There is great dispute about the validity of online relationships and interaction in the BDSM community. I am not going into that debate here (my regular readers know what my thoughts are there).
Regardless of your outlook, there is no denying that many real time BDSM relationships start as online. In fact, I would surmise that most fall into this category. Even those people who live in the same town use the Internet to search people out. There are many who live in my local community with whom I have chatted with but never met. It is ironic that we use the World Wide Web to meet someone 10 minutes down the road.
Online interaction has an extreme value. It allows for parties to learn about each other while exchanging ideas. Many take on the particular roles of the relationship mimicking real time. Familiarity grows as both people start to understand each other.
Sadly, this is as far as many interactions go. Now, to be clear, I am going to be talking about those circumstances where both parties are real and truly interested in BDSM. I am going to ignore those who are online playing games since there is not a lot to say about those people other than to avoid them.
My feeling is that it is necessary to bridge the relationship from online into real time. Few have the ability to move immediately from one culture to the other. Often, logistics play a role in the delayed transition. Some of these ideas might help to smooth the way.
A lot of this is going to seem like common sense but, as we know, often that goes out the window in BDSM. Here are a few ideas that will help you to transition into real time.
1. Move to personalize the online relationship:
Interaction online is nothing but characters and words. As a starting point this is fine. However, use the technology available to move towards a more "real" communication. This can start with the exchanging of pictures (again presuming it is really you and not a super model you clipped) sent via email or photo sharing.
Web cams is another way to communicate and not just for sexual play. Being able to see someone when chatting with them adds another level of intimacy. It allows you to learn about the person with your eyes. For example, I was chatting with someone one time while she was on cam and her cat walked behind her. Instantly, I knew her choice in pets.
Exchange websites and pictures of things that interest you. BDSM is a relationship so you better have more in common than just sex. Stumble, Reddit, and Digg allow you to share sites of things that interest you. Do this to seek commonality with your goals and life plans.
2. Do not forget Ma Bell.
The next step is to utilize traditional technologies to enhance your interaction. Here we can exchange phone numbers and use the plain old telephone system. Nothing shifts something from the virtual to the real like a phone call. This is a way we have communicated since we were children. Hearing someone's voices adds another layer to the revelation of the other person (and yourself).
As a side note, exchanging a phone number could be a risky proposition especially if you are female. Therefore, perhaps you consider utilizing Skype or Yahoo Instant Messenger talk features. This is a real time phone conversation with the safety of the Internet provided.
3. Get face-to-face.
This is the final leg of the endeavor. At some point, you need to meet in person. Relationships that lack this component do not fulfill the needs of both parties. Many of us have those friends from school who we still talk to but never see since they live across the country. There still is a relationship but it is rather empty.
A face-to-face meeting can be a "date" if you are local with each other or a short visit if from out of town. It is best to spend a few days with each other to get to know one another a little better. Obviously, logistics can come into play again but it is a way to take the relationship one step closer to real time.
These ideas should help you move forward in the BDSM world. Of course, following this process will uncover some of the fakes that exist online. Take note whenever you see hesitation from one when seeking to move to the next level. This could well be a warning sign that something is amiss.
Another word of caution. Be patient with this process. Resist the temptation to move headlong into this especially if you are the one who will be in a vulnerable position. Each of these steps needs to be taken after a reasonable period of time is established. Again, it is crucial to have some idea who you are dealing with. Each phase will reveal more to and about you. However, be certain to not advance too rapidly where you might put yourself in a vulnerable position.
Try some of these suggestions to move your relationship past "virtual". Online can be a lot of fun but at some point it needs to move out of the chatroom.
I am always amazed at how newer people believe they need to rush headfirst into this way of life. As I travel around the web, I see many who just learned of the existence of this lifestyle only to find they are "owned" or "owning" someone a short time later. This is insane to me.
For me, I find that analogies work very well to help clarify thinking. The easiest way I can do this is to contrast this way of life to the traditional model. In this instance, the comparison works well.
Let me ask you: how old is the average person before they get married? Is it 16, 18, 21, or older? At the same time, how long does one typically date before they enter into marriage? 1 month, 6 months, a year, or longer? I will admit I do not know the answers to these questions. However, I believe that the average age of marriage is closer to 25 and people are probably together for 1-2 years before marrying.
One other parallel that I want to draw. How long is someone in the traditional lifestyle before they end up in wedlock? Again, if we presume the average marrying age is roughly 25, and people enter puberty in their early teens, we can conclude that one has approximately 10 years experience with the dating scene before settling down.
How does this all come into play with BDSM? The point that I am making is that few people enter into their first relationship as a young teenager and end up in a lifelong committed relationship after a few weeks. Yet, this is exactly what seems to happen in the BDSM arena. People suddenly find out this way of life exists and they are intent on getting with someone pronto. Is it any wonder that a train wreck usually ensues?
