For the love

For the love

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

BDSM and intimacy (or put your dick in your pants and your heart on your sleeve)

I love the TV series "Bones." I like that the lead female (Temperance Brennan) is very intelligent and struggles with emotional intelligence and social graces - much the opposite of the typical TV female lead - but does so without being butch and/or macho. I also see a lot of myself in the lead male, FBI Special Agent Seeley Boothe. He is devoutly religious, after his own path, and he does what he does because he thinks the good guys should win, even though he knows they don't always. He also loves Dr. Brennan intensely, and would not hesitate to put his life on the line for her, and to kill for her protection when necessary. At the bottom of his rugged exterior, he is the ultimate romantic at heart.

One of my favorite episodes, the victim was involved in an alternate lifestyle. By the end of the episode, Boothe and Bones have delved into it just enough that Boothe feels sorry for the practitioners. When asked why, he says (I'm paraphrasing): "The whole point of that stuff is to make less of a person out of the person you are with. When you do that, you can't reach the place where sex unites two people and they become one for just a few moments."

This is, I believe, pretty much how the general public understands BDSM. After all, Dr. Freud insisted from the start that the whole reason a guy likes high heels, for example, is because he wants to bone his mom and the high heels makes it easier for him to deal with that desire. (I disagree with Freud on the degree to which parental attraction is both necessary and inevitable.) As long as psychiatry and psychology have been around, BDSM has been seen as a deviant activity that spoke of some hidden sickness within a person's psyche. Fortunately, the medical community is changing its mind about this, but it will take decades before the general public come around to that understanding.

In the beginning, none of us are experienced BDSM'ers. We have to get introduced to concepts and practices and come to some understanding of what our personal needs are, and how we can express those needs to someone else. If we are fortunate; then there is actually someone who cares about us to help us - or at least someone who cares that we don't get hurt while we are trying to figure things out. Until that general public perception of BDSM changes, however, a whole lot of people are only going to learn about things online. That means that there will be some common problems - some of which are nearly legendary among those of us who have been around a bit.

I think the source of a lot of problems is the oppositional nature of fantasy and intimacy (and I don't mean "sex" - that euphemism ignores the fact that sex can be anonymous). When a lot of guys first make contact with a woman who identifies as Dominant, all he has to guide his actions are way too much fantasy, and the porn that feeds it. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with fantasies, or with porn. I've talked about porn before, so I won't rehash that, but I think fantasies are probably healthy - at least, to a point.

The submissive fantasies of men tend to run along these lines: A woman finds out that I am submissive and she immediately begins to force me to do all of the things I really want to do anyway. We fall in love and live happily every after. ZZZZZZZZZZ (because men fall asleep after their fantasies wrap up in the 0.04 seconds between orgasm and sleep). It's great for fantasy, but it's a pretty lame script to try to put into practice.

I understand that a lot of guys (not all), for a lot of reasons, are uncomfortable with their submissiveness. I've been there. Submissiveness is not generally considered a desirable attribute for adult males. So that desire gets hidden and only comes out in fantasy. The problem, of course, is that it is impossible for a person to have a truly submissive fantasy. Submission, after all, requires that someone else be in charge, and the person fantasizing is in total control of the fantasy...so the focus falls on fetish wear and specific scenes and/or activities.

Then a guy sneaks down to the computer in the middle of the night and finds a site where Dominant Women are actually out there! Oh boy! Maybe she also likes guys who crossdress and eat fried green tomatoes. This is what he has been looking for! OH MY GOD! He flips out, summons all of his courage, and...

sends a photo of his cock? REALLY?!?!!

sends her an email promising his everlasting servitude? REALLY?!?!?!!!

Let me go on the record here as shooting straight from the hip - if one of you guys sends a cock pic to a woman and she gets excited enough to immediately enslave you...it probably isn't a woman on the other end of the internet.

I spent six years in the Navy, living in open bay berthing where I showered with a hundred other guys (literally). I've seen a lot of cock. They aren't really that impressive. I mean - there was one guy who could unzip his fly and stick the head of his dick in his pocket and THAT was impressive, but other than that, it's just a dick. It wasn't like he could make it deal cards or anything.

What's the thought process here? She will see that one certain vein in your shaft and just KNOW that you are the one for her? Get a grip - on something other than your own shaft.

