October 23, 2010

Trust: The Foundation

On my BDSM social site, a conversation recently occurred which dealt with trust. The writer basically was making the case that she did not trust her Master because she had caught him in a number of lies. Of course, this leads one to a crossroads: what to do? It is something that is never easy but requires a decision. Today, I will express my thoughts about this highly important matter.

The Foundation

I will state that trust is at the foundation of every single relationship. Without it, there can be no success interaction between two people. When one does not trust another, he or she is continually on guard. It is a natural defense mechanism that we use to protect ourselves. Whenever we find ourselves dealing with this type of situation, we experience tension. It is not a pleasant place to be.

Before going any further, I will state that each of us had an interaction where our trust was broken. Perhaps it wasnt in a romantic type relationship. Nevertheless, we all know the pain that goes along with the uncertainty of not knowing what another will do.

Do not take the statement that 'trust is the foundation of every relationship' lightly. Let us use the employer-employee interaction as an example. An employer trusts in an employee that he or she will show up for work when scheduled. This is the starting point. Also, that same person is entrusted to complete certain tasks that go along with the job. The company is willing to exchange compensation for this activity.

Of course, we see relationships damaged when that trust is broken. What happens once the person misses work a few timed without valid reasons? Suddenly, the employer starts to questions the capability of this person. Instantly, the trust starts to diminish. Of course, it can be eliminated in an instant by really falling short on a particular assignment.

The reverse is also true. An employee trusts that when he or she shows up for work, the doors will be unlocked. At the same time, in exchange for the time put in, the employee trusts that the paycheck will be given at the end of the week (or every other week). Again, we see how fragile this trust is. What happens when the company comes back one week and says the checks wont be available for another week? Trust is instantly destroyed. I have known people who worked for organizations that told them not to cash their paycheck for 3 or 4 days...it wasnt a pleasant experience for them I can assure you.

So, as you can see, trust is at the core of all our interactions with other people.

Trust And BDSM

Trust takes on a deeper meaning when we shift to our primary relationship. Naturally, the depth that this type of interaction goes requires a great deal more than some of the secondary relationships we have in life. Having the full trust in and of our husband or wife is crucial for a successful marriage. Over time, people travel to depths where they trust in others of this sort completely. BDSM is no different in this regard.

However, I will state that I believe having trust in another is even more important than in the traditional 'romantic' relationship. That does not mean I am diminishing it in this forum. My point is that a BDSM relationship has a couple of characteristics that heighten the need for trust even more.

One of the differentiators of this type of relationship is the exchange of power. Whenever anyone enters into this arrangement, especially on the submissive side, he or she is entrusting the other person with a great deal more than the average relationship. Safety is the first thing that comes to my mind. A submissive needs to trust that he or she will be protected by the dominant one. Having this trust is necessary since there are many times where he or she is in a physically vulnerable state. One only needs to look at the results of scenes gone awry to understand how important trust in the right person is.

There is also the component that one is ceding power in a TPE relationship. When doing so, one is trusting the other person is able (and willing) to guide the relationship in the proper direction. Being the dominant one in a BDSM scenario entails a great deal of responsibility. Is this person worthy of this responsibility? If so, one is more apt to trust him or her. Of course, if that person is up to the task, trust flees like a deer in the night.

One final thought: the fact that trust is at the core of all relationship exemplifies to me the need for time to interact before making any commitments. I see people, especially online, submitting to another after one or two conversations. To me, that is absolutely ridiculous. How can anyone entrust in another without even knowing the person? The truth is he or she cannot. No matter what the lifestyle, there is no eclipsing some of the basic tenets of human relationships. Those who try ultimately meet with disappointment. Take the time to develop the trust between you and anyone you are considering. It will do more to enhance your chance of success than anything else.

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