Sunday, August 30, 2009

Role-Playing versus Reality in the D/s - Part 2

read Part 1 first

Fantasy Island

You see fantasy doesn’t provide for a whole lot of what I’ve just described. Other than the self-confessions of submissives seeking punishment. Or arbitrary rulings by dominants seeking justification for anger.

Fantasy d/s and m/s means you have finite windows of time when you ‘take on’ your persona; because the REALITY is that you have a wife or husband who probably doesn’t know what the hell you’re playing at online.

It often seems to me that BDSM and the dynamics integral to the lifestyle provide an “excuse” and “justification” to many individuals to basically fuck around. Because almost inevitably, the sexual dynamic of the equation is the motivation for it. Somehow, by taking it out of the realm of pure sexual exploration and bringing into the world of D/s or M/s it can then be seen as a “respectable need to fulfill THAT part of yourself” - you know, the part your REAL partner ‘refuses” to explore with you – and thereby absolves the participant from qualms of conscience, somehow makes it NOT cheating.

I even understand the lure

Damn, game-playing is addictive. I was a megalomaniac with Risk and toppled empires and betrayed allies and took over friendly nations – and role playing in the BDSM world can be equally addictive.

But to me, it is ridiculously simple to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Show me a blog where the submissive is ALWAYS compliant, acquiescent, and servile to her Master. Show me a blog where the Master is all-seeing, wise and always correct. Most of all, show me a blog where the sexual exploits form the crux of the writings, where the prurient details are the primary subject-matter and I would bet money we’re talking online ...

And bringing online off, very, very seldom works.

I know that because I am actually conversant with a number of online into reality relationships, and almost without exception, within a fairly brief period of time, they dissolved in a miasma of disappointment, disillusionment and anger. Because REALITY means maintaining an online persona 24 hours a day, 7 days a week just isn’t possible. REALITY means that claims made are quickly seen to be either true or not. REALITY means that you get to see the aspects of self that had to that point been downplayed or overlooked and now have to be dealt with.

And yes, I do know that some DO work. Because in TODAY’S milieu, meeting online is a valid and sometimes excellent way of meeting people.

And thus it is possible (in theory anyway) to bring an Ms/s or D/s dynamic into reality if both participants are willing to make the changes necessary to suddenly allow for the influx of real life. The demands of children. The financial constraints or worries. Who cleans the toilet, does the dishes, picks up the laundry. Because online of course, those mundane realities are always the submissive’s job, part of her ‘servitude” but offline, the REALITY is she is probably working fulltime, has responsibilities to family and kids, and has a myriad of other demands on her real-time time that preclude the living out of what had been possible in a few hours a night. Conversely, the Master will have commensurate responsibilities to family and job, and demands as well that make him less than willing perhaps to take on total and intimate responsibility for someone else’s actions on a moment to moment basis.

That to me, is the line between fantasy and role-playing dynamics and real ones.

It’s bringing it into the realm where you can’t hide behind a created persona, where you learn to live with day to day pressures and realities and in the living, find ways to interact and maintain the dynamic which you both crave. It is knowing and wanting more than just the sexual servitude or the rush that sexual domination and submission provide, because you have internalized that the true motivation and satisfaction of an M/s or D/s dynamic is so much more than just physical.

In role-playing, you turn off the computer at the end of the night and walk back into your real life.

In real life dynamics, you take your problems and issues and joys and successes and failures with you both to bed.


M:e said...

Oh if only the world was black and white...sighs. There are many of us, for a whole variety of reasons, who live suspended between the worlds of 24/7 and online. I know there are those, like me, who choose not to write about the more difficult moments which, I agree, every real relationship goes through, not because they don't exist but simply because we choose to keep them private. To me, that is no different from making the choice to hold hands or be lovingly demonstrative in public, but to save any disagreements to be discussed in public behind closed doors.

I've always admired your writing, and valued you as someone who can see beyond what's visible to what lies beneath. I'd be deeply disappointed if I thought you'd label everyone who makes a conscious choice not to write about their difficulties as deluded or living in fantasy.

love and hugs xxx

selkie said...

dearest M:e - I think you know indeed that I differentiate GREATLY between 24/7 AND "real" - the two are not mutually exclusive!

There are what I perceive as "real" relationships of every stripe and do not have to mimic traditional Christian-based demands.

Perhaps I wasn't clear ...sighs- the problem with musings (especially ones you don't let percolate and sit) is you miss stuff.

But I admit I am a little perplexed by your comment in your last paragraph; I don't think here or anywhere else I've labelled anyone who didn't write about their difficulties as 'fantasy' ... I think it evident to even the less discerning, however, that a blog that incorporates ALL sunshine, ALL the time, ALL happiness ALL the time, that talks with no sense of depth or insight as "fantastical" and it is THOSE type to which I refer.

I myself seldom write in detail about my own issues - choosing usually to try for catharisis in an outswelling of emotional prose rather than solid detail.

To clarify; I don't think to have a real relationship you have to be with someone 24/7 - but I DO think there has to be some real interaction. I also think there has to be real support and real investment on the part of both - not a few hurried minutes or even hours here and there without the knowledge, agreement to and acquiesence of ALL real individuals involved.

To me, it is self-evident; if someone is engaging in sexual interplay online, hiding it, not really exploring or caring about the other nuances and the fabric of each other's true lives, then that is role-playing.

If one engages in online DIALOGUE, caring and learns and supports the other individual and also engages in some real-time face to face when possible WITH the full knowledge, acquiesence and agreement to of the other real individuals involved, then there can and often is a "real" relationship.

There is no hidden agenda here; you, M:e are insightful, thoughtful, intelligent and aware - I think you know exactly the type of nonsense to which I refer in this blog! The very kind you yourself I think would condemn as frivolous and silly!

