door.  Our sub is only taken lower by each episode; the worse she thinks about herself, the more the way she is treated affirms this idea.  Hence, the endless loop is in operation.

The person I am describing here is extremely damaged.  This is not something that should be overlooked and glanced over.  There are many who suffer under these conditions believing that meeting the right guy will solve everything.  Sadly, because of the person she is, attracting someone healthy is impossible.  Sure, she might get someone interested but he will quickly head for the hills once he learns how damaged she is.  In the BDSM world, many enter it trying to escape from what they are presently dealing with (either physically or emotionally).  Again, the belief is that finding a dom/master will solve everything.  It might be of great benefit to her if she could get in a healthy relationship.  However, the impossibility of this emerges when she becomes instantly dependent upon the dominant for everything.  What I mean by this is that he is the one having to carry the entire relationship.  Her esteem is such that she contributes little.  She ultimately becomes an emotional vampire sucking the life out of him.  Her constant need for reassurance and overwhelming self pity get tiresome.  On an emotional level, it is akin to dealing with a 4 year old.

While this might seem like I am attacking those with these problems, I am not.  My point is that one is not going to solve her esteem problems by getting in a relationship (BDSM or vanilla).  In fact, the odds of being taken in by an abuser, either physical or emotional, is great.  An individual of this sort needs to be in therapy, not hunting for a dominant in the BDSM world.

Now let us look at the dominant side of the equation.  Of course, being dominant means that one cannot show weakness hence the idea of self pity is not tolerable.  Thus, our damaged dominant comes across in a different manner.  Instead of being overt about it, he covers it up with cockiness.  Taking this approach will give the impression that this guy thinks highly of himself when the truth is, he does not.  Those who are having to tell everyone how great they are, do not believe it themselves.  The individual who has healthy esteem fails to go around telling others how wonderful he is.  Instead, he just goes about his business as if nobody is watching.  This applies to all walks of life.  The confident man shows you what is inside him, the cocky one has to tell you.  One comes from a place of strength while the other weakness.

We see this play out in the cycle of abuse.  Naturally, one who is physically abused, for example, by a parent during his development years is, most likely, going to have some self worth issues.  As he reaches adulthood, his internal growth was stunted.  Hence, when in a position of authority, i.e becoming a parent, he naturally does what was done to him.  What is interesting is most people in this situation swear they would not do that to their child yet many do.  It is the cycle of abuse that carries it from generation to generation.

Sadly, many of these people end up in BDSM, a way of life where one submits to certain treatment that can be very harmful if it crosses the line into abuse.  It is easy to see how one in this position, with this frame of mind, can cause a great deal of damage.  To add to the mix, he is often one who will prey upon our sub with poor esteem since his ability to attract someone healthy is minimized.  As you can guess, what results is a very unhealthy and often dangerous situation for the sub.  It is under these circumstances that she puts up with all kinds of intolerable behavior and refuses to leave.  Of course, she will justify it a thousand different ways but the truth is that a healthy person would head for the door.

Another question that each person needs to consider: what are you bringing to the relationship?

I tell this to people all the time.  When you are looking to interact with someone, what is he or she bringing to the table.  Again, this is something that applies equally to the dominant and submissive side of the equation.  What is the other person going to do for you?  Simply put, we all get into relationships to get something out of them.  A dominant needs a submissive and vice versa.  It is the yin/yang completion of things.  However, if one party is extremely damaged, what is he or she truly offering?  If you are one questioning yourself, it is a good beginning.  If you are so damaged that you are going to be a psychic vampire or an abuser, a relationship is the last place you belong.  Time alone working on yourself, with the aid of a professional, is a better place to start. 

The basic fact of the matter is that nobody else can change you.  There is not a single individual who is helpless to alter one's situation. Yes, there are often circumstances which makes things very difficult.  Often, hard decisions are required.  Nevertheless, over time, one can get out of any situation and, with the proper guidance, move beyond any past issues.  Sadly, time is an element that is invested with quick fixes being few.  Nevertheless, you can ultimately get to the point where you have a lot to offer when entering a relationship.  I would say, if you follow this route, the chances of finding someone healthy (and keeping him/her) are much greater.  At the end of the day, we all want fulfillment and happiness.  A great part of this is derived from the people we interact with.  Be sure you are one who is capable of spreading joy and enhancing the people you interact with instead of continually bringing them down.

DN

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January 23, 2016

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There Is Only LIfe


 It is fairly common for us to throw out words like traditional, lifestyle, BDSM, and vanilla when describing the different aspects of this way of life and what things mean to us.  Obviously, most of us who are around any length of time understand what these concepts mean.  It is a way for us to distinguish ideas in our minds so as to differentiate the approaches people have.

To cover these briefly.

Traditional: this is a term I use which is synonymous with "vanilla".  Basically it means the regular approach people use to relationships.  It is a structure based upon parity of equal power.  There is not the overt exchange of power which is agreed to by both parties.  Also, this is devoid of any "alternative" lifestyle meaning, for example, we are talking about monogamous, heterosexual interactions.

Lifestyle: this seems to refer to a specific life approach that is consider "alternative" to the norm.  Many people consider BDSM to be a lifestyle since it is not vanilla.  Other "lifestyle" choices are nudism, polyamory, and asexuality.  Each of these differs from some way from the mainstream with people making a conscious choice to live a different way.  Hence, these individuals refer to their "lifestyle" choice.

BDSM: here we hit upon the mother lode.  Here we are actively involved in a way of life that is consciously decided where power is granted to another person.  It is a structure where interaction is based upon non-parity and both parties not only agree, but seek this out.  Of course, many see this as play since they focus upon the whips and chains aspect of things.  They embrace what they see in the porn films of ones being tied up and beaten.  Hence we can say that BDSM also includes the different fetishes that people are interested.

