January 29, 2013

Self Title Versus Earned


The Internet really changed how the BDSM world operates.  There was a time when the community was rather small in comparison with invitations being personally delivered as opposed to open-ended posting on the Internet.  While this is a fact of life in this era (no point in dwelling over the good ole days), the truth is that much has changed within our community which is detrimental.

Honoring

There was a time when honor existed within the BDSM environment.  Perhaps since interaction was in real time, people took a greater stand to exert a positive position.  Today, with the anonymity of the web, people simply can be whomever they desire without the difficulty of personal contact.  This has led many of these scumbags to believe they can operate however they see fit.

Words such as "master" and "slave" mean little anymore.  It use to be these titles were earned, not self proclaimed.  Years of experience is required to operate properly at these levels yet the Internet, again, has allowed anyone who can spell these words to assume them.  To me, it has degraded the worthiness of the terms in many ways.  Obviously, if everyone is a master, it is nothing special.

Honoring also entailed paying proper respect to a person as a learned individual.  Because the titles were not easily cast about, when one was recognized as a master, for example, everyone knew that person was of distinction.  And what led to this viewpoint?  It was the excellence exhibited in a particular area of the lifestyle.  Contrast this with what occurs today where people instantly proclaim themselves as masters such as "I am Master Peter".  Oh really?  Says who?  We all know the answer to that one.

Respect Is Earned

One of the biggest errors that occurs, especially online, is the belief that respect is automatically granted to an individual simply because he or she assumes a particular position within the lifestyle.  This is incorrect, not only in BDSM but all of life.  Respect is earned.  It is based upon the person you are and the traits you exhibit.  Simply demanding respect is childish and immature; two qualities the BDSM community is overrun with.

Using the above example, the term "Master" was given to someone who showed proficiency within the lifestyle.  This earned respect because everyone knew the loyalty, dedication, and educational process that individual went through to achieve that state.  No great level of success is ever attained without tremendous effort.  Everyone know this and that is why such a title was bestowed upon one deserving.  Respect was granted to the title, even if the individual was not known, because everyone was aware of what it took to earn such a title.  It was not simply self granted like today.

Another area where this is relevant is with regards to slaves.  So many of the comic book doms online believe that a slave is somehow beneath them.  This is a crucial mistake showing their lack of understanding.  While I will admit that most online are not worthy of the title slave, a true slave is something to be admired and esteemed.  Sadly, the same methods are used as on the dominant side i.e self titling.  Again, when I see one write "I am a slave" my first thought is "according to who?".  Here we have another case of self titling which, in effect, degrades all the other true slaves out there.

Living as a slave is not an easy task.  The level of submission required is tremendous.  Yet few seem to realize this.  It is only after questioning or getting involved with someone who is truly intent on moving it to TPE that one quickly realizes there is more than meets the eye.  Most of the "slaves" you find online will quickly throw up the barriers when they realize how few boundaries exist.  TPE is total by its definition and it certainly is not a path for everyone.  In fact, very few have what it takes to live in this manner.  That is why those who truly are slave are worthy of great esteem and respect.  Being a slave, like a master, is an earned title based upon the capabilities of the individual.

Remember this idea the next time you are tempted to call yourself a master or slave.  Reality is that most true masters and slaves would never call themselves that even if it is warranted.  They usually leave that to other people.  Even when they can get away with it, people of this nature avoid self titles.  Unfortunately, this is not the case online.

DN

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January 26, 2013

Responsibility


BDSM is an Adult Lifestyle.  Since this is the case, how come so many act like children?  Why is it that adults are so hard to find?  Perhaps it is because people seem to think that BDSM is some magical shortcut to life happiness without enduring the pains of the everyday world.  Of course, nothing is farther from the truth.

Responsibility For Oneself

Most of you know I am a big believer in personal responsibility.  As it pertains to BDSM, I am convinced that this journey starts within and moves out from there.  It is up to each person to decide what he or she wants from this way of life.  While there are many who seek only to add a bit of kink to their present relationship, still others desire a total power exchange scenario with high protocol  Whatever the intention, it is imperative that one determine for him or herself what will lead to happiness.  This is not something that can come from outside oneself but only after proper personal analysis.  Ultimately, it is you who is responsible for your own happiness.

