It appears this person recently found the BDSM way of life and felt the need to get involved with another person. The only problem, as it was explained to me, is that both parties are married. Also, from what I could garner from the email, it does not appear that either person's spouse is aware of what is going on.
I mulled this over a while before deciding to write about it. Overall, I was not sure how to approach this. What is the best suggestion? Who am I to tell these people what to do? At the end of the day, it is not for me to be the "moral" police for someone. I am well aware that people remain in relationships/marriages for many different reasons. At times, leaving simply isnt practical. Nevertheless, no matter what the situation, what business is it of mine to determine how another person should lead his/her own life? Each person is free to do what is best for him or her knowing that there are consequences for actions taken.
That being said, I decided to expand upon some of what BDSM is and how people find themselves in this situation.
Society Is At Fault
This seems like an odd heading coming from someone who continually writes about personal responsibility but there it is. So what do I mean by this? The simple fact of the matter is that few people were ever given the option of going the BDSM route when they were in their teen/early 20s years. Most of society grew up in households which followed the normal dogma. In the Western Cultures, this was a heterosexual arrangement, usually a marriage, containing one man and one woman. The relationships, at least on the surface, was equal in power exchange with a structure that strove for balance. BDSM was not something that the majority of us growing up were exposed to.
It is natural for people to follow the course of action which is spelled out for them by the mainstream of society. Few are willing to be "different" instead striving to be "normal". Throughout the years, via conditioning, we learn what is deemed "appropriate" and what is not. Hence we receive an education in what normalcy is while having the expectation placed upon us that we will follow suit. How many parents want their children to grow up to be different or abnormal? Very few.
So what do our obedient members of society do. They follow the path laid out by society as the route to happiness and fulfillment. Most people buy into the grow up, get an education, meet a girl, get married, have a couple kids, and live happily ever after. This is something that is taught in the storybooks and has small girls dreaming about it. However, decades later, is when the truth comes out and reality hits. After a couple of divorces coupled with years of misery, one begins to understand that society was not promoting the truth. In fact, it espoused lies. So many follow the traditional path believing it would lead to nirvana only to end up empty inside. Society basically did not deliver what it promised.
Of course, if BDSM was presented as a viable option, the situation could have been somewhat different. Nevertheless, it was not. Hence why I place some of that blame on society.
It is common for people to arrive at the doorstep of BDSM with some "baggage" from the vanilla world. By baggage, I am not referring to the internal stuff from bad experiences although that is certain prevalent. When I say baggage in this instance, I am talking about perhaps a husband or wife. It is often the case that one who begins his/her exploration into this way of life does so because of unhappiness in the present situation. Some seek out information trying to "make their husbands dominant", as an example, while others are simply interested in replacing said spouse. Of course, a problem can arise if said spouse is still in the picture in that same role. This is the situation that person who wrote me seems to be operating within.
To me, one of the main attractions to BDSM is the openness it provides. Society has a way of trying to limit individual's options in an effort to control the population. BDSM, on the other hand, basically has the idea that whatever you desire is out there for you. When people start to explore all the different segments of BDSM, they truly are surprised to learn they can find someone into whatever they are no matter how far out the fetish or desire. People might put up the facade within the confines of everyday life since we do have to operate within the vanilla world. However, when safe, a BDSM person will be extremely open about his or her choices. This is a radical difference from what most are accustomed to dealing with.
Society specializes in judgement. I am not here to do that. I understand completely the feeling of excitement upon finding this way of life. Over the years I met so many who were in situations where leaving was not an option. In this instances, I simply told the person that the time was best used learning about oneself and where she fit into the lifestyle since years were ahead of her before exiting the present situation was possible (or decided upon). Again, since it isnt my situation, I am not going to tell someone what to do. Nevertheless, it is commonplace where someone is required to fulfill responsibilities, usually to children, before embarking upon 24/7 BDSM. The leftover "baggage" from the choices when in the vanilla world do not simply disappear.
Another thing I think most people value about BDSM is the ability to be honest. I know this seems like a strange statement especially in light of what takes place online with all the games played. Again, when we move past the pretenders and seek out what those who desire depth are about, we see honesty as a primary characteristic. Lying will ultimately cause problems in one's life. We all know this. BDSM offers us the ability to tell someone at the beginning of the relationship, this is what I am about. It is up to the person to choose whether he or she agrees or not. Obviously if someone opts for an open relationship, at least sexually, and it is known, that eliminates one major stumbling block encountered in the traditional realm. At the same time, TPE encompasses a host of freedoms and, yes, responsibilities not commonly seen in a vanilla relationship. To succeed in this arena, honestly and openness is paramount.
So, in conclusion, I do not condone, nor condemn affairs. Frankly, it is not my place to pass judgment. I realize affairs happen all the time for many different reasons. BDSM is not the only environment where they exist. The vanilla world is full of people straying, sometimes for valid reasons, other times, not so much. Whatever people choose to do is up to them. One thing that I must mention is that it is imperative to remember that one's actions can affect a number of people. Sometimes we are not aware of the fallout of what we do. However, to shed some positive life, there are many couples "hooked up" under the aforementioned circumstances and were together for decades while enjoying a wonderful relationship with each other. So it can happen.
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