Further to my earlier post, I've done some serious thinking about perception and understanding of motivation with respect to extreme edge play.
The reality is that I precipitated some reactive and somewhat vitriolic backhands when I made a comment on the contents of a couple of (separate) journals/blogs in the past few days. In both cases, I believe there was a knee-jerk reaction by the writers in question as they felt (perhaps correctly) that I was casting aspersions on their Master and love.
But I've thought long and hard and can honestly state that perhaps I DID say some things that they felt were unwarranted, judgemental, even rude, but if I did so, I did so from the perspective that I was giving my HONEST opinion. Of course, as they say, the "road to hell is paved with good intentions". MY reality is that I can't keep a still voice when I see something I think potentially harmful to an individual.
This is MY reality, my viewpoint - on extreme edge play.
The bottom line is that I believe that anyone indulging in the extreme type of abuse (call it edge play but for me, call a spade a spade and don't be afraid of it)- do so because they suffered immense trauma, most likely from early childhood on into their teens and early adulthood. I think it almost inarguable that such trauma occurred for a healthy ego to crave the level of emotional, physical and spiritual pain that is apparent in these individuals.
BUT, - huge BUT - do I see them as victims?
To be PITIED?
Far from it - that would smack of paternalism and I find the thought of feeding into that paternalistic mindset repugnant.
In many ways, I admire these women (I am sure there are men, but for this blog's sake, I will use women only). They have, in essence, grasped that which would destroy them, that which could potentially blight their lives and bravely taken it and turned it on its head. Instead of allowing it to own them, they own IT. Rather than allowing the reality of pain to defeat them, instead they use it to bring them to a space where THEY control it, they use it to get to a space where their emotional and physical well being is paramount and immensely fulfilling.
In short, rather than allowing trauma to rule them, they rule it ....I do believe it is an continuation of abuse in some respects, but regardless, a conscious and INFORMED decision and therefore, in many ways, a logical choice which one should RESPECT.
I believe, to the core of my being, that the way they choose to live, the practices they choose to indulge in, not only fulfill them but are in fact, a real and PRACTICAL way of dealing with the life experiences they have encountered since young.
To take this kind of life-altering negative experience and turn into a positive, life-affirming experience takes intelligence, great courage and determination - and I freely admit that each of these individuals possesses those qualities and are to be commended and applauded for their ability to do so.
MY reality is I would NEVER insult another individual for choosing to live their life in a way which fulfills THEM.
MY reality is that I would NEVER assert that I or anyone else has the right to control how they live their lives - whether or not that kind of lifestyle is one I could choose.
That is why we live in a (relatively) free society.
Regardless, while they have the right to live and speak of their experiences, so too am I entitled to MY opinion. Do I believe that some of these practices will ultimately impact them physically to a point where they suffer permanent damage? Yes, I do. Do I think they are in some ways, knowingly continuing to put themselves in a situation of abuse? Yes. Do I have the right to tell them to stop? No, I do not.
and yes, I'm sure my style of submission would bore a lot of people to tears ... but that is fine by me - I live my life not in compartments, not in small little boxes, some in public, some secreted away - but as the multifaceted mosaic that it is. And no doubt some would call it or parts of this life, "vanilla" as if insulting me. And parts of it are. And parts of it are not. And vanilla is fine with me just like the more kinky parts of me are ok too.
Ultimately, each of us makes our confused, limping way through life in the best way we can - we make mistakes, have small victories, relish our little joys and simply try to get through each day ...