August 28, 2013

Dabbling In BDSM

BDSM is an alternative lifestyle.  This is evident to most yet few take the time to consider what that means.  Obviously, first and foremost, BDSM is different from the norm or mainstream.  It is not the commonly accept ideal in terms of relationship structure.  Similar to polyamory and homosexuality, the BDSM lifestyle is still somewhat "underground".

The factor that few take into account is that because BDSM is alternative, many are not exposed to it growing up.  Naturally, we are taught what is commonplace within our environment.  Children who grow up in two family households, for example, learn to believe this is the norm while those from single-family homes are equally apt to draw the same conclusion about that family makeup.  Since so few ever encounter BDSM as a lifestyle, there is a lot of questioning when one does eventually begin the journey into this way of life.


For years I wrote about those individuals who enter the BDSM lifestyle and start "kicking tires".  For anyone who is uncertain of this reference, this is an analogy that goes back when buying a car in the old days.  Since little information was really known about the vehicle (this was pre-Internet), one would "kick the tires" to see if the automobile was of good quality before making a decision.  For me, this analogy works well because I see so many do this when entering BDSM, especially within the online community.

As I stated, it is commonplace for one to find the lifestyle without knowing much about it.  Typically, we see someone who uncovered a particular quality within him or herself (dominant or submissive) who ultimately happens upon a BDSM site.  Through the course of their "research", they find the porn sites which express that point of view.  At the same time, they could stumble upon a blog such as this which informs them about the lifestyle at a much deeper level.  And, finally, they find one of the well-known BDSM "dating" sites where this individual can spread his or her wings while getting involved with "real" people.

The problem with this approach is that notice what is missing: any valid experience.  Naturally, I have to admit that all of us were inexperienced before we became experienced.  That is the nature of life.  However, our new BDSM practitioner believe that he or she knows something simply by reading a few blogs or websites.  Ultimately , we know this to be untrue.  I mean, come on.  Would you allow me to perform brain surgery on you simply because I read a book or visited a site that discussed it?  Unless you are totally insane, I hypothesize the answer to be no.

Since we know the lack of knowledge and experience exists, we have to couple this idea with the fact that, in many instances, the person is unsure whether BDSM is applicable in that person's life.  Remember, this is a lifestyle that few have exposure to growing up so the tendency to know instantly that it is "for me" is not practical.  No matter how strong the core quality, whether dominant or submissive, there are going to be some misgivings.  Uncertainty is a partner of the unknown.  The fact that so little is known by the individual upon finding this way of life leads to one being uncertain about one's place and where it fits.  Hence the tirekicking approach.


In my book, An Owned Life, I mentioned something I termed the Submission Process which detailed the steps towards commitment that one needs to make when entering into BDSM.  Sadly, this is something that I rarely see followed (I can only presume not enough people are reading my book).  Instead, they botch up the entire process resulting in the proverbial cart being before the horse.

Entering BDSM requires time and exploration.  One needs to be committed to the lifestyle first before getting involved with someone else.  This is true whether one is dominant or submissive.  Far too often I see people who are new, unsure, yet they enter into a BDSM relationship within days or weeks of finding this way of life.  Is it any wonder that the success rate of BDSM relationships is so low?  Here is a person involved with another who has not even decided if this is for him (her) or not.  It is akin to someone getting married (hetero) without being committed to being heterosexual.  When something so foundational is up in the air, it is easy to see how success will be fleeting.

Ultimately, we find many are involved with people who are not committed to the lifestyle.  While I am sure most can understand the process and how it gets to this point, the fact is that on the other side of our new person, there is someone who is looking for something serious.  That person has dreams, emotions, and feelings which are jeopardized by the new person's outlook.  Many of us found ourselves in situations where we dealt with someone who was not completely committed to living the BDSM way of life.  Instead, they were just dabbling in it.

A BDSM relationship, like all, requires effort.  It is not easy to make any relationship, sexual or otherwise, work.  For a relationship of this nature to work, one must find a suitable opposite in terms of power structure who is willing to put forth that time and effort to move the relationship forward.  Also, within the BDSM realm, there are certain roles that each is expected to fulfill whether we are talking M/s or D/s.  Not coincidentally, we find that it takes effort to fulfill each of these roles.

So what happens when one is involved with someone who is just dabbling in BDSM?  I can tell you firsthand that nothing good comes out of it.  This becomes a situation that is wrought with frustration and upset.  The lack of commitment makes it impossible to move the relationship along.  Resentment develops since the roles I just mentioned go unfulfilled.  At the same time, since the other person is not adhering to her role (in my case as a submissive), I am left unfulfilled as a dominant. Obviously, the reverse is also true for those who are submissive yet interacting with a "dominant dabbler".