Look, I am a big fan of female genitalia. But if I got a steady stream of crotch shots that said, "You will worship this pussy or else!!" I would get a little tired of it. Well, maybe I wouldn't get tired of the pics - big fan, after all - but I would get tired of the attitude, and with a quickness that would make the Flash feel inadequate. I enjoy Dominant Women, in general, but that doesn't mean I want to actually serve every woman in the world. What if they all wanted coffee at once?  (All joking aside, I serve one and only one woman and she gives me everything I need... and crotch shots, are really not what I want or need....)

And about the immediate offers of eternal servitude? Permanent femdom relationships are the grand slam home-run and you haven't even dribbled one weakly into left field. You are asking for a RELATIONSHIP. If you are going to jump into a relationship with someone you don't know; then you are begging for a butt-load of problems. There is a reason why most people date before they get married, and everlasting servitude is something akin to offering marriage.

This is what happens when someone tries to impose fantasy on reality: You end up treating someone like garbage, because you are treating yourself like garbage. Fantasies - even really great ones - are disposable. When you come-on like a porn star, you are asking someone to be just as disposable as the tenth-last porn video you saw.

BDSM'ers talk about trust and safety in relation to a person's body, and with good reason. But to achieve intimacy, there has to be an understanding of trust and safety on an emotional level. It is not possible to be intimate with a person unless you are willing to reveal a piece of your self. Revealing that vulnerable self means opening yourself up to being hurt, rejected, or ridiculed.

Once that vulnerability is established, that piece of self has to be accepted and cherished. The trust has to be tested, and found to be well-placed. Such an experience is heart-warming, uplifting, and even enlightening.

The point I'm making is that it is both a wonderful thing to have and a scary thing to pursue. Fantasies aren't like that. Fantasies don't involve another person (other than as an object of fantasy). Fantasies involve no risk. Fantasies are safe and comfortable and wonderful. They stoke our ego, feed our ambition, and give us hope that something better is out there.

But fantasy isn't enough. Humans are, ultimately, herd animals and we need to be around others that are like us. We want to reveal ourselves and be accepted. We crave intimacy. That's what drives a guy to get up in the middle of the night and risk the happiness of his marriage by chasing wank fodder in the worst possible way. That has to change. It isn't fair to a whole generation of Dominant Women to ask them to simply put up with the rude, crude, and downright abusive behavior from submissive men just because we don't know how to move from fantasy to intimacy. It isn't fair to a whole generation of submissive men to keep them emotionally stupid and stunted just because they don't know how to reach beyond a fantasy and find intimacy.

I think two things need to happen.

First, men have to understand that the functional word in "Dominant Woman" is "WOMAN" - meaning a human being of the female sort. She has to take the same risks as you do, guys. If you aren't ready to move forward; then say something about it. You figure out what you are ready to do and be clear. It's okay to say you are scared. Women tend to understand things like that. Don't send a cock-shot until she asks for it (if she ever does). You wouldn't walk up to her in a bar and wave your dick to get her attention, so don't do it online. And, just like in real life, a one night stand is fine if that is what both people are after, but if you offer eternity and then run like a roach in the daylight, you are just being a dick.

Secondly, we need some way to change societal standards of BDSM as a pure fetishistic endeavor. We have to make sure that people understand that, odd as it may sound, spanking someone doesn't dehumanize them, but makes them more human. Tying someone up doesn't objectify them; it reveals them to us. Or whatever your particular way of relating to your partner might be - it gets you closer, not further away.  For all of its faults, Fifty Shades at least put BDSM - in a highly fantasized fashion - on the discussion table for the general public. Given the popularity of authors like Laurel Hamilton, there is a hunger out there for fiction that depicts strong women (who remain feminine, even when they kick ass) who enjoy being in control, and men who enjoy giving them that control.

As much as I love the character on Bones, he is wrong. Alternate lifestyles aren't wrong because they dehumanize and fetishize people, because sometimes - sometimes - they reveal a person's spirit and shower them in adoration and appreciation. I know that because I have experienced it. Submission helped me to feel beautiful for the first time in my life. It made me feel free to not pretend, even in the act of making love, to be something I wasn't. It made me realize who I really am, and it helped me love my Mistress. It is a path to true intimacy. It is a way to love. 

BDSM is a way for two people to experience each other in a way that their souls become one.

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