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.
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.
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