December 26, 2013

Taking Care of Oneself


Today I am going to discuss something that should be common sense yet tends to elude so many people, especially those with submissive tendencies.

When you get on an airplane, during the routine where they explain the emergency procedures, when faced with a drop in cabin pressure, the face masks will come down and one should put it on.  One of the interesting things is that they explicitly state that for those traveling with small children, put your mask on first before tending to your child.  This is a very interesting concept.  Why would they do this?

This simple fact of the matter is that one is useless to a child unless he or she is taken care of first.  Imaging trying to put a mask on a child while you are gasping for oxygen yourself.  While some might be able to pull this off, the percentages seem against it.  That is why all the airlines tell passengers to tend to themselves first, then look after another.

Ignoring One's Needs

One of the main tenets of BDSM is service.  Especially in the M/s realm, service is a foundational piece which, sadly, if often overlooked.  The porn industry and the BDSM "romance" novels assist in erasing this central idea.  Instead, they promote the unrealistic aspects of the lifestyle (how many of us really live in a dungeon while beating and screwing another all day?).  Being of service is what a submissive is all about.  When we move into the M/s structure, we see an environment where one exists for the pleasure and benefit of her owner.  Being of maximum use is her calling and where she finds fulfillment.

However, this brings up a situation which is of utmost danger.  While it is wonderful to be giving and selfless, one also needs to think of herself.  What do I mean by this?  The common trait among many submissive types who choose to live this way of life (as opposed to the play persons) is that they are so "other focused" they fail to look after themselves.  This is especially true when one is not involved with another.  Simply because one is single does not mean the tendency leaves this individual.

The truth is we all have basic needs.  A slave who excels is able to balance both the needs of her owner along with herself.  Certainly, she fulfills her role while not abdicating any part of her responsibility to him.  Nevertheless, she also treats herself with the proper respect worthy of being his property.  This is done by taking care of oneself physically (ie proper eating/nutrition, exercise, and rest), emotionally, and mentally.  BDSM is about growth creating the best person possible.  This penetrates every area of our lives.  If one simply overlooks herself in favor of another, this diminishes the value of his property.  At the same time, she also could harm the long-term potential of the relationship.

Self Motivated

As I stated, it is interesting to notice this among those who are not owned.  You would think someone who is not involved with someone, would tend to his/her needs simply out of necessity.  Sadly, this is not so.  The common trait is that one needs the "firm hand" to guide her before progress is made.  To me, this is bogus and a cop out.  The truth is a valuable slave is self motivated to be at her best even if she is not owned. 

This point is really exhibited when I read through profiles on my travels around the web.  We all know that the western cultures have an obesity problem.  BDSM is no different from the general population in this regard.  What I find stands out are all the profiles where one states something to the effect "I need a Master to give me the strength to lose weight because I am not disciplined enough".  Once again, sorry, I do not buy this.  If you do not have the strength and desire when unowned, why would you when you are owned?  Also, why should one take the time to invest in you if you are not willing to do it yourself?

The simple truth is we all know what we need to do for ourselves.  It is not a secret what it means to lead a healthy lifestyle.  We all know the importance of rest and relaxation while doing our best to eliminate stress.  Proper eating is important.  So is sleep and exercise.  Social interaction with others (hopefully over the age of 5 for all you young mothers out there) is necessary.  We also need to turn off the television and Facebook once in a while instead, opting to read a book.  Finally, interacting with our loved ones, non-sexual in nature, is crucial.  All these activities help us to become a well balanced person.  Yet, none of it will occur unless one is motivated on him/her own.

Best Leaders

There is an old saying which says "the best leaders are those who followed the best".  I find this idea very applicable to the BDSM world because I see so much of the "do as I say not as I do" mentality.  The truth is what is good for the goose is good for the gander.  Okay, I am done with the dopey cliches.  My point is that, while focusing thus far on the submissive types, this idea applies equally to dominants.  I am continually amazed at those who are unable grasp this simple concept.  For whatever reason, they believe that being dominant is a license to exempt themselves from everything they state.

A true Master is able to take care of himself.  Many of the same things I mentioned above for the submissives also applies to the dominants.  In fact, this is not isolated to BDSM but all of humanity.  Hence, it is best for dominants to follow the same course of action.  If one is so hopeless without another, what kind of leader will he be?  This is the major question.  How can one possible expect his slave to follow when he, himself, is woefully inept in a particular area?  For example, I see so many who want to control all aspects of a slave's life, including the finances, yet are completely broke themselves.  Now, what do you think will happen in this situation?  Odds are he is going to blow through her money also just like he did his.

At the same time, there are many who seem lost without another.  Those who lack the ability to be on their own will develop dependency issues.  This is where someone will behave in unhealthy ways simply because the fear of being alone is too great.  Sure it is nice to have someone wash and iron your clothes.  However, this is a terrible reason to get in a BDSM relationship.  If you are incapable of handling these tasks yourself, then you might want to re-evaluate why you want someone in your life.  In other words, if one cannot prevail on his own, the odds of enjoying BDSM success are seriously diminished.  Remember, before one can control another, he must first control himself.

So look at yourself and evaluate where you are.  What are you offering someone else?  If we use a car as an analogy, are you a nicely polished, slick model or a broken down old jalopy?  Do you have rust holes from lack of nurturing?  Is the engine basically shot since no maintenance was done and the cheapest gasoline was used?  Was the car housed in a garage and protected from the elements or left exposed to them?  Perhaps it is time to turn yourself into a top-notch, reconditioned model, both inside and out.  Spend the time taking care of and making yourself more valuable.  In all relationships, we need something that we are bringing to the table. 

DN

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