In addition to happiness, safety is another area that you are responsible for, especially submissive types.  I encounter so many who do foolish things simply because they read somewhere online that it is the dominant's responsibility to protect and take care of the submissive.  This is a correct concept.  However, the problem arises in the situation where the dominant does not fulfill that responsibility.  In that instance, who is ensuring the safety of the submissive?  The answer is nobody.  Therefore, a submissive needs to take responsibility for his/her own safety even though that obligation falls to the dominant.  This practice should continue until he or she has proven the ability to handle that responsibility.

Entering into adulthood means bearing adult responsibilities.  The same holds true when entering into an adult lifestyle.  Freedom from responsibility is restricted for one time period: early childhood.  The reason is because we are not at the point to be able to handle it.  However, parents soon start to place more on children as they get older.  It is part of the maturation process.  Please do not believe that upon entering the BDSM world, that you suddenly find the foundation of youth and are reverted back to being a toddler.  Responsibility is still part of the daily ritual.

 Strength

With responsibility comes strength.  As one takes more on, power builds.  This is true for both the dominant and submissive.  Here again, we have an idea that is counter intuitive to what most people think about BDSM.  What do you mean a submissive's power grows?  A submissive, especially if she is a slave, desires no power.  This is where we see one of the fallacies about BDSM.  A slave, using as an example, should have great power.  In this scenario, it is ceded to her by the master.  It is not something she comes by without permission.  Nevertheless, if one is a valuable slave, he or she can be granted great responsibility.  Those who believe slaves are weak and cannot handle responsibility are still stuck in the childish stage.

At the same time, dominants need to understand that with power comes responsibility.  I see so many who want the power but do not feel an obligation to be responsible.  They believe that simply reading a couple of webpages provides enough training to take over someone's life.  This is not responsible behavior.  The kiddie doms of the world are very dangerous.  Simply because one reads the owner's manual to a car, that does not mean society lets him or her drive.  It is only after exemplifying the proper skills through testing that one is granted a driver's license.  In addition, show oneself to not be able to handle that responsibility and the governing body will revoke that license.  It is the same within BDSM.

Usually those who believe a slave needs to be weak are those who are weakest themselves.  These individuals lack the strength to be able to handle someone who is of the highest standards.  Instead, they prey upon those who are new (read not strong) in an effort to appease the insecurity that is within them.  Again, this is not responsible behavior since the dominant has no intention of bettering the submissive.  He or she is not capable of managing the other person's life.  Ultimately, things go awry because of this fact.

It is the responsibility of each of us to make ourselves as strong as we can.  This is a universal statement which applies equally to dominants as well as submissives.  Do not believe the rhetoric that states anyone should be weak.  Even the lowest of the low, the total sewer dwellers within this way of life, have great strength.  Trust me when I tell you, the lower the act, the more strength and esteem required to operate in a healthy manner.  Yet few recognize this idea.  Instead, they believe that only weak people behave in this manner.  Regardless, wherever on places him or herself on the BDSM scale, it is up to each one of us to better ourselves in every way.  BDSM is about living at a higher standard than the rest of the world.  We seek freedom to structure our lives as we see fit.  That is a wonderful power to have.  However, we need to ensure that we can handle that power through responsible behavior.  Personal development in every area is what leads to that end.  Without it, bad things can happen.

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January 23, 2013

What Does BDSM Mean To You?


This is a crucial question that few seem to take the time to answer.  What does BDSM mean to you?  We read about this being a way of life yet did you ever take the time to consider what it means?  The answer to that question is most likely not.

Personal Conduct

BDSM is about personal conduct.  While this is true for all of life, my personal belief is that one who claims to be involved in BDSM establishes a higher standard than most.  Obviously, this idea is not reflected by most of the online community where immaturity and childishness seem to rule the day.  At the same time, we are infiltrated with the scammers, liars, con artists, and game players which makes meaningful participation difficult.  It is apparent to anyone with an I.Q. above 3.5 that these people do not reflect the good qualities of life.

When one begins the search for information about BDSM, he or she does not travel far before uncovering words such as honor, integrity, character, service, and respect.  The are concepts which are foundational to our lifestyle.  Yet how many people actually put them into practice?  For example, I have witnessed a slave mention honor while being "owned" by 18 Masters.  Perhaps my definition of honor differs from hers because operating in a state of complete deceit is not honorable.  At the same time we see so many who do not take the time to develop their personal qualities resulting in them being a weak person.  How is this beneficial to anyone?  Life is a process of growth and those who shy away from it fail to increase their value.  This is another example that is true throughout all of life.

