Thread: BDsm
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:28 AM
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Apologies for spamming the thread with three posts in a row, y'all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
But just how, exactly, does it help someone grow and be more productive when someone else is making decisions for them?
My impression is that you end up learning a heck a lot about yourself in that position. And a good dom who really knows, loves, and is devoted to you can help elicit your core desires from you and push you to things you didn't think you could do. An intense way to live and to love, to be sure.

Still, long-term, 24/7, total power exchange relationships, in which the sub makes no choices for him or herself whatsoever, are a relative-to-extreme rarity as far as I can tell. Most D/s relationships aren't structured quite that way, so questions that have to do with that sort of relationship won't apply to a lot of others. I think it's important to keep that in perspective.

So, for most D/s'ers, only certain aspects of control are ceded. And don't we all do that in various ways in our lives, and certainly not always to our detriment? You listen to your boss at work and, if you have a good boss, that's just fine, maybe even great!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
It's very tricky in any therapeutic setting to not make "revelations" we have about personal issues into labels with which we then use to identify ourselves. What scares me about BDSM is that the participants are amateurs without professional knowledge, and can put themselves in vulnerable positions where they can get hurt, physically and psychologically. If it were a guided therapy with a goal in mind, at which point the role-playing stopped because the participants had reached resolution of their issues, I'd see more value in it.
I don't think D/s is used as a substitute for therapy for many or even most people who participate in it, any more than any other relationship is. Personally, my most intense dom/sub play was with Harry, and both of us had happy childhoods and nothing in particular to heal that I could discern... we both just really, really liked doing it.

As for vulnerability, again, we all make ourselves vulnerable in relationships. It's true though that BDSM play can potentially leave people more vulnerable and that's why those who write about it emphasize over and over the need for gobs of communication and trust. Not because they think those things aren't key in any relationship, obviously they are, but because if you neglect them in a BDSM context you risk more than just a crappy relationship, you risk potentially your safety.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
How would you really know that the person domming has any clue what is good for you, especially if they don't know you very well and are just following some standard ideas of what domming is supposed to be about? It scares me to think that there are misguided, vulnerable people out there who submit themselves to doms they don't know well, those who dominate to satisfy their egos and not necessarily to support the submissive one. I don't think it's a good idea for very young people to get into it 24/7 because it seems one would really have to know oneself extremely well before doing so.
Safe, sane, consensual. It may be consensual, but it's neither safe nor sane to let someone inexperienced or untrustworthy dom you in ways that might harm you. Hopefully most adults are smart enough to realize that. There's a lot of emphasis on mentorship and learning in the BDSM community to keep people from making just such mistakes. I do agree that 24/7 should wait until you have significant experience and know yourself and your partner very well.

Still, people make mistakes or move too fast in any and every relationship context. If only everyone could learn without mistakes, but that's just not the way it is. The mistakes of some do not invalidate the lifestyle... as I remind myself every time I cringe reading a post by yet another naive, insensitive, inexperienced unicorn hunting couple that's bound and determined to screw up their lives and the life of their third... ah, but there I go drawing comparisons between BDSM and poly again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
This is how I ponder it, it's not an indictment against BDSM altogether. I will say, though, that there are many ways to get to know oneself deeply, including around sex/sexuality, just as well as any power exchange relationship. Practicing power exchange/BDSM is only one. Calling non-BDSM sex/relationships "vanilla" seems like a put-down. Non-kinksters can push past boundaries, address sex and sexuality issues, and gain deep self-knowledge in other ways.
Was anyone saying that there aren't many ways to do those things, or that non-kinksters can't? I never got that impression. Our positive feelings about our lifestyle choices aren't meant to disparage yours. If people seem to talk a lot about the benefits of BDSM relationships, I imagine it's not because they think that those benefits are impossible to gain elsewhere, but rather because people, such as yourself, keep saying they can't se the benefits period.

Why all the fear (you say various things scare you twice in the quotes above, you've called certain aspects of BDSM disturbing before, etc.)? People make mistakes, they grow, they learn, they teach, hopefully we all get collectively smarter and fewer mistakes are made over time. The more vulnerable you make yourself the more room there is to be hurt, but that just means that we ALL, no matter the relationship construct, need to exercise good judgment, not that we ought to stop making ourselves vulnerable for our safety.

As a postscript, I'll admit that I've had to work hard not to take some of this personally. I know it's not meant that way, but it's hard to see one's orientations and deeply held desires scrutinized under a microscope by people who don't share them to try to determine if they're valid. I see utility in this conversation, it just ain't always easy to have.
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