Based upon my experience, it is best to exit a situation like this.  As mentioned, unless one is committed to the lifestyle, there is little good that can come from interacting with this individual.  Consider the marriage and heterosexuality example and really ponder that idea.  Do you think a marriage would work out if you (or anyone else) was dealing with a person with that uncertainty?  If you conclude no, then why would you believe that a BDSM relationship will succeed if your partner (dominant or submissive) was just dabbling in the lifestyle?  Do you not believe that a higher level of commitment than that is necessary for long term BDSM success?

In conclusion, before getting into a BDSM relationship, make sure the person you are interacting with is committed to this way of life.  This is paramount if he or she is ever going to commit to you.  Without that, failure is the only option.


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August 24, 2013

Be All That You Can Be

On my social networking site, there was a question posed that really got me thinking.  Someone basically asked what does BDSM mean to you?  This is a worthwhile question and one I surmise few ever consider.  Being one who opted to have BDSM as a foundational part of my life, I am going to provide a view which reflects that choice.

What BDSM Is Not

Perhaps it is best to start this discussion by mentioning a few things that BDSM is not.  There are a lot of misconceptions out there especially since the advent of the Internet.  People have specific images which they came to associate with BDSM.  While some might be accurate to a point, they only tell a part of the story.

BDSM is not about the whips and chains.  The porn industry excelled at promoting this mental image to the masses.  Of course, their goal was to sell their videos so I cannot fault them for this.  They have a specific agenda which is profits.  Obviously their goal is a bit different from the rest of us.  This is something to keep in mind.

Also, contrary to popular belief, BDSM is not about abuse.  Certainly impact play is a large part of what we do.  So is degradation, humiliation, and other forms of behavior that society deems inappropriate.  However, what separates this from their assertions is that these techniques are done with a proper motive.  There is a reason why we are engaging in this behavior and it is not to be mean.  We are involved in consensual activities in an effort to fulfill a deep rooted inner desire.   Power exchange is fundamental to all we do and each of these helps to emphasize that.  Everything we undertake is done with the thought of safety, both physical and psychological at the forefront of our minds.


Since BDSM is not these things, then what is it?  I sum this lifestyle up in one word: growth.  BDSM is about growing into the best person possible by following the inherent natural core that is within each of us.  It is through this exploration and uncovering that we are able to better ourselves as individuals.  The assigned roles that come with each of the natural qualities enables us to fulfill a life purpose.  As we progress through our lives, we should be developing and growing with each experience.  It is in this manner that we really are "being all we can be".

Many who are submissive seek to live as slaves.  This is the extreme and ultimate in one's submission.  There is nothing past the concept of living completely for the pleasure and benefit of another.  Through this process, he or she becomes property.  Naturally, this is not an idea that many are taught growing up.  It is only after encountering this way of life and through some deep internal searching that one can even begin the process of moving in this direction.  Of course, desiring it and being able to live in this manner are two different things.  It takes hard work to develop the selflessness that comes with being a slave.  The inclination to rebel which was fostered by the dogma around us fights this at every turn.  Ultimately, those who do live in this way are able to overcome that conditioning.

On the other side, there are many dominants who prefer to live as Masters.  Like the slaves, this is the ultimate in domination.  As you can guess, I am going to state how simply because one is born with a dominant trait about him or her, that does not make one ready to be a Master.  Again, it is only after intense study of many different fields that one is even remotely able to approach this state.  Of course, as most of you who read my work regularly know, the starting point for domination is with oneself.  It is impossible to effectively control another if one cannot control the person he or she sees in the mirror each morning. 

Obviously, the two examples I mentioned are on the outer edges of the scale.  Those who are dominant and submissive yet do not prefer the aforementioned structures in their lives still operate under the same process with a slightly different goal.  Nevertheless, the result is growth.  BDSM needs to penetrate everything we do.


One of the points I mentioned is to break away from the conditioning that we are all presented with living within a civilized society.  There is a state that those around us believe is "normal".  Even though it is never defined to us, it is shown to us through disapproval when we stray from what is considered mainstream.  This is a fact that we all need to deal with when entering this lifestyle.  Each of us has beliefs which were imposed upon us mostly without our knowledge.  Uncovering them and consciously questioning them is something that is required.  Much of what we do goes against the "better judgment of society" which can lead to an internal conflict.  It is only through this resolution within ourselves that we are able to move forward.

