Saturday, November 3, 2007

BDSM Stew

People often have narrow, tight views. A person can be a free thinker and realize there is no box to think outside of, but you get a bunch of people together, a society of virtually any size and definition, and the best they can do is create a box and tell you to think outside of it. Confines, restrictions, limitations.

In this case I am looking at the overall femdomme/sub dynamic as characterized in places like collarme.com. After an afternoon spent perusing dominant women's profiles I get the sense that the vast majority of them graduated from the same Acme School of Shrew or ASS. Femdomme U, majoring in Wrong.

Oh, don't worry; I'll also look at the Submissive Institute for Sensual Subs or SISS., where they are turning out male stereotypes to prance sycophantically into the lives of the graduates of ASS, but since ladies, or Ladies, theoretically run this show, I'll start there.

Majoring in Wrong. It occurred to me after mere days of reading profiles and looking into the faces of many women on a website that bills itself as The Largest BDSM Community on the Planet, that clearly there is no way that all or even the majority of these, often hard looking women staring back at me, know what they are doing. Actually maybe some know what they are doing, but it's not anything positive, and potentially negative if the ultimate reward of submission and surrender is peace, contentment, liberation and joy by being in a relationship that allows submissive people to enjoy their inclinations and serve expecting to be accepted, cherished and appreciated lovingly for who they are as people, including their chivalrous service, special sexual proclivities and the like. Something has run dreadfully amok here.

First of all, so many of these dommes' profiles declaring themselves as cruel, commanding and in charge say virtually the same thing. As I've mentioned before, most all use capitalization's and baseless proclamations of superiority to demand, often in the harshest terms, that subs give them the respect they say they deserve. They outline a relationship where the sub is pretty much a worthless non-entity who will ask no questions, speak only when spoken to, do as told obediently, lest they be tortured emotionally, humiliated and have pain thrust upon them, which somehow theoretically they want.

There seems to be a Catch-22 in that. If the sub wants, or thinks they want, to be humiliated - have pain delivered, discipline administered - then it is their job to do exactly what the domme says she doesn't want...disobedience. It becomes a parent child relationship. The child wants to be left alone, so to accomplish this he does something wrong, gets reprimanded and sent to his room. Mission accomplished.

Many of these women set themselves up as mini businesses requiring "tributes," which apparently means money, in the form of paid bills, regular cash payments and gifts, which I believe in the broadest sense is prostitution. Additionally, if I am lucky enough to be chosen I will enjoy the liberation of doing their housework, running errands and virtually anything else my domme tells me to do, all theoretically in the service of giving the sub what they need, and should be grateful to receive, with gratitude presumably shown in cash. In many cases this DOES NOT include sexual contact or full sexual contact and in plenty of cases it comes without emotional or relationship monogamy since they will be part of a stable of slaves/submissives, who are all expected to be thrilled that they have been given this grand opportunity.

My God, what to make of this? It sounds like the best reality show not on television! It would set the networks right with massive viewership by freaks, weirdos, fetishists, the mentally deranged, and mostly just the masses who don't want to look at this train wreck but simply have to, unable to look away. Are there really that many people who desire others, who often do not come across as even all that intelligent, to run their lives for them? Reading these profiles make me feel like there is a pandemic of people who are willing to pay others to tell them what to do, shame them and hurt them on a regular basis. It sounds like work to me and I should get paid for being subjected to it. If it is this widespread it makes me feel like I am the odd man out. The uncategorizable minority. Where's there a web site for me?

Ironically these profiles are virtually the same as those in the vanilla dating site world to the extent that when dozens, hundreds or thousands of women post online dating profiles that basically say, "I like dining out, going to movies and shows, shopping, long walks on the beach, snuggling by the fire, but also dressing up once in a while for a big night on the town and you should be tall dark and handsome....," how do I decide which to approach?