Therefore, when looking at one's own personal conduct, it is imperative that the process start by raising one's standards for him or herself.  This means adopting the mindset of being leaders among the general population.  I know this is seems counter intuitive for those who are submissive but bear with me on this.  When we hold ourselves and our conduct to a higher standard, we become better people.  In those areas where we focus, we see improvement.  Instantly, we begin to live on a different plane than the general population.  Our interactions take on a different meaning.  Our personal character is enhanced providing us a platform for success no matter what the venue.  Whether it is a Master or a boss, the bottom line is an individual of this sort can be counted upon to come through when needed.  The same is not true for the average person.

Excellence In Life

The imagery of BDSM that is presented online gives a warped perception of what it is all about.  Most quickly realize that being involved in BDSM is not what is shows in a kink.com video.  While whips, chains, and impact play are a part of our lives, it is not the main focus.  Life is still life.  A person of high standards and quality will show this in the results he or she attains.

This means that growth is required in all phases of life.  Personal pride (not cockiness) is a foundational piece.   Weakness is something that is not tolerated while being stamped out immediately.  Regardless of the life situation, one seeks to excel to the highest possible standard.  Contrast this with the mindset of the average person.  This is what I mean by taking your character to a new level. 

I approach BDSM with the mindset of being the best in all I can do.  My domination is not just in regards to a submissive person with whom I might have a relationship or be interacting with.  The truth is that I seek to dominate each area of my life.  Mediocre is not in my mindset.  Focusing on attaining the best means that excellence is often achieved.  Again, I will make the distinction of where the motivation comes from.  Having personal pride mandates that this is the only outlook to have.  When one personal pride, he or she is coming from a place of security.  Compare this with cockiness where one comes from a place of fear.  One who is cocky lacks a healthy self esteem to allow his or her true character to show through.  Therefore, a facade is erected depicting what one wants to show to the outer world.  Sadly, for those who are adept at these things, the facade is as clear as plastic wrap. 

Another factor relating to this point is that being the best in everything is impossible.  A person needs to have a clear picture of where the bar falls.  Progress is the main ingredient.  Obviously, depending upon the situation, results will vary.  In fact, no matter what the field, there is always someone who is better.  This is simply a fact of life.  A healthy self esteem allows one to strive to be the best while maintaining oneself when falling short.  The result is excellence.

It is rather frustrating to see people online who claim to be involved in BDSM yet have lives that are a complete mess.  Now, before everyone gets up in arms, I realize that we all can have temporary setbacks.  Health, work, and finances can be outside our control at times.  Anyone is susceptible to the proverbial curve ball that life throws at us.  These are not the situations that I am referring to.  Instead, I am focusing upon those who are a complete mess yet do nothing about it.  These are the individuals who believe getting involved in a BDSM relationship will fix what ails them.  It will not.  The problem with this approach is that they seek to take from the interaction as opposed to giving to it.  While it is healthy to lean on another when in a relationship in times of need, if one enters into a relationship completely needy, this causes the life to be sucked out of all interaction.  Anyone who was in this situation knows how burdensome it gets to carry another person.

Therefore, it is crucial that you seek to become the best person you can and this is done by approaching each situation daily with the mindset of "best".  This is how growth occurs.

Depth

Another aspect of BDSM that few concentrate upon is the idea of depth.  In my experience, because of the power dynamic, there is more depth to a BDSM relationship than in the common vanilla one.  Oftentimes we see, in the traditional world, a relationship made up of two individuals who's lives parallel each other but are not really together.  Of course, this is not all of them but a general observation.  BDSM relationships take on a different level.  Because one is dependent upon the other, depth is required.  Trust, communication, and effort take on a new meaning because of the dependency factor.

Which brings us to another problem: how many actively make themselves capable and worthy of operating at his level?   Again, few seem to focus upon this as an end.  Instead, their attention is upon filling holes within oneself by sucking in another person.  Some like to refer to this as "taking a hostage".  The point is that depth is not going to be achieved because of the simple fact a person of this ilk is incapable of anything deep.

I will give you an example.  BDSM, because of the nature of many of things we discuss, leads to openness.  Many are not confined by societal norms often straying into areas that are deemed extreme or gross (or whatever the adjective used).  The idea of structuring a relationship based upon inequality is taboo for most.  Yet it is a common occurrence within BDSM.  All this assists us in being open about what we want, desire, and like.  Again, we contrast this with the traditional world where many people are forced to hide their desires for fear of ridicule and persecution.