Now that we have a general understanding of these terms, I would like to point out something that I see so often as I travel around the online BDSM world.  It is fairly common to see someone post something to the effect "I am seeking someone who can have both a BDSM and a vanilla life.  I want someone who is dominant in the bedroom but still can meet my family and interact in the vanilla world".  It is statements like these that drive me nuts and tells me someone does not have a clue what they are talking about (or they met the pretenders who beliefs are totally insane).

Here is the deal.  There really is no vanilla versus BDSM life.  This is complete lunacy.  The fundamental fact is there is only life and a path that is littered with a variety of decisions which we need to make along the way.  Part of this process is deciding how we prefer to structure our relationships.

Those who make the statement I just mentioned believe that you can somehow separate BDSM from vanilla and that they are mutually exclusive concepts.  They are not.  To start, I acknowledge that most of us operate in the real world where we have to interact with people both within and outside of this way of life.  In other words, we have jobs to go to which requires appropriate behavior and dress.  Few of us are so fortunate to be able to dress in leather and wear cuffs all day.  The truth is most of us look like everyone else if you see us on the street.

It is a rather simple concept.  Our private lives are just that, private.  Few of us operate in a manner where we advertise our preferred way of life to the general public.  It is not uncommon for friends and family to be completely unaware of the choices we made.  However, this should not surprise anyone since most people in the "vanilla" world do not advertise their personal choices pertaining to sex.  Nevertheless, for some reason people seem inclined to believe that we live in a totally separate manner from society.  Again, this is incorrect.

At this time, I must insert a caveat.  There are some people who are in a position to establish BDSM interaction which is basically full time.  What I mean by this is that one is dressed and operating under the extreme protocols of another throughout the entire day.  There are some who are in leather and chains 24/7.  However, this is not the norm.  As stated, the vast majority of us intermingle with society at large dealing with friends, family, work, shopping, and a host of other activities that "normal" people do.  In this regard, we are no different from anyone else.

Another problem with the attempt to separate the two ideas is that one is focusing upon the external only.  BDSM is not about whips and chains.  It is not about protocols or how one kneels.  Slavery is not about locking someone up in a cage for days on end.  It is not about abduction and forced (consensual) activities.  Certainly, they all may be part of one's BDSM life but they are not what makes one involved in BDSM.

The BDSM life is about taking your internal desires and bringing them outward.  What I mean by this is when one focuses upon his or her internal core, the realization, if you are in this way of life, is that you lean towards either dominant or submissive.  This is something that becomes clear to people fairly quickly.  It is based upon these core feelings that one structures interaction(s) which meet these desires.  Naturally, for a submissive, it is interacting with someone who is of the dominant persuasion.

It is at this point that we see the problem with trying to separate the two "lives".  One's natural leaning does not change simply because of circumstances.  When one goes about her day, she is still submissive regardless of what she is doing.  Of course, there are times when her natural submissiveness needs to be cast aside while she adopts a role of dominant in the case of being a manager or parent.  Simply because one has authority and properly exercises it, this does not change the core.  The same is true for a dominant.  He can have these traits but if he works for someone else, there are times when he is to obey (if you do not believe your dominant ass will submit, just stand in front of a judge and see who is in control of the situation).  My point is that one is not separated from the fundamental aspect of BDSM, the core tendency to be either dominant or submissive.

In closing, while I understand what someone is saying when he or she states that both BDSM and vanilla are sought, bear in mind there is only one life.  BDSM is a way of life; it is a structure that we choose to model our lives around.  We cannot be separated from our domination/submission any more than one can be separated from his or her gender.  It is a part of us wherever we go.  The idea that we operate 24/7 full blown BDSM is focusing upon the play aspect too much.  Most BDSM relationships appear totally normal from the outside.  However, for those who are in the intimate circle, we are aware of the power structure.  Nevertheless, this does not mean we see her bound to a St Andrew's Cross or are privy to their personal matters.  There are some who keep their private interactions to themselves.

Remember, there is no BDSM or vanillia life, there is only life.  It is up to you to choose how you want to live it.

DN

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January 19, 2016

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Seeking A Sister Slave


I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have seen a profile on the BDSM social stating something similar to this:

"Master has me here looking for a sister slave to add to his household."

Every time I see that, I simply want to laugh.  What the hell is going on in this world where a Master thinks it is proper to have a slave seek out another slave for him?  I mean seriously, what is the mindset of these people?

Here is a question for all you subs/slaves: who did you submit to?  Who was it that earned your trust and got you to agree to be his?  I am going to presume that it was him.  It was through your contact and interaction with him that you came to understand what submitting to him would be like.  The personal attention he gave you made you feel comfortable with him while allowing you to determine if your views/desires/wishes matched up.  This did not come through or via another person.

Once again, if we reach back the traditional world, do we see this in practice there?  Obviously, the poly/multi-person aspect of things is not as common as it is in BDSM.  Nevertheless, we can see some lessons if we learn them.  What happens if an individual is single and having a tough time meeting people?  Usually, if the online sources are not leading to success, friends or family will set him or her up with another they know is single.  Of course, these people only provide an introduction.  After that, it is up to the individuals to interact between themselves to determine if they click or not.  The original parties are far removed from the equation.

