April 6, 2013

A Lack Of Reality

The online BDSM world has created a disconnect from reality.  Over the years, I have asked people if they thought the Internet helped or hindered the BDSM community.  Based upon the responses I received, I would say that most feel it has helped.  However, the ones who are in the "hindered" camp tend to be the old guard; people who have lived this lifestyle for a long time.


I am going to leave aside all the online games that are played in terms of the liars and cheats.  We all know those type of people exist in all areas of life.  The only difference is the Internet is a mecca where they can excel.

Getting back to the hindering, the people that I asked the question to did not fall into the "longing for the good ole days" mentality.  They were people who tended to embrace technology.  However, they saw a serious shift from the true ways that were present when the BDSM community was smaller and not in plain view.

The problem I see with the online world is that it allows people to engage in fantasy.  While there is nothing wrong with this in and of itself, issues do arise when it is not kept in the proper context.  The sad truth is so many I encounter seem to believe that the fantasy is they way it is.

I will give you an example.  Star Trek was a very popular program which gained a cult-like following over the last few decades.  It was a sci-fi program which most knew to be made up.  From a technological standpoint some of what was on the show became reality.  However, in the 1960s people did not talk to each other on devices that did not have wires coming out of them.  Also, anyone with a pragmatic view of things knew the entire show was made up.  This is how one keeps it in proper perspective.  While one could root for Captain Kirk to win against the green guy, everyone was well aware that when the show ended, life was present.

We do not see the same approach to the BDSM world.  In this lifestyle, there is an entire aspect which is based upon a science fiction series.  While I can admit some of the characteristics about what was discussed are applicable, the truth is that the books were made up.  They did not exist in real life.  The fact that the author created this society on a pretend planet does not mean that it can be transferred to our life here on Earth.  Many are disappointed to find that the protocols which are present in the book are rarely applicable.  Imagine having to kneel when another Master approaches while you are in the middle of a supermarket (or worse, at your place of employment).  As you can see, it is something that is impractical.


Star Trek was an hour long television program that gave people an escape.  It is similar to shows that people want on a regular basis today.  There is nothing wrong with vegging out and being entertained for an hour.  We all need this escape from our daily lives periodically.  Again, knowing that it is just a temporary escape before returning to life is what makes the difference.

The same is true in the online world.  Many choose this medium to escape.  The enter into chatrooms or go to sites specifically designed to provide a forum for this behavior.  After a couple hours of enjoyment, the person shuts off the computer and returns to reality.  Perspective is maintained while the person got what he or she was desiring for the short term. 

We need to contrast this with the behavior of so many, especially new people who find this lifestyle.  Whether it is 50 Shades or other BDSM "romance" novels, the imagery presented by the porn industry, or the books of Gor, too many enter believing these things are reality.  It is sad to watch someone who has the mindset that entering this lifestyle equals an exemption from life.  These people believe the romance and fantasy provided when those of us who lived this for a while know that is not true.  Life is still life and we are a part of it.

I will use the porn industry as an example.  If you watched the Kink.com videos, you would believe BDSM is all about whips and chains.  Obviously a slave is going to be screwed all day, every day by her Master.  Orgies must be the norm.  Every Master has all those wonderful toys and a house with a dungeon in every room.  Naturally this is not reality but that is what one is led to believe if he or she buys into the imagery.

The same is true for the romance novels.  Have you ever noticed how the Master is a wealthy business owner who works from home?  If this is your conception of reality and the life ahead of you, I would harken to guess that you are going to be disappointed.  The online search is difficult enough when one is seeking someone real, let alone real and wealthy.  It can happen but I would not bank on it.

My point is that it is crucial the one enter BDSM with the mindset that is based upon reality and not buy into the fantasy.  Sure, there are aspects of the imagery and BDSM romance novels which are engaged upon and enjoyed.  However, this is not commonplace.  Life still happens.  The reality of life in BDSM is the same as life in general.  There are financial circumstances which need tending to.  Family is still a problem for us also.  Work and career consumes a great deal of time.  Illnesses occur and require getting through.  Relationships problems arise even in power exchange.  Everything that the average person encounters is present. 

It is time that people eliminate the lack of reality from their mindset.  BDSM is a lifestyle choice which means that we structure our relationships in a manner different from mainstream society.  That is all.  It does not mean that we are exempt from any of the difficulties that life has to offer.  If you struggled in the vanilla world, the odds are you will experience the same here.  I am amazed how people lacking interpersonal skills believe they will suddenly become interactive (successfully) in this way of life.  That is why the BDSM journey starts by going within.  Working on oneself is the first step to success in BDSM.  Relationships involve people and if you are not a high quality person, your chance is diminished.  This is true whether the interaction is vanilla or otherwise.

So maintain a sense of reality.  Use fantasy as an escape temporarily while understanding life and all that goes along with it is still present.  BDSM is not an escape from reality.


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