Now here is where things can get tricky.  To attain depth, open communication is required.  However, many fail at this because they allow fear to dictate their actions.  In some instances, this is warranted because the dominate, through his/her own fear, will not allow open, honest communication to occur.  Nevertheless, when fear is running the show, we can conclude that esteem issues are at play.  And, over the long term, this will destroy any chance of depth and, ultimately, the relationship.

Success in the BDSM world is an inside job.  Unless one is willing to invest the time in him or herself, the result will be nothing more than a vanilla relationship with a bit of kink added.  Of course, if this is all you are seeking, then have at it.  However, for most who intend to make this a lifestyle, there is a great deal more to it than that.  From this point forward it is helpful to think in terms of raising your standards in all that you do.  It is time those of us in this community focused upon being people of pride and success.  Contrary to popular opinion, BDSM is not about whips and chains but, rather, character and integrity.  Let us all be examples of this.

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January 15, 2013

Evolution Within The Lifestyle


Many enter the BDSM world with pre-conceived notions which they are unwilling to change.  I find that people who have this mindset tend not to last in the lifestyle too long.  For one to truly excel in the BDSM environment, an open mind is crucial.  Much of what is a turn off today might well be your fetish down the road.

Experience

We know there is no substitute for experience.  The best way to decide about something is to experience it for oneself.  All the reading and research in the world does not make up for first hand knowledge.  In short, there simply is no substitute.

As an example, I like to use the analogy of childbirth.  I am male which means I never felt what it was like to have a kid exit my body.  Now, most females have went through this process at least once.  At the same time, many of them could tell me in detail about the experience.  If I searched long enough, I am willing to bet I could find someone who would spend months patiently trying to get me to understand what happens and how it feels.  Unfortunately, it all would be for naught.  There is no way I can truly know what it is like to give life to another human since, as a male, I am incapable of that.  Intellectually I might understand and be advanced with it but as a matter of practice, I will know nothing about it.

Flip this scenario around a bit and put two women together who have both given birth.  This brings up a totally different set of events.  To start, they both know exactly what the other one went through.  There is no intellectual understanding but, rather, practical experience.  Morning sickness, water breaking, and labor pains were all felt.  No description is necessary.  Experience was the teacher.

It is the same in BDSM.  Many will look at things and project what it is like.  I will use impact play and the pain associated with it as an example.  There are many who enter the lifestyle claiming they are not into pain.  Well, that is an assessment that I can agree with.  However, because of this outlook, they close their mind to the benefits of impact play and how it can positively affect some.  There are many who thought that pain is not something they like only to find out that impact play unleashed a terrific desire within him or her.  The pre-judging almost caused one to miss a fantastic aspect of our lifestyle.

That is not to say that everyone will come to like pain or impact play.  There certainly are many who do not want to participate in this activity even after experiencing it.  Nevertheless, their decision is based upon experience as opposed to projected ideas.  There is a big difference.

You Will Not Be The Same

Another area where this concept applies is with regards to where one eventually goes with regards to the lifestyle.  It is a simple fact that the person you are today is not going to be the same person two years from now.  Over time, we change.  Our interests will grow as we experience different things.  New opportunities arise which we will be able to take advantage of.  People will enter our lives who warrant more trust than those previously in addition to having knowledge that is apart from what we encountered.  All this will affect the person we are down the road.

Again we see people with the pre-conceived ideas about what they will be.  Many enter saying "I am not and never will be a slave".  For many, this becomes an accurate statement.  However, it is a mistake to close one's mind off to this.  The truth is there were some who found BDSM as subs only to realize after a period of time (and experience) that they could live as a slave.  Of course, this often entailed having someone who was capable of earning trust to this degree but the point is still the same.  A once held belief was smashed.

We evolve in this lifestyle.  Much of it is out of curiosity therefore we try something new.  Every experience builds upon the previous so that we start to assemble a catalog of things we are capable of being involved in.  As we grow as people, our interact within the BDSM world changes.  Sometimes life necessitates a stepping back while other times we become more active.  Continual self analysis will help us to monitor exactly what is needed at all times.

The bottom line is that when you are new at anything, being an expert is impossible.  As you progress and learn, new situations are available to you.  BDSM is no exception.  So many want to proclaim themselves Masters and take control over someone else without having a clue as to how that is done.  Being responsible for another being is not an easy task.  Yet people of this ilk believe it is as simple as saying submit to me.  As most of us know, that is only the beginning.  Of course, we know this because of the experience that came with time.  We are different people as compared to when we found the lifestyle.  Over the years, not only did we change as people but the interactions within our own BDSM life evolved.  It was, and continues to be, a process.