Now, some will want to claim that is exactly what they, or their Masters, are doing.  The mantra comes back with the idea that "I am only looking on Master's behalf and when I find a possibility, he will take over".  Sorry not buying it.  To start, how lazy can one be.  If a Master is interested in a poly or multi-slave household, it is up to him to find the individuals who will be brought under his roof.  Of course, some might want to say "that Master is too busy so I am saving him time".  If this is the case, that Master it too busy to look for a slave, then I can assure you, he is too busy to have another one.  The simple fact is that prospecting for a slave is a lot less time consuming than training, interacting, and maintaining a true live in slave.  Running a house requires a great deal of time and commitment.  One who is too lazy or busy to look on his own simply is not qualified to have a multi-slave household.  It really is that simple.

Another aspect of this entire mess is that the submissive who is being targeted should question what is taking place.  I chatted with many over the years who were on the receiving end of messages from subs/slaves.  I would say the vast percentage of them were put off by the fact they were being contacted by a submissive on behalf of a dominant.  The reply to me was along the lines of what I just wrote: why isn't he contacting me himself?  I never asked how they took the reply "well he is too busy".

One point I want to add.  The scenario I am portraying here is different from a sub/slave being aware that her Dom/Master seeks another and mentioning it if she comes across one who is seeking the same thing.  Many submissive types interact either online or at munches.  In this instance, I would say that he referring the other submissive to her owner is a viable move.  This, obviously, is a far cry from him sending her out to find him another.

Also, my point of emphasis with this post is relegated to those seeking another to join a house.  If one is simply seeking play, well that is a different scenario.  We all know play carries with it a different level of interaction and connection, hence requiring less in terms of the established level between the parties involved.  Again, I hope the difference is clear.

One final objection that is often given is the idea that the subs/slaves need to get along, hence having the submissive search for her sister is wise.  Once again, this is incorrect.  Is the submissive responsible for house or is the dominant?  Part of his obligation when seeking out another is to determine how he or she will fit in the established situation.  Yes, there is a time when the submissives need to deal with each other.  However, it ultimately is up to the dominant to establish what is proper for the house and how the interaction will take place. Deferring this responsibility to the sub/slave simply does not cut it.

Being dominant is about taking control and being responsible for what comes along with that control.  Too often one wants to be given control while absolving himself of the responsibility.  It does not work that way.  If you are going to have the power, you best know how to use it.  Failure to do so makes you domineering, not dominant.  This is just another example of how to achieve that misguided end.

DN 

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January 16, 2016

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Insecurity Part 2


In my last post, I covered the topic of insecurity.  While certainly not exclusive to the BDSM world, this is an issue that many have.  We see this clearly in the profiles that some post and in how they behave in all their different interactions.

To start, I will say that we have to be honest about the BDSM these days.  In spite of the great benefits the Internet has given our community, the online BDSM world is akin to swimming with alligators.  It is wrought with danger.  There is not a single individual among us who has not engaged in the online world, via some of the BDSM "dating" sites,  that came out of it unscathed.  Each of us experienced the joys of the misfits, pretenders, and overall dregs of society.  We all know about the lies, disappearing, and abusive tones/behavior that is so common with this medium.  It is very easy for one to get frustrated and take much of this personal.

As hard as this might be to believe, the reality of the situation is that often what takes place online is not personal.  That sounds like a far-fetched idea until you consider what actually takes place.  Those who seek to harm, whether it is physically or emotionally, do not care particularly about the individual they are affecting.  Ultimately, predators feel little for their prey.  It often boils down to convenience.  That is where one is open to getting harmed.  He or she simply was available...the wrong place at the wrong time concept.

The bottom line is it is best to be as careful as you can.  Nevertheless, do not believe that anything we suggest about protecting yourself is 100% guaranteed.  The liars, con artists, and manipulators are skilled at their craft.  Their art of deception can border on legendary.  They prey upon those individuals they can manipulate emotionally, often with the most sadistic of intentions.  Therefore, we are all apt to get taken for a ride by these individuals and to feel the pain that they offer.  This is why I say, do not take it personally.  If an individual is skilled and set out to hurt someone, the odds are he or she will succeed.  We need to be very mindful of the fact that a percentage, perhaps a great percentage of the online crowd has ill-intentions.

At this point we need to embrace the concept "shit happens".  The reason I mention this is because you cannot enter this arena without getting a bit bloodied.  It simply is part of the game we are in.  It is sad to write this but if I am honest, it is the reality of our community (I believe the online world in general...Match.com has the same antics taking place).  My regular readers know I am all for personal responsibility and one admitting where he or she screwed up.  However, this is much different than internalizing negatively a situation that occurred which is common place within this lifestyle.  The analogy that i use is akin to baseball.  Strikeouts are a part of baseball and the best hitters in the world get struck out.  How would they perform if they allowed the strikeout (failure) to affect their security and confidence?  I would presume very poorly.  It is the same thing within the BDSM world.  If you beat yourself up for getting involved with some of the nitwits, you are going to destroy your confidence and success rate.  Take this point to heart, it is all part of this lifestyle.  Just like the strikeout in baseball, we all have to deal with the freaks of nature who occupy the BDSM world.

