Friday, April 22, 2011

"True bdsm"?

One reason I started this blog is that I kept leaving comments on other people's blogs that were much too long for politeness. Having this space kept me under control for a while. Well, mostly... But lately my muzzle has been slipping.

My most recent sin in that area occurred just today in response to a post on cassie's blog: ...with a sense of pride. The post, called True bdsm, refers to a discussion the Greek submissive cassie had with a Dom, also Greek but not her own.

We mostly agreed that what we do (always r/l) should first and foremost be fun. We Dominate or submit because we like to Dominate or submit. We like to give or receive pain. We like to humiliate or be humiliated. We like to explore our limits and new forms of play. We like to control or we like to serve. We are sadists or masochists and like discipline and bondage.

I do hope you will go read all of what she has to say, and any comments. It's the least I can do for disagreeing so heartily and taking so much room to do it.

And of course I disagreed. I suspect I disagree with most people about what bdsm "means", or what it "should be." You will probably recognize my oft repeated points in my comment, which I'm reprinting below.

I sometimes wonder how different my outlook would be if I lived with the sadist - although if we did spend more time together I (we both) doubt the relationship would last long. In many ways, we are very different, and in terms of regular life we just wouldn't fit. But more than that, I think I would OD on such a rich and intoxicating brew. Still, I do not stop being his when we are not physically together or in any other form of communication, and we are constantly working to find ways to increase my awareness and obedience. To that extent, I could say that I live as his 24/7, thought obviously it is very different from dealing with laundry, kids, car repairs in the context of any variation on a bdsm relationship.

All that said, here is my response. I humbly invite your own comments. Please feel free to disagree with me as much as I disagreed with cassie and her Dom friend, and to take as much space as you wish to do so. My view is my own, derived from my own limited experience as lived on my own isolated mountaintop, and I'm eager to hear your own take on the matter.

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An interesting question, cassie, although one to which I'm inclined to give what might be called a non-answer. Because I don't think one should even try to define "true" bdsm.

Even in religion, there is no one true faith. Oh, the Vatican or various denominations of the various religions (see? already there is multiplicity), may say this is what you must believe and this is how you must worship. But invariably that will change over time, in a few years or decades or centuries. Groups will splinter off as they think they have received The Word.

There is no Vatican for the Church of BDSM. No chief wonder-working rabbi.

My own view is that bdsm is first and foremost a relationship. And everything else follows from that. Even for those who "play" - which my Master and I don't - it is still a relationship. The way 2 or more people choose to interact.

Beyond that, addressing your statement that first and foremost bdsm is fun - I can speak only for myself, although I suspect it applies to my Master the sadist as well. For me, first and foremost, submission is a NEED. It is a deep and integral part of who I am. And everything else follows from there. And my Master? He is dominant. And he is a sadist. He just is. And he has a NEED, sometimes insurmountable and almost suffocating, to inflict pain. At that level, I wouldn't call it fun at all. Not for him and not for his victim.

Now, he is embarking, very cautiously, on the project of training me to connect pleasure and pain. Not simply to enable him to hurt me more than he has without destroying the relationship, but because through the sharing of his sadism and my suffering we will achieve a depth of intimacy that can be reached in no other way.

But that's us.
I wouldn't think of speaking for anyone else.

8 comments:

cassie said...

Dear og.,

thank you for taking this discussion a step further, it is always interesting to read what other people think.

Basically i do not think we disagree that much. The word "need" (need to Dominate, need to submit) is going to play a key role in the post i am going to write in Greek. In fact, i have written about my own need (my oxygen!) to submit more that once.

i do admit that my choice of the word "fun" was probably wrong. i did not mean fun, as in joke, but fun as something that brings us pleasure and makes us feel better afterwards.

It is difficult to write about this subject that has such an emotional load for me, in a language that is not my own. Still, you and your long comments are very welcome over at "a sense of pride".

Looking forward to more thoughts,
cassie

oatmeal girl said...

How I wish I knew Greek, cassie! I tried to learn it once, because of my interest n the music, and totally failed. It's the only language I've tried that has completely defeated me.

Perhaps someone can help you translate your Greek post into English? Not that I have any complaints with your English - it has always amazed me how well you can write on this difficult subject, whatever the language.

There was nothing wrong with your use of the word "fun." I knew exactly what you meant. Although perhaps "pleasure" would have been a better choice of words, as it is more intense.

Finally - yes. This can be a very difficult subject to write about. I can't always find the words for feelings and needs that are so very deep. So very intense. Everything I say, whether here or directly to the sadist, is always an approximation.

Thank you so much for coming here to comment. I do hope that others will join in the discussion. We all learn so much from what others think and say.

By the way - what IS the Greek word for "need"?

o.g.

agog said...

This is something I've considered also, and I'll *try* to say it in a way that makes some kind of sense outside of my head, as it is very difficult to put into words something you just seem to know intuitively inside yourself...
IMO, there is "true" BDSM, however, that does not mean any one way is more "true" than the other. For me, "true" BDSM is a mutual meeting of needs between the people involved. Whether that be a 24/7 live in relationship, online, part time, or "play" only...as long as the people involved are getting what they need out of the situation, then it is "true". It may mean pleasure, punishment, pain, love, intimacy, mindfucks, tears, release or any other number of things, but in the end, the meeting of that 'need' is a type of pleasure, no matter how it comes out.
At least in my view :)
Thanks for the posts, I always enjoy anything that helps me think too.

oatmeal girl said...

That makes a LOT of sense, agog - and thank you so much for adding to the discussion! It also comes back to what I always say about the key underpinning being that it's a relationship.

"BDSM" stands for a series of interlocking word pairs: bondage and degradation, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism... it's all a question of experiences on both/all sides. Yes, we understand that certain KINDS of activities are involved. But it's the interplay, the shared need, the shared experience, that makes it so powerful.

Which is how, in fact, it should be in ANY relationship. But perhaps there is something about bdsm that makes us more conscious of it?

And there definitely is something about bdsm that makes us - on both sides - more vulnerable. Which leads to a deeper connection.

Is it that we feel we can share desires that we always felt must be kept hidden?

Opinions, anyone?

Anonymous said...

In my humble opinion the only constant truth about BDMS is there is A Master and a submissive beyond that everthing else is subjective.

eroticcouple said...

I agree with anonymous: the titles of the individuals in the relationship are the only constant. Whatever is beyond that is open for interpretation.

His Girl said...

I find the only constant and "true bdsm" in my world is a deep-seated need, more than a desire or a want of joy and pleasure (or a craving for hurt or humiliation). More that I have never felt more me-ness, more contentment, more right in my own skin than serving my Master. Yes, it brings me pleasure, orgasms, fun. But for me, it's like the rubix cube of my life finally matched up each colored side.

cassie said...

Dear og.,

the Greek word for "need" is ανάγκη, pronounced (something like) ah-NA-ghee. Aνάγκη is a need, a necessity, something you cannot do without.

Like submitting for instance...

cassie