November 27, 2013

Continual Education


Many believe that education ceases when one leaves school.  Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.  I am amazed at the number of people who do not pick up and read even a single book throughout the year.  Fortunately, this generalization does not apply to the average person who is involved with BDSM.  My take is that people who enter into this lifestyle are lifelong learners.  They seek more than what is commonly promoted.  Their ability to be open-minded about things make for a further reaching experience.  Closed-mindedness has a way of limiting one.  BDSM certainly removes certain societal limits.

Being The Best

Those who are the most success strive to attain a high level.  In other words, they want to be the best.  Take a professional athlete as an example.  Someone like Tiger Woods does not aim for 2nd place.  He wants to be the best in the world.  Obviously, he has tremendous talent and a huge start on someone just taking up the game of golf.  However, each week he competes against the very best players in the world for that sport.  Only the best will repeatedly come out on top.  You find this in all professional sports.

The same holds true for all endeavors in life.  No attorney goes into a courtroom looking to lose a case.  He or she is intent on proving the case to win the trial.  Accountants, salespeople, and engineers all have the same mindset.

So how does this pertain to BDSM?  BDSM, like any field is a study.  It is something that does not come naturally (yes submission and domination are natural).  The techniques and methods applied by those within the lifestyle are learned.  It takes practice, many times years for someone to become skilled in a certain area.  At the same time, there is an separate language used with acronyms different from other areas of life.  Even the term "BDSM" requires an understanding of each component.  Therefore, the novice to the lifestyle enters a great learning curve.

Which brings me up to those who are around the lifestyle a while.  BDSM is no different than life.  It is a continual learning process.  Nobody has all the answers.  There is never a stage reached where one can proclaim "I know all there is".  If you do encounter such a person, I would venture to say he or she is a bit full of it.  I know people in this lifestyle 40+ years who are still learning.  One thing about BDSM, just when you think you saw it all, something new crops up.

Each of us should strive to be the very best we can be.  For those who are into owning another (others), your challenge is to become the very best Master you can be.  On the flip side, the slave(s) need to concentrate on doing their very best.  Whatever area of focus and structure on takes with the relationship, continually striving to be more is paramount.

Basic Areas

There are a number of areas we can focus out attention upon.  I will touch upon a few.

Physical:

This is the first thing we notice about a person and judging by what I come across, an overlooked area within the lifestyle.  It is no secret that the Western Cultures have an obesity problem.  This problem is carried over into the BDSM world which, in my opinion, is sad because we ought to hold ourselves (and each other) to a higher standard.  We broke free of the societal dogma yet so many fall prey in this area.

The simple truth is not everyone needs a supermodel body.  However, maintaining health and fitness is extremely important.  One can find a wealth of knowledge online with just a bit of research.  Believe me when I tell you losing weight is not complicated.  I will grant it is not easy but one can succeed if driven.  This past summer I lost 15 pounds in 12 days by going on a juice fast and have not put the weight back on.  Now this approach is not for everyone yet there are hundreds of other ways to go.  One central caveat I will tell you is that your weight is 90% determined by what you put in your mouth.

Why do I harp on this point?  To start it is a matter of attractiveness.  Yes I know people are much more than skin deep but let's be honest, we find people who are fit more attractive.  Also, there is the question of health.  It is well known that excessive weight causes many health issues such as diabetes, heart problems, and certain cancers.  Finally, we live in a lifestyle where certain activities (play) is physically demanding.  Do you want to be with a Master who is out of breath and tired 10 minutes into a scene?  I highly doubt it.

Techniques:

Covering this topic would require an entire book so I will keep it brief.  Whatever aspect of the lifestyle one chooses, there are certain techniques which are applicable.  "Learning your craft" is vitally important.  This is true whether you are into Gorean, watersports, electrical play, or fire play.  Even the structure such as M/s has a lot of different things to understand and comprehend.  Again, this endeavor will take you decades since there are more nuances than you initially think.  However, this is one of the wonderful aspects of BDSM....there is always something else around the corner.

Oneself:

I probably should have listed this first since this is the most important area.  This is an endeavor that should take place long before one enters BDSM.  In fact, I guess if you are here, this process already started.  Everything we deal with in the lifestyle starts with ourselves.  Anyone who is advanced understands this idea.  The emotionally and intellectually immature find this concept tough to grasp, instead adopting a victim mentality.  While there are times we are victimized, it is crucial to understand that how we process what occurred and move forward after the event is what separates the mature from the immature.

Also, when dealing with another, we are responsible for 50% of the interaction.  Even in a TPE situation, each person has 50% totality even though the power structure is not split.  He commands, she obeys.  It takes both sides to make the coin.  Ergo, it is crucial that each person delve within to understand him and herself.  I find that dominants are less likely to do this because they believe that they control another.  I am here to tell you that before one can dominate another, he must first dominate oneself.  To many overlook this simple point.

Seeking knowledge from within is an enlightening process.  Few pay attention to what makes them tick.  At all times, our psychological makeup is operating.  Whenever we encounter a situation, we have signals that are triggered within us.  This is something that most of us are completely unaware exist.  This is one of the reason why we keep repeating the same behavior even though the results were not less than desirable before.  Contained herein is also our likes and dislikes.  Uncovering what is operating at times is extremely helpful in our path towards growth.  This is something that is only discovered by going within.

I could go on with this list but this is enough to get you started.  Understand that by entering into BDSM you are embarking upon a lifelong journey.  Fortunately, with the Internet, there is a wealth of information available to you.  Be judicious in which sites you put a lot of stock in since much of what is out there is pure garbage.  However, it is worthwhile to sift through the misinformation to find the basis of our way of life.  In addition to blogs you will also find workshops, forums, and other training/educational venues which people in the lifestyle put on.  All this will help you become the best that you can be.

DN

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