Vesta said...

Internet friendships or relationships, especially in relation to D/s or M/s issues, have a value, I think. I certainly don't know where else I would ever go for some valuable advice and/or discussion about issues related to my submissive nature. So, although there are many dangers and worries about Internet interaction, I see the value to many people, including those who are limited by their current relationships to express their true nature.

Having said that, I do agree with you completely that if all a friendship or mentoring situation or whatever, is, is a few hurried minutes here and there, its value is limited, if not of no value. Like any other friendship or relationship of any kind, it needs to be nurtured. Imagine if a friend said every time you called her on the phone, "I've been so busy. I have been meaning to call you." Once you've heard that 100 times, you're over it. So, the same rules apply online or off line, I think. One needs to be aware of how the other person is receiving the messages. You may be 'online' friends, but you are still human.

cutesypah said...

having attempted to take an online meeting to a R/L D/s situation not once but twice, I fully understand your interpretation. Both times the outcome was messy, and didn't end positively. Both times, I fell in love with potential rather than the reality. Both times I ignored the reality in hopes that the potential would overcome, and win out. but that's my downfall, and not something I can, or want to blame on anyone. I just know that had it remained online, I would have never known the truth behind the fiction playing out across the internet and telephone calls.

I'm a very trusting person. perhaps this is why I've been hurt so much. I don't choose to change my willingness to trust, but I do choose to change my willingness to deny, minimize or rationalize away one's actions compared to their words. I may trust quickly, but I can now proudly say that I can just as easily turn away once I see the "man behind the curtain."

thanks, as always, for making me think about the elusive questions and answers we face in a D/s relationship, whether online or in real life.

cutesypah, who thinks as much of her blog friends as she does her real-time friends

mouse said...


I completely agree with you. I really try to be open-minded but have a difficult wrapping my head around the online only, where there is no telephone or face to face meeting for the very reasons you outlined.


Anonymous said...

Selkie, as long as people can find a reason to justify their behavior they will use whatever they have at their disposal.

On-line only relationships? I think they are as real the person's involved want them to be. However, I think they provide faulty empirical data when it comes to the reality of living with a person 24 x7.

When used as examples or standards for couples attempting real-life connections they set an impossibly high-bar because they are not rooted in reality.

When I a speaking of on-line relationships, I mean people who exist exclusively in the cyber-world, have not taken any steps to grow their relationships past the rigid roles of their 'titled' identity. I am not speaking of couples who are actively trying to develop a long-term connection complete with face-time. I do not know what to call those relationships, they are not on-line only and they are not pretend. They have a supreme mountain of challenges when it comes to merging lives, families, interests for starters.

However, this is why I find myself leaning more and more towards standard dating sites such as E-Harmony or Match. At least they are focused on the full person and all of our interests. On-line only or on-line initiated relationships start on a sexual baseline.

As you noted, all too often, well over 60% of the time in my experience, men on the lifestyle blogs who have contacted me have turned out to be married or involved in a committed relationship. Despite many protestations to the contrary, taken outside of the realities of day to day living this is a sexually driven interaction when limited to on-line interaction.

I believe that relationships are difficult no matter what their genesis. However, on-line relationships that sink into attempts of intimate interaction required by these types of partnerships will meet more challenges for the obvious time and life demands of reality. CD

selkie said...

Vesta, certainly, I think there CAN be some mutually beneficial online interaction if as in the real world, honesty is the rule of thumb. Although, if I’m reading you correctly, we’ll have to agree to disagree on the issue of seeking online something you’re not getting offline – to me that is dupliticious and because I see emotional intimacy as even more important, perhaps, than even physical intimacy, seeking such an important relationship online without the knowledge of yoru primary partner remains to me, simple cheating, no matter how it is dressed up.

But I think your second point is beautifully illustrative and simply put, absolutely correct!

CP – I love the way you put that and I think it insightful and completely right – “potential” and I have written about this before – is one of the most tooted and ill-used words in the English vocabulary – ultimately potential means nothing and the actualities are what are real.

and like you, I have some excellent, much loved internet buddies who are as important to me as many of my real life friends.

Mouse – like you, particularly when it comes to reality, for me, there has to be flesh on flesh – well that and I keep thinking virtual flogging just wouldn’t cut it for me LOL

CD – you make some excellent points. Like you, I DO differeinate between couples who exist exclusively in the cyber world and those who merely used the cyber world as a meeting place and then move forward to bring the relationship to a more empirical level. In today’s world, the internet is as valid a meeting place as any – in my view as long as it is the starting point not the be and end all. To use an example – it would be like meeting in a bar and keeping all future meetings to that environment …

And yes, your comment about more “standard” dating sites is also accurate I think. Our kink or sexual proclivities are only one facet of our personalities and will not (as much as fantasy would suggest it would be great fun) take up our entire waking hours. Taking a more ‘whole person’ approach would allow, I think, for a better chance at meeting someone who meets and appreciates the totality of the person.

Vesta said...

selkie: Oh gosh! This really shocked me; that I could be SO misunderstood! I share EVERYTHING with my husband. He certainly knew about my online mentor - in fact my mentor wrote to him every week with a report. I do agree with you - honesty is everything.

selkie said...

oh Vesta! I wasn't accusing you of cheating LOL! damn internet LOL - see how things can get misinterpreted! what I MEANT to say was not in regard to you- but the point you made - "I see the value to many people, including those who are limited by their current relationships to express their true nature." - I interpreted that to mean those online people who go behind their wife/husband's back to get jollies that oftentimes they don't even TRY to introduce into their real lives. I did not for ONE minute (simply based on what I am getting to know about you) - think that included you!