Many view the BDSM world differently than the traditional world. Those who regularly read my blog understand how I often draw on the comparisons to mainstream life to analogize what we do in the BDSM arena. Overall, life is still life yet a great number approach it like something foreign. It need not be this way. Most of what you learned growing up and throughout your adult years applies to BDSM. The only difference is how we structure things.
Many operate from the misconception that there is an inequality in terms of strength. Power exchange is exactly what it states: an exchange of power which results in an inequality amongst the participants in an interaction (or relationship). The fact that power resides heavily or exclusively with one person does not directly reflect anything about strength. Strength is something that should reside within each person. Sadly, too often, it is not.
Newer people will believe that since the power lies with the dominant one, that the strength is also present. Those of us who are around this way of life know how untrue this could be. There are many dominants who were ceded power but were weaker than the slightest twig on a branch. They were no more able to handle this responsibility than the man on the moon. It takes great strength to responsibility assume control of another person's life. This idea, in spite of all the misleading, is fairly well understood.
However, one idea that surpasses most people is that the submissive needs to be equally strong. Just because someone is handing power over, that does not equate to weakness. On the contrary, to properly cede control requires a tremendous amount of strength. If you do not believe me, try to do it for even a part of the day. Most people find that when the situation does not mandate it, they have a difficult time doing this. The reason is because strength is required.
Weak People Are Prey
Many of us witnessed the train wreck that many people are when the first enter into the lifestyle. As was mentioned above, most seem to think that the common sense ideas that wee instilled throughout life somehow do not apply. This type of thinking makes one vulnerable to the predatory forces which exist within this community (and most others). If one does not have the knowledge and strength to sensibly approach this way of life, failure, or worse, is certain to ensue.
Relationships, even power exchange, are a two way street. Both parties are responsible for giving if the relationship is to be successful. It can not be a one-sided affair. A dominant is responsible for the direction of the relationship and making the decisions where necessary. As stated, this requires the willingness and the inner gumption to want this. It is uncanny how many people want power without responsibility. The two go hand in hand.
At the same time, a submissive also needs to be strong. The best way I can describe this is that she is able to stand on her own without another. People who are completely dependent upon another are unhealthy. When involved in a relationship, a person of this ilk becomes an albatross. While many think that BDSM is the solution to their relationship woes, they find that they meet the same end. Inner strength is needed for relationship success. When one operates from a complete point of weakness, he or she becomes a burden to the other. Ultimately, this gets tiresome for the person who is carrying the relationship.
There are times where everyone is weak and needs help being picked up. Life is a bastard in that it will slap us senseless at times. However, there is a big difference between moments of weakness and residing in that state perpetually. Before entering a relationship, BDSM or otherwise, a weak person needs to work on strengthening him or herself. This includes being able to manage one's life, emotional state, fear, and financial affairs. Self improvement is a quest everyone should be on.
Strength is the only way to protect oneself. Those who are weak get swallowed up. Life is a series of tests which, if undertaken, will build up one's resolve. Whether dominant or submissive, each needs to have something to give to the relationship. "Carrying" the other person all the time is not a pathway to success. A one-sided affair of this magnitude will ultimately destruct. Take every precaution to ensure you are not the one dragging the interaction down. Instead of looking outward for the answers, delve inward.
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