People approach the BDSM world for many different reasons. Some people just happen to stumble across it online. Others were reared in a BDSM household and have decades of knowledge. Most followed the traditional path offered by the vanilla world only to find a lack of fulfillment. This began a conscious search for "something more" which led to this world. No matter what the reasoning is, almost all of us start at the same point. We are basically clueless and naive yet have some inner need.
Things begin to change once people arrive at this world. Some are what I call "tire kickers". We see these profiles on many different lifestyle sites. They are noticeable by the lines in their profiles that go something like this: "I am just here looking around to see what interests me". People of this nature tend to float out as quickly as they entered. They have no intention of "buying". Instead, they are just trying to pass their time while, in many instances, getting a bit of kink on.
Everybody else starts the journey with different goals in mind (or perhaps none at all) while progressing at his or her own pace. Again, we need to be mindful of the individuality of this expedition. Not everybody is seeking the same thing and most will be drawn to what fulfills them. Many are simply looking for ways to enhance their sex lives with their existing partner. These people already have an established relationship and want a bit more out of what they are doing. Perhaps they felt the pull of domination/submission and want to implement it in their relationship.
Whatever the desire or goals, it is prudent to remember that everyone happens upon BDSM for their own reasons. However, once the door is opened, people take different paths.
A universal reason why people start the journey in BDSM is because of a lack of fulfillment. Quite simply, they are not happy with the existing conditions in their present lives. There is something missing and the hope is that BDSM will provide fill that need.
Obviously, many of us who remain in this way of life for an extended period of time realize BDSM does offer fulfillment. Certainly, it has it ups and downs but is that BDSM or life in general? Just because we decide to practice an "alternative lifestyle", that does not mean we are exempt from life itself. The same situations that "normal" people encounter are also part of our world. Financial, family, and health issues are as common for a BDSM "lifer" as anyone else.
That being said, we also realize, for us, the payoff is intense. In spite of the frustrations and pitfalls we encounter, BDSM also provides us with opportunities to realize deeply held desires and dreams. Yes, we are able to live out scenarios at the fantasy level (i.e. sex). However, it is also deeper than that. We can reach a level of fulfillment not offered anywhere else. People find that the depth of BDSM relationships can far exceed that of anything they experienced in the vanilla world. It is often quite startling to people how quickly this depth can happen. A person experienced in BDSM who went deep within himself will often be able to take one who is ready to a level that surpasses a 10 year marriage in a very short period of time. Of course, the key is that one needs to be ready.
What often happens is that one spends years preparing for the entry into BDSM. It is not uncommon for individuals, once they are aware of what occurs within themselves, to look back and realize that these desires were present as far back as childhood. Ironically, and sadly, one knew she was submissive, as an example, at a young age but spent decades chasing the myth of society only to realize what was present all along. Society does not answer the questions we have about this when it arises so young. We are taught the traditional model and any deviation will put the forces to work to put one back on that path (ie a trip to the child psychologist or therapist).
The bottom line is that many enter BDSM with a deep-seeded need which went unfulfilled for most of his or her life. BDSM offers the opportunity to fill that need. Of course, the thing about opportunity is that it is useless unless we take advantage of it when presented.
The Point Of No Return
What I am going to discuss in closing today is something that not everyone reaches. However, those that do are what I term BDSM "lifers". These are individuals who make BDSM a central part of their lives. Basically what they are doing is living in accordance to what is uncovered in their core. Instead of kicking tires like so many, they do the work required to arrive at some hard answers. Once these are unearthed, progress is made by following the path that is set out.
Change happens in an instant. This is a universal truth. We can never tell when that one event, piece of information, or conversation will forever alter our lives. The typical path of one entering BDSM is to start reading to build up the knowledge base. At the same time, and usually too quickly, one goes out seeking to get into a BDSM relationship. This invariably becomes another educational tool as most of us know from experience. Dealing with the wonderful creatures that travel the Internet becomes a basis for some incredible, albeit frustrating, knowledge. After licking his or her wounds a time or two, our searcher finds a place and people where he or she feels comfortable and gets the instruction/guidance needed. At this point, along with the internal excursion I so often discuss, one progresses and grows within the lifestyle. This part of the journey can take a short period of time like months or it can carry on for years. Until that point when.....
It happens. The individual passes the point of no return. What does this mean? Suddenly, something clicked within the individual which means returning to the prior state is impossible. It could be a conversation. Or it might be something is read. Or it could be a realization through meditation or self examination. Or it could be a bad experience. Whatever the stimulus, the central fact is our person is now different. Something was revealed to him or her which basically means going back to the person he or she was last week is out of the question. In short, his or her world was turned upside down. Things become clear and one is able to see things that were missed before. Of course, depending upon one's present situation, this can create a host of problems that need to be dealt which and often, they are not pleasant. This is the point where many want to run and stick their heads back in the proverbial sand. Sadly, for those who truly crossed this line after years of searching, this is not possible. The "core" provided answers which are too powerful to ignore. One can try for a while but the pull will always be there. That is why our individuals reached the point of no return. Vanilla is now officially out. Our "newbie" has become a BDSM "lifer". Any actions that are to the contrary will not lead to fulfillment but more lacking.
And trust me when I tell you this, that inner lack which drove one to start the search for BDSM is minor in comparison to the pull once one passes the point of no return. I know this from experience, it is a daily burn that sits within you and remains there until you listen to it. There simply is no escape.
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