December 29, 2012

Character Versus Intelligence


There are a lot of highly intelligent people involved in the BDSM community.  People from all walks of life enter into this lifestyle.  It is not uncommon to meet doctors, college professors, accountants, and business executives.  At the same time, we see that this way of life fits for many plumbers, laborers, and homemakers.  Regardless of the status level, you will find those people involved here. 

Intelligence

Intelligence is something that is valued in the modern world and rightly so.  Some of the greatest minds lived in the last couple hundred years.  Because of this, we now reap the benefits for their collective mental efforts.  Devices that we take for granted today are the result of highly intelligent people getting together and advancing the work of their predecessors.  Laptop computers, cell phones, microwaves, and cable television were all fantasies a generation ago.  However, today, these are "must have" devices.

The ability to think is what separates us from the other members of the Animal Kingdom (that and the opposable thumb).  In the BDSM world, having intelligence is extremely important.  Dominants need to be able to use their mental abilities to establish a direction for a BDSM relationship while navigating all the pitfalls that seem to accompany life.  At the same time, submissives need to understand how they are to interact and use the mind to properly execute all responsibility assigned.  Much of one's standing within the lifestyle is based upon his/her intelligence level. 

Before going any further, it is crucial to define what intelligence is.  Certainly, it contains the natural ability to think.  Those with high IQs are considered intelligent.  However, there is a great deal more to intelligence than just natural smarts.  Knowledge gained through one's own experience and the experiences of others is another aspect of intelligence.  Those who fail to learn the lessons of life are apt to repeat the same mistakes.  This is not intelligent behavior.  Common sense is another component of an intelligent person, one that is often overlooked in the BDSM community.  People seem to turn their sensibilities off upon entering this lifestyle usually to their detriment.

Intelligence is something to be valued but it is not the entire package.

Character

As I mentioned in my last post, character is something that few in the vanilla world pay attention to.  The world has a way of modeling that which is determines to be important.  Success is based upon what one has as opposed to who one is (becoming).  This is the collective mindset of the Western World.  Entering the upper regions of society is what matters...how you get there is secondary. 

The BDSM world does a better job of establishing the importance of character.  However, based upon my observation, it is mostly lip service.  Words such as honor, loyalty, pride, and service are mentioned regularly but rarely exhibited.  This creates a hypocritical situation which puts one at odds with oneself.  Sadly, few realize this or do not care.

Respect for others is a fundamental part of character.  When one takes the attitude that he or she is better than everyone else, it shows a lack of class.  Cockiness is something that few relish.  Personal confidence is an attribute that all should strive for but an over expanded ego is nothing more than fear and low self worth.  Nevertheless, we see so many who have to tell everyone else exactly how they are to live in this lifestyle.  At the same time, many, especially dominants, believe that being in this way of life gives them a license to act like total jackasses.  We see this online in BDSM chatrooms everywhere.

Another aspect of character is the fact that few people believe their word means anything.  This is tied to the idea of being loyal and honorable.  The old adage if you say you are going to do something, then do it.  This is how one lives in congruence with one's word.  Again, in the BDSM community we fail to see this.  There are those submissives who like to Master Hop the first sign of difficulty.  People seem to have the view "easy in, easy out" when it comes to relationships.  At the same time, dominants mislead submissives into believing they will take care of them only to end up being the exact opposite.  Dishonesty is the rule of the day.

Personal Responsibility

The way to change one million people is to get one million people to change themselves.  This is the mindset that I have adopted for the new year.  It is time each of us took personal responsibility for all that we do especially in the BDSM world.  Every action is a reflection of our character.  Paying attention to this will help us all to behave in ways that align with what BDSM is all about.

The first question is are you doing you absolute best in all that you do?  Too many think that BDSM is something that is picked up and put down.  Certainly, there are those within the lifestyle who prefer to engage in the "play" aspects only and not "live" it.  That is perfectly acceptable for those who choose this but they are not the ones I am referring.  My attention is focused upon those who feel that BDSM is a way of life that they want to lead.

I see to many who are quick to jump into relationships upon entering the lifestyle.  They do this without having the skills to operate on this plane.  Instead of seeking what they can add to another person's life, they are looking for someone to save them.  This is where the inherent selfishness enters.  Relationships will fulfill us and do provide something to each person.  However, if one is there to take from the interaction without giving back, then the life of the relationship is limited.  And, this is one of the reasons why BDSM relationships tend to dissolve so quickly.  People seem to believe it is their place to take instead of give.

The ability to succeed in a BDSM relationship is directly related to one's ability to succeed in life.  There are so many who do not focus attention upon themselves and what they are doing.  Instead, they play the blame game, victim, or simply look at the world around them as at fault.  The truth is that BDSM is a journey into one self.  How do you behave in all aspects of your life?  This is what establishes the limits of your relationship.  Those who lack control, emotional or otherwise, will not succeed in BDSM.  Sure, one can blame the dominant or submissive, but is that accurate?  In most instances, it is a cop out.  We all need to take responsibility for what we decide to do.  Failure to do that is embracing a powerless state.

A person of character realizes that in all situations he or she is responsible.  This sounds at odds with a lifestyle that is based upon power exchange but it is completely accurate.  Certainly a submissive grants the power over to another.  However, what is done from that point on is within her realm of responsibility.  One makes the choose of how he or she approaches the decisions that are made.  Are qualities such as honor, loyalty, and respect exemplified?  Or are the actions done begrudgingly?  While approaching situations with intelligence is important, does this person show a complete lack of respect for others around?  Concepts like these are crucial if we are to progress forward as individuals.

The bottom line is that trust is required in all aspects of life.  In the BDSM world, interactions that lack trust are doomed to fail.  Too many simply allow their mouths to state whatever while presenting a different image through their actions.  Talking about a thing such as honor is admirable but it is far more noble to live it.  And, never forget that success is in the simple.  Those who have character will behave in appropriate manners regardless of the protocol.  Something simple as doing the dishes when you say you will goes a long way to establishing the type of person you are.  Continually letting others down, especially one you are involved with, shows a lack of respect for them and failing character on your part.  Trust is difficult to build but easy to rip down.  What we think is one thing but it is what we do that matters to others.

DN

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Dennis,
I am writing a book (fiction) about a D/s scenario that focuses on my main personal fascination, the psychological side of BDSM. I myself am a bottom and so along with research can learn quite a bit from my side of the path, however it is as I'm sure you know, one of the least researched, unclear, unfactual subjects therapists and psychologists have looked into. Sexology is hitting a different vein entirely. To the point! From only what I can gather (apologies if this is too forward and personal) you are a well established experienced Dominant with very good views and strong clear opinions. I have contacted rather a few subs so far, but for obvious reasons am trying to be a little more picky when it comes to asking for the advice of Dominants. My email address is tace_barnes@hotmail.co.uk. I understand fully if you can't or don't want to help, but regardless thank you.
Best wishes
tace

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