Another thing I need to cover when dealing with the topic of insecurity is how closely tied this is to expectations.  Referring to the liars and cheats, it is easy to see why an individual will tend to be leery when interacting with someone new after going through 2 or 3 experiences with the morons.  It gets very difficult to trust when one experiences the same behavior repeatedly.  Over time, it becomes very easy to expect the same outcome to arise.  The problem with this is we end up actually manifesting what we do not want.  Without getting to esoteric, I will simply state that people create what they continually focus upon.  We see this when we notice that a person's fears tend to all come true.  The reason this happens is simply because the individual is focusing extensively upon his or her fears.  Hence, when we are interacting with another and we are expecting something bad to happen, that is what we seek out.  Sure this might not be conscious but it does hinder our ability to properly interact.  For example, perhaps the fear will cause one to not trust or share openly with the other person.  This is something that can adversely affect the connection of two people.  Or maybe the person hides something that should be revealed to the other individual because he or she was judged on that in the past.  Simply put, we expect something bad to happen thus our behavior emerges in a way that validates this expectation.  It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

As you can see, it all starts in the mind.  Going back to the professional baseball player, where do you think his confidence comes from?  It is nothing more than a mental exercise.  He believes himself to be a success hence his actions mirror that.  He does not go to the plate thinking he will strike out but, rather, that he will get a hit.  The question is why do you enter into situations with others expecting things to turn out poorly.  Sure you have a bunch of evidence in your life to prove that circumstances often end up in pain.  However, doesnt the baseball player have hundreds, if not thousands of strikeouts to prove he cannot hit the ball?  The difference is the baseball player lets go of the pain associated with past failure while we hold onto it and actually add intensity to it.  This is where we go wrong.

At this point I must interject something into the discussion.  I am not talking about adopting a Pollyanna attitude towards things and turning a blind eye to the reality of what we are covering.  The truth is there are a lot of scumbags out there with bad intentions.  We know the BDSM world is wrought with abusers.  It is crucial that one take all the precautions possible to protect him or herself against these people.  To stick our heads in the sand about this reality is dangerous.  However, once we take those necessary steps, it is to our benefit to see things working out as we desire.  It is just as easy to think about a positive outcome as it is a negative one.  Nevertheless, it seems that mankind is cursed with the default mindset to automatically go to the worst case scenario.  We do not just see things not working out, we see things unfolding in a manner that is totally destructive to our lives.  In our minds, this is going to end horribly when, in reality, we honestly have no idea how things will turn out.  Do you see how this truly is a mental game?

In closing, I am going to state that you are worthy.  This is something that many seem to have issue with.  The truth is none of us enter the BDSM world an expert in anything.  I see many subs/slaves beating themselves up for making mistakes.  This is part of the learning curve.  No matter what your situation in life, you are worthy of happiness and fulfillment.  Sure, at present, there might be some issues to work on.  Nobody is perfect and we all have things we can improve upon.  However, life is a process that unfolds moment by moment.  If we are mindful and learn from each situation, we grow.  Experience is a wonderful teacher.  Sometimes those lessons are difficult in the moment but we can often see the value down the road.  Another point that I want to make is that if you are alive, and I will presume you are if you are reading these words, then you survived every situation that you encountered in life.  This is true from the time you were born until this moment.  Every situation, no matter how painful or horrific, you survived.  In other words, you got through it and are here now.  Sure there are things in your life now that are not rosy but, rest assured, as long as you do not die, you will get past them.  Know that you are worthy and have the ability to get through whatever you are presently dealing with.  It might not feel comfortable at the moment yet there will come a time when you do not have the same emotional attachment to whatever is going on.

At risk of sounding like a personal development blog, I will finish with this: believe in yourself.

DN  

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January 10, 2016

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Insecurity


Today I am going to cover one of the quickest ways to sabotage yourself in any endeavor.  This principle not only applies to BDSM but to all of life.  But then, again, we know BDSM is a reflection of life in general.

Many philosophical and religious traditions teach the concept of the "here and now" while emphasizing the importance of it.  Meditation and other forms of "centering" are encouraged to develop the discipline to control the mind.  The tendency seems for people, as they age, to allow their mind to wander.  It seems we are always either looking forward to something or reflecting backwards upon an event(s) in the past.  While reflection can be a wonderful way to learn, most tend to engage in guilt ridden activities which do not teach but, rather, attack oneself.  At the same time, forward projection is done with the same negativity, with fear being the overriding emotion.  We look ahead to some event that is going to take place and automatically go to the worst case scenario.  That meeting with the boss is not going to go well.  She is going to say no when I ask her out.  I will have car trouble on the trip.  Instead of seeing everything working out for our benefit, we, instead, project things going the exact opposite way.

Positive expectations are crucial to our personal success.  We all know how draining it is to deal with a negative person, one who always casts doubt upon everything.  If you do not understand what I mean, simply go to any sports team blog and read the comment section.  There is a subset of the fan base who simply will be negative no matter what is going on with the team.  Or, try and go to one of the major network news sites.  There you will see the same negativity from the populace usually based upon some political outlook.  Regardless of the reasoning, people will regularly post how bad everything is and how politician/group is only going to make it worse.  This negativity has a way of infecting our mindset completely.

I will state that many people simply love to worry.  To them, it is a national pastime.  In fact, I am convinced some are not happy unless they are absolutely driving themselves nuts over something.  If the pond is calm, they need to toss a giant rock into it.  Life without ripples (or tidal waves) is unacceptable to them.  Some are chaos junkies while others are always jumping to the "impending doom" mindset.  These are the people who believe that nothing ever works out positively.  On the occasion that something does benefit them, the response is this will change.  Ultimately, they lack the ability to see the good things that are occurring around them.

Books have been written about what causes people to be like this so I am not going to delve into it here.  The bottom line is these people are insecure to the point they sabotage themselves.  They lack the ability to just let things be.  We see this manifest in many different forms.  One of the major approaches by an individual of this nature is to want to get in and "fix" everything.  Instead of sitting back and watching things play out, the individual must confront whatever is going on.  While action is a wonderful thing, part of the problem is the person tends to be in an emotionally charged state.  This causes one to be reaction and over the top in his/her approach.  Mix in a fair bit of negative thinking and you have a recipe for disaster.

It takes great strength to allow things to be.  Now, please understand I am not referring to the absolving ourselves of responsibility nor tending to those areas of life which do require legitimate action.  A person of strength knows that he or she has responsibilities which necessitate action.  However, this same person is also optimistic in the approach believing that everything will work out.