My suggestion is that people take their time to educate themselves and to understand what this life is all about. For some there is a built in buffer since they have responsibilities to attend to from previous lifestyle choices. Others have the freedom to adopt whatever they want immediately. Regardless of the situation, everyone should take the necessary time to develop a thorough comprehension about how we live. Spending time as a "free agent" is a healthy practice.
Online can be a wonderful resource to learn the basic ideas about the lifestyle. Also, interacting with others who "live" this way of life is helpful to get their input on things. However, I must caution about putting too much stock into one person's opinion. The truth is that you cannot be sure that you are dealing with someone who really lives this way of life. There are a lot of pretenders running around on the web. Taking time to learn will enable you to sniff out those who are playing games.
Relationships are about developing bonds. Take your time to interact with people you find online. Seek to move those relationships forward by getting off the computer and into real time human interaction. This would be face-to-face contact if in the same area or, at a minimum, telephone interaction. After this is done, then you can see where the relationship starts to progress. If there is a connection, then forward progress will be made. But the need to rush headlong into something is ill-founded. Resist this temptation.
I often mention that BDSM is a lifestyle. The key word here is life. Those who think that BDSM is a way to avoid this basic concept are in for a rude awakening.
One of the problems with online, in my opinion, is that it allows people to flee from reality. The Internet, by its very definition, is virtual. There are many things that mimic reality but it just is not the same. Nowhere is this more evident than in the BDSM lifestyle. Those who believe that online is real are way off base.
BDSM is a wonderful way to live. However, it is not without it's difficulties. People who live in this lifestyle have to deal with the same trials and tribulations as society in general. We have health, financial, work, family, and relationship issues. In many respects, we are identical to the traditional way of life.
Many seem to want to make BDSM into the fantasy lifestyle they are always seeking. This is nothing more than a Cinderella complex to me. Those who believe that they will live "happily ever after" by entering a BDSM relationship are usually disappointed.
Our days are not filled with the sexual exploits that are depicted online. While we will engage in scenes and alternative sexual practices, most of us find daily responsibilities take their toll. Those seeking to be "taken care of" usually are taken aback when they realize that they are going to have to continue as a responsible adult.
Running away is never a solution. Yet, I encounter so many who claim that this way of life is the answer to all their problems. Sadly, it is not because of the simple fact that they are the source of their problems. Entering the BDSM world will not compensate for poor judgment or interpersonal skills. Being a user and a taker sits no better in this way of life than it does in the traditional. And, belligerent assholes are still belligerent assholes. BDSM will not compensate for shortcomings of character.
The downside to a BDSM relationship is that it takes work. It is not the fairytale that many imagine. All the fantasies created online and in books are smashed when one enters into real time. Sadly, some never let go of the delusions in their mind. This develops another set of problems.
BDSM is not a fantasy. It is a full blown lifestyle with the same everyday problems that exist everywhere else. If you are one who had difficulty with everyone you met in your life, I am going to surmise that you will have the same problems here. BDSM is not going to suddenly give you a likable personality.
It seems many have a misplaced idea about mistakes. Again, this seems to be something where common sense leaves the reservation when dealing with the M/s world.
In any activity, mistakes are the best learning tool. Often, the best way to become adept at something is to try it and fail. It is through the failing process that we gain some of the most valuable lessons. It is a rarity where someone enters a new activity and is proficient at it immediately. It takes some time to learn what is required. For example, I am sure Tiger Woods hit a ball or two into the water. Einstein failed in countless experiments. Lincoln lost numerous elections. Yet all learned from previous experience to become successful.
A slave learns a great deal from the mistakes she makes. This is where she gains valuable insight into how her Master would like her to behave. There are many ways to learn, but trial and error seems to be a part of humanity. It is how we best come to understand things. Therefore, mistakes are not something to be feared. They are a welcomed part of the growth process.
Many Masters seem to miss this vital point also. I hear of so many slaves being punished for making a mistake. While I will grant that repeated failure can be a sign of disobedience, a single error is not necessarily cause for this action. I believe the most vital aspect of any situation is that the slave learns the lesson contained therein. It is more important to do that than for a Master to inflict punishment. A mistake is not one acting bad. It is an opportunity to learn.
Again, for any of this to be relevant, a Master first needs to mindset to lead His slave in the growth process. Unfortunately, many seem to want to continually stifle the slave's abilities. It seems to be the only way They feel that control can be maintained.
I read many posts in my travels dealing with contracts for the BDSM lifestyle; specifically the M/s section. Many seem to feel this takes their experience in the lifestyle to another level. Unfortunately, they fail to think of the ramifications of what this means.
They say the best time to plan a divorce is on the honeymoon. This sounds insane but few ever consider what will happen when a relationship ends. Most believe that their present relationship will carry on forever. However, we all know, based upon the divorce statistics, that more than half end in divorce.
