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.
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