Experience Is Important
I will state that experience is important. In all my writings, I make it clear there is no substitute for dealing with experience. Those who have 'trudged' the road that you are on can offer valuable insight . Anyone who made mistakes and is willing to share them with you is one to listen to. He or she has the uncanny ability to help you circumvent painful situations. A sign of wisdom is the ability to learn from others.
Experience is commonly a reflection of time. Obviously, someone who is in this lifestyle 20 years will have many opportunities to experience different things. Life and relationships tend to throw many different obstacles in our way. Those who navigate these waters have a story to share. Again, knowledge from a source such as this is invaluable.
Of course, experience comes in many different forms. While the BDSM world is different from the traditional in so many ways, there are also commonalities that are applicable. Many seem to miss this basic point. Interpersonal skills are always important no matter what the structure of the relationship. Those who lack this basic necessity find BDSM just as trying as other areas of life. Therefore, most have a great deal of experience when they enter the BDSM arena.
The Meaning of Time
Time offers one thing: opportunity. Whether a person takes advantage of that or not is a completely different story. Many will be around something for a long time yet fail to learn a damn thing. This is something we need to be extremely mindful of when we are interacting with others in the BDSM arena.
The common scenario is for someone who is new to defer to those who have time. I see this repeatedly online. A new person will make a statement in a forum only to have a more 'experienced' member rebuke that idea. Shortly after, the new person usually apologizes for offending those who are on there.
What is sad about this scenario is often those who are experienced are also complete idiots. As I mentioned above, time gives one the opportunity to learn and grow. The sad truth is that few take advantage of this fact. I presume this is a human condition since we see so many who haven't picked up a book since their formal education ended. However, in the BDSM arena, this can be a very dangerous prospect.
Also, just because a person has time in this lifestyle, that does not make their viewpoint correct. The BDSM world is a wide and varied life. There are many aspects to it. It is impossible for anyone to be experienced and knowledgeable about every area. For example, even though I am at this way of life for a while, I know very little about suspension. It is not a form of play that I personally involved myself in. Therefore, anything I state about this facet will be conjecture. My experience is nil. Time did not provide me wisdom in this area.
Take this concept with you wherever you go. There are many who post ideas that are very helpful. However, these same people might also have some strange viewpoints on different things also. That is part of the human condition. I have yet to meet the person who agrees with my views on everything. So, the old adage 'take what you want and leave the rest' certainly applies. And, for Pete's (whoever he is) sake, stop apologizing if some supposed 'aged' person disagrees with you on something. The presumption that he or she is correct is one you should not take. There is a good chance that person is equally off his/her rocker.
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