Photos become my only point of differentiation. And those photos. The gap between fantasy and reality makes the Grand Canyon look small. I have to believe that my images and fantasies about the appearance of the kind of woman I want to be with aren't all that different from a lot of men like me. We want to do these things with someone we consider hot! That said, most of us, especially if we are over 40 and dating in our age range, realize that we probably aren't going to end up with a drop dead gorgeous model-like woman who will be the envy of all at the ball who will then turn into the stunning, femme fatale, stilettoed vixen once she has changed after we come home and the door closes and she strongly suggests that "those clothes better be off by the time I get back buddy!" Since most of us won't get exactly this, we need to find someone who, aided by the beauty of their heart and mind, her confidence, passion and compassion, will make us excited to do the things both of us want from the other within this D/s dynamic in bed and out.

I am less concerned about looks alone and more about the whole package, but looking at the photos in many of these profiles confirms that this just isn't what I signed up for. I don't know how else to say this - most of them are flat out unappealing even given the most liberal dose of reality mixed into our fantasy woman. Those profiles are stuffed with fat, out of shape, dumpy, unattractive, masculine looking women who I can only hope don't want to have sex with me because I don't want to see them naked, much less "give myself to them completely without question." The whole idea of that world makes me grab my head in horror like Munch's painting, The Scream!

I want to be open minded and liberal about this and I earnestly would like to understand the appeal of that world simply because it fascinates me to think of what kind of minds would enjoy such arrangements with these kinds of women. From the dommes point of view it makes sense. Those who are unattractive, demanding women get to have a relationship where some guy who won't argue with them, will do what he's told, contribute to the bills and not expect sex. It sounds like it starts where a lot of vanilla marriages devolve to over time. When you are miserable enough and don't see a way out, you just resign to your lot in life and quit caring enough to object. Obviously I must be wrong or maybe I'm not and these women are posting and talking a good game without much actually coming to fruition.

So, if what I have witnessed and described for you from The Largest BDSM Community on the Planet is representative, I would have to say that D/s or at least some version of it that I am trying to define and find, has nothing to do with BDSM but has somehow been unhappily tossed in this large pot of BDSM stew along with all manner of fetishes, kinks, and desires, many of which have the potential to be psychologically, emotionally and physically damaging. In the broad sweep of BDSM, D/s is a miscategorized subset (no pun intended), thrown in like a Hawaiian Slack Key guitarist album gets thrown into the massive World Music section only to be overlooked by Bulgarian Women's Choir enthusiasts and the odd pipa fan. If someone actually listened to it they would know that it would have been better off in a category of its own or the more tightly defined Guitar Music section. Sorry for the possibly esoteric analogy, but I am a music fan and other music fans will understand this. I'm sure you all get the point.

But since D/s is lumped into BDSM the submissive is potentially subjected to torture, humiliation and pain, or worse yet, starts to be persuaded that perhaps this is what they really want and need. This danger is probably most true for men and those who have feelings of guilt and shame about having submissive desires and fantasies in the first place. This is not the path to happy, healthy or satisfied.

Do we really lack the imagination to break out from this often bitter BDSM stew to start something more direct, that more closely resembles what many D/s women and men seek who don't see themselves as part of the BDSM community? I mean no disrespect to those who genuinely want the kinds of relationships the profiles I've described offer. Indeed, I'm all for whatever consenting adults want to do and I'll hold the collerme.com door open for you to enter as I'm coming out. But for those of us looking for something a little more compassionate, healthy (in my opinion) and conscious, something less easily defined, we are kind of left on our own to swim the murky waters, thick with leather clad BDSM sharks searching for their minnows.

We need our own world and definitions. Words like dommes, femdommes, male subs, dominant and submissive, have way too much baggage associated with them. We need new terms, a whole new language for another kind of relationship and dynamic.

7 comments:

Verity said...

Apparently, what you have said, needs to be said. Since I haven't read many Domme's profile's, it's much worse than I thought. Yes, D/s needs to be removed from the BDSM stew. You are literate enough to do just that. Just think about how many sane submissives would thank you.

Verity

SplasherGirl said...

I use the phrase "sex slave," but that's about it. Not even a reciprocal for "sex slave." I've never felt the lack, but I'm not looking for partners on the Internet.

NTM said...

Verity,

I appreciate the support and vote of confidence. I am just feeling my way in this world to understand it as it is, and to create what I want with a woman who wants that as well. I need to ponder what I can contribute, beyond this blog, that will help others like me, and I am guessing you, break free from the shackles and limitations of what exists today with D/s being lumped in with the greater BDSM scene. I invite ideas and suggestions.

