This is essential reading for the would-be Ana’s out there who are curious about BDSM (and for anyone looking to be more informed about BDSM in general). As you’ll see from the sign off at the end, it’s from someone at the total-power-exchange end of the BDSM lifestyle. Content note: Contains a couple of a brief references to things sadists might do.
Reproduced with Namaste’s permission, you can find the original here.
Okay – So I’m writing this because- well frankly because over the years I’ve heard all the community party lines and dogma and it seems to leave a lot out.
As a slave (who used to identify as a submissive) I was new at one time (yes really!!) and when I came into the lifestyle I was all wide doe eyes, excitement and healthy dose of New York caution.
I was told things by people who had been around for a long time. Things that sounded okay I guess but when I activated my spidey sense (AKA critical thinking) I quickly realized that in an effort to make the lifestyle seem a “safe place to explore” – people were saying things that could make me check my natural adult common sense at the door.
Here’s a “things you need to know” guide. A real one. I warn you – it may disillusion you or make this seem a bit more scary. If it does – good – I’ve done my job.
Safewords are not “safe words”
By this I mean that they will not keep you safe. That’s your job. They are not words of power, talismans or magical freeze points. They only work as a communication device if the person you’re playing with is trustworthy and respects boundaries. If not they have no power.
There is no “safe place to explore”
Meaning that – everything has risks. Everything. Every place has risks. If you came into this seeking a place where you can be like a kid in a candy store without potential dangers – this is DEFINITELY not it. It is your responsibility to keep your wits about you.
No group or event is completely safe
No group leader can 100% guarantee the safety of their group. Everyone does the best they can to keep a look out for predators and to prevent incidents from happening on their premises or at their parties. However, if you choose to play with someone you assume the risk. If you choose to go somewhere private to play with someone you met at the party- you likewise are choosing to be alone with a stranger.
Everyone has their OWN reason for being here and their own definition of terms
When someone says “Dom’s do this…” or “All good subs do this…” – that is just their perspective. There are MANY perspectives. Many definitions of terms. Everyone that says they’re a Dominant isn’t the Dominant for YOU. We aren’t all here because we like the same things. You may want to “play” and mean a light flogging. The sadist next to you might mean extreme bondage and fear play. Ask questions. Get clarity. DO NOT Assume.
There are no shake-N-bake, just add water – perfect M/s or D/s relationships
Knowing you are submissive and you desire a Dominant provides verbiage on desires that in the mainstream world would be challenging to articulate. It does not create an instant relationship. You still have to build that the old fashioned way. Talking. Not playing. Not sexing. Talking. Talking. Talking and did I mention Talking? If it helps – know that Master and I talked for 6 months before we had sex. 8 months before a collar of consideration and 2 years after that for a permanent collar. Somethings take time. 50 shades of gray is not reality.
PLEASE treat strangers as strangers
If you wouldn’t instantly go home with someone you met at a bar – do not go home with someone you met at a party. It’s unwise.
This is a culture or a confederation- not a community
We aren’t all under one leader. We have no ability to police ourselves outside of the City or State Police and Prosecution. If you look at this through the lens of culture your expectations shift a bit. No culture is without it’s jerks and ne’er-do-wells. No culture is without it’s criminals and people of questionable intent. Every culture has people you can trust and not. When you visit a new culture you learn about it, you hopefully are cautious. Don’t assume this is a kinky pre-school where the “adults” (or Leaders) will take care of you and make everything safe for you.
Beware of Dirty Old (or Young) Men (or Women)
I see this a lot. Some of the people who run about yelling “predator! predator!” are merely trying to run interference against potential competitors-AKA cock-blocking. If you’re new – you’re attractive. Especially if you’re female and young. Isn’t this true in the mainstream (AKA Vanilla) arena as well?? One of the easiest ways to win your “trust” is to be your knight in shining armor. Be aware of this tactic. People do it because – well frankly – it works. EVERYONE isn’t using this tactic. Some people are really trying to be helpful. Everyone isn’t. You get to figure out who is who. Just like in real life.
This IS real life
Because I have adult children who LOVE RPG I have begun to understand their downside. It is easy to treat this like a RPG – when you play – you don’t REALLY die when you get hit. You don’t REALLY experience the effects of the spell, gun etc; it’s all – play-play. THIS is not THAT. All of your self preservation skills, your wisdom, your maturity, your gut instinct is still needful here. DO NOT check it at the door. You can still have fun and keep your mind turned on.
You are empowered – REALLY!!
Being empowered means you have the authority, power and ability to do something. In this context that something is making your own decisions. This includes saying No, saying Yes, Making choices for yourself (both wise and foolish), and brushing yourself off when you end up with less than desirable outcomes including broken hearts. The ability to do this will serve you well in life.
If you are abused – the Lifestyle can’t help you
We aren’t therapists, police officers, judges, attorneys (unless we are). If you’re out dancing and you leave with someone and that person harms you – you don’t go back to the club to tell. You call the police. Do the same thing here. If someone is stalking you – call the police. If someone rapes you, batters you etc; call the police. If you choose NOT TO – I honor that choice and your autonomy in that regard, however that doesn’t make the Lifestyle responsible for righting this wrong. We have a means of that. It’s called the Law. I will support you if you seek that means and respect your right not to as well.
Vetting and References can help but it’s not foolproof
I know of people who I consider to be – unstable (and that’s being kind) – who would have no problem giving you a good reference from someone else. EVERYONE has their fans and their haters. Recognize this.
Your yes needs to mean something
If you agree to something own that choice. If you don’t like what happens, feel icky later, don’t wish to experience that again, find that person just doesn’t do it for you – cool – no big deal. That doesn’t retroactively change your yes into a no. It means you say “no” next time.
Your No needs to mean something
If you don’t want to play – say no. If you you don’t want to engage , excuse yourself. Don’t give mixed signals. Don’t give a no that means “convince me”.
Drop is a real thing
Drop makes you feel clingy, angry, irritable, hurt, wide-open, scared, confused, turned-on, longing, uncertainty and just a jumble of emotions all at once. Drop can happen the next day – or 3 days later. It depends on you. (usually 24-48 hours typically). What we do causes physiological shifts. Understand this doesn’t mean you were traumatized or violated (unless you didn’t consent to the activity) – it means you’re dropping.
“Ignorantia legis neminem excusat” or “Ignorance of the Law excuses no one”
Applied here it means just because you’re new, or a submissive, slave or bottom does not make you not responsible for your choices. You may make some no-so-good-in-retrospect-decisions. That’s okay! Learn and move on.
Hopefully this will help you navigate these waters a bit. Stay with a buddy. Use your floatation device. Help yourself before you try to help the person next to you. Buckle up and enjoy your flight.
In submission and surrender to Him,