This is NOT about the book. Its about tonight’s munch, and an epiphany. It was a nice day. I had lunch with my biological family, then supper with my kinky family.
At the munch I had the opportunity to sit with three folk. One was very new and had questions. I pulled out my soapbox, and started to pontificate, a word that may sadly fit me because I can be annoyingly pompous and dogmatic. Here are some of the subjects that came up:
Self Identity – When I start, I start from the beginning. I think it is important to learn for yourself how to say what you are, what your kink is, and not have someone force a label on you. It was pointed out to me that there is a sex-positive, TNG side to this subject that discourages labels. I disagree with this. If you are lesbian, you want to let men know that hitting on you isn’t appreciated. If you feel a deep need to submit to another, you need to be able to communicate this.
The key is that YOU decide how to label yourself, not someone else. And yes, labels have a bad connotation. But just because your local supermarket has a hundred kinds of boxes all marked cereal, doesn’t make the label bad. A label is a starting point. You have to read the description on each, and the ingredients. When you self identify, you are using a label that helps others understand you. Its up to them to get to know you, read your description, and come to know what that label means for you personally.
I want to devote more time in another blog to the dangers of moving into an overly generalized, feel good about sex, Utopian dream of making all sex positive by watering down strong opinions. I think there are dangers in depriving people of developing a strong self identity, of pushing away self-identities in the name of unity. We need to protect and respect the right to project who and what is in the core of their being. BDSM is less about what we do and more about who we are. Its about BDSM pride. Pride in who we are.
Are you a Master – Are you a Master, I was asked. I had to quote myself. The only titles of value are those acquired thru recognition by others. One claims that title by exercising that recognition, not asserting it. ~Xtac quote – I turned the question into a question. There are some that call me a Master and some that do not. What would you call me? I asked. One of the three I was speaking with was a young lady and she nodded approvingly. She commented on those Dominants who announce what they are, and immediately expect to be treated as a Master. She liked my answer, and I was pleased she saw the difference.
The difference between a sub and a slave – Ah this old subject again, fraught with pitfalls and misunderstandings because we all have descriptions and self-identified special ingredients on our own personal labels. But I would not throw away the labels because they lead to endless discussion, I would keep them because they lead to endless discussion, refection, and self-discovery.
My way of saying this is to use a visual. Imagine a dial with settings from 1 to 100. The first 99 are submissive. 100 is slave. This is because a slave makes one choice, who to serve. At least that’s the simple version. We talked at length about TPE, and internalized enslavement. About how you are what you are with or without a partner. How the one choice can be more complex. About how IE brings on almost a Stockholm syndrome like relation. The negative aspects of IE were observed of course, and my slave who had been quiet for most of this came to defend this deep and raw connection we share from TPE. She held out her hands in high protocol fashion, waiting for me to recognize her desire to speak, and then she said effectively, that she experiences IE as a deepening awareness in her every action and thought of how it will please or not please me. Yeah, she said that better than I did. That’s the value of intelligent property. I am blessed to have such a wonderful extension of my will to command.
Speaking in third person – We talked about how a Master rewires the brain. That a Master makes a slave by creating a new mindset. That many ideas have been tried and some have proven value. It came up that I have my slave speak in third person, because it creates a mindset of being owned. I wish now I had called her my canvas, as I so often do. She is my great masterpiece, the thing upon which I create a bond, deep and terrible in its intensity and beauty.
Taking away my slave’s name – Then I mentioned that the first thing I do in training is take away the name. Its an old, tried and true method I endorse. The idea is to break away from the old identity, and replace it with an object. Now this conversation took an interesting turn. I think the gentleman across from me was repulsed by the plan to objectify my property. That’s ok. The way that BDSM works for one need not be the way it is for another. But I pitched my point of view to bridge the gap, to show how it works for my slave and I.
It is true that the more I create a slave mindset, the more my slave feels a sense of who she was slipping away. It can seem like a dark scary place where you are no longer sure of who you are or what you are. I have personally faced such a place in a spiritual quest to give up all desire. I found that the state of being desire free unsatisfying. I prefer tantra meditation. rich in passion and compassion. This is my happy place, my spiritual space. Where I arrived, and where I am striving for my slave to arrive, is a zen like place. It is my desire that in this place of nothingness, my slave is living not for the past or the future, but for the present, the here and the now. I want her to live in a world without pressure, without decisions, feeling safe and comfortable in the ecstasy of those incredibly and unbearably beautiful moments of now, where the little things fill our hearts with joy. Its a religious like destination and in fact, I am taking myself and my slave to spiritual place. Its just that I do it with BDSM.
Black, white, shades of grey – And now at last we come to the subject in the title of this blog. I saved this one for last, because it was an epiphany moment for me. I learned something tonight from a newbie. It’s one of the joys of life, to be open to these things. To not be so full of ourselves that we dismiss others without really listening.
The gentleman across from me was searching. Searching for a way to say who and what he was to others. He was searching for his personal handle, his label. I cautioned him that the scope of his project, to find himself, was broad. He had a lifetime to figure it out. He wasn’t always comfortable with eye contact, and he professed an appeal in times when his life was out of control, to pass control to another, but then he also found sadistic pleasure in tweaking people who needed it.
He was particularly interested in what a switch was, and as we talked about what some people think a switch is, from this view point and that. We turned to the fact that some people think that a switch is somehow less than a Dom or a Sub. I observed how from my perspective where I NEED to be on top of a power exchange, and understood those that would serve me, I found it difficult to understand how a person could be both. And then he said “It’s neither, it is its own thing. A thing can be black or it can be white, but if a thing is grey it is both black and white but also neither. It is its own thing. “
From the mouths of babes! It shocked me, as any epiphany does. I have had long discussions on this subject with people with many years and decades of experience and never felt the clarity that I did in that simple statement. This newbie was completely and utterly and unmistakably right.
That’s all folks! If you read this far I guess you found my ramblings interesting. I am pleased. Its been a very long day and yet another day of living with X comes to a close. Its been a good day. I wouldn’t have it any other way.