A written contract seems like a valid way to further enhance the M/s experience. Nevertheless, it is something that I recommend against. It is crucial to think of how things can turn out if they do go awry.
To start, it is illegal in the United States and Europe to "enslave" someone. We live a life that is consensual in nature. It is impossible to bind someone into something that is illegal to begin with. Therefore, a contract means nothing in that regard.
On the flip side, this contract could be entered into court as evidence of abuse. In fact, there are a number of cases which this is what happened. A couple ended up in divorce court and the "Contract" was entered as evidence against the husband. Needless to say the court was not understanding about the lifestyle. I cannot say for certain, but I am sure that the authorities might take a further look to see if charges are warranted. Neither of these situations is endearing.
The submission that exists in this lifestyle is consensual. We operate a life within the spirit of our actions. There is nothing legally binding about the way we live. Anyone is free to leave at anytime. Slavery is illegal. Period. However, there is a certain spirit that we live by. Those who break it, in my mind, are not worthy of being in this way of life. We have an agreed upon structure and expect those involved to maintain it.
Therefore, no contract is required. My opinion is nothing good can come from writing anything down. Even if things seem rosy now, consider what will happen if a hotshot divorce attorney gets hold of that. You will be raked over the coals. The upside of a contract is limited and the downside infinite.
The Dom she found sent a shiver to her soul, his touch
ignited within her, ignited the coals.
Her heat warmed her body, willing to give her all
for she became his that cold sunday morn.
They played hard those days, he had brought a friend,
Her mind went to a place that she wanted not to end.
battered and bruised she was left on the bed,
confusion and turmoil cascaded through her head,
left in her peak, crying out loud, her soul could not fathom,
to fend for herself the guilt filled her heart,
she had done something wrong, though her all she gave.
She died that day at the end of a cord,
her purpose she had failed, she could no longer live anymore.
A soft word, cool drink, to be held and caressed,
To be told well done, well done little one,
three simple words, a little time spent, in her heart
she would of known her existence well spent.
Her name was Cloe, 21/1/1980-26/10/2007......She fell into the hands of an untrained Dom. The word aftercare meant nothing to him. The note she left told of her disgust and pain within for she thought that she had failed to please.
This is a post that floated around the Internet. I cannot verify the validity of it or not in terms of whether this actually occurred. However, it does point to the fact of how important safety is in the BDSM community. Many seem to overlook this simple fact when they approach their scenes. This story emphasizes how tragedy can be the result when proper precautions are not undertaken.
Inexperience is not a valid reason for not knowing. It is the responsibility for anyone in a dominant role to educate him or herself about this way of life. This is where the online pretenders can cause great havoc. They believe that reading a few posts and parroting that will make them an expert. Sadly, the leap from online to real time is huge. People do not understand how little online has to do with reality. Those who make the transition without knowledge are dangerous. Too often we see the results mentioned above.
If you are dealing with someone who you are unsure of, thoroughly question him or her to the experience he or she has. This is your life so you have a right to know. And, do not fall for the line "I am a Master so you have no right to ask that". Horsecrap. You have every right to know who you are dealing with. If that person will not reveal it, move on.
Many believe that dominating another consists of barking out orders to a submissive type and expecting they be followed. While that is an obvious aspect of things, being a dominant person requires a great deal more than that. Some of what I am going to discuss is going to separate the pretenders from the crowd.
Like I always mention, common sense goes a long way towards clarifying the issue. To start, a Dom will carry himself (or herself) in a certain way. There is a lot to be said about how one carries him or herself. Typically, a person's confidence and strength shines through in the demeanor that is maintained.
How are you carrying yourself? Do you approach situations like you are leery and unsure? Do you have the confidence in yourself and your abilities to weather any situation? Being in control of another person is a great responsibility; do you have the muster to live up to this? These are all questions that can be learned from simply looking at how one carries him or herself.
Pretenders get demanding. They need to be boisterous so as to have an impact. However, they fail to realize there is a much greater impact in the quiet approach. Those who are truly confident do not have to promote their power. It ultimately shines through in their actions.
We can see the same attitude online. There are so many "Masters" I come across who are anxious to exert their "power". They are all too willing to tell you they are Masters and are to be respected. Of course, anyone with have a brain knows that respect is earned and not freely given.
Online, I rarely tell anyone what I am unless they specifically ask. Usually, the information is provided in a profile anyway so if one wants to know, he or she can check out my profile in that group. I do not need to hear myself say I am a Master to try to reaffirm it. It is all part of how I choose to carry myself online.
Being a Dom/Master is not an easy course to hoe. There are many instances where issues arise which are completely your responsibility. Even if you didn't create them, the dominant person needs to straighten it out. Few are able to do this. Most have issues planning a vacation let alone being responsible for the direction of another person's life. Being in control is something that should not be taken lightly.