This topic takes on more meaning when we view it in the context of relationships.  Whether it is the relationship with the capital R or the non-sexual, primary ones, we see the same results.  People with insecure outlooks end up sabotaging themselves throughout their life.  Few who are healthy want to engage with someone who is continually negative and always looking for something bad to happen.  This is not an enjoyable person to be around.  Think about your own life.  We all have encountered individuals of this sort.  They are terrible to work with since they tend to pull the entire outlook of the team down.  Quite simply, it gets tiring dealing with someone of this ilk.  They tend to always be on the attack with their insecure based thinking which puts others on the defensive.  Sit back and think about your experience with individuals I describe herein.  How did they make you feel?  Was is a comforting interaction or were you continually on edge?  Did you find it draining emotionally or were you energized?  If your experience is like mine, you will determine that the negative aspects were common.  People of this sort simply are not uplifting.

Now here comes the million dollar challenge....are you one of those people?  Honest self appraisal is the most difficult thing for us to engage upon.  We tend to be tilted in our view of ourselves.  People will either over inflate themselves (accentuating the positive while overlooking the negative) or deflate themselves (accentuating the negative while overlooking the position).  The truth is none of us are remotely close to perfect.  We all have flaws.  At the same time, none of us are total pieces of garbage.  We all have wonderful things about us that others can cherish (or we ourselves can cherish).  The egomaniac who is constantly telling everyone how great he is suffers from the same insecurity as the one who is always stating what a loser he is.  Neither outlook is true yet the insecurity within the individuals is causing the same skewed view.  Both are unrealistic while causing problems in one's life.

We all know the BDSM world is wide and varied.  This lifestyle enables us to engage in some pretty extreme activities.  One of the things people often are aroused by is degradation.  It is something that many enjoy because it really emphasizes the difference in power and "lowers" oneself to help her embrace her place.  Without going into the details, I will say that only those who are secure and have good esteem should engage in this practice.  Humiliation can be a very stimulating approach to interaction if one is able to handle it in a healthy way.  Too many feel themselves garbage, hence deserving of being degraded.  This is an unhealthy approach to me.  Those who have low self worth are not coming from a place of strength.  Much like it takes a strong man to walk from a fist fight, it takes inner power to embrace degradation in a healthy manner.  Keeping things in the proper perspective is paramount.  Sadly, too many believe they "deserve" this treatment using it to reinforce an unhealthy view of oneself.  To me, this is where a line is crossed.

Adult interaction is a very difficult task to accomplish.  It appears that most people, no matter what the age, tend to interact like children.  We see this in every walk of life where people are trying to harm others.  In the world force, everyone is trying to one up another.  Friends gather and assassinate the character of another friend who is not present in an effort to make themselves feel better.  People get into relationships with poor self esteem only to end up being hurt either by some predator who preys upon the weak or because they force someone away.  Many stay in abusive relationships because they thing they "deserve" it.  They cannot imagine being alone (again they project to leaving the relationship and jump to worst case outcomes) thus they remain where they are.  Something is better than nothing in their mind.  Their insecurity has imprisoned them.

If you step back for a moment, I think you will see how this concept applies to all areas of our lives.  It is easy to realize that these techniques and way of thinking are imparted upon our children.  As mentioned, it affects our careers since our outlook as a major impact upon the success in the workplace.  Our relationships/friendships are all affected.  Few want to hang out with a psychic vampire who drains the energy from everyone he or she comes in contact with.  Our health is obviously affected by all the worry and strains we put upon ourselves mentally and emotionally.  Finally, our happiness is eliminated since fear and worry are our constant outlook.

Before ending this post, I will state that I will next post the solution (or at least some techniques) that will help with this situation.  However, I am going to offer an example that illustrates what I am referring to.  I do not know this individual personally but the way she is was mentioned to me in detail.

We have a woman who is in her late 30s.  She in not into this lifestyle but, rather, leads a vanilla life. The major problem she has in life is she is run by fear...scratch that...terror.  She is continually sabotaging all aspects of her life because she cannot get past this hurdle.  One of her major desires is to marry and have kids.  Naturally, to do this, she needs to date and establish some long term relationship with a guy.  This is where she runs into a problem.  From the start of the interaction with someone knew, this woman's approach is one of fear.  I was told one of her favorite things to do is to repeatedly go to the guy's page on a dating site and see who else he is interacting with.  This is done before she ever met the guy.  In short, she stalks the guy.  Why does she do this?  Her biggest fear is that, since she was cheated upon in the past, that some guy will cheat on her.  While one could say this is legitimate concern, especially if one desire monogamy, stalking someone virtually before even meeting or talking to them on the phone is a bit excessive.  Of course, more than one man latched onto what she was doing and said told her to get lost.

The question is, do you engage in similar behavior?  Do you fire of an email if one does not reply to your initial email within 5 minutes of reading it?  Do you turn around and "block" them because they did not respond in a timely manner (in your mind anyway)?  Did you even consider that possibly they were involved in something that precluded answering right now?  And if they are not interested, why do you feel the need to degrade them...does that make you feel like more of a man?

Just food for though. 

DN  

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November 30, 2015

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What Are Your Limits?


Limits are something that many people discuss within the lifestyle yet few seem to take the time to really analyze what a limit is.  The dictionary defines limit as:

 " the final, utmost, or furthest boundary or point as to extent, amount, continuance, procedure, etc.:" or "a boundary or bound, as of a country, area, or district."

In other words, a limit is a boundary.  The question is where is this boundary and how is it known?  Obviously, if we are looking at a map, it is easy to see the boundaries.  However, how do you map out the boundaries you have for yourself?  How is one to know when he or she reaches a limit?