What this amounts to is freedom.  By establishing a belief system that works for us, we are able to live our lives as we see fit.  When someone else exerts influence over what we belief and mold our thoughts to their liking, they then have power over us.  Governments, religious institutions, and individuals have known this for years.  It is a way to enslave people because it is our beliefs which dictate our actions.  Change a belief and you will see different actions taken.

Society exerts a powerful influence.  Having the ability to break free from that cannot be described in words.  I will just say that it is extremely important.  You only need to consider the fact that much of what we do is illegal, immoral, or perverted according to the mainstream.  For example, consensual impact play is considered a crime by society.  Hence a dominant who whips his sub is engaging in a felony.  This is the view of society.  We, naturally, take a different viewpoint of things.  However, you can see how one would be seriously conflicted if that person held the belief that "I always obey the law".  The same holds true for those who are still carrying the moral compass that was imbedded in them.  Society terms particular behaviors immoral (again to control).  Questioning this and acting according to your own self-established compass will create a different outcome.

As you can see, BDSM gives on the ability to live as he or she sees fit.  Freedom and growth are the two foundational elements of BDSM.  It is what this lifestyle is all about.


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August 21, 2013

Attracted To Domineering

I am a big believer that those of us who chose BDSM as a way to live our lives are simply following a natural inclination that is within all of us.  Domination or submission are qualities which reside deep within each of us.  It is something that is uncovered only when one goes down to his or her core.  This being the case, it is also natural that we are attracted to the reciprocal quality.  Those who are submissive will seek out those dominant with the reverse also being true. 

Natural Versus Study

Having a natural tendency or an inner ability is only the bare beginning of choosing a path in life.  This is the case no matter what particular endeavor we refer to.  For example, there are many who are gifted with wonderful talents in the area of basketball.  However, there is not a player in the world who is at the professional level who got there solely based upon natural talent.  Every individual in this area arrived there because of years of hard work and dedication to that particular craft.  Hours were spent practicing to achieve such a high level of excellence.  While natural ability plays a part, it is only one component.  The other factor is nurturing that talent over a long period of time until one arrives at the desired destination.

Most people understand this example.  It makes sense to them.  Yet it is interesting to see how many fail to comprehend that the same idea holds true for BDSM.  I believe this is one of the fundamental reasons as to why so many have difficulty.

Just like in athletics, natural qualities mean little in BDSM.  One is not ready to dominate simply because he or she is naturally dominant.  At the same time, simply because one is inherently submissive, that does not mean he or she is qualified to submit and serve another.  Reread the previous two sentences again.  A natural trait is not enough.  To truly excel in either of these areas requires study, inner searching, and interaction with others to learn what this lifestyle is all about.  This is what so many overlook when entering this lifestyle.

Dominant Versus Domineering

I find that many have difficulty in their relationships because they are seeking the reciprocal quality in another while not really understanding what is being looked at.  From this point forward, I am going to refer to submissive seeking a dominant and utilize the female tense to refer to that person.

It is common to find women in BDSM who were always attracted to the "bad boy" image.  For many this was the representation of the trait they were looking for.  Obviously, many "bad boys" give off the image of being dominant.  However, what is interesting is most of these relationships ended as badly as the vanilla ones we found ourselves in.  When one looks back over her life, and the relationships in it, she finds she repeated the process of continually being drawn to the same guys.  No matter how badly things ended, our sweet submissive always ended up with jerks.  Why does this happen?  To answer this question, we need to fully explore what is driving certain people.

A "bad boy" typically is not a dominant person.  Many are taken aback by that but when you understand what true domination is, it becomes easy to see.  Having an overwhelming personality or a "I dont give a shit" attitude is not domination.  Nor is barking out orders and shouting at the top of one's lungs.  None of these are qualities exhibited by a dominant person.  What they show is that one is domineering.  So what is the difference?

When one is domineering, he is really driven by fear.  Oftentimes, the "attitude" you see is to compensate for internal insecurities that are being covered up.  While the external persona appears dominant, the truth is this person really lacks control.  The shouting and other behaviors along that line are done in an effort to capture control in a situation where it does not exist.  Violent behavior often accompanies this state since a person of this nature feels more in control when physical confrontations take place.  Ultimately, it is fear that is driving this person.