Open your mind up to the possibilities.  And remember, just because something does not seem to fit for you today, be slow to discount it totally.  You might find that it is a part of your life down the road.

DN 


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January 8, 2013

Getting Rid of Baggage


Have you ever noticed a young child who walking along, especially a boy?  What about this individual that struck you?  Anyone who has watched young children in this manner will tell you they have a habit of picking things up and shoving them in their pockets.  There is so much that interests them which becomes important to take home with them.  Of course, as the journey progresses, the pockets reach a point where they are full.  This leaves our young lad with the choice of either replacing an older item with a new one or discarding the newer one as soon as it is picked up.  Of course, we laugh at this behavior but the truth is adults do the exact same thing.

Baggage

The accumulation of stuff throughout life is called baggage.  For many, this might be physical items which have no purpose yet are hung onto for reasons beyond most comprehension.   We see this with those we lovingly refer to as pack rats.  Life becomes extremely difficult when it comes time to move.  All these things, of which great importance is given, need to be boxed up and physically moved.  Naturally, the new location requires enough room to house it all.  In short, it is a major hassle; one which mostly is unnecessary.

This practice is not just relegated to physical items.  People pick up a great deal of emotional/psychological baggage along the way too.  Similar to physical objects, here we see someone who hangs onto emotional situations as a security blanket.  Nothing is ever released.  The events of life, more accurately the pain, are continually paraded out in an effort to win approval in some way.  Victimization is a common resource that people like to tap into.  They are ready to toss out the event where they were screwed. 

Even if a person does not overtly model their trials and tribulations, there is a good chance the person will harbor them deep down.  In many instances, this person is more difficult to deal with since one is unaware of what exists within that person.  Pain is a difficult thing to deal with and does not tend to go away on its own.  Over time, it will subside, however, the imprint upon our psyche is there.  Those who do not proactively deal with their life situations (or the emotional ties to them) tend to relive them when facing another similar situation.

Hence, it is best for each of us to eliminate as much baggage as we can.

Relationships

You might be wondering what all this has to do with BDSM.  As most of you are well aware, I repeatedly tell everyone that the essence of BDSM is a relationship.  This is a fundamental point that cannot be overlooked.  No matter what aspect of the lifestyle one chooses to look at, it ultimately comes down to two people (or more in a poly situation) interacting with each other.  This means that much of what we learned throughout the course of life in dealing with others comes into play.  Again, few seem to realize this, instead, opting to believe that the BDSM world is some magical place which is exempt from the laws of human nature.

So few seem to view the entrance into a relationship with the idea of "what can I bring to this".  Here we see those who talk about giving, in actuality, behaving as complete takers.  Their desire is not to enhance what the other person gets but to take what he or she can.  While this is not often a conscious decision, it is the behavior that many exemplify.

The need to be rescued is never a sound basis for entering into a relationship.  There are so many who suffer setbacks and go seeking for someone to who is able to fix things.  We see this in the areas of financial, children, and, even, a place to live.  It is amazing that a person decides he or she wants to be involved with someone and goes seeking while his or her life is in total chaos.  This is never a healthy thing to do.

***I will mention a sidenote here.  Things are different if you are already involved in a relationship with another person.  We all encounter issues in life.  For example, the loss of a job might lead to financial crisis.  When involved with someone, especially M/s, this is a situation that the other person can help address.  However, it is completely different if you are not in a relationship and approach someone when totally insolvent financially.

Being Responsible

I view BDSM as existing on a higher plane that the average lifestyle.  We use words such as honor, integrity, and courage.  This are ideas of which many of us are suppose to subscribe to.  They are not just words thrown together in a protocol list although I will admit that is how many treat them.  People are to adopt them as characteristics to implement into their lives.  Yet as no surprise, this is not done by the masses.

In my mind, we only need to look at the idea of responsibility to learn where people fall short.  This is a major problem within the BDSM community.  Few are willing to take responsibility for themselves and the what occurs in their lives.  On the contrary, people engage in the blame game as a means to divert attention away from the true nature of the malady.  I am often taken aback when I see this behavior out of people who are "Masters".  Here is an individual who is granted complete power yet he (she) does not own up to the responsibility that goes along with that power.  Certainly, here is a person who is failing to live to a higher standard.