The answer to this question is simply experience.  A person uncovers his or her limits over time.  It is through the interacting with others where we come to understand our limits.  For example, growing up, we all know the limits our parent(s) set down for us.  How did we come to know these?  The most direct way was to test the limits which usually resulted in some form of punishment.  Of course, now, perhaps the tables are turned and you have a child(ren) that tests your limits.  The bottom line is that through interaction and experience, we are able to uncover the limits for ourselves and others.

In the BDSM world, the tendency is to label limits either "soft" or "hard".  Soft limits are those that are open to discussion under certain circumstances.  Hard limits, on the other hand, fall into the "no way, never, not on your life" category.  These are those areas that a person is unwilling to engage upon.  It is a boundary that one claims an unwillingness to cross.

The problem with these ideas is that most of the things we discuss/encounter in the BDSM world are fluid.  Definitions can be a personal thing in their understanding.  What something means to me can be entirely different to you.  For example, we know that "abuse" is a limit or boundary people should not cross.  One should never take anything to the level where it is considered abuse.  I think this is a fairly common outlook by most within the BDSM way of life.  However, the difficulty in this concept is defining what abuse actually is.  What I might define as "abusive" someone else could consider appropriate.  The difficulty arises in that my definition or appraisal of the situation might not be accurate.  We all know the vanilla world looks at this way of life as full of abuse when, we who are involved in it, have a much different perspective.  Those of us who operate under the premise of safe, sane, and consensual do not believe that BDSM is abusive.  Nevertheless, we can see how a perspective plays a large role in how we define things.

Getting back to limits, one of the things I encountered is the fact that limits can be fluid.  What is a limit today is not necessarily the same in the future.  For example, in the area of weightlifting, a person might encounter a certain limit today yet be able to surpass it in a few weeks.  The same might be true in one's work life.  What is difficult to achieve today could be rather simple in a few months with experience and training.  The limits that previously existed were removed (or at least moved further out).  This individual can handle more.  Therefore, over time, as one learns and grows, he or she is able to handle more, changing the limits that were once there.

We see this fluidity on a daily basis too.  Using the gym example again, for a variety of reasons, I might not be able to lift the same weight I was able to do the last time.  The result is that my limits actually contracted from the previous session.  The same thing can occur in the BDSM world.  In the area of pain,  I have noticed that a sub/slave often can take varying degrees of pain depending upon the day.  There is rarely a continuous level that she can achieve.  Some days, for many of the same reasons as the weightlifter, she can take much less than she did in the past.  Her body simply contracted the limit area.  It is for this reason that a dominant needs to be ever mindful of how the sub/slave is responding during the session.

The final area that pertains to limits is simply our area of interest change.  What is a "no way, I never would do that" becomes an "okay I will try it" 6 months or a year down the road.  We evolve as people in all areas of our lives and BDSM is no different.  Over time, as our experience and knowledge grows, certain things become of greater attraction to us.  Perhaps our understanding changes or we meet someone who can safely teach us what that particular aspect is.  For example, one might abhor the idea of fire play until she meets someone who is experienced in it and describes the wonderful benefits while stressing safety when done properly.  After such an encounter and, perhaps, a live viewing, suddenly this is an area of intrigue for our sub/slave.  Notice how, over time, the limit was removed.

Therefore, what are you limits?  How did you arrive at them?  What do the limits mean to you?  Are they there because it is an area that you do not like?  Or is it a physical/psychological limitation that is holding you back?  Have you had someone who helped push you to that limit while trying to gently move you beyond it?  What if you could overcome one of your limits, how would that change things?  What limits do you hold onto the hardest?  Which ones are you willing to never change?  What are the ones that you will change? 

Consider all the different possibilities from the perspective that limits are fluid.  Of course, there are things that each of us is unwilling to engage upon, no matter what.  However, ponder some of the less rigid ideas that you have.  How different would things be if you were able to overcome what is holding you back?  Would you experience more freedom, and less fear, if you were to change this limit?  It is best to remember, BDSM is about the freedom to live how you choose.  Do not allow preconceived ideas to  handcuff you.  Shed light on all that you believe and conclude to determine if they are truly your beliefs and conclusions.  If you are like most, you will realize that society has a way of imprinting ideas upon our psyche which we embrace and hold dear.  Limits can be another form of bondage unless you determine they are for you.  These are the ideas that we must work to rid ourselves of.

DN

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October 1, 2015

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Self Discipline


Discipline is a topic that appears to be misunderstood by many.  Obviously, this is a part of the BDSM world since discipline is part of the acronym we use on a daily basis.  Nevertheless, many people seem to think that discipline is something that only comes in the form of punishment or harness.  Sadly, this is missing most of what that word means.

The Key To Success

Have you ever considered what it takes to truly be successful?  If you study the personal development field, you will come across tens, if not hundreds, of key ideas that are the basis for success.  Unfortunately, with so many conflicting ideas to choose from, one could become lost.  Personally, this is why I believe so many suffer when embarking upon this realm.

Many claim that proper goal setting is the key.  Still others talk about motivation.  Another facet focus upon the idea of a well thought out plan.  Some promote the idea of courage.  Visualization is another component that many believe to be the link to high achievement.  Faith and belief are also touted as the magical elixirs which lead to getting all you want.  In short, I could go on for the next hour listing things that are all parts of success.

In my experience, while all these characteristics are crucial, the one overriding element for success is discipline.  Without discipline, all the other attributes are meaningless.  Ultimately, action is required in any area before success can occur.  We must DO something if we expect to get results (of course, NOT doing something also gets us results, just not what we desire).  Oftentimes, this action is not something that we desire.  In fact, quite often it is painful to do certain things which lead to success.  However, if you want the results, you must take the action.  Having the proper amount of discipline in your life is what enables you to do what is required to achieve the results you seek.

