Assessing the BDSM lifestyle

13 Jan

On the surface BDSM evokes a range of images as varied as the people that hold them. For many in the vanilla (Non BDSM lifestyle) it can range from utter disgust to a mere curiosity coupled with a live and let live attitude. For people that are actively involved in the lifestyle it is however far more positive to the point of almost being spiritual.

BDSM taken by it’s individual parts of bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism may seem to the uninitiated to merely be some strange collection of fetishes. In all reality it is a very delicately woven fabric that in the hands of devotees is beauty in and of itself. We all have likes and dislikes in our sexual lives. To the letter of the definition of fetish we are all fetishists in some regard. We all have arousal’s that stem from deeper than simple emotional attraction. A person may say they enjoy dirty talk, or perhaps a particular style of lingerie that heightens their libido. I propose this as being no different on a psychological level than persons that engage in the BDSM lifestyle, but without all the wonderful benefits BDSM offers it’s participants.

The dynamic of master and servant is age old and has always elicited the certain feeling of taboo. This is the core dynamic of all BDSM relationships. Generally speaking these are set in stone but in some cases there are people whom are “switches” that for any variety of reasons may assume either role at a given time. A Domme (I will use the feminine exclusively for sake of ease) is not simply a person skilled in tying knots and beating people with a flogger. A Domme is more so a guide. Through their mind, and actions they lead the sub on a variety of adventures. These adventures are not only meant to be physically and emotionally gratifying but in many cases a window into improving the subs life.

While this does seem an odd thing for many to understand please consider the following, much of BDSM is about the mental aspect of domination. In time anyone can learn to withstand physical pain, however when we deal with emotions, primarily fears, we learn to grow as a person. This growth is based on placing trust in another person which is often difficult for most of us in any life setting. In an open healthy Domme/sub relationship these fears and boundaries are known entities. It is the privilege and responsibility of the Domme to lead the sub through facing these fears, expanding their boundaries, and exploring them self. Conquering fear allows the sub the exhilaration of knowing the have done well and the confidence to move on to other challenges with this positive resume behind them. These are not just challenges faced in the dungeon setting but the real world itself.

The BDSM setting allows the sub the ability to have a free zone, a place where it is okay to let go and show their vulnerability without the fear of general public scrutiny. For some this is an ideal way to find that release and as a side bonus yes some do find sexual gratification as well. All too often in life we are told to take charge and portray strength, particularly men. The BDSM lifestyle not only allows the sub to give up control, but encourages and rewards this behavior. Over time a Domme and sub who work well together can accomplish many great feats of personal growth.

Just as this is rewarding for the sub, it is also rewarding for the Domme and I am not referring to being monetarily rewarding as professional dominatrixes are a very different subculture. The reward the Domme receives is twofold. The exercise of control that may not in some cases be present in other areas of life allows itself to manifest in a healthy way. While the Domme may not be the boss at work and such displays of dominant behavior would almost certainly be frowned upon oft times, in setting it is not only okay but expected. Secondly when a sub has a breakthrough large or small it is a rewarding experience for the Domme as well. Satisfaction can be taken in knowing they were pivotal in the positive development and growth of some aspect of an individuals life. Furthermore in exploring the needs and manner to help the sub grow the Domme also has opportunity to reflect on them self in a somewhat objective manner which allows for the further potential of their growth as a person.

There are and always will be people that either cannot or do not understand true BDSM is not about fetishism or sex, but rather a very strong relationship anchored solidly on trust which allows for total power exchange or TPE for short. While sex may at times be present in some form it is not the central focus. People entering into these relationships take them very seriously and do not in any way shape or form view this as a game. The relationship between a sub and Domme is often far more open and honest than any relationship either participant has in their vanilla life. It has to be in order to work. If you care to disagree consider whether or not your best friend or even spouse knows all the intimate details of your life good and bad? Do they know your fetishes, fantasies, and vulnerabilities in full? If not what is restricting the exchange of that information? In BDSM these are not only known but often explored and indulged in a safe sane manner.

In conclusion the BDSM lifestyle is sadly misunderstood all too often and discarded as fetishists getting their kicks through some form deviant behavior. The true lifestyle is not about that or money, or power tripping. It is about trust, understanding, respect and mutual growth. Hopefully this will help people see this is one book that can certainly not be judged by it’s cover.

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