In closing, anyone who is considering this way of life needs to understand that being a Dom/Master is more than just having a sex toy. There is a great deal of effort required for success. Even under the best of conditions, most BDSM relationships fail (not unlike society in general). Relationships are work. However, if you believe that you are going to come in and just bark orders while walking around like a pansy, the chances of failure just increased substantially. Knowledge and effort are necessary.
Many consider BDSM to be a fetish. This is not the case. BDSM is a lifestyle genre which can include many different fetishes. People get involved in many different ways while going to varied extremes. Overall, it is a flexible way of life that allows for the involvement of most anyone.
This brings up the question, where do fetishes fit in? My experience is that there are many interests among members of this lifestyle. Certainly, there are a number of common areas. However, there are equally just as many differences. This is one of the things that makes BDSM so interesting.
I often write that "there is no one size fits all" approach to this way of life. You will meet people who are involved in almost anything the mind can imagine. Some are extreme in their practices while others are tempered. This makes for a unique interaction.
When you meet someone with a particular fetish, remember that it is a personal choice and not reflective of the entire lifestyle. There are times when you will match up with someone (or some people) with the exception being one or two kinks. Do not allow this to ruin your chances at interaction. Some like things that might be off the beaten path.
Spanking and bondage seem to be fetishes that are fairly common among all of us. Nevertheless, when it comes to kink, the paths can get wide and sorted. Many are into watersports or scat. Others have foot or stocking fetishes. Still others like electrical or needle play. Whatever your particular flavor, it is possible to find it within the BDSM community.
Choosing the BDSM way of life is not a choice that limits you. Instead, it is my experience that it is the path to freedom. If you want your dreams to come true, this might be the avenue for you.
A contrarian view is one that goes against what is commonly thought as to the truth. We see this cited most often in the field of investing. Contrarians are those who invest from a viewpoint that goes against the common belief of which way the market is moving. Many times they are the big winners because they divorce themselves from the blind euphoria that many get caught in.
The BDSM world has many of the same viewpoints. Society tells us what is "normal" and what we must do to be happy. It lays out a path for us which is destined to bring about a life beyond our dreams (so we are told). However, many of us find that the facts that were presented to us were incorrect. After following their dogmas and tenets, we find ourselves alone, divorced, depressed, and broke in all facets of the word. The path that we were sold on turned into a lemon.
BDSM offers us another way of life. Even though it has moved from the deep underground because of the Internet, it is still considered an "alternative lifestyle". We are still different from the norm. Therefore, society, and it members, have a way of using terminology and insults to categorize us. This is done in an effort to degrade and demean. Their barbs are hurled as if they were factual.
The most basic tenet of this lifestyle is the exchange of power. For a BDSM relationship to be successful, there needs to be a person who is submissive. This is one of the ideas which goes against mainstream society. To it, submissiveness is a sign of weakness. This is where the contrarian view enters. One who is submissive is not weak but, rather, following an internal calling that is ingrained with him or her. To me, this is strength over weakness. People who are willing to look at themselves and follow their natural desires are stronger than the average person. Most fail to do this.
Many alternative philosophies warn about having the "herd mentality". Those who blindly follow what they are told are those who end up slaves. BDSM is all about freedom. Even though bondage is a central technique we employ, we value freedom above all else. A slave is freer than the norm because of the simple fact that he or she decided to follow his or her own path. In my opinion, those who are blindly following the dogma that was established for them is weakness. These are the true slaves.
BDSM is a complicated and diverse lifestyle. There are many layers which are to be explored. The limits exist only in your mind. This is a path that allows you to go as far as you would like. Of course, it does not appear to be such at first glance. Trust me when I tell you that what appears on the surface is not necessarily so. Further research will be required. There are many areas where a contrarian view of the facts is more accurate.
Much is written about the use of safe words. There are many different ways to approach this aspect of the lifestyle. I believe the particulars that are used are less important than the fact that they are implemented.
I feel that it is crucial to use safe words except in the most familiar situations. This is true whether one is referring to D/s or M/s. Unless there is a great deal of knowledge between the two individuals, safe words will prevent any unexpected "surprises".
My philosophy is that a safe word is necessary in every new relationship. Trust is important. However, it can be misplaced when people are new. It is impossible to truly know one's level of experience until you "see them in action". While one might claim to be a rope or electric play expert, don't bet your future on his or her words. A safe word allows you to back off if the scene gets too intense.
M/s is a bit different in that the relationship often covers a larger spectrum. Nevertheless, the same premise holds true. A safe word is vital until there is enough knowledge about each other. Trust really has nothing to do with this situation. Even if you trust the person, it might not be warranted in the area of extreme play.