The Inner Game

Most of my regular readers know that I feel that BDSM is a journey within.  This belief stems from the fact that all of life starts with us.  It is through our minds that we perceive the world which we live in.  Everything we encounter is a result of what goes on between our ears.  If one wants to alter his or her present state, delving within is necessary.

BDSM is considered an "alternative" lifestyle.  Why is this?  The answer is fairly simple.  BDSM is different from what we are conditioned to believe is "normal".  The masses (or powers that be) decided what is considered proper and the path to follow and spent years pounding that into our heads.  It was nothing more than a propaganda machine meant to control our minds.  For those who entered and stayed in the BDSM world, obviously breaking away from this mindset was critical.  It was through the questioning of what was "normal" and the lack of fulfillment that resulted which led to our search.  Again, I want to point out that this search started within oneself.  It is only through the questioning that one determines that the belief system instilled in the mind does not work for oneself.  Thus. we start to follow another path in the quest for fulfillment.

Discipline is also an inner game.  This is something that seems to elude many people.  As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, too many believe that "discipline" is something that comes from outside ourselves.  The common view is that a Master is to discipline his slave or that one is disciplined when she is wrong.  In other words, discipline means punishment.  It is an external influence meant to deter certain behaviors.  When looking at the "carrot or the stick" scenario, this is the stick.  However, getting back to our success experts, external discipline is not the most effective.  The truly effective form of discipline comes from oneself.  Hence, self discipline is what we all need to focus upon.

The Ability To Act

It is not uncommon to read a profile stating "I am looking for a Master to give me the discipline I need in my life".  My question is why do you need a Master to instill this in your life and will this really make a difference?  So many believe that having someone else who is calling the shots is some kind of magical elixir for accomplishment.  While having that accountability is certainly helpful, it is not the end all and be all.  The problem with this concept is what happens when that individual is not around?  Or even more importantly, what are you doing today since that person is not yet in your life?  The obvious answer is nothing since this individual believes discipline is an external event.  She simply lacks the internal discipline to act herself.

Our military personnel are considered some of the strongest people around.  They endure tremendous obstacles upon their entry into the military.  The entire structure is one of discipline.  Certainly, when one is a green recruit, all discipline comes from an external source (usually a drill sergeant).  However, over time, the system is established where the discipline moves from external to internal.  It is not uncommon for one to make his or her bed, in a military fashion, years after leaving the service.  The discipline was such that it became a habit.  No external influence was needed.

We see the same thing happen with those who are fit.  If your body is not the way you want it and you are carrying a few extra pounds, the reason is fairly simple in most instances.  You either take in too many calories by eating the wrong foods or do not exercise to burn enough calories (or some combination of the two).  Therefore, if you are in this situation, it is because you lack the discipline to eat what you should while working out in a proper way.  It really comes down to that.  A person, on the other hand, who has a nice body, maintains an effective diet while getting the necessary exercise.  He or she takes the action on a regular basis to complete the activities which attain the desired result.

This idea is not relegated to only exercise and weight loss.  Take any area of life.  People who are slobs lack the discipline to pick up after him or herself.  Of course, when we are younger, we have mom after us about that.  But what about when we move out?  Do we have the discipline to put the plates in the sink and pick up the bath towel off the floor?  If your place is a mess, then you do not have this discipline.

In closing, I will mention that all of us fall short in the area of self discipline at times.  There are areas which all of us tend to overlook (read get lazy about).  Nobody is perfect in this regard.  However, some focus their attention on this more than others.  One observation I made over the years is that in the BDSM world, it seems that many feel that this idea only pertains to those who are submissive.  For whatever reason, the dominants feel they are exempt from all that they require those under their care (control).  This is absolute garbage.  The "do as I say, not as I do" philosophy is worthless.  A dominant is suppose to be a leader within the relationship.  This means that he is tasked with setting a good example.  Again, he will not be perfect.  However, being lazy and simply barking out orders is not domination.  If one cannot control oneself, how in the world does he expect to control someone else?  In my mind, this is an impossibility.  Domination starts with oneself and self discipline is a central requirement for success. 


DN  

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June 6, 2015

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Power Exchange


Power exchange is one of the foundational concepts that exists within the BDSM world.  Almost all our interactions center around this single idea in one form or another.  A large part of what separates BDSM from the vanilla world is the fact that we are overt about the unequal way we structure our relationships.  Relationship parity rarely exists even in vanilla although it strives to promote that concept.  Look at any relationship for a short period of time and you will realize who "wears the pants" in that interaction.  Certainly, there are relationships where authority determines who has the power.  However, even in friendship or romantic relationships, usually one person has more control than the other.  This is determined, not so much by position, but, rather, by the personality of the individual.  One person tends to take on the leadership role while the other embraces the part of follower.  Oftentimes, this is not a conscious decision as much as one's underlying personality emerging.

BDSM is much different.  In this way of life, we are very open about the fact that we are not into equality of interaction.  Relationships and interactions are established based upon one's place along the domination/submission line.  Here, we find that power is granted to the dominant from the submissive.  It is a natural choice based upon the core component of each.  Each is following a natural tendency that was uncovered within each of them.  In contrast, society created a system or ideal which is not natural, in my view, while trying to mold everyone the same.  Under this realm, little thought is given to what is best for the individual.  Instead, we get a one size fits all.  Most often, this ideal is the monogamous, male/female, one on one, equal basis relationship or what I call the traditional model.  Unfortunately, those who are drawn to power exchange, homo or bisexuality, and polyamory need not apply.  Even today, people fall into these later categories are considered abnormal.

