April 22, 2011

Communal Living: BDSM's Answer

I do not mention my other interests outside the BDSM realm on this blog. However, for those who are unaware, I am an ardent student of economics. I read all I can about the state of our economic situation while looking for the trends of the future. While I will spare you all the dry details, the conclusions I reached are that we are experiencing a multitude of bubbles that are going to pop over the next few years. What does this mean? Simply, that things are going to get a lot worse so we had best prepare for it.

These statements are made within the context of not being a 'gloom and doomer'. I believe that we will get through what is coming but there will be a lot more pain involved (and not the kind pain sluts enjoy). Ultimately, life as we know it is going to be altered.

Therefore, we need to look at ways to reestablish our lives for the oncoming crisis. Shared resources is going to be the way to go.

Communal Living

I long have been a fan of the idea of communal living. This is an idea that was tried in the 1960s and 1970s in the hippie movement. While experiencing a degree of success, I will state that, overall, the results were not very good. There are many reasons for this most of which do not negate the basic premise. Sadly, other factors and beliefs interrupted the advancement of this idea.

While some want to downplay this concept, we must consider that it is a central part of man's existence. The only difference is that we did not use the term 'communal living'. For centuries, we were a hunting and gathering tribe. People roamed the planet in packs using the resources of each other to survive. Well, a tribe is a form of communal living.

Another example is those cultures where generations of families lived under the same roof. Think of The Waltons for those of you familiar with this program. You had three (and sometimes four) generations living together. They all pitched in for the advancement of the family. This is another form of communal living.

The main advantage of this idea is that fixed costs are spread across more people while the income potential is greatly increased. The only expansion of expense is variable; i.e. a small increase proportional to each additional person. For example, another person will add to the food bill but a fixed expense, like the mortgage, remains the same. In times of economic uncertainty, this is a viable answer to the turmoil others are facing.

BDSM and Communal Living

Being an alternative lifestyle, the BDSM community, at least in theory, should be open to other ideas of living structure. In fact, there are many examples where this is already in existence. BDSM is more open to change than the traditional world since our minds are conditioned to think differently.

One area that is glaring to me with this concept is the arrangement of a multi-slave household. Here is a structure where three or more adults live under the same roof. Like was mentioned in the last section, this helps to spread the fixed costs over three people instead of two. At the same time, all three contribute to the benefit of everyone.

We see this same idea in a poly family (which many multi-slave households fall under). In this situation, we have multiple adults residing in the same household while putting forth effort which will help all involved. I guess you could say the major difference with a polyamorous household and mulit-slave is the emotional structure of each relationship.

In both these situations, the 'family' is central to everyone's efforts. Like the multi-generational family which was established by bloodline, this scenario offers the same effect. In essence, the sum is greater than the parts. All parties involved are working towards a collective end, one that could not be derived on their own. Ultimately, the needs of the family exceed that of the individual.

The Future

I believe we will see more of these structures established over the next few years. People are going to have to make adjustments based upon need. With unemployment running so high (and destined to get worse), you will see people offering their services in exchange for things other than money. Since service is a concept central to the BDSM world, it is an idea we are familiar with.

At the same time, I feel you will see the joining of couples in a communal spirit. This might involved 4, 6, 8, or even 10 people. While the individuals involved might not be sexually or emotionally involved, the pragmatic side will necessitate creating alternative living arrangements. A 'community' of this size will further enhance people's ability to deal with the foreseen downturn.

We like to think that mentally we are more open than society in general. I sense this is the case for many of us. Adopting an alternative lifestyle requires a shift in thinking from the general masses. What is considered 'not normal' suddenly becomes common for us. This provides us with a large lead when it comes to adapting to our surroundings. Those stuck in the mainstream mindset will resist being open to new ideas until they are forced upon them. Necessity is the mother of all invention. It is also the answer to closed-mindedness. Those who are open to start will embrace the realities much easier.

Consider the idea as you start to see things unraveling in the next few years. While it might feel like you are swallowing your pride to admit that you cannot make it on your own, fear not since there are and will be many who are in the same boat. The future economics are not positive. In an explosive economy, getting ahead is the focus. When things are at the other extreme, survival is the name of the game. Communal living offers a wonderful opportunity to alter the future reality in your favor. As people who live the BDSM lifestyle, we know that embracing new ideas is crucial. Ponder this one.

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