BDSM is a fun lifestyle. However, there are instances where lives are ruined because someone failed to take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe time. A safe word is one of the basic tenets we operate with to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all involved. It is like a condom, while not the most enjoyable thing in the world it will protect you from all kinds of fungi. Cover yourself with a safe word.
Many get together for scenes with people they do not know so well. It is baffling whenever I read of someone who met another off the Internet in a motel room only to meet with a tragic end. Times like these require precaution on your part. Trusting the validity and experience of another is foolhardy in the sense you never know if one is an "axe murderer".
Here are some things that you can do to protect yourself:
1. Check the other person out as much as you can. Use any means necessary to find out first/last name, phone numbers, model of cars, home/work address, and license plate number.
2. Meet in a public spot. Do not rush into a secluded area without first spending some time learning about the person face-to-face. Online does not count for real interaction in this matter.
3. Tell someone else where you will be and arrange a time that you will call. This allows you to have a link to the outside world.
4. Safe words. Always a must whenever you are dealing with a new dom or sub. One never can know the threshold that one has. Safe words allow for a pull back if things get to severe.
5. Consider setting up a camera which uploads to a site automatically. This can help deter the crazies.
6. Bring another person along. Even if the person is not in the room, have him or her stand outside the door. Again, this is a deterrent against crazy behavior.
7. Finally, use some common sense. If something seems amiss, or you get a bad feeling, leave immediately. It is not worth the gamble if you think something is wrong.
The world is full of critics. This is a fact of life. Any one who has ever written anything original knows there are people out there who are just waiting to tear it down. Again, this is a fact of life that has not changed throughout history.
That being said, it amazes me how thin-skinned people are online. As I make my way around the World Wide Web, I quickly see how people are offended by what others write. It is baffling how anyone can get upset over a bunch of characters on a screen. Nevertheless, this happens on a daily basis.
My view on this is that most lack the esteem to be in the limelight. The Internet has allowed anyone to express their ideas in writing. Blogger, Wordpress, and others make it easy for anyone to become a "journalist" for free. However, just because one is able to express ideas does not mean that person is suited to be a blogger.
The same concept hold for online forums. Many will take offense when someone disagrees with them. This is asinine. Yet people do it and get defensive about their ideas. In the end, you get the chatroom "catfights" that make most logical people want to vomit.
Self esteem is something that I have regardless of what others think about me. There are many who like what I write while some detest it. Regardless of the outlook people have, I do not alter my style to suit them. Whatever their viewpoint, my esteem is not tied to it. That allows me the luxury of not having to defend myself against what they are saying.
Can you imagine the criticism that Bill O'Reilly, Katie Couric, and any President goes through? Unless you are a public figure yourself, it is hard to imagine. Nevertheless, we get a taste of it each time someone takes exception to what we write. The desire to defend ourselves is natural. However, I believe it is also childish and immature.
I believe you can tell the maturity level of one online by how they post. Anyone who engages in the "catfight" behavior with someone in a chatroom or forum is acting like a kid. So what if someone disagrees with you. That is life. In this country, at least for now, it is people's right to disagree. It is insane to expect everyone to agree with you all of the time.
The final point I want to make about this is how people tend to personalize what is written. I had more than a few contact me in an upset fashion because I wrote a post about them. The ironic thing is that all of them were referring to the same post. Now, how is it possible that I was writing about 4 different people at the same time? It is not. The fact is that my writing style tends to be general in nature which offers a big opening for one to interpret the themes to be about them. General human tendencies will fit us all in some manner.
At the end of the day, it is best to be thick-skinned about what is written online. There are going to be a variety of opinions offered on any topic. Even those who tend to get personal are revealing more about themselves than you. This is an important consideration. I resist lashing out at my critics because they are not worth my effort. My belief is they are worthy of nothing if they have nothing better to do than to bash me. If they think they can do better, let them. This is the attitude I have.
Those who read this blog regularly know where I stand on most issues. I share my experience with others so they can avoid some of the pitfalls that befell me. Those who want to claim that I am not real can maintain that opinion. My efforts are not done to convince anyone of my worthiness. I have that already based upon my personal experience with the lifestyle. Anyone who has a contrary viewpoint is free to move along. I will continue living my life regardless of what they think.
I recently was told a story by a fellow Master about how his slave raises money for him.
As most of you are aware, Daytona Beach has it's annual Bike Week which brings thousands of people from all over the country. This particular individual decided to make a few dollars by having his slave sell "tit slaps" for a dollar. Throughout the entire two days they were there, she offered her tits as a slapping bag for the price of $1. He told me she came home blackened and bruised. Nevertheless, she raised $200 which she was instructed to spend on clothes for him.
This brings up the question: could you do this? Many want to claim they are slaves, here is an example of what one might be instructed to do. Like an obedient slave, she fulfilled the task as specified. Do you think you could handle the physical or emotional pain that goes with being treated like this? This is a far cry from some of the online games that are played by so many.