The same is true for an individual who seeks a BDSM relationship as a means of rescuing.  A person of this nature is going to have a ton of baggage that was not dealt with.  Much like the physical stuff that is continually stuffed in the basement until there is no more room, an individual in this situation is just bursting at the seams with emotional and mental problems.  Fears, anger, insecurities, and other unhealthy traits are sure to emerge.  These characteristics will, over time, eat at the relationship until there is nothing left.  Resentment is often a main culprit since one is having to deal with things that he or she did not initially know existed.  Using the example of finances, there are many who find a Master who unwittingly becomes responsible for massive credit card debt.  Since this person was financially imprudent, most of her income goes to past debt which stifles the present household situation. 

We can say the same thing about some type of addiction.  Addicts do not like to be alone.  Since a low self worth is a common thread in people like this, receiving validation by the involvement (romantically/sexually) of another person a path often followed.  However, as most can imagine, interacting and dealing with a person in active addiction is more than most bargain for.  Nevertheless, the fact that the individual did not take care of this minor tidbit led to the bringing down of another person.  A lack of responsibility ultimately causes harm to another.

So this begs the question: how are you?  Are you someone who is on solid footing?  Before answering that, please do not misunderstand me by thinking that a person needs to be free from problems.  This is an unrealistic goal.  Everyone had problems; it is a part of life.  However, the question is what are you going to do about them?  People who are proactive and seek to solve their life situations, whether physical, financial, or emotional, are better adjusted for dealing with the responsibility of a relationship.  These are the types who put in the personal effort to better themselves on a regular basis.  Clearing away emotional garbage is not a one time thing.  It is something that a person needs to constantly monitor.  When one handles issues in other areas of life, that is a sign that possibly he or she does the same with emotional baggage.

Remember, BDSM and the path that one follows is an inside job.  The journey, especially to start, is within.

DN

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January 5, 2013

Strength Equals Domination


Do not think this post applies only to those who are dominant.  What I am going to discuss here today applies just as much to submissives.  In fact, because of the misinformation that exist online, it is even more crucial that submissive read this post.  Contained herein is something that is seriously missing in the BDSM world today.

A Submissive Is Not Weak

I see so many post in their profile something to the effect: do not mistake my submissiveness for weakness.  Certainly, I agree with this statement if it is indeed true.  To start, it is sad that this needs to be stated and very telling about the state of the lifestyle today.  However, I feel that most who post this statement are indeed weak.  It is not the submissiveness that makes them weak but, rather, their approach to life.  Naturally, I am going to say the same exists for most of the "dominants" who are out there also.

We live in an entitlement age.  This is the state of affairs as I see it.  There is no denying that more people today are dependent upon someone (thing) outside of themselves than ever before.  It matters little what metric is used to study this situation, the end result is the same.  For the last 30-40 years, in the Western Cultures, people were indoctrinated into the idea that they somehow "deserve" something.  Madison Avenue did a terrific job instilling this belief in people.  Whether it is the fancy foreign automobile or the McMansion, the fact is that people have the mindset that they deserve these items.  The concept of work and affordability is beyond them.

What does this have to do with BDSM?  I point this situation out to illustrate the larger context that we are dealing with.  Naturally, this idea is not exclusive to BDSM but is applicable since it is a microcosm of society at large.  This is a fallacy that the Internet has promoted: the idea that somehow those living in the BDSM world are somehow exempt or operate differently from those in the traditional realm.  Life is still life.

Entitlement is a path that breeds weakness.  Years ago, the imagery was presented with the analogy of the spoiled rich kid.  Here was a person who was handed everything in life and did not have to work for anything.  In high school, this individual had the fanciest car and the nicest clothes while those of us who were less fortunate were obligated to work after school to pay for the beater we drove. 

The weakness enters the picture in the fact that when life is made too easy, when things are taken care of for us or given to us, we fail to grow.  Strength comes from encountering the difficulties in life and overcoming them.  This is true throughout the course of nature.  Our own individual aging process is nothing more than a series of lessons provided by life.  The more we experience, the stronger we become.  Unfortunately, the reverse is true.  When we are shielded from those events in life, we become weaker people in comparison to the rest of the population. 

So when a submissive says she is not weak because she is submissive, I whole-heartedly agree.  Nevertheless, since we live in a world today where entitlement is the norm, I tend to believe that more than a few are indeed weak simply because their approach to life.  In the next section, I will explain how to alter this reality.

Dominate What You Can

We all know there are a lot of things in life outside our control.  Our political figures do whatever they want in spite of what we believe to be the best course of action. We work for others who have ideas which differ from our own yet they have the power hence we do as instructed.  Driving on the highway is a lesson in powerlessness when we see the lack of skill at maneuvering an automobile.  In short, there is a great deal which we have no power over.

