January 23, 2016

There Is Only LIfe

 It is fairly common for us to throw out words like traditional, lifestyle, BDSM, and vanilla when describing the different aspects of this way of life and what things mean to us.  Obviously, most of us who are around any length of time understand what these concepts mean.  It is a way for us to distinguish ideas in our minds so as to differentiate the approaches people have.

To cover these briefly.

Traditional: this is a term I use which is synonymous with "vanilla".  Basically it means the regular approach people use to relationships.  It is a structure based upon parity of equal power.  There is not the overt exchange of power which is agreed to by both parties.  Also, this is devoid of any "alternative" lifestyle meaning, for example, we are talking about monogamous, heterosexual interactions.

Lifestyle: this seems to refer to a specific life approach that is consider "alternative" to the norm.  Many people consider BDSM to be a lifestyle since it is not vanilla.  Other "lifestyle" choices are nudism, polyamory, and asexuality.  Each of these differs from some way from the mainstream with people making a conscious choice to live a different way.  Hence, these individuals refer to their "lifestyle" choice.

BDSM: here we hit upon the mother lode.  Here we are actively involved in a way of life that is consciously decided where power is granted to another person.  It is a structure where interaction is based upon non-parity and both parties not only agree, but seek this out.  Of course, many see this as play since they focus upon the whips and chains aspect of things.  They embrace what they see in the porn films of ones being tied up and beaten.  Hence we can say that BDSM also includes the different fetishes that people are interested.

Now that we have a general understanding of these terms, I would like to point out something that I see so often as I travel around the online BDSM world.  It is fairly common to see someone post something to the effect "I am seeking someone who can have both a BDSM and a vanilla life.  I want someone who is dominant in the bedroom but still can meet my family and interact in the vanilla world".  It is statements like these that drive me nuts and tells me someone does not have a clue what they are talking about (or they met the pretenders who beliefs are totally insane).

Here is the deal.  There really is no vanilla versus BDSM life.  This is complete lunacy.  The fundamental fact is there is only life and a path that is littered with a variety of decisions which we need to make along the way.  Part of this process is deciding how we prefer to structure our relationships.

Those who make the statement I just mentioned believe that you can somehow separate BDSM from vanilla and that they are mutually exclusive concepts.  They are not.  To start, I acknowledge that most of us operate in the real world where we have to interact with people both within and outside of this way of life.  In other words, we have jobs to go to which requires appropriate behavior and dress.  Few of us are so fortunate to be able to dress in leather and wear cuffs all day.  The truth is most of us look like everyone else if you see us on the street.

It is a rather simple concept.  Our private lives are just that, private.  Few of us operate in a manner where we advertise our preferred way of life to the general public.  It is not uncommon for friends and family to be completely unaware of the choices we made.  However, this should not surprise anyone since most people in the "vanilla" world do not advertise their personal choices pertaining to sex.  Nevertheless, for some reason people seem inclined to believe that we live in a totally separate manner from society.  Again, this is incorrect.

At this time, I must insert a caveat.  There are some people who are in a position to establish BDSM interaction which is basically full time.  What I mean by this is that one is dressed and operating under the extreme protocols of another throughout the entire day.  There are some who are in leather and chains 24/7.  However, this is not the norm.  As stated, the vast majority of us intermingle with society at large dealing with friends, family, work, shopping, and a host of other activities that "normal" people do.  In this regard, we are no different from anyone else.

Another problem with the attempt to separate the two ideas is that one is focusing upon the external only.  BDSM is not about whips and chains.  It is not about protocols or how one kneels.  Slavery is not about locking someone up in a cage for days on end.  It is not about abduction and forced (consensual) activities.  Certainly, they all may be part of one's BDSM life but they are not what makes one involved in BDSM.

The BDSM life is about taking your internal desires and bringing them outward.  What I mean by this is when one focuses upon his or her internal core, the realization, if you are in this way of life, is that you lean towards either dominant or submissive.  This is something that becomes clear to people fairly quickly.  It is based upon these core feelings that one structures interaction(s) which meet these desires.  Naturally, for a submissive, it is interacting with someone who is of the dominant persuasion.

It is at this point that we see the problem with trying to separate the two "lives".  One's natural leaning does not change simply because of circumstances.  When one goes about her day, she is still submissive regardless of what she is doing.  Of course, there are times when her natural submissiveness needs to be cast aside while she adopts a role of dominant in the case of being a manager or parent.  Simply because one has authority and properly exercises it, this does not change the core.  The same is true for a dominant.  He can have these traits but if he works for someone else, there are times when he is to obey (if you do not believe your dominant ass will submit, just stand in front of a judge and see who is in control of the situation).  My point is that one is not separated from the fundamental aspect of BDSM, the core tendency to be either dominant or submissive.

In closing, while I understand what someone is saying when he or she states that both BDSM and vanilla are sought, bear in mind there is only one life.  BDSM is a way of life; it is a structure that we choose to model our lives around.  We cannot be separated from our domination/submission any more than one can be separated from his or her gender.  It is a part of us wherever we go.  The idea that we operate 24/7 full blown BDSM is focusing upon the play aspect too much.  Most BDSM relationships appear totally normal from the outside.  However, for those who are in the intimate circle, we are aware of the power structure.  Nevertheless, this does not mean we see her bound to a St Andrew's Cross or are privy to their personal matters.  There are some who keep their private interactions to themselves.

Remember, there is no BDSM or vanillia life, there is only life.  It is up to you to choose how you want to live it.


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Lea on January 26, 2016 at 8:43 AM said...

I really enjoyed this post. I talk often about being too vanilla, or not having enough BDSM or D/s... but what I don't say is that I recognize that relationships and real life has its vanilla moments. You have to be both, at least some partner does, if you choose to have one partner in high protocol all the time.

I just find it hard when we're TOO vanilla... I need BDSM sometimes and going too long without just a little of it can get difficult.

Dennis Najee on January 27, 2016 at 5:54 AM said...

Thank you for your comment Lea.

As I pointed out, BDSM should be natural. Without getting into your definition of it, domination and submission tend to emerge from us without force. Hence, the interaction between two is natural and ongoing. A sub is always submissive to her dominant regardless of what is going on. Sure, there are times, like with family, the power exchange is tempered for appearances. Nevertheless, that does not remove the underlying structure of the interaction.

Lea on January 27, 2016 at 8:12 AM said...

In my case I find that not to be true. I am not typically submissive by nature, but I am happiest in my relationship as such. Submission is work for me, hard work. I don't find that I am always naturally submissive to my dominant - are there people who don't have times where they're out of line? Dominants never have a weak moment? I've had to step up and help my Dom out at times, being bossy, not being submissive. It doesn't make me happy to have to do so, but it's there.

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