January 2, 2015

Why Are You Here?

My travels around our online world have led me to the conclusion that few seem to ask this question.  Why are you here?  Now I must clarify that I am not going off on some philosophical tangent about the meaning of life and what the nature of the universe is.  What I am concerned about is the more basic question of why are you in the world of BDSM?  The reason why I bring this up is because it seems many people, at least online, have no clue whatsoever as to what they are doing approaching the BDSM way of life.

Motivation is always an important factor.  Often the why someone does something is more important than what was done.  Looking at our motives is an avenue through which we gain understanding about ourselves and provide a forum for change.  If we understand why would do what we do, then we can alter the what we do.  Addiction counselors deal with this method on a daily basis.

So once again, why are you here?

A Look Inside

We all know that BDSM is a radically different way of life from the traditional world (while at the same time being the same...an interesting paradox).  All of us who are here for any length of time ended up here because of the fact that the vanilla life simply did not suit us.  It is not uncommon for someone in this way of life to have 3 or 4 divorces along with numerous other broken relationships.  I feel we were the proverbial "square peg in the round hole".  For most of us, the traditional relationship structure simply did not work.  This was an important realization in our journey since it started us on the path to finding something that more aligned with who we are.

I hypothesize that most newer people experience a scenario such as this.  The simple fact is that if we were a raging success living a life of complete fulfillment in the vanilla world, we would not seek something different.  Since we encountered pain along the path we were heading down, we were motivated to look for another way.  This is where BDSM entered the picture.

Naturally, most everyone has a dominant or submissive trait.  I believe this is something that is inherent within us and is found when one searches deep enough within him or herself.  If this characteristic is known, then BDSM seems to offer the ideal venue for us to attain fulfillment.  However, as I have noted over the years, it takes a great deal more than just being submissive or dominant to have success in the world of BDSM.  Sure, you can gain some satisfaction through play if that is your thing.  Nevertheless, for those who seek something deeper, a trait is the mere starting point.  And this is where I believe much of the problem comes in.

Obviously, someone is not going to know if BDSM is for them until they explore it.  Reading, researching, and chatting with others are all viable methods for garnering knowledge.  There is one other avenue that people must explore and that is to go within.  Many of our answers are nestled deep within ourselves.  Regular readers of mine know that I believe our domination/submission resides in the second chakra for those who are familiar with the far eastern disciplines.  Regardless of where it is truly located, the fact is that delving deep within ourselves is vital.  The reason for this is you make up 50% of any interaction you have.  If you are not aware of what you are bringing, then how can you know what you will complete?  A relationship is about the joining of people who each compliment the other.  It is the yin and the yang...each party bringing something that is absent in the other so as to enhance what is already there.  Of course, how can one do this if he or she has no idea what is within oneself? 

This is why I caution people against getting in relationships when they are first new to the lifestyle.  The reason for this is two fold.  To start, BDSM is so wide and varied, how is one to truly know what he or she is drawn to until time is spent researching and experiencing things.  One might not think she enjoys pain, as an example,  only to find out later this is not the case.  So having an understanding of one's likes and dislikes is necessary if one is to find a suitable partner.  The second reason is what I mentioned above.  When a person is new, he or she really has not invested the time required to delve within so as to know what he or she is all about.  BDSM is a different venue as compared to the traditional and is centered upon growth.  Trying to get into a deep relationship immediately is like a baby trying to start dating.  Obviously, from a maturity standpoint, this is not going to work.  We see the same thing here.

Running To Or Running From

Upon finding the world of BDSM, many people get the feeling of "being home".  This is a scenario I witnessed a number of times over the years in addition to experiencing it myself.  Traveling around the traditional world with the feeling of "not fitting in" can be a lonely journey.  For me, it was a path that saw my friends and family finding the "ideal" person, getting married, and starting a family.  Me, I had the child in between a number of train wrecks in terms of my relationships.  Even though I would not show it outwardly, inside I wondered what was wrong with me.  My relationships were a mess since I was constantly engaged in a power struggle (any surprise).  Vanilla just was not cutting it.  Then, when I found BDSM, something clicked.  I knew I was home.  Of course, the fact that I was in, what I thought was another traditional relationship, which ended up being M/s, served as a great entryway into this way of life.

I feel we must discuss an important distinction.  Those who have been in this life a while and have BDSM as their foundation, were of the ilk that ran towards this.  They had their mishaps in the vanilla world and when BDSM was found, they were home.  They had the personal introspective which revealed to them what was needed.  At the same time, they knew what was deep within them while having an idea of what would bring about fulfillment.  Many of us were not in relationships for a while before coming here.  Therefore, the approach of running to something was used.  Please note that I wrote people who are in this way of life a long time.

Which brings us to the flip side and, quite frankly, the reason for this post.  My experience is that many come the the world of BDSM because they are running.  Obviously, externally, they have the same makeup we all do in terms of their relationship history.  It is a catastrophe.  Again, anyone who is enjoying extreme fulfillment in the vanilla world is not going to seek something different (I will state I am separating those looking for a way of life versus those who seek to spice up their married sex life...the later is in the "does BDSM" crowd).  So our happy newbie stumbles upon BDSM because he or she was unsuccessful in the traditional world.

Here is where the problem arises.  Those who are in BDSM a long time entered this way of life to fulfill a deep-seeded yearning within them.  This is what was discovered during the journey within.  A person of this sort was not simply kicking the tires or looking for a change of pace.  Once finding this, our new person is drawn to what is offered because it connects with something deep within oneself.    Sadly, this is not what the vast majority of individuals I come across are doing.  Their motives are not deeply seeded.  Instead, they are usually running from something.  From my experience, it seems loneliness and responsibility are to the motives at least on the submissive side.  Therefore, they find BDSM and figure I will get a Master who will take care of me.  Their overriding belief is that there is no responsibility in a M/s relationship which is absolutely false.  Couple this with the fact that many are nothing more than "tire kickers", trying BDSM on like it is a new outfit, as we see why so many BDSM "relationships" fail.

So the question each of us has to answer is "why am I here?".  Were you drawn to this way of life by a yearning deep within yourself?  Was there something that was pulling you for years to this that you were not aware of?  Many had the seeds planted in our younger years by everyday events or movies we saw.  Perhaps you felt some enjoyment at being spanked as a child.  Or you saw a movie with a jail scene which really peaked your interest.  Of course, we can look to movies such as the Story of O as a motivator.  The point is sometimes ideas are planted in our heads decades before we realize what they mean.  Finding BDSM often completes the picture for many. 

The answer to this question(s) might predict your success within this way of life.  To me, it all comes down to the commitment one has to living as we spell out here.  Those who ran to something tend to be committed to this.  However, those who are running away tend to keep running.  They might get into a BDSM relationship only to split and return to vanilla when the "one" suddenly enters his or her life.  I always laugh when I read about a situation such as this and wish I could get a write up of what happened down the road.  It is amazing how the past tends to repeat itself and our once "slave" or "master" is most likely in for another wreck.  A relationship takes work and fleeing at the first sign of difficulty is not the path to success.  Ultimately, only those who are willing (read committed) to making things work will enjoy success.  All others, I guess are here for the wrong reasons.


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