February 20, 2015

Vanilla With A Twist..The MIndset

As I do my regular travels around the web, I see something that appears to be a recurring theme.  Over the past few months, I tried to isolate it to determine what I was really seeing.  It is another instance which, I believe, separates those who are in this way of life versus those who simply are playing with it.

Mindset is so important in any aspect of life.  We all know this from reading all the personal development or training literature how important one's mental outlook is.  Much of success in life is directly tied to how we think. It is from these thoughts that we manifest things in our lives via the actions we take.  This is the bridge between the visible and the invisible.

The BDSM world is no different.  How we view things and the mental outlook we have is crucial to our success.  Those who enter this world while maintaining the views that are so common in the traditional realm are apt to encounter difficulty.  Now, please do not misunderstand me by thinking that nothing in the vanilla world applies.  Life is still life.  I am continually amazed how people believe the interpersonal skills they acquired throughout the years prior to this way of life do not apply.  It is as if they feel they entered the "Twilight Zone".  A BDSM relationship, no matter what the structure, is still an interaction between two people.  Ultimately, everyone in this way of life, even slaves, are people.  This is something that many seem to overlook.

When looking at the mindset of most people, we need to understand the part conditioning plays in it.  We are reared in a world that prefers to tell us what to do instead of having us chart our own course.  Sure, society puts on the illusion that we are the ones making the decision but that is rarely the case.  Ultimately, our choices are usually implanted in our minds by others.  Our entire belief system is designed for us.  This comes from parents, the media, religious institutions, political leaders, advertisers, friends, and teachers.  From a very young age, we are taught "right" and "wrong".  We are also shown what is "good" and "bad".  Our moral/ethical structure is handed to us and, over time, is something that we embrace.  In fact, not only do we embrace what is given to us, we will defend it because we know our beliefs are "right".  If you question what I write here, take a look at your belief system.  Write down 25 things that you believe and determine where they came from.  Those who are "free spirits" or rebellious are apt to have beliefs that are more personal and self determined.  However, the majority of us, we sucked up what we were taught like a sponge like obedient little pupils.  Unfortunately, we mastered this.

The problem with society thinking is that it is one of limitation.  It is designed to program us to be obedient.  Our fulfillment is never seriously considered.  We see this is as parents who proclaim they only want their kids to be happy.  However, watch their face when one tells his/her parents that being a porn star will lead to happiness.  In most families, this would not go over well.  Therefore, what is really being said is we want you happy as long as what you do is what we feel is appropriate.  This point is emphasized by the fact that most of us, myself included, tend not to tell our parents about our choice to enter and live this way of life.  It is something they will not understand in the majority of instances and, even worse, will not take the time to understand.  Instead, they simply will exert their immediate judgment (which is based upon their belief system which they most likely did not consciously choose) in an effort to get us to change our decision.

It is easy to see how the traditional world is one of judgment.  As I just mentioned, right/wrong and good/bad are labels often used to describe things.  Through this mechanism, we are taught what is appropriate or not.  We also see words such as abnormal and perverted thrown around.  What is ironic about this is that nobody, even those calling something abnormal, can tell us what is normal.  Do you notice the insanity of all this?

I view the vanilla world as promoting the idea of limitation.  It is a mindset that is paramount among the masses who follow the path that is laid out for them.  Of course, I am not degrading these people because most of us blindly followed for years also.  It was only after we awoke one day to realize we were unfulfilled even though we did what they told us.  How many went to school, got a good job, met someone, got married, had a couple kids, and still found him or herself unhappy?  How many of you did this more than one time?  It is par for the course.  In the end, we are souls who are placed in a caged, continually feeling out of place because the vanilla world is not providing us with what we need.

Contrast this with what I view BDSM to be about.  BDSM is a way of life that offers up possibilities.  It is not about limitation but, rather, indulgence.  Whatever your fancy, it is available.  Few things are off limits outside the obvious things such as  murder, child molestation, and dismemberment.  Barring those, everything is on the table and available.

Now this brings up a couple problems.  To start, not everything is going to be "your thing".  There are many aspects of this way of life which will be a turn off.  We all have things that we enjoy and desire.  At the same time, there are relationships structures which suit each of us.  BDSM is not a "one size fits all" situation.  In fact, it is more like buying insurance where you cafeteria plan it (choose what you like and leave the rest).  Nevertheless, this fact inevitably brings in the traditional mindset which we mastered during our societal conditioning.  Remember, that world excels at judgment.  The problem is that many within this way of life find what is their niche yet judge the hell out of others.  This results in the "my kink is alright but yours is not" mindset.  And this is where we see vanilla with a twist.  Our wonderful BDSM people are engaged in this way of life while maintaining the same traditional mindset.

Another fact that arises with a life of unlimited possibilities is that most are not trained to be able to handle it responsibly.  On one level, we encounter the proverbial kid in the candy shop.  This often arises in newer people and can pass with time.  What is more important about this, though, is the fact that people fail to take responsibility for themselves and the choices they make.  Another aspect of society in general is that it teaches us to play the blame game.  Everyone, it seems, is a victim.  Few people want to take responsibility for the choices they make or the results they get in life.  Instead, they have a litany of excuses or people who are responsible for why things did not work out.  They are always pointing the finger elsewhere.

BDSM offers a different approach.  One is free to establish whatever parameters and structure is desired.  There are no limits to what one can decide.  However, we all need to be mindful of the fact that this freedom does come with responsibility.  The decisions are yours and you are the one who made them.  If something does not work out, there is nobody to blame but yourself.  Sure, there are times when other people are involved and actually do screw us over.  They are culpable without a doubt.  But, ultimately, somewhere along the line, we decided to interact with that individual.  It was our choice that started the process which led to that outcome.  Entering BDSM and then blaming others for our plight in life is no different than the vanilla world.  The truth is that embracing this way of life opens us up to a world of possibilities that others cannot even fathom.  Shifting our mindset elevates us to a much different level which entails raising our standards.  We no longer can tolerate that about ourselves which was so common in the vanilla world.

This is another subject I am going to discuss in further detail in the future.  For now, just realize that if you are truly going to embrace and excel within this way of life, a total mental transformation needs to take place.  While some of the ideas you were reared with will still apply, most will not.  Judgment, limiting, and other fear based mindsets need our constant attention.  BDSM is a world of indulgence.  It is about freedom to shed what is holding us back in an effort to grow.  Holding onto the same mindset results in nothing more than vanilla with a twist.  While this might be what some are looking for, it is a surefire path to shortchanging yourself out of what BDSM offers.


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