This brings up the next point which is that one, whether dominant or submissive, needs to dominate those areas which he or she does have control over.  Strength comes from domination.  To succeed in any area of life, one must approach it with the intent of totally controlling it and altering reality to fit a chosen ideal.  This is what power means.  And submissives, just like dominants, have this inherent power.  The question is whether one chooses to apply it to his or her life.  Sadly, for both, I fail to see many exercising their power.

I am a big believer in the idea of determining what someone truly is by looking at the totality of that person's life.  Inevitably, the lack of congruence will appear.  I see so many who claim to be dominant yet have no control over any aspect of life.  People like this are often out of shape, in trouble financially, in a dead end career, have a miserably family life, and their home is a mess.  The first thing that pops into my head is "what do you dominate".  The fact is that someone who is a dominant personality would produce results in accordance to that quality.  Sadly, for many, this simply is not the case which tells me this person is not living according to that precept.

The same is true for submissive types.  While I will admit the motivation is different, one who is strong (and alone) will take control of those situations that he or she can.  The same aforementioned areas are within the power of a submissive.  They are the basic areas of life and failure to handle them puts an individual (and a family) in a world of hurt.  Therefore, it is necessary to take control of these situations and alter them to our liking.  Ironically, when a submissive does this, the baggage that is carried into a new relationship is lessened.

Not Rescuing

BDSM is not about rescuing another or being rescued.  I see so many who have experienced difficulty in life and believe that BDSM is their ticket out of misery.  Their failure in other relationships and other outside events like financial circumstances lead some to seek someone to remove these obstacles.  It is easy to find many victims online all looking for the White Knight to come along.  Of course, there are some who believe they are White Knights who are more than willing to fill the void.  Unfortunately, even for the most earnest of saviors, sometimes the burden is just too great (or they were not as sharp as they thought).

A BDSM relationship is the merging of two (or more in poly) people who are willing to bring something to enhance the other person's life.  The key is what is one able to give as opposed to take from the relationship.  A successful BDSM relationship has a submissive (slave) who is willing to focus upon the needs of the dominant (master) while he/she does the same in return.  Each person has a role to fill.  They are diametrically opposed in character trait but the motivation for the focus is the same: what can I bring to this other person's life?

Now, before some of you go off the deep, I understand that everyone is dealt a bad hand in life at times.  Certainly, there are many issues which can arise that cause one to become dependent upon someone or something.  Illness, as an example, can strike any of us.  Bad financial circumstances sometimes arise overnight causing tremendous hardship.  At the same time, even within a relationship, there are times when one person is unable to give to the relationship and must assume the role of taker by leaning on the other person.  This is a healthy way to approach things in times of need.  When one is weak, he or she should attempt to tap into the strength of the other.  However, if this is all the time, as in the case of the rescuing, eventually that strength is unavailable to either person.  Relationships of this sort always end.

Therefore, whether you are dominate or submissive, seek to dominate those life situations which are under your control.  Certainly, many will find those areas of influence rather limited.  That is okay.  As long as you are taking control of what you can.  The reason for this is to build strength.  Thus, if the only area of responsibility that you affect at this moment is the cleaning of the house, take charge and do it 1000%.  Whatever falls into your sphere, aim to dominate that situation and make it the best that you can.  In the end, this will make you a much stronger person who is able to handle responsibility.  And that is something sorely needed in the BDSM community today.  There are just too many people who behave in non-responsible ways. 

DN

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January 2, 2013

Emotional Maturity


The BDSM community seems to be filled with a bunch of children or at least this is the impression one gets when surfing the different chatrooms online.  I cannot recount the number of times that I witnessed behavior that reminded me so much of high school.  It is really sad to see adult people, many whom have children themselves, acting in such a manner.  The only thing that comes to mind is "grow the hell up".

 Emotional Maturity

A big part of the problem as I see it is the fact that society in general has done a poor job raising people to be adult about things.  We live in the entitlement age meaning that people feel that it is their right to assert what they want in ever situation.  When their desires are not met, which is going to happen when dealing with different people, they throw a "hissy" fit.  It is similar to the child getting upset in the sandbox and going home with his pail and shovel.

Naturally, this behavior is not exclusive to the BDSM community.  However, we do reflect it completely.  The maturity level of most is substandard to where it needs to be.  It should be everyone's goal in 2013 to grow up a bit and behave in a better fashion towards others.  The community could sure use some adults.