Welcome to reality. Nobody said that M/s was for the weak.
A central part of this lifestyle is the separation of power. Whether one is in a D/s or a M/s relationship, the simple fact is that the basic foundation is the exchange of power. It is what separates this type of life from the traditional.
This brings up the mindset that is required for success. Sadly, as I travel around the different chat rooms I frequent, I notice an absence of the mindset that is required for success. It seems many are actually seeking an equal placement within the relationship.
The bottom line is that the dominant person is to lead in the relationship. This entails a great deal of responsibility and should not be taken lightly. In many ways, it carries a similar connotation to that of a parent. Whenever the life of someone else is in your hands, it carries a severe amount of responsibility that should not be taken lightly. This exceeds for more areas than just having a sex toy available to you. Those who cannot undertake this in the proper manner are better suited for something else.
We see the same idea on the submissive side. Many do not develop the mindset of submission. Society promotes equality on every level. Unfortunately, this conditioning is counterproductive in the BDSM world. We establish our lifestyle based upon inequality. There are those who want to control and those who want to be controlled. The meshing of these two outlooks are what allows for success.
Trouble arises when one wants to assert him or herself in ways contrary to this ideal. Also, there are times when one is simply unable to handle the separation of power. Psychological strength, especially on the part of the submissive one, is crucial. Often, a dominant one will want to emphasize the separation of power via erotic humiliation (I wrote a book about this subject found here). A true self worth is crucial if one is to emotionally deal with what is occurring. Again, this start in the mind with one's self image.
BDSM is a wonderful way of life. However, nobody who has lived a day in real time will ever tell you that it is easy. We encounter all the challenges that the rest of society deals with. At the end of the day, our relationships require work and attention. Anyone who believes this is an easy path is starting off with the wrong outlook. There are no free rides here.
There is a lot mentioned about the difference between subs and slaves. Many posts online delve into the levels of exchange of power. I believe most of them chronicle these aspects well. However, one area that seems to be left to misunderstanding is what is meant by a "sub". It seems that most fail to see the varying degrees.
A sub is a person who submits. That is simple enough. In general terms, a slave is a sub (although a sub is not necessarily a slave: a Coke is a soda but not all sodas are Cokes). That being said, most have a common idea of what they mean when someone says they are a "sub".
The general meaning of a sub is that he or she is one who is sexually submissive. In BDSM, the exchange of power is the fundamental separator from the traditional lifestyle. Under D/s, a sub submits in certain areas. Typically, the one area that one is submissive in is the sexual arena. This is where the control is given over. One chooses to be dominated in the bedroom. The common belief is all other areas are off limits.
This is where things start to get cloudy. What about the person who is willing to submit in more areas than just sexually? Where does he or she fit in? I feel the overriding outlook is that the one who moves away from sexual submission is now entering into slavery. My experience tells me this is untrue. This misconception leads to failure since I sense the mindset of a slave is missing in these people. The leap from being a sub to a slave is enormous. Most fail to grasp this.
Getting back to our person who desires more, is he or she a slave because of this want? Not necessarily. It is possible to be more than just a "sex sub". Someone can offer to do the laundry, handle the yard work, or run errands for his or her Dom. Even though the boundaries were expanded, the nature of the relationship did not change.
The main difference between a sub and slave is in the exchange of power. When one enters into M/s, the exchange of power is complete. This fact affects all areas of one's life. Nothing is not open to the control and decisions of a Master (Mistress).
A sub retains control over certain areas that he or she chooses. For example, while submitting to running errands, a sub may keep his or her career off limits. The choice to work or not is in his or her hands as opposed to the Dom. This is a radical shift from M/s where the decision is the Master's. A sub always retains the ability to exercise control in certain areas.
The other area that differs is in the ending of the relationship. A slave needs to request release. Like all other decisions, in M/s, the relationship ends when the Master says it is over. It is his or her choice (unless there is some type of physical danger that the slave is in). A sub can decide to walk away whenever he or she chooses. The level of exchange of power is not to the same degree as under M/s.
Therefore, just because one moves his or her submission to areas other than the bedroom, this is not cause to call oneself a slave. This person is still a sub. The situation is altered in terms of the areas where the submission exists. Nevertheless, the nature of the relationship did not change. It is still D/s.
Have you ever thought about why people enter this lifestyle? Why do they endure what they do? What are they seeking and what, specifically, are they after?
Obviously I cannot answer for everyone. And, over the years, I have seen people approach this life for many different reasons. Of course, some were good while others were dangerous. Nevertheless, people seem to learn their lessons in the end.
I am an advocate that one should always be moving towards something as opposed to away. This seems sensible yet many choose the later. This is especially true when approaching BDSM. I would say that many are attracted to this way of life for the wrong reasons as opposed to the right ones. Naturally, right and wrong is relative. Perhaps it is better to use healthy and unhealthy as substitutes.
