May 15, 2010

Freedom: That Is What It Is All About


For 8 years, in the U.S., we heard how President Bush was stealing our freedoms with things such as the Patriot Act. Now, for the past 15 months, we hear President Obama is doing the same thing with the expansion of healthcare, tax increase, and runaway spending. Two sides promoting the idea that has truth at its core. As a society, we are losing our freedoms. This is a trend that started decades ago and is continuing full force. The same is true for countries around the world.

The Lessons of the 60s

The 1960s were a radical time in the United States. Anyone who lived through it or read anything about that era knows it was a time of tremendous upheaval. The Vietnam War was one of the biggest targets. People protested the fact that innocent Americans were required to go fight in a faraway land. The draft was a main point of contention.

Hippies became a cultural breed that had great impact. These were the people who espoused freedom. By "dropping out", they sought out greater freedom than society at large offered. They felt that the values that made America great were being attacked by the ruling class. Decades later, we see this same thing occuring.

Counterculture

Many of you are wondering why I would start a post on a BDSM blog referencing politicial/social examples. The idea is to show how those who go counter to the norm are the ones who are often seeking freedom. My belief is that following the herd mentality serves no purpose other than to enslave us. If one is to seek out freedom in his or her life, then that person needs to move against what society commonly accepts.

This movement begins with the questioning of the overriding belief system that exists within a culture. Most people are unaware that they did not freely choose what they believe. Instead, they are a product of social conditioning that started at an early age. As children, we are like sponges, absorbing all that is spoken around us. Because of this fact, we are conditioned what to believe. That is why people from the same geographic area tend to mimic each other. They are all products of their environment.

The quest for anyone who seeks to go counterculture is to develop a belief system that works for you. This is something that is highly individual. Those who seek freedom throw off the chains that is limiting their thinking. Just because your parents or teachers thought one way, that does not mean that you have to follow suit. And, you certainly do not need to model your life after theirs unless you consciously choose to do so.

BDSM=Freedom

Those who opt to make BDSM a part of their lives are the ones who are choosing the path to freedom. Why do so many feel they are obligated to lead their lives as others dictate? We see if everyday regardless of where we travel. People lead lives that were given to them by others. They never question the values or ideals that they hold. Therefore, each day begins to resemble every other. Years stack up before one realizes that life is passing quickly. It is amazing how fast we go from adolensent to middle aged. Those who are already there tell us that it is like a "blink of an eye".

Why do I feel BDSM is freedom? Simply because it is not what the mainstream promotes. Anyone who questions the culture norm and decides to go in a different direction is exercising his or her freedom. Freedom of choice is something that is fundamental to us as people in my opinion. Tyrants have sought to take this away from people for centuries. Sometimes it is by the use of force. However, most often it is simply by conditioning people what to believe.

Before going any further, I must state that I am not advocating that everyone belongs in a BDSM relationship. Some people are perfectly content and suited for the traditional model. The point that I am raising is the questioning that goes along with making such a choice. Stating that everyone should choose this way of life is like saying everyone should be homosexual simply because that choice works for some people. BDSM is a viable option for many, but not all.

Strong Opinions

As those who read this blog know, I have strong opinions about certain things. However, you must be careful to not mistake that for meaning that I think everyone should live how I see fit. There was a discussion the other day about this same topic. The bottom line is people are free to live however they see fit. The only people who are impacted and have a decision in how to structure a relationship are those who are involved in it. It is none of my business how they opt to live their lives. If they went through the process of actively choosing what they want, I commend them. They are exercising their freedom.

Strong opinions arise out of passion. Those who are willing to defend a point of view are one who are dedicated. If it was something they were not passionate about, they would care less. However, when one is willing to fight for something, you know that is true to them. Many of us understand how precious it is to find what we did. There is a great benefit to living this way for those who are cut out for it. Therefore, we can get rather passionate when we see people who are entering with a disagreeable viewpoint. Does this make the other person wrong? It depends. Opinions will vary. However, there are many times when statements are simply inaccurate. This is where the opinions will arise with force. Misinformation is as destructive as the social conditioning that exists throughout our culture.

Living Your Life

We each are granted a certain time on this planet. We are born and we die, and the time in between is where we experience. What we do with that time is up to us. We can consciously choose to pursue what we desire or we can allow the beliefs of others to dictate how we live. Sadly, I feel the majority, perhaps because of ignorance, choose the later. We are the ones in the group who choose the former.

BDSM is a diverse world. There are many avenues for anyone to pursue. Like most alternative "lifestyles", those who are involved in it are unrecognizable on the street. Few of us walk around wearing leather and gathering at parades. Instead, we are everyday people who face the same challenges and problems as everyone else. I often state that the BDSM life does not absolve us of life. We still have bills to pay. The difference is that we consciously chose how we are going to structure our relationships.

Soceity tells us that marriage, which it deems a partnership, is the path to travel. Many of us went down that path a time or two only to realize it didnt work for us. We learned the hard way that we bought into the great lie (at least for us). That is not to say that marriage is not a chosen path in the lifestyle; it is. However, it is often interwoven with some type of breakdown in the power structure. Many marriages entail the D/s or M/s concept. The exchange of power is present even though the parties are married.

Again, these are people who consciously chose how they are going to live. Many people are polyamorous and elect to live with multiple partners. Other value the monogamy of life but will lead an open sexual lifestyle. Whatever your flavor, it is possible. One needs to decide what it is he or she wants and actively pursue it.

BDSM is all about freedom. On a macro scale, it is something that is counterculture to what society actively promotes. Therefore, any who is involved with it actively sought it out. On a smaller scale, it is a personal quest for happiness. Since the traditional did not work for us, many of us find that is path is ideally suited to fulfill our desires. In the end, isnt that what freedom is: being allowed to choose how you want to live your life.

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2 comments:

Tristan on May 22, 2010 at 2:14 PM said...

Great article. My favorite part is "BDSM=Freedom" as i do agree with you.

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