Contrast this with a dominant person.  He is calm in the face of danger.  The image of him being the one maintaining his wits in the face of an emergency while all others around him are losing theirs comes to mind.  A person like this understands that all control starts with oneself.  Whereas the domineering person often loses his temper, a true dominant maintains his.  Controlling another can only occur after one establishes a degree of control over oneself.  This is in direct contrast of the domineering person who lacks this ability.  At the same time, this individual does not question, either externally nor internally, who is in control.  His authority is beyond question because he believes it so.  There is no reason to lose "one's head" when the power structure is tested.  The only action required is to alter the behavior of the other individual to reassert his authority.  One who is domineering lacks this skill.  A questioning of the power structure is viewed as a personal attack due to the internal insecurity.  Therefore, the required action is to fight back.

Repetitive Attraction

As I stated earlier, it is totally natural for one of a particular makeup to seek the reciprocal in another.  Since it is natural, one is following an internal thirst most commonly at a subconscious level.  This is a perfect model to follow if one is truly dealing with one who can satisfy what she needs.  However, as most already know, this is rarely what she is dealing with.

I remember talking with someone who mentioned that every male around her growing up was dominant.  This was something that started as a child.  Her father and brothers were naturally dominant people while the women in the family were submissive.  The men were in charge while the women took a back seat to them.  Of course, it is no surprise that this women, when she entered the dating scene, sought out naturally dominant men.  However, as you can guess, her success fleeting.

What this individual did not realize is that while she was attracted to domination, she was repeatedly chasing after people who were domineering.  She mentioned female members of her family who were involved with male "dominants".  Sadly, many of these relationships contained domestic abuse.  Now, let me ask you, based upon the preceding section, do you think that one who physically abuses another is dominant or domineering?  If you answered the later, you are correct.

I find that when women look back over their relationships, many will find a pattern.  Oftentimes, the names and faces will change, but it is the same person.  The natural need to find someone dominant led them to chase after someone who appeared that way on the surface.  However, upon further investigation, it is easy to see how fear was the motivator for that person.  Perhaps there was a dominant quality within the person.  Nevertheless, he never learned to expand upon this characteristic.  This is no different than the gifted basketball player never practicing.  At some point, the truth will emerge.  And, in this instance, once a bit of knowledge was levied, the truth became crystal clear.

Therefore, I suggest you look over your choices in the past.  If you believe you were always drawn to dominant men, try to consider whether they were actually dominant.  Now that you have some basis to separate dominant from domineering, the answers should come easily.  To create a better future, it is necessary to break the patterns of the past.  I hypothesize that if you were involved with the "bad boys", while thinking you were after domination, that you were actually attracted to domineering.  And this is why you were continually left unfulfilled.


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August 17, 2013

The Foundation: Trust

The foundation of any relationship is trust.  This is a fact that most are aware of.  Relationship experts promote this idea on a continual basis.  Regardless of the structure of the interaction, without trust there is not much there.  Whether we are referring to the parent/child dynamic, a romantic relationship, or just best friends, trust is the basic thread of which all is built upon.

Starts At Home

They like to say that "charity begins at home".  I am a believer that all aspects of our interaction with the world begin with ourselves.  This is a fact that is overlooked by many, especially within the BDSM community.  As I travel around the web, going to the different online BDSM sites, the number of people who are seeking something missing within themselves via a relationship is astounding.  I can only conclude that one of the reasons why so many BDSM relationships fail is because of this practice.  When one seeks to "fix" oneself through another, the usual path is failure.

The truth is only you can do this.  Whatever you are seeking is resident within you.  This is something else that is overlooked.  All that you desire to be is already present.  A person only need to uncover it within oneself.  For example, many will write something to the effect, I want a Master who will make me strong.  Wrong. A Master will not make one strong.  The quality of strength is ever-present.  One need only the courage to release.  The fallacy in the previous belief is that the Master is providing the strength.  He is not.  Certainly, he might be a factor that assists in its revelation.  Nevertheless, this individual did not require him to exhibit strength.

Trust is another characteristic that is present within all of us naturally.  If you do not believe this, just look at a small child (toddler age).  Because of a lack of experience in being "burned", this creature simply trusts everyone.  He or she will talk to anyone on the street.  The fear of rejection is not yet present.  At the same time, everyone is granted the same level of trust since this person lacks the skill to decipher who warrants trust and who does not.

Adults lack this viewpoint.  They have a different take on things since there is a thing called experience which is part of their makeup.  People go through situations which creates results in their lives.  Unfortunately, not all of these results feel good.  In fact, many are downright painful especially emotionally.  People are fallible which means we are let down periodically.  Therefore, we create defense mechanisms to "protect" ourselves.  Suppressing the ability to trust is one of these techniques.

