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.

Tirekicking

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.

Non-Commital

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.

DN  

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3 comments:

joe pantel on September 12, 2013 at 12:06 PM said...

very good written i enjoyed it

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