April 29, 2014

Know Thy Self

"To thy own self be true" -Bill Shakespeare

Are you living a lie?  Is your life based upon a series of fabrications that you tell others and, worse, yourself?  Do you seek out what you truly want?  Or are you settling?  

These questions are paramount in your life.  Few people realize how easy it is to fall into the trap of living a life that others design.  Throughout our years, we are continually influenced by a variety of entities around us which all assert their viewpoints upon us.  On this blog, over the years, I touched upon a number of them.  What is critical to know is they all have an agenda and it often conflicts with your happiness and fulfillment.  As I discussed, society has an agenda which is meant to control.  Religious entities and schools seek the same end.  They all promote a particular value system which they feel is best for you (and coincidentally, them).  Even those who care about us have an agenda.  Parents, for example, tell us they love us and want to see us happy.  If that is the case, then they should be thrilled when you tell them you are moving to Panama to smoke dope on the beach for the next 10 years.  I am certain that even though this might make you happy, most parents would object.  So much for the "we only want you happy".  The truth is they only want us happy as long as it agrees with what they think we should be doing.  Ironic how that works, isn't it?


Entering the world of BDSM is the first step in breaking from this norm. Society places a stranglehold on people that is intense.  BDSM is considered an alternative lifestyle because it is something that the mainstream does not promote.  Society prefers to espouse the myth of equality when, the truth is, there is no such thing.  Equality only creates inequality because it is against nature.  Nature operates on the one principle of "survival of the fittest".  Only the strong survive and excel; all others are dinner.  Society, feeling that we are "advanced" opts to put forth this mythology which ends up creating the power in the hands of those doing the promoting.  This is by design.  For this reason, I feel that BDSM is the only natural structure for interaction since inequality is built in via the exchange or power.  We do not hide the fact that our relationships are based upon an unequal balance of power.  The only question is whether the person who has the power is equipped to handle it and, sadly, based upon my travels around the web, this is not the case.  Too much domineering as opposed to dominating going on but that is a topic to revisit another day.

Society majors in group think.  This is where the power and control comes from.  We are taught to think a certain way.  Even when you consider two opposing viewpoints, for example, political, you basically have two to choose from.  One will fall into one category or the other.  Each topic has two sides from which you can choose.  A third option is not usually presented.  Individual thinking is not highly regarded.  Those who stray from the norm are ostracized by friends and family.  Names are given to people which are degrading in nature (and not the erotic degradation we engage upon) in an effort to make them feel a certain way which will cause the altering of behavior.  Of course, the behavior modification is always meant to get one to fall back in line with whatever the prevailing thought process is.

BDSM offers a chance of individuality while at the same time running the risk of mimicking what society promotes.  While the power exchange foundation is always in place, there is a mindset within the BDSM community of what "normal" is.  People look at what others do and judge them.  Conclusions are drawn and people are more than willing to tell others how they are wrong.  It always amazes me how a group of people who are ostracized will turn right around and ostracize others without even a second thought.  The mindset becomes "my kink is okay but yours is wrong". 

Standing on one's own is an extremely difficult proposition.  We simply are not conditioned to leave the reservation and adopt our own ideas.  Again, society places non-stop pressure in this area which continually conditions us to "fit in".  However, if you are going to be true to yourself, you must be willing to accept and embrace your individuality.  This does carry some risk of course because not everyone will be accepting.  I always caution newer people that, while it is great that you entered the BDSM world, do NOT go out and tell everyone about your decision, especially close friends and family members.  I cannot tell you how many I came across over the years who were exiled by family members (and friends) for their decision.  That being said, there naturally are some who need to be notified if they are directly affected which always entails that the decision might not be welcomed.  Being an individual and thinking for oneself is crucial if we are to experience fulfillment in our lives.

Before going any further, I want to cover something that many will bring up.  The idea of a submissive or slave thinking for herself goes against what many believe to be true.  This could not be further from the truth.  Just because someone desires to give her power away, that does not mean she is absolved from going through the practice of thinking for herself.  To determine whether one wants to live as a slave or not requires her to delve deep within herself to find out what is at her core.  Also, a submissive needs to conclude exactly how she wants her life to be.  There are many facets of BDSM and not everyone is into them all.  So what interests her and what is to her liking.  It is after this practice that she can decide what type of dominant/master she will want.  Again, individuality applies to both sides of the domination/submission equation.

Anything Is Possible

Entering the BDSM world opens up all kinds of doors most people never thought possible.  It is a community that is equated with being an "adult Disneyland".  You can have whatever you want.  There are no restrictions (outside the obvious ones that we always talk about).  BDSM does not promote a particular model of how things should be structured.  We see every configuration imaginable within this lifestyle.  There are people who are poly while others are monogamous.  Some have a vanilla spouse at the same time as being in a BDSM relationship.  Owning a slave is common but it is not foreign for one to be part of a slave household.  Some live as dogs sleeping in a cage.  There are heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual arrangements.  We also have a significant TS/TG population.  Some are extremely open sexually while others are not.  No matter what your desire, you can find it within the BDSM community.

So what does this mean?  Basically, in my experience, if one does not know oneself, overwhelm can happen.  There are many who take a literal or extreme view of things such as slavery. This is wonder if the submissive party has the same outlook.  However, if that person is not sure about what degree she wants to go, this arrangement is extremely problematic.  I can list 50 items where confusion and conflict can arise unless one is certain about what he or she desires.  My point is that all success in this way of life comes from first knowing oneself (actually that is true in all of life).  We are all responsible for our own fulfillment.  Contrary to the misconception of so many, nobody else is responsible for our own happiness.  That is an individual journey that starts with yourself.  Others can enhance it, however, they cannot provide it.

I once read that most of society operates from an either/or mindset.  The general idea is that they can have either this or that.  It is one or the other.  What BDSM has taught me is that we can have both.  Sure that are situations in life where we make trade-offs.  That is reality.  However, entering into this realm with the mindset of trying to figure out how to have it all strays from the thinking in the vanilla world.  Also, when one is strong enough to be an individual and stand on his or her own two feet, all of a sudden the opinions of most (notice I didnt say all) of the outside world carries less impact.  This is about satisfying yourself at the deepest level of your being.  To do that, you first have to determine what is there.  Here again, this differs from the normalcy of society which resides at a rather shallow level.  BDSM is about depth and growth.  It starts with drilling down deep within yourself.

So my suggestion to all of you is to start going deeper within yourself.  Spend time alone thinking about what you like and want.  Forget your present circumstances while focusing upon what is around you.  Remove the limitations of your mind.  Think about all the possibilities within the BDSM world.  Then notice how that feels at your core.  Is it something that stimulates you at that deep level.  If yes, then you might want to consider or research that more.  Perhaps that is an entryway into your own personal fulfillment.  The longer you do this exercise the more you will realize about yourself.  Now I will caution you, this takes strength to do.  Fear is an ever present enemy in this endeavor.  When one ventures deep, it can often become too much.  Again, we are trained to operate at a shallow level.  Oftentimes what is revealed to us is overwhelming.  Sadly, I saw many run away over the years when confronted with this situation.  So muster the strength to embark upon this journey.  It will be worth your time.


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