bdsm and what it's teaching me about power21 Jul 2017
sooooooo, here’s a thing i have yet to write about. it feels a little risky because it’s pretty taboo in some of the spaces i grew up in or still find myself in. that said, i think the reason to talk about it is because it’s the people in those spaces that make the our society all the worse because we can’t talk about the ideas and tools that would help us understand a lot more about what people want and need and how to make it all happen well. and that, i’m beginning to believe, is causing a massive psychic disconnect for many people in our ridiculous little american society.
so, for starters, the topic is bdsm.
some helpful things i’ve learned in this space are:
sometimes when people get together, the terminology used is “playing” in a “scene.” it’s really helpful to think about sex as play and not as this closed off, inaccessible thing from which there is no learning to do and only procreation is to be had there. and the idea of scene is useful because it’s temporary.
bondage domination submission and masochism is the most helpful set of words i’ve heard in that space. that said, the four letters actually contain totally separate concepts (or at least over time have some to hold more than just the four you’d imagine a four-letter acronym to represent)
the most helpful thing i’ve read about and experienced/experimented with is the explicitness of the conversation about power dynamics. when looking for a partner, you often look for a partner that has the opposite orientation. when that’s clear, you can see and say things that, based on your role, just make sense. expectations are clear (surprising sometimes, but clear).
the expectations of each role in a scene are explicit and clear and actually do tend to make sure that all parties are getting what they need and want. contrary to popular belief, many things are happening in a bdsm scene. a submissive partner (sub) is giving power temporarily to the dominant partner (dom). this is actually a huge trust and requires very clear rules and ways to raise flags. and, as the dom, holding power temporarily for/over another person is huge. it can go wrong, but when it goes right, it’s great for both parties. and the job really is to both get what you want as a dom while also watching the sub very carefully. the visible dynamic can appear like the sub is just getting the worse end of the deal, but that’s actually not what’s happening at all. this was super surprising to me, but i’m really beginning to understand more about power dynamics because of experimenting in this space.
the idea that after a “scene,” especially an intense scene, “aftercare” for the submissive partner can be necessary. this idea of caretaking from the dom is like… huge.
- it’s possible to be a “switch.” a switch is a person who can play either role. this seems like an incredibly valuable societal thing that we don’t acknowledge.
- sadism and masochism are still too far out for me. but given how my stance on the bd & bs worlds have changed, i can imagine that having an open mind about those parts that still feel far out might be a useful stance.
ok. enough for now. more later.
words / writing / post-processing
501w / 14min / 3min