Splashergirl,

As I am learning from the book you suggested, "sex slave" or to use that author's term, "love slave" seems reasonable. Although certain terms suffer from overuse, misuse and assumption, terminology is only useful to commuicate that which leads us where we want to go.

I am curious where one goes to find partners outside of the internet. Using it to find local resources has uncovered organizations that from what I can tell from their web sites are at best opportunities to possibly meet the kinds of women like those whose profiles are on sites like collarme, which make me want to run the other way.

That said, I haven't been to anything in public. I am not very "out" at this point and frankly the things I see make it harder, not easier, to imagine myself getting out among local people. Like those online, most see themselves as pro and lifestyle dommes related to the local BDSM scene. Just what I was hoping to avoid.

They seem more interested in either being paid for their services or superficial and social aspects of it that lack the depth of a real relationship. I have read of their events in which submissive men are allowed to come, wander around naked or next to naked among groups of domme women - serving, making their availablity known or being there as collared pets with their dommes. Not my thing. I can only presume some of these "couples" are in serious relationships and happy, but even so, I don't see myself getting into that kind of environment, especially without already having a woman. And if I already have her, and she me, why would I bother? I have a hard time seeing myself enjoying an evening out with my woman with me naked and collared, sitting at her feet staring at another such couple and happily chatting with the guy like two dogs on the floor, while our dommes, chatted about whatever, occasionally offering up a boot for one of us to lick.

No, I am seeking a real relationship. I'm sure some of those attendees are as well, but from the looks of their photos it looks a lot more like it is about the kind of harsh women I described in my entry doing stereotypical things like whipping, collaring and chaining, masking guys who want this sort of thing and are obviously happy having it posted on the internet for the world to see. Not at all what I am looking for.

Any suggestions for how and where to meet potential partners in the real world would be greatly appreciated.

SplasherGirl said...

I don't have any advice about meeting partners. I've never looked for a potential partner who identified as submissive. My husband and I have been together since we were fourteen. All my other partners were guys who didn't know they had submissive tendencies when we met. There are more wordy ways of putting it that cast me in a better light, but I've been pretty much a predator.

Sorry I can't be of more help, but the best I can do is guess that looking for lifestyle dommes, no matter where, isn't going to get you what you want. You're probably best off finding a nilla you like and giving her a copy of that book.

saratoga said...

Funny, but I never made the connection before between the vanilla 'I like to dine out' types, and the FemDom 'meet-greet-beat- types.

I have always shied away from the former, when I used to still date vanilla.

The former, too, I have generally avoided.

-saratoga

NTM said...

Saratoga,

If you look at profiles of lots of dommes, say at a site like collarme and you look at profiles on virtually any vanilla dating site, you see lots of profiles that both say the same things, within the context of the site of course. In other words where there is a stereotypical profile in the vanilla world, there is also one in the BDSM world.

Whenever profiles say the same things there is little that distinguishes them. I tend to avoid them in all cases since there is nothing to go on that shows anything of character.

I'm sure there are male versions of it too in both the vanilla and BDSM world. If 100 guys in the same town are all saying something to the effect of, "I want to meet a domme who will use me as she sees fit, humiliate me, use a strap on, etc. etc..." why would a woman pick one over the other?

I guess the broader point is that at least for me, the ones who have something to say that tells me something of who they are versus what they expect, are going to be far more intriguing. Assuming of course the "who they are," is interesting.

Kyrna said...

Well, in appearance I'm pretty close to what you describe of the "Dommes" you are coming across on Collarme, but that's where all resemblance ends.

You might be interested to know that lifestyle D/s began pretty close to what you're describing. That's how it was when I first learned about it and that's what I think of when I think of REAL lifestyle D/s. It's not that we should use different labels, it's that those who have twisted the original intent into what you see now that should be made to use different terms. Of course, I can't force them to stop using the terms intended for genuine D/s so I suppose at some point I'll admit that it's time to start using some other terms.

I do wish you the best in your search and would be happy to talk about genuine D/s anytime you'd like if you're so inclined. My appearance isn't what you're looking for but it's never a bad thing to have truly like-minded friends.