As you will see, a lacking of trust is more often about the person refusing to give the trust as opposed to the worthiness of the other person.


Many people state they cannot trust.  This is really common among those individuals who are on the common BDSM sites for any length of time.  We do not need to spend years engaging in this genre before we encounter the noted "Internet trolls".  The online BDSM world, like most I presume, is full of scammers, liars, cheats, and pretenders.  This is a fact that we cannot change.  The anonymity of this mechanism is such that is it rather easy to develop a persona.  This is something to always be mindful of.

Most of us can speak from personal experience when we relate the fact that running into these trolls is painful.  At the start, we all are a bit naive in our approach.  We tend to believe people are real only to find out later that we were played like a violin.  This causes us to close off and protect ourselves.  It is usually after a number of these experiences that an individual will believe that he or she cannot trust.

The truth is the ability to trust still remains.  What is really occurring is the person chooses not to trust another.  There is a big difference between the two.  People, too often, fall into the habit of wanting to be the victim.  This leaves them powerless.  When one says he or she cannot trust, this denotes lack.  There is something missing.  As I stated a couple of times, there is nothing missing within us.  Hence, the lack of ability to trust is, in reality, nothing more than a refusal to trust.  The person has the power yet refuses to utilize it.

This is why the last section was titled "Starts At Home".  When it comes to trust, like all other characteristics, it all starts with you.  If you feel you are lacking something, that is nothing more than your false perception.  Getting back to trust, you now realize that your inability in this area is a choice.  The truth is that you "cannot" as much as you choose not to.  Always remember this.


Intelligence is the basis for all great societal advancement.  Look at all the things around you and consider the mental smartness required to create that out of nothing.  Our collective intelligence allows us to place a man on the moon.  To accomplish that feat, a lot of smart people were involved.  However, when I am referring to intelligence, I mean good ole-fashioned common sense.

Understanding that you lack of trust is a choice allows you to correct that problem.  The power resides within you to alter that reality.  You can choose to give it whenever you want.  However, this brings up another point; just because you can do something, that does not mean you should.  This is another caveat that I want you to remember.

People need to earn our trust.  Blindly giving trust is a foolish thing to do.  As I stated, using the online BDSM world as an example, it is a place that is wrought with alligators and snakes.  To enter it trusting everyone and all they say is a recipe for a great deal of pain.  One needs to be judicious to whom he or she trusts.  Having a degree of skepticism with everyone encountered is a healthy approach.  However, this is a far cry from not being able to trust.  One is intelligently approaching a situation that is full of unknowns. 

The unfolding of trust should be natural as one's interaction progresses.  Once you get past the stage where you are unclear if the person you are chatting with is a guy or girl, 20 years old or 60, married or single, then you can proceed to start trusting that person.  Of course, the chance still exists that something will go awry.  Sadly, it is not uncommon for some to continue to play games and lie even after the initial stage.  Many of the "Masters" and "slaves" are interested in nothing more than their online games.  Many of us were taken in even after months of conversation.  That is the nature of the beast.  However, even if your trust does get broken, the power still resides within you.  Being intelligent about who you trust does not mean that you are exempt from misjudging a situation.

What ultimately happens when on shuts down in this manner by withholding trust when it should naturally be unfolding is that the person is showing a lack of trust for him or herself.  It all boils down to the belief one has in his or her ability to both choose the right person to trust and being able to deal with whatever comes down the as a result of that interaction.  As stated, it sometimes is not very pleasant.  But a sign of a strong person is the inherent belief that he or she will handle whatever happens.  Opening up oneself emotionally can result in a great deal of pain.  Nevertheless, the strong are able to do it since they know that it is something they can handle.

Hence we see where trust is the foundation of the most important relationship in the world: the relationship with yourself.


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August 11, 2013

Individual Choice

Often I write that one of things that makes the BDSM different from the mainstream is the fact that those who are involved in BDSM consciously made a decision to pursue this path.  Few are raised in this lifestyle.  Instead, the average person follows the path of "normalcy" until he or she realizes it is not something that works.  It is only after one experiences an emptiness in the traditional model that he or she begins to seek something different. 