Those who live this way of life and are successful are attracted to the desire to be happy. This is the overriding goal that each person has. Happiness is something they sought in other areas of life only to realize that the traditional did not hold it for them. Then, when encountering BDSM, these people realized this held the key to their happiness.
Now many will claim this is their motivation. Sadly, it is not the truth. A great majority of the new people I encounter are actually trying to move away from the traditional way of life. Their stories are often similar in that they were miserable failures in most aspects of life, most notably relationships. Suddenly, they find a chatroom espousing the ideas of D/s (or M/s) and believe they are home. At some point, the realization was made that there was a submissive or dominating streak within these people. BDSM seems like the perfect opportunity to rectify the past ills. So, our new troopers go to the extreme and pronounce themselves masters and slaves (I will not dignify the masters (pretenders) with a capital "M" here).
Unfortunately, for these people, nirvana is rarely realized by these people. The rush into situations where they readily give or accept submission to the nth degree. Their interaction begins online which is mistaken for being real. Then, when they move to the next level, our "newlyweds" suddenly realize that living as Master/slave is a difficult task. Those who claim this is an easy lifestyle are misleading the truth. Success in real time takes a great deal of effort.
We often find these situations blow up in people's faces. It is rare to see M/s relationships go more than a year or two. People find the struggle is just too great. Sadly, many were not cut out for it in the first place. My recent posts reflect the idea that many fail to have the mindset to live in the extreme.
This brings us back to the original question: why do people do this? If those who are successful are seeking happiness, why do so many try to be square pegs in round holes. I am amazed how people attain the same results they got in the traditional world. They are miserable. To me, this means that the problem is personal. One ought to take the time to look at oneself and determine exactly what it will take for him or her to be happy. BDSM is a wide spectrum. Deciding where one fits is crucial for long-term happiness.
I sense the many feel that being "less" extreme is degrading. I have repeatedly said that there is nothing wrong with being a sub or a Dom. Few are cut out for the M/s way of life. Yet, whenever I go into a chatroom, the majority are either Masters or slaves. There seems to be a lacking of Doms and subs. This tells me that everyone simply is claiming to be something they are not able to handle. This is a recipe for disaster.
Remember this idea as you dwell upon the facts of your life. Spend some time in reflection to see exactly what will make you happy. In BDSM, there is no "one size fits all approach".
So you want to be a slave? Is this what you consider yourself? Well, I got news for you: there is no quicker way to piss a Master off than to utter the word "No". Anyone who feels that he or she has the right to negate something that is told by the Master is completely off base. Many seem to think this is a halfway venture; it is not.
The fundamental basis of M/s is the complete and total breakdown of power. If you want to live as a slave, they you agree to give all power over to the Master. It is that simple. This is not negotiable. Anyone who believes that he or she retains the right to deny whatever his or her Master wants showing a lack of respect to not only that person, but also the lifestyle. This is not a half ass program that we run here.
As I travel throughout the Internet, I see many who like to disobey their Masters. They do this in an assortment of ways but the end result is the same. Many times the slave will simply say "no". Other times, the action that was instructed is left incomplete. The slave conveniently attends to other matters. Hell, I have even heard of instances where the slave left a M/s relationship because she decided it was over.
BDSM lives by the motto "safe, sane, consensual". This is the premise that allows us to interact in ways that best suits everyone. I can see the situation of a slave removing him or herself from a relationship if that person's physical safety is jeopardized (or that of the children). Nevertheless, short of one's safety, once the submission is made, the time for discussion is over. M/s requires obedience; in other words, do as you are told.
I know my words here seem harsh. They are meant to be. Many seem to think they are ideally suited to be a slave. It is the answer to all that ails them. Sadly, few are seriously cut out for this way of life. If you find that the hair on the back of your neck is standing up at these words, then you might want to reconsider you decision to live this aspect of the lifestyle. M/s is at the extreme end of the spectrum. This will evolve into areas that you never considered. Giving up control sexually is only the tip of the iceberg. To succeed in M/s, you must fully internalize what it means to have your life in the hands of another.
Those who grasp this concept understand how "no" is like poison. Nevertheless, some still wish to engage in that behavior. They feel they have the right to disobey their Masters. This strikes at the very foundation that M/s is built upon.
In the end, there needs to be trust. Many submissive types (online) like to mention how important it is that they are able to trust the one they will submit to. This is a sensible thing to do. However, few realize how crucial it is that they earn the trust of the one accepting that submission. I can tell you from experience, each time a slave disobeys, in whatever form that takes, my level of trust in her drops significantly. Masters have expectations upon slaves and when they are not met, trouble arises.
Therefore, a slave is confronted with a choice: obey or say "no". While there are times when a Master is certainly wrong, confronting him (her) or behaving in an antagonizing way will not help the situation. I can speak from experience when I tell you that I quickly lose respect for a slave when she behaves in this way. At the end of the day, a slave needs to know his or her place.
