A few weeks ago now I blogged about the somewhat disturbing trend I’d noticed whilst Internet dating. It’s actually quite logical. Police officers tend to be the alpha male type. And the alpha male types tend to be into a little bit of hardcore bondage.
To offset how very uncomfortable and vulnerable it made me feel, offers of coppers tying me up with rope; I reacted with depreciating humor. Not self depreciating humor… just depreciating.Cause that’s what we do.
Now, it’s coming to my attention more and more that the people who read this blog are very, very cool. I’ve always thought that– how could I not, when every comment and email I receive speaks to that being true? But the results of this survey are making me realize what a liberal, open minded, honest bunch of people you lot really are. And that is fucking awesome. (Surveys still open, by the way).
Every now and then, someone will leave me a comment that ruffles my feathers and challenges me slightly. I always fight the urge to dismiss them as ‘trolling’, or call them a dickhead just because they don’t agree with me. If something’s making me feel bitchy, there’s probably an issue there I need to take a look at. And this comment, left on that post about coppers and bondage, was no different…
“Not that you have a judgmental attitude to go along with your complete lack of knowledge of BDSM. Oh no, not at all. Can you feel the sarcasm? I do hope so.
I have no issue with your not being kinky, to each their own, but just because it’s not your thing doesn’t make these people creepy or irresponsible or disturbed. That’s your own internal prejudice, and this post is exceptionally narrow minded. Go and do some research before applying such labels to anyone who doesn’t want to fuck the same way you do.” (Edited to correct spelling).
I freaking hate it when people are right.
And this commenter couldn’t have been more correct. I knew nothing about BDSM. That much was evident in my surprise at the new knowledge that this was actually a ‘culture’… there was more to this than sex.
I despise willful ignorance. And with an Internet connection, in the year 2012, there’s very little excuse for it. This was so terrifying because I knew nothing at all about it… and that’s the kind of attitude in the human race that is, in the long run, responsible for starting wars and spilling blood.
So I did a little bit of research. And, as one usually finds when they delve into the human psyche, what I found was nothing short of fascinating.
Forget sex. This has nothing to do with sex. What I mistook for role playing is a lifestyle for some people– and here is where I am going to apologize for not acknowledging that in the first place.
The Doc likes to say that everything is about sex except sex, which is about power. That’s a basic human truth. People feed on power, and it tends to bring out the worst in us. I guess that’s why the appeal of dominating someone seems to easy to understand. Even if it’s not something that gets you off, there are a million examples of it, and it’s a base truth is pop psychology– power is sexy. Power is heady and narcissistic and so easy to wield.
The talent would have to be in restraining it.
But while it’s easy to understand, in theory at least, the attraction of being the one who is dominant; it’s the role of the submissive that seems terrifying, difficult and almost impossible to understand. And yet, for someone in control of every aspect of every their life, with little direction from others, there is an appeal to it which I’ve written about before. The thrill of letting go. The wanton hedonism that comes with feeling like an object.
I read The Story of O, infamous long before 50 Shades of Grey, and fond myself marveling at the language used, the lack of vulgarity and crude nouns where synonyms can be used instead, exemplified by the slight lilt of the French–to–English translation of a book penned forty years ago. I find blogs, of course, ones that I could spend hours reading for the simple fact that the lives chronicled in them are so different to mine. I stumble across the online journals of women who are married, who have been with their Master for years and live a normal suburban life when they’re not naked and collared in the presence of their husband. I discover women who are single and have chosen submission, who are preparing and training themselves as they search for someone who would be compatible… a yin to their yang. A darkness to their light.
And again, I’m not talking about sex… this has nothing to do with sex. There is an admirable element of self improvement and self denial, of restraint and discipline. The practice of yoga is encouraged, as is the perfection of poses that streamline the body and can be assumed upon request or demand.
Somewhere deep in the shady underground of the interwebs where fluorescent mushrooms bloom in the darkness, I find a submissive prayer, a rosary to be said in meditation. A supplication to one’s master as if they were a God. The deliberate and careful use of language within BDsM fascinates me– I resonate with people who play intermiddley with the English language, who flirt with capital letters and double entrendes.
Don’t get me wrong– I saw plenty of kinky perversions too. And why yes, I did feel all kinds of weird and creepy “doing research on fetish sites”, even if it was legit. (It’s right up there with telling the salesman at Harvey Norman you want a high quality HD webcam and feeling as though you should add “it’s not
for that!”). But the implicit kink that comes with wearing a dog collar somehow feels far more wholesome than the Christian Domestic Discipline fetish movement that involves God–fearing men spanking their middle aged wives into premenopausal submission.
Sarcasm (laced with fear) aside, I’ve discovered a subculture seething with base psychology. And, as we know– I love that kinda thing. Bizarrely and unexpectedly, I’ve found myself with a genuine respect for a lot of women who act as full time submissive slaves, in the same way I found myself startled at the admiration I had for women who are paid to strip. There’s nothing easy or simple about it– it appears to be a matter of dedication and hard work, of being as in control of one’s mind as completely as to let someone else control you, to trust someone complexity as to allow them that kind of power of your body, to believe they know you intuitively enough to make your decisions for you. It was difficult to find a great deal of information about the psychology of the practice and the way the inherent differences between makes and females serve to strengthen submissive relationships… But perhaps I just didn’t know where to look.
Before we all go taking massive leaps to sordid conclusions- I find myself so amazed by the trust required to actively practice as a submissive simply because I could never imagine having that kind of implicit faith in someone. I’d add ‘ever again’ to the end of that sentence, but truly I don’t recall if I had that intense of a souls agreement with my husband, or not. And neither the person I am now nor the one I was in the Before is capable of that level of selflessness or patience. I require too much time to myself, my temper burns far too hot when I feel my freedom is restricted.
Human nature never ceases to strike me as incredible. I’ve discovered a whole slice of humanity I never knew existed, a mindset that’s akin to a religion. I dislike it when I discover a flat spot of understanding in myself. A big raspberry-blowing kind-of thank you to those of you who kick my arse into line when you happen to see it, too.