Bad vibes ahead! – I was approaching a gaggle of nilla women and I wanted to cross the street. I just knew the vibes were bad and the closer I got the more I knew I didn’t want to linger near these people. As I walked by, I heard “He’d better appreciate it because I gave up”– whatever – I tried not to listen. I didn’t want to soak in the poison in the air…
The words echoed in my head and I wanted to turn around and straighten out the lot of them. Nasty labels were running through my head: straw-chewing, simple minded, evil, fat, little sluts. My brain kept offering labels and I kept rejecting them. Positive thoughts, Positive thoughts, I reminded myself. I turned my attention to those words.
Note: I feel remorse for the thoughts that popped in. In my defense, I can’t control what pops in, I can only control what I focus on, what I give energy to. The oddest thoughts sometimes pop in. I only get to control which thoughts I take ownership of. I think if you watch your stream of consciousness, that is normal.
What the speaker was saying was, they had given something to someone special, and now they not only expected something in return, but they were already angry about getting whatever it was they expected in return, and getting validation from friends that being angry was OK. As near as I could tell, the person that owed this woman, didn’t even yet know that she was angry about or have a clue that something was expected in return for a favor they may not even have discussed. There are so many things wrong with that.
Gifts – In our world, we exchange uncommon currency. We have equity of exchange in that we go in knowing what we are giving up, and what we are getting in exchange. Really there are only two ways you should ever give anything.
Giving – as a gift. The first way is to give a thing and let go of it. A gift should be given for the joy that you receive in the giving. If you can not give a thing with a free heart, and attach no requirements to that gift, then it is not really a gift at all. It is an exchange. Examples are all around us, the labor of love by a submissive. The patience, thought and strength of a Dominant. We give these for the joy of giving, as much as for what we get in return.
Giving – in exchange. The truth be told, very few people are capable of giving a gift. On some level we at least expect gratitude in return for a gift. To be truly honest with yourself and others, when we give, we should have an understanding up front, what we expect in return for that which we give. If we can say that we expect nothing in return, and mean it, it is a gift. If not, we should let the other know up front this is an exchange.
Unrealistic giving – Often people say a thing is a gift, but they really meant it was an exchange, because all they really wanted in exchange was appreciation. That is dishonest. But it is the norm for some people and we quickly learn to send a card or make a call to thank them or all hell breaks loose.
I realized what bothered me about this little group of haters, working themselves into a righteous fury, was this was one of those dishonest gifts. There was an expectation that AFTER a gift was given, it could then be negotiated as an exchange. Sadly, people often give something and afterward place a burden of gratitude on you that is used to exact something from us later. I got the feeling that this particular nilla expected a lot more than some simple gratitude.
The absolute worse part was the whipping up of righteous indignation. When you give something, even if it was an exchange you later regretted, the only time anger should ever come into this kind of thing is if there was deliberate misrepresentation. Lying during negotiation about an exchange in my ethics, is theft. But if you enter into an honest negotiation, or neglected to negotiate in earnest, this should be a learning lesson, not an opportunity to be angry. You take the loss and learn from it. You try not to let it happen again. The anger and validation of that anger by that many people in one spot was a really nasty vibe, making the whole immediate area an uncomfortable place.
The BDSM angle – I have these little observations all the time and I often reflect afterward, how I can use them to improve my Mastery and by extension, the quality of my relation with my slave. The lesson seems fairly clear to me. That which we give, we should do with a negotiated understanding of what is given and received. In basic terms, I offer my Domination, she offers her trust and submission.
I receive that which I desire most, to guide, nurture, protect, and utterly control another. She gets the joy of service to one who offers all that I do. It is an uncommon currency that we exchange but given our desires, it is equitable.
But there is another lesson. That which we give freely, we can not later stake a debt to. If it is not equitable, if we desire to place a debt or expectation upon something we gave freely in the past, this should set a transition point. We should harbor no ill for the past, but should negotiate the future.
Neither side can or should be liable for changes in the value of our currency. People change, and what satisfies us today, may not tomorrow. We should communicate this with each other, and be prepared to speak of our expectations, and how they may evolve.
It also means that as I have said so often, we should be honest with ourselves first and foremost so that we can negotiate with another in full measure, the desires and pleasures to be exchanged. But in being honest in our expectations, through this self evaluation, we should strive for the perfection of being able to give, unconditionally, simply for the joy of giving. When we achieve this with a light and happy heart, we achieve something of great value. We bring ourselves and by our example, we bring those around us, to a better place.
The take away – So the bottom line is, we in BDSM must hold to a higher standard of honesty and trust, to make the exchange work. We should give that which we can, freely without reservation or expectation – unconditionally. And that which we would place conditions on, we should communicate, and negotiate, all conditions. And as we evolve and change, this too we should communicate so that we know if we are growing closer together or further apart and adjust accordingly.
A side note – This note is for Izrina, and somewhat on this topic. I love my flogger bunny and the wonderful target your tail provides. I love that particular swat the other night, the grin you gave, and the joy I felt with the sound, and the sting in my hand. I wonder, did it occur to you that you are changing in this regard? I told you that I would change you and here we are.. the change is happening. I wonder..do you notice?? I might undo some work by calling attention to the changes I am making, but then to embrace and keep them we must talk… Soon my dearest bunny.. Sleep well. Nameste
Carpe Diem, my friends.