At the core of much of this is fear.  Online we see so many people who cannot take being challenged.  This exists amongst both the dominants and submissives.  Egos are so fragile that anyone who questions what one is doing is instantly met with ire.  The reactions to even the most basic of questions is astounding.  Of course, this is taken to a different level when one unknowingly does not follow protocol and "insults" someone (usually a so called dominant).  It seems at these moments the new individual is fair game in the world of online whippings.

The bottom line is too many people believe their own garbage.  The truth is, no matter what you focus upon, there is someone out there who has done it better, longer, and in more positions.  It is impossible to excel at everything.  We all have weaknesses and shortcomings.  In addition, each of us was clueless and unknowing since we were new to this way of life also.  Tolerance is something that is rare among people who are "experienced".  Instead, they tend to get their ego fix by thrashing others thus elevating themselves.  To me, this just shows a lack of character.

Growing Up

So, how does one go about growing up? In my mind, it all starts with understanding how much of our actions are controlled by the ego and instilling ideas of counter balance that.  Most of us are super sensitive beings which leads us to need to strike out when we feel we are attacked.  Again, this is childishness at its best.

Therefore, the starting point is to know that people are not going to always agree with you, that there will be times when you are wrong, and that it is okay for others to having a differing viewpoint.  As a writer, this was a lesson I had to learn long ago.  It is difficult to have people slam something that I spent time creating but it happens.  Anyone who posts regularly in a forum or blog experiences the same thing.  People are going to challenge what is written and sometimes in not such a nice way.  That is life.  The way to deal with this is to not take it personally.  It is nothing more than a viewpoint of another person, someone whom you most likely do not know.  That does not make your idea wrong (nor does it make it right).  It simply is a form of dispute that in the larger context of things most likely does not matter.

Another aspect that is involved is understanding that just because something works for you, that does not mean it applies to everyone.  Recently I wrote a post about the tendency of many within the BDSM community to have the mindset of "its my way or the highway".  These people live by the notion that their approach to BDSM is the only way to live it.  Anyone who is not adhering to their ideas is a fake or playing games.  This outlook is 100% ego.  There is no right or wrong way to approach the BDSM lifestyle.  Basically, it comes down to whatever works for the people involved.

BDSM is a cross-section of society in general.  People come from all walks of life.  It is crucial to understand that people have different life experiences which put them in their present state.  Some are more intelligent than others.  Families differ from person to person with many having wonderful upbringings compared to others who suffered greatly.  Naturally, much of this is not overt when interacting with another person and that is why it is imperative that one be mindful of how he or her behaves.  One never knows what triggers are there or how one suffered in the past.

At the same time, part of the maturation process is letting go of the bad stuff that happened.  It is a fact that many suffered tremendous physical and sexual abuse.  If you are one of those people, we feel for you.  But guess what?  There are many others who are endured the same thing.  To hold onto that and continually play victim is not only immature, it is a form of manipulation.  There comes a time to let things go, especially if they occurred decades before.  Do what is necessary, even if it requires professional help, to overcome these types of hangups.  Playing the "I was molested" card shows a lack of maturity.

The final point I want to make is the need for all of us to keep things in the proper context.  Right now, there are people starving in the world.  There are wars taking place with innocent people killed.  Millions are living as true sex slaves, being held captive against their will while ensuring tremendously.  BDSM is a lifestyle that we choose which can enhance anyone's life.  However, it is just one aspect of our lives.  Even for those that BDSM penetrates every area, it is crucial to remember there are many more important things that we deal with.  This is really magnified when talking about one's online activities.  As much as you think being the moderator of that BDSM chatroom is, there are other things which are more important in your life.  Always remember that. 

We all need to spread the proper message about BDSM.  However, a fundamental component that is missing, overall, is the quality of respect.  People need to start treating others with respect and dignity.  Just because one decides that he or she is dominant, that does not mean that a submissive is instantly open to abuse or degradation.  The same can be said for someone who is experienced.  Having XX number of years in this lifestyle means little if you are going to act like a horses ass.  One's "position" in the lifestyle does not entitle him or her to throw out the rules of civility.

Ancient civilizations lacks the intelligence and emotional insight that we garnered over the last 500 years, thus acted like barbarians.  Sadly, this lesson seems lost on the BDSM community.  Let us start acting like it is 2013 AD as opposed to 2013 BC.

DN

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