That being said, before we explore the concept of power exchange, we best define what it is.  Have you ever thought about what power is?  Certainly, we mention it often enough on the BDSM sites we visit.  Ironically, few of us ever think about what it is we are referring to and transferring.

According to dictionary.com, power is the ability to do or act.  It really is that simple.  Power is the ability to get something done.  To expand on this a bit further, power is what enables you to do those things that you should do.  At the same time, it is also the ability to refrain from taking those actions which are counter productive to what you desire.  For example, if your goal is to lose weight, power is both the ability to get your butt to the gym while also holding back from eating those fried mozzarella  sticks. 

Notice the individual nature of power.  What is ironic, when you look at the definition, you realize that power exchange is a bit misleading.  In fact, it is really impossible to turn one's power over to another.  The ability to do or act is still within one no matter what the circumstances.  What is really transferred is control.  Again, looking up the definition we see that control is to exercise restraint or direction over; dominate; command.  Certainly, this sums up what we do in BDSM.  A sub gives control of herself over to a dominant.  While she still has power to do something, he is the one who determines whether it is exercised or not.  Nevertheless, since it is common to exchange these two words and ideas with each other, we will operate from this perspective.

There is a spiritual axiom that says you cannot give away what you do not have.  If we think about this in the physical realm, this idea really jumps out at us.  How can I give you $20 if I myself do not possess it?  The answer is I cannot.  On the emotional level, have you ever seen anyone who is not happy pass along happiness to another person.  Usually, if one is angry or miserable, those around him or her will not experience happiness in the moment.  What usually happens is that anger, tension, and misery are transferred.

What I am about to embark upon applies equally to submissives as it does dominants.  Many seem to think that submissives and dominants are completely different.  In truth, they really are not.  Their cores are different and actually form a reciprocal arrangement.  Therefore, the basic tenets of each is the same in terms of what I am going to discuss here.

Getting back to the axiom, one cannot transfer what he or she does not have.  I think we can understand this point.  Applying it specifically to our way of life, one cannot cede over control if he or she does not already have it.  Ergo, when looking at the topic of control (power), the starting point is with oneself.

This creates quite a quandary for many.  To start, so many dominants want to control another when they lack the ability to control themselves.  They believe their place is to tell a sub what to do and expect her to follow.  Certainly that is part of the BDSM arrangement.  However, one shows the ability to control by his own life.  If one's life is completely out of control, bet the ranch that person is a terrible master or dom.  He has no clue how to control anything.  Instead of being dominant, he ends up being domineering.  Many encounter this when traveling around the different BDSM "dating" site and running into all the pretenders barking out orders.  The "on your knees bitch" crowd knows nothing about control.  Individuals with this mindset believe that control is about the submissive when it is about himself.  This is a major point everyone needs to understand.

At the same time, a submissive needs to be able to control her own life.  She need the ability to get herself to act, i.e. exert power over herself.  This might seem contrary to what the BDSM way of life is all about but it is not.  Again, if she wants to cede control over to another, she ought to have it to begin with.  Someone who has a life that is totally out of control is not submissive but a train wreck.  Many times, she is using submissiveness as a means of avoiding responsibility.  Understand that being submissive does not make one free from responsibility.  Even slaves who are owned have responsibilities and require the power to act when instructed to. Ultimately, one chooses when she is going to exert her ability to act (of course, defying brings up consequences but that is another matter altogether).  It is a power that does not go away nor is it transferred.  The only difference is that when one cedes control, there is an outside influence "motivating" and directing her.

Which brings up a question I wrote about in the past: what are you truly offering another?  If you have no control over your own life, how can you either give control to another or accept something you have no ability to exercise.  I see this regularly when traveling around the online BDSM world.  So many want to be "owned" yet you start to investigate their lives and you realize they are offering nothing but a big pile of crap.  This is equally true on the dominant as well as submissive side.  Physically they are a mess because they eat garbage all day and refuse to exercise.  Financially they are in the ringer because they cannot control their spending.  Emotionally they are nothing more than children since they refused to engage in the maturation process required to control one's emotions.  Mentally they are slightly ahead of moron since they refuse to learn about anything and spend entirely too much time watching senseless television or posting stuff on Facebook.  In short, they are a mess yet they feel that entering a BDSM relationship will straighten everything out.  Of course, it comes as no surprise when one ends up bouncing from relationship to relationship with no results.

Thus, I ask you, are you exercising the power over yourself to:

-get you ass to the gym to lose that weight?
-avoid eating those nutritionally empty foods that are high in sugar and fat?
-living within a sensible budget so that you are not deep in debt?
-keeping your surrounding clean and tidy?
-pressing your clothes so that you put forth a nice presentation visually to others?
-educate yourself about important matters such as investing, child rearing, health, and money management?
-resist spending time online opting instead to take those classes that will further your career?

Whatever the situation, are you exerting control over yourself to get things done?  This is what it all basically comes down to.  Waiting until you are owned or own someone else is too late.  Discipline is a trait that is required for success in all BDSM interactions (and in life).  The only way to establish this characteristic is to exercise it over yourself.  Then, and only then, do you have something to offer another person.  Remember, before you can give something over to another, you must have it yourself.  If you want to cede control, establish it in your own life first.  And, if you are on the flip side, if you want to have all the control, make sure you have the ability to apply it to yourself.  From my experience, failure to do this will result in failure in all your BDSM interactions. 

DN

Click here for your version of An Owned Life.  

Click here Be sure to check out our new FREE social networking site An Owned Life Community.
 

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