November 16, 2012

Dedication To The Lifestyle

This is a topic I discussed in the past but feel it worthy to revisit it since i feel it is imperative for people to understand.  Sadly, this seems like a topic that is overlooked in the BDSM community.  This results in a great deal of harm long  term for people.

A Way of Life

We are all aware that BDSM is a way of life.  It is also one that is consciously chosen.  The traditional way of life is forced upon everyone since this is how we are raised.  What is the social norm is taught in the home for the most part.  In the Western cultures, marriage and monogamy are the chosen paths.  People are taught that a relationship is between a man and woman who make the lifelong commitment to each other.  We all know where this concept comes from so I will not go into it here.  The point is that following this path requires no decision.  People who enter this way of life do it unconsciously.  The dogma of "normal" is indoctrinated.  Anything that falls outside this norm is termed "abnormal".

The problem is that many people do fall outside the bounds of what society said should be followed.  For example, there are many people who are homosexual as opposed to heterosexual.  These people do not fit into the ideal of a man and a woman in marriage.  There are also those who are poly or pansexual.  We also see many who prefer the single life.  The point is that many do not fit nicely into the package that society presents.

As you can imagine, the pressure that a person feels to conform is great.  There was a story a couple years ago about a Governor of a state (I believe that was his position) who was married with children only to get busted having an affair...with a man.  He was a homosexual who denied this vital part of himself.  And why do you think he did that?  Because being a homosexual did not fit into the societal norm which he was presented.  It was only after the urge was too powerful was that he succumbed to what he is.  His "way of life" could not be denied.  Unfortunately, many were hurt by this delayed decisions.  How much better would things turn out if he was able to accept who he was decades earlier?  A lot of pain could have been avoided.

People who enter into BDSM can identify what is being discussed here.  Most of us felt out of play with the "normies".  Of course, we were obedient programmed beings and followed the path of normalcy.  Ultimately, our results were no better than what was mentioned.  We ended up unfulfilled even if in loving relationships.  Equal power marriages, something we were told is the answer, only left us longing.  Divorce or multiple ones ensued.  This started our search for something different.  Upon finding BDSM, we knew we had struck gold.  This was the answer.

Commitment to the Lifestyle

People understand the idea of living an "alternative" life.  However, what gets me is the approach they take to it.  BDSM is a world where we see many enter and exit.  I guess this is natural and might be present in other non-mainstream paths.  The initial attraction strikes a core with people but after the luster wears off, the realize that there is still life to deal with.  Hence the word LIFEstyle.  I feel many come to BDSM seeking an escape which is a failing method since we cannot forgo life.  This leaves many with great disappointment.

Another factor in the exiting is the fact that people depend upon other people for their lifestyle choice.  This is evidence by the "tire kicker".  This is a person who decides to try BDSM by getting involved with another person.  We see many get into a relationship very quickly only to find that it ends almost as fast.  The problem with this approach is the dependency upon the other person to determine one's commitment to a path.   He or she is the one who will ultimately decide the direction a person's life takes.  Our newcomer does not realize that before one can commit to another, he or she must first commit to the lifestyle.  It is a fundamental concept that few acknowledge.

Getting back to the homosexual, do you think one would have a great chance of finding fulfillment in life if his or her sexual choice was dependent upon the first involvement?  Can you imagine the success rate following this concept?  We all know that most first experiences, not matter what the lifestyle, ends up in breakup.  Few married their first boyfriend or girlfriend.  High school sweethearts tend to drift apart once going to college.  The same holds true for alternative ways of living.  What would happen if everyone who had their first relationship fail turned their back on heterosexual relationships?  I surmise that few weddings would ever occur.  Well, we see this same concept applies to BDSM.  Just like a homosexual does not suddenly go straight if his or her first relationship goes bad, nor should someone in BDSM suddenly leave because things did not work out.  It shows a lack of forethought on the part of the individual.

Committing to the lifestyle means one has searched within oneself what the path to fulfillment is.  For the homosexual, it obviously is being with one of the same sex.  While there might be pitfalls in life and relationships, this person is "dedicated" to being a homosexual.  Same with the heterosexual and vanilla world.  People will suffer setbacks in their relationships yet they do not abandon what is right for them.  People who crave a relationship structure that is built upon inequality need to understand how strong that need is.  To deny that fact just because the first interaction did not work is tragic.  Yet so many create this fate for themselves.

I always suggest to people to uncover what is within you before moving forward with a relationship.  Educating oneself is a wonderful way to start the process.  So is sharing with others who are in the lifestyle longer.  However, the ultimate knowledge vehicle will be the internal search each undergoes.  There are the answers for all of us.  And this is a source which does not end. Just because one has 5 or 10 years (or whatever) in the lifestyle, that does not mean that knowledge can not be gained.  We are constantly evolving people.  Use each interaction as a basis for growth.  Committing to the lifestyle will help one to learn from the first few relationships while not turning one away.  Tragically, this is not the common path.


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