April 18, 2009

Freedom II: Don't Be Stupid

I often write how BDSM is about freedom. In my last article, I mentioned how those who choose this way of life do so with courage. There are many who do not understand this lifestyle, thus those who mention it to their family members risk alienation. My experience is that society looks down upon those who stray from what it considers normal.

That being said, I must forewarn people that living a free life means that we need to void the practice of stupidity. We know there are those who will fail to tolerate our behavior. This can include more than just friends and family. Often, communities will lock people up because it feels that we are participating in something illegal. This is something that all of us need to be mindful of when deciding how much to really reveal about ourselves.

Here is an article about someone who decided it was his right to parade his lifestyle choice throughout town. As you can see, this was met with negative consequences. This individual is now going to spend three years in jail because of his choice.

Obviously, I use this example to show how little understanding and tolerance there is. This person might belong in jail. I have no way of knowing whether he forced women into actions they didn't want to participate in. He might have held people against their will. However, what I feel is important is the outrage among the shopkeepers. They were the ones who first 'dropped the dime' on him. Their intolerance and distaste for the M/s lifestyle (and lack of understanding) opened up the situation where the law got involved.

Therefore, be practical in your approach to BDSM. You must be mindful that the more extreme stuff you get into, the less socially acceptable it is. There are those who seek to do others harm simply because they cannot mind their own business. Again, I am talking about those who are willing consenting to participating in this lifestyle. Those who force others into this are eligible for detention. I will be the first to call the cops on people like that. However, I do not believe the majority of people in this way of life are that way. Instead, they are average people who choose to life in a manner that is different from the norm. Others misunderstanding is not grounds for their persecution.

Don't be stupid. Freedom is a wonderful thing. However, there is a line where your deciding to exert your decisions upon a society unwilling to see your point of view will only come back to harm you. Remember, the numbers are against you. Sameness of thought is the common thread that all societies need to ensure their survival. Ideas that drift from the established norm are stamped out in an effort to maintain order. It has been this way throughout the centuries. Do not put yourself at peril by trying to change a mindset which goes back thousands of years. In the end, you will be the one doing the time.

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Cloud on April 20, 2009 at 3:55 AM said...

Once, people said the same of gay and lesbian sexual orientations - hide it, society will never accept it, abuse by authorities is the natural expression of an intolerant majority... I believe society can change its perception of BDSM just as it has and continues to change its perception on other sexual orientations.

BDSM is based on consent; I am not sure about the case your link mentions, and the Gor fantasies DO have non-consent in the foundations of their worldview; those that act as if that's NOT fantasy roleplay are dodging the most fundamental ethic and practical protection BDSM has: the sanctity of consent.

The freedom we claim in BDSM, to explore the primal urges and darkness in our sexuality, carries responsibilities. All freedoms do that. In BDSM, I feel those responsibilities include the highest levels of commitment to self awareness, communication and honesty, and practical care for self and partners.

Cloud on April 20, 2009 at 4:02 AM said...

One additional thought: that man forced non-consenting Vanilla people to be voyeurs to his kink. But that is NOT why society jailed him; they jailed him because at least one of the women he domineered said she was forced to have sex with men against her will, and that he was collecting money and services (internet acafe time) from the men who fucked her. When you involve another party - another Out Of Role boundary discuss, to confirm consent, BEFORE you're in a scene. Even lifestylers have such discussions.


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