Again, my intention here is to illustrate the extreme nature of this aspect of the lifestyle. A good slave will remove "no" from his or her vocabulary. Those who understand this often find success in this lifestyle. Sadly, most are not willing to do this. That is why I concluded a long time ago that most are really subs as opposed to slaves. The extreme nature is intolerable to most. Their words and actions repeatedly prove this point.
Get in tough with your true self: this is the highest order I believe all of us have. It is sad to see the masses walking through life following the edicts presented to them by someone else. They are misled into thinking that the path they are on is the one to happiness. Certainly, for some it is. However, there are many out there who are simply miserable. You can see it in their eyes.
BDSM is an opportunity for people to shed the shackles that society implements while enjoying the freedom that comes with making a real life decision. That being said, BDSM is not something where "one size fits all". There are many different facets which can fulfill equally. The only challenge is to determine where you fit on the spectrum.
This is where some introspective enters the picture. It is vital that one take the necessary time to determine exactly what he or she likes. This is true whether one is presently involved with someone else or single. At the end of the day, we all are responsible for the situations we are in. The requires a bit of maturity but is worth the effort.
Deciding whether you are submissive or not (or dominant) is only the first part of the process. How extreme are you in this area? Are you one where it is cut and dry with regards to being completely submissive or dominant? Or do you have a bit of each in you? Perhaps you are more of a switch as opposed to a sub/slave? Whatever the inner desires and feelings that you have, they need to be acknowledged. Failing to do so could lead to much unhappiness and sorrow.
It is possible to feel out of place in the BDSM world. Many enter believing that simply reading a few articles prepares him or her for the different facets of this way of life. This is not the case. Even after one decides to enter into this particular lifestyle, there still remains a great deal of soul searching to determine exactly where he or she fits. Sadly, most skip this crucial step.
There is a lot of trial and error involved in a successful BDSM lifestyle. Some can grow into certain ideas and overcome obstacles that exist in the mind. Other times there are true limits which cannot be overcome. Regardless of the path, it is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to do things; one way of living is not better than another. The only criteria is does it work for the individual(s) involved?
Happiness is what we all seek. It is up to you to decide which aspects of the lifestyle work for you.
Many people who presently are living in the BDSM lifestyle started following the traditional path that society sets out for us. We go to school, fall in love, get married, and have a couple of children all in the quest to live "happily ever after". Sadly, as most of us know all-to-well, the happiness seems to leave the equation. Throughout this entire process, many of us encounter the "square peg in a round hole" feeling. We simply did not fit.
Thus, we undertook the process of seeking out something different. Many of us were surprised when we came upon the BDSM way of life. Suddenly, we were home. We found something that rang true for us. It met those inner feelings which were suppressed for so long. But, alas, this brought up the inevitable question, what to do about all the responsibility that was acquired when following the traditional path?
This is a very common situation. I encounter it all time whenever I am chatting with new people. Usually, there are a couple of factors to consider. To start, many are with a person whom he or she loves completely. However, that person is not interested/suited for BDSM. There might be some light play but that falls short of what is desired (especially if the person believes he or she gravitates toward the extreme). Often, this person is in a long-term relationship which is not discarded easily.
The above situation often leads to the second issue many have: children. It is a fact of life that many who are interested in this way of life have small children. This brings up the case where one's responsibility is going to be split simply because of necessity. Being a parent is far more important than any decision to enter this way of life. However, many seem to feel they will have the same experience as those who enter without children. My experience is that this is not the case. Children bring an entirely different dynamic into the equation which might not be suited for them.
People in this situation often find themselves with the feeling they have "a foot in each life". This is understandable. I find there are many times where one is ready to join the BDSM way of life yet are unable to do so because of the prior responsibilities. The only solution in my mind is for a person in these circumstances to wait to realize the dream of living this lifestyle full time. Even when the desire to move forward is present, time is usually required to handle responsibilities gained while in the traditional world.
Unfortunately, I have not seen another way around this situation. Those who attempt to rush forward end up creating more problems for themselves in the future. Success in a BDSM relationship is difficult enough without lingering issues from previous relationships.
Dennis Najee is an accomplished author and speaker. He advocates freedom above all else. This is reflected in how he personally chooses to live his life and in all his writings. Sexual Motivation is about to turn the personal development field upside down. This is the first publication that freely tells us to use the natural sexual desires within for accomplishment. Society, in its quest to control, removes this as a viable tool, thus, leading to mediocrity. It is time to reverse that course and claim your rightful place by using what presently exists within you at this moment.
Freedom is a dying animal. The dogma of different entities has weakened us as individuals. Dennis is on a quest to change that. He knows that accessing the powers within us is crucial to our success. He is here to help everyone along with that endeavor.