It Is Your Life

This might seem like an obvious statement but it is worth repeating:  It is your life.  Most accept this idea at an intellectual level yet operate from a completely different perspective when we witness their actions.  The conclusion I draw is that the majority of the population is enslaved by others.  This is true whether we look at the work environment where people are toiling away at jobs they hate.  We also notice this when one is consumed by his or her children and continually running around to appease them.  Another way this manifests is in the way people structure their relationships.  The overriding concept is what is considered normal with those who fall outside those bounds being ostracized.  Of course,  around the world, we see the effect religion has on different cultural norms and the influence over people's lives.

Embracing that your life is your own to do with as you see fit is a difficult concept.  At the core of this idea is responsibility.  If your life is your own, then you are the one who is responsible for choosing the direction in which you travel.  Naturally, when we look around society we see that responsibility is something most avoid.  The "blame" game is the common practice.  As opposed to standing up and claiming what is ours, most prefer to push the blame for their troubles on others.  It is far easier to attack one's parents for the results one got in life.  This is the "if they only ________" syndrome.  Adopting this approach allows one to shun the onus of the consequences he or she created.


Thoreau claimed that most people lived lives of "quiet desperation".  I will agree with this idea adding the caveat that those who are not in this category tend to lead lives that are outright chaotic.  The truth is most people are not happy with the choices they made.  Overall, they want more yet see no path out of what they initially created.  We all know that decisions have consequences.  Decide to get married and have children is a path that alters one's future choices.  I encounter many who went the traditional route only to determine it is not what he or she wanted yet have a couple small children.  Upon finding BDSM, the natural desire is to want it immediately.  Unfortunately, life does not work this way.  Unless the children are somehow cared for (or on their own), one's choices are limited in the present.  However, that does not mean future plans cannot be arranged.  The point is that one is destined to tend to the choices of the past before moving forward.

It is only when one gets desperate enough that he or she is willing to change.  Most did not approach BDSM as a means to improving one's life.  While there are many who are in relationships that can be viewed as vanilla (to start) before finding BDSM and implementing aspects into that situation, this is not the norm.  Most of us reach the breaking point with traditional relationships since they ended as catastrophic failures.  The proverbial square peg in round hole applies.  After decades of emptiness and a lack of fulfillment, we find BDSM to be something to strikes at a place that is deep within us.  It is only because we suffered some desperation through our pursuit in the vanilla world that we became open to a different way of doing things.  This act places us in an entirely different category than most.


The problem with exercising individual choice is that it puts us at odds with the rest of society.  Since most are unhappily following along with the dogma that was served up to them, the same individuals become resentful when someone does not follow suit.  The old saying is misery loves company.  It is easier for one to pull another down as opposed to exerting the effort to improve his or her plight.  When one exercises individual choice, it makes the fact that another is not painfully obvious.  Hence we find ourselves in a situation where we are at odds with those who are closest to us.

Many have felt what it is like to be ostracized by family and friends after making the decision to life within the BDSM world.  This is one of the main reasons why I tell people, especially newcomers, not to announce one's decision to the world.  The truth is most do not understand and those that do tend to be resentful at our ability to make a decision for ourselves.  These individuals say things such as "I only want what is best for you" and "I want to see you happy" yet their behavior tells a different story.  What they actually want is you to be happy doing things how they believe you should.  Stray outside the bounds of what they feel to be "normal" and watch the reaction.  Tolerance is not a word that I would use to describe the ensuing behavior. 

Overcoming this fact is one of the main issues people face when chasing after what they want in life.  BDSM is no different.  Those who enter the lifestyle are going to encounter some resistance somewhere along the way.  Naturally, the older one is, the less people that person most likely has to answer to.  In our earlier years, it is parents who are the main figures we feel accountability towards.  Even in our 20s and 30s, these individuals wield great power over us.  They often see us still as children at this point wanting to direct our lives as they see it (for those with children this age, I am sure you are doing this also).  Breaking a decades old habit is not an easy thing to do.

An interesting thing can also arise as one gets older.  Once the influence of a parent wears off (or they die off), one often finds him or herself beholden to the children.  Now we see different individuals with an opinion about how we ought to do things.  In most environments of this nature, the idea of mom or dad choosing to live as a slave is not palatable to them.  Instead, one risks being ostracized by family members simply because he or she chose a path better suited.  As they say, you can choose your friends but you cannot choose your family.

Be mindful of this when you are approaching this lifestyle.  I commend you for opening yourself up to the idea that there is something better out there for you.  However, be prepared for some of the pitfalls that come with exercising your power of individual choice.  You are going to see many who will be resentful at you for doing this while others will ostracize you because they do not agree with your decision.  In this light, remember you alone are responsible for your happiness.  Is this a responsibility you are ready to handle?


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