Man it’s been a while since I’ve posted I know. I apologize, I have been lax. Blame it on the flying saucer internet. It won’t be for too much longer, I promise. But I’m very happy that I came out of my internet anal-probing (-snorts-) for the BDSM Blog Hop. I still remember when it began (last year-yes, I know I sound like an old man, just go with me here) it started off with an idea, someone read an article told someone else to read it, a conversation got started, it got shared on Facebook, people kept sharing, kept talking and before you knew it, a movement had begun.
Many of the most extraordinary moments in history have started off that way. Someone heard someone else share an opinion about another person’s lifestyle, beliefs, relationship, family, child… skin color, and didn’t think they had a right to feel that way, to express themselves in that manner, to act the way they had. To burn crosses. To beat up gay people or arrest them. To toss them into mental institutions.
To declare that those of us who indulge in the kinkier side of life are deviant or violent or serial killers, or unfit parents. That many of us have great communication skills and self-control and most of the relationships that have a BDSM foundation are extremely healthy.
Last year, I took you through guided tour of different parts of the BDSM world and many of you liked that. So much so that many of you wrote to me and shared stories, asked questions (asked me to be your Dom… you know who you are—yeah… you), asked about munches in your area and websites and even other books out there you could read. It was fantastic and really made me smile.
This year, I wanted to talk about something else, however, the two different sides of the BDSM coin. Those who are in the Lifestyle and those who know just enough to be dangerous.
This is going to be short and sweet so don’t worry, and it’s still going to have that Vic-charm too.
Now, one of the things I love most about people in the community is that for the most part we have no problem with people asking questions in order to learn more. We don’t want people attempting something and getting hurt, we don’t want them writing something incorrectly because then people try it and get hurt (-clears throat- The book that shall not be named –clears throat-), and we don’t want people assuming that anyone can do it. This isn’t QVC people. You can’t just buy the package as is, open it and instantly know what the fuck you’re doing. You need training. Everyone does. From the Doms down to the subs. Masters. Slaves. And everyone in between.
So I love that you can find someone, make contact with someone and say “I’m new to this, I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing and I need someone to train me,” and they won’t laugh at you, they’ll just say “Okay, let’s help you out.” Even if you’ve been in the Lifestyle for years, decades, centuries… okay, maybe not centuries, because seriously? But, whatever, even if you’ve been in it for a long time, and something has changed, or you want to learn something new, or train in a different area (learn to use a whip, or if you’re a sub, train in service instead of just pain), then members of the community will do that for you.
There is an openness and a trust there that isn’t found in other communities, I’m sorry to say. I’ve had people in the BDSM community stand at my back and grab my arms (and this just happened last year) as if to demonstrate putting a rope around them and I trusted the person that was doing it because she was a member of the community. If it had been anyone else? They would have been knocked the fuck out, no questions asked.
So, when you are in the community and you have been trained you know certain things, you know terminology, you know body language, you know hand signals, etc. There are things inherent within us because we have been through that training. It isn’t something we lose or forget even if don’t do a scene for a while. Whether we are a sub or a Dom. A sub can read their Dom and vice versa. There are code words, visual cues even within the community. Granted, some of these change as the community is embraced and matures, as all things do and some are resistant, but you will find that there are some tenements that many of us will always hold true to (Safe, Sane, Consensual, or Risk, Aware, Consensual, Kink).
But we twitch (I growl) when we come across what I like to call the “Wikipedia-website experts”. The ones who get their knowledge from what they’ve learned from typing in “BDSM” online into the Google search engine.
“BDSM is a variety of erotic practices involving dominance and submission, roleplaying, bondage, and other interpersonal dynamics. Given the wide range of practices, some of which may be engaged in by people who do not consider themselves as practicing BDSM, inclusion in the BDSM community or subculture is usually dependent on self-identification and shared experience. Interest in BDSM can range from one-time experimentation to a lifestyle.” (Wikipedia’s definition of BDSM: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BDSM)
They tell us that we’re wrong about the very community and lifestyle we have been trained in because “Wikipedia states…” or “Merriam Webster defines BDSM as…” or “Dr. No-Name-Stick-Up-His-Ass says that those who indulge in BDSM are…” and then they caution us or they applaud us or they stare at us warily. Or perhaps they gawk at us. Maybe, they even try to tell us how to do it better because they read a book that they bought on Amazon that was published after The-Book-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named by someone who read the book and tried out some kink, enjoyed it, tried out a little more, and then wrote a book about it all and now the book’s selling like hotcakes.
Whatever the reason, this person knows just enough about BDSM to be dangerous. They know a lot of the terminology because Wikipedia wouldn’t be such a popular site if they didn’t get a lot of it right. They know about things like aftercare, and different floggers, cock-cages, ballgags, whips, hard-limits, soft-limits, negotiations, etc. Maybe they even know about the collaring-ceremony. They may have even found the BDSM Blog Hop and read some of the blogs and learned a lot that way, but while reading these things online and even in a book is great, there is no way you can try to tell someone who has gone through the training that you know better than them because you read something online about it.
There are bad seeds in every community. I’ve had countless conversations with people where I’ve had to point out to them that if you want to see the bad in a certain race, gender, sexuality, lifestyle, religion, age group, shape, etc. then you will. Granted, at the time this person was talking about black people, but the truth applies here too. The number of those who take things too far is miniscule to those who see BDSM for the beauty that it really is. And as my Granny always said, you can’t let one bad apple spoil the bunch. So when you come across an article online, perhaps you read something and it causes you to jerk, or stop and you want to go to someone in the Lifestyle or even someone not in the Lifestyle or merely talk to someone about BDSM as if you have full-knowledge of everything.
WAIT! Before you do that. Stop. Breathe, Obi-Wan. Slow down Arya Stark, before you stick Needle into someone’s neck, take a second to think and find someone who has training and present the information to them. Don’t beat them over the head with it. You don’t have to talk to them as if you know better.
However, you can ask them about it. As I said, we have no problem talking and answering questions, thus the reason for this blog hop, to give out information, to put names and “faces” to those with the knowledge and many of us with the training so you can come and ask us your burning queries. So asking something like “I read online that Doms are robots and don’t cry. Is that true?” Is totally fine. Instead of saying “You said your Dom cried? Well, he’s obviously not a real Dom, because I read online that Doms are robots and don’t cry at all.”
See the difference?
The assumption that what you read online about the community is what is true is not reality. Just recently, as a matter of fact, I was browsing Netflix and was stunned by the number of titles I heard that were BDSM-centric. I didn’t know if this meant that we were being embraced or if every last movie was going to piss me off. Because I know myself (and really, I don’t have the cash to replace electronics if I keep throwing them across the room in anger), I contacted a friend of mine and told him about the movies. He and his wife are both in the community so they watched them together. He called me back and said one word: “Run.” LOL.
So, I encourage you to find someone in the Lifestyle and ask them your questions, they would be more than happy to answer them.
By the way, the question about Doms being robots? Not true at all. Doms are human and they are fully capable of crying. Believe me.
*I will be giving away one free copy of either any book from my backlist, a free copy of Daddy’s Boy when it releases on July 17th, or the first 3 books in the Mistakes series (Delicious Mistake is a BDSM story from Pride Publishing (aka Totally Bound Publishing) to one lucky person who comments.*