Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Musings on Dynamic - Part Two

(Note: I have cited in italics some of the comments to which I refer, but others can be found under the original post)

In view of the wonderfully enlightening and insightful comments, I felt this subject deserved another visit. And rather than address each one in the comment form, I think it helpful and more likely to engender more thought here in another blog.

There seems to be a general (if not total) consensus that there are several factors at play here.

First and foremost, the “bullshit” quotient – which Buffalo brings up and which many concur with – including me. I concluded some time ago that it was physically impossible in terms of reality for ANYONE to have the sheer number and variety of “encounters” described in some of those silly writings. Not and actually have a real time life – you know, jobs, housework, kids, family, friends – the sort of mundane things that most of us actually deal with on a day to day basis! The fantasy of endless erotic play, extended and frequent flogging sessions, the never-ending priapism just don’t ring true after repetition day after day after day.

In this context, some of the more extreme descriptions of what is termed BDSM play are also suspect – albeit I am well aware that extreme BDSM play does exist and occur (I’m not arguing that)- but I find it easy to discern the reality versus the fantasy if you read regularly as after an extreme session, the “real” person usually is quite straightforward about the recovery period required and the ongoing effects – our bodies, when all is said and done – ARE flesh and require a certain period time to recover!

Second, the fantasy element is also obvious when one looks at the many insightful comments.
Christina’s experience for instance is I think a common one. Thank god that she and others are savvy enough and have enough self-esteem to refuse congress with someone who demands unprotected sex yet admits to multiple partners!

I think Sara hits a very salient point in that many individuals accept abuse under the guise of BDSM play due to emotional issues. As I said in my first blog- I don’t deny these individuals the right to garner whatever satisfaction they can from what are in essence, abusive relationships in sheep’s clothing – but at the same time I am not going to be one of the crowd watching the naked emperor stroll by and pretend he is clothed. As Sara says, “Bottom line, while I don't think you can peg one particular practice as good or bad, I believe there IS a difference between healthy and not healthy, sane and insane, and BDSM doesn't fundamentally change those lines.”

It is done because it can be so.” insightful Liras points out and she is absolutely correct. A lot of its DOES happen simply because it can.

I call it abuse, they call it love and fulfilled passion.” she goes on to state and again, I can’t argue. Nor do I have the right to step in and try to “correct” what I see as a skewed and unhealthy viewpoint. But while I do not have the right to interfere, I DO have the right to state categorically and honestly what MY perception of the dynamic is! As they are entitled to live that relationship as otherwise rational adults, so too do I have the right to state I think it abusive and harmful.

That is what an ostensibly “free” society allows.

JZ, newbie or not, has good instincts (in my viewpoint anyway). “Submission is, for me, a way of integrating and becoming more completely myself. How does participating in the destruction of my self-respect have anything to do with that?

There are those of course who will argue the opposite – that a submissive must be torn down and “re-created” – that she (for it is ALWAYS a she – another sore point for me – you seldom see male submissives treated in this fashion), but I would argue as Jz does: “So what he'd be getting is no longer something either of us can value. What's the point of that"– and that has always been a point that perplexed me. Why indeed are you trying to completely and utterly alter the essence of the submissive who one could safely assume attracted you for certain innate personality quirks that belong only to her?

And darling M:e focuses on an important part of a dynamic – “D/s has the power to be enhancing to a relationship, but also extremely destructive.” – about which most of my insightful readers have voiced concern – that an M/s or D/s dynamic carries with it not just physical impact and the potential realities of physical harm but almost more potentially dangerous is the emotional blast that can occur when involved in a dynamic which demands giving up not just your body but your will and your heart.

Amber, Sir J. and vanilla imp both question when does a submissive become a victim, and why... and are excellent examples of healthy individuals who are able to recognize the difference bewteen surrender and victimization. I also think Amber night have a good clue in that she points out it is not necessarily the act itself that causes concern, but the “attitude” or manner in which it is vested or received.

And the Imp like a few other commentators bring up something often seen on the web (not sure about real life) wherein the submissive herself somehow sees the ability to take the most extreme form of physical and emotional pain as somehow placing her in a superior position to others. I’m not really sure where this concept arose nor why snagging the badge of the ‘most harmed’ is somehow a positive but it is probably largely responsible for my very short tenure on Fetlife where I found the one-upmanship patently irritating and absurd!

Annie offers an eminently rational explanation – and one with which I wholeheartedly concur. “Self-destructive habits are also an addiction. Emotional pain is something people indulge in as much as any other familiar source of drama and stress.” In a nutshell, I think this probably accounts for many destructive relationships – I know that at one point some time ago I wrote about my own perceptions of those who seek emotional and physical trauma again and again and Annie’s words capture my own thoughts perfectly.

And finally, just to address Florida Dom’s comment: Indeed! that may be so – but I guess your words simply illustrate the point I’m trying to make. Whether a submissive has multiple orgasms or NOT is no indication to my mind that the relationship is in any way healthy or in any SENSE positive to her state of mind.

I absolutely concur that no one size fits all – and reiterate again that I do not consider myself in any way superior or able to pass judgment on other relationships – however, having said that, I still would state categorically and emphatically, many self-labelled D/s or M/s relationships I see out there are not what I personally consider truly indicative of MY perception of the dynamic – and most likely under most circumstances would indeed be labelled clearly and unequivocally ABUSE – orgasms or not.

In the end, each of us must draw our own conclusions.

While I fret (as do many here) about the perceptions and internalization of what to my mind is destructive behaviour in some writings, I also feel that each of us must take responsiblity for making our own choices, drawing our own conclusions and giving to others the same freedom of thought and action to which we are entitled.

At the same time, I will retain my lance and continue to tilt at windmills ....


Loving Annie said...

I loved the way you responded to the comments by creating this post :)
Almost like having an ongoing conversation that way - cool !
Hope that you have a good Tuesday and good week.

littleone said...

ok selkie.. i have a mouthful to spew forth today on the whole BDSM versus Abuse .. and what one finds on the net...

one of your commenters (whom i shall leave nameless as i don't like pointing fingers) actually called Sir an ABUSER.. she had read our blogs about the new toy and our sessions this past weekend... i am still spitting tacks over that...

i found the article i mentioned in my last comment and have it scheduled to go up on my blog on Friday am (as Sir and i will be away at BDSM camp - where He can 'abuse' me 24/7 for 3 whole days - leave me weak and bleeding and step all over me - dontcha know)

i do believe that newbies and the faint at heart should not read blogs that leave them shaking and quaking and running for cover... be they fantasy blogs or real ones .. cause truthfully some folks can't tell the difference !!!

i tend to read the extreme blogs because our relationship is heading more towards the extreme than the cuddly spank me and fuck me lines....

There are days - like yesterday - when i wonder if i should continue to post....... because of the impressions people JUMP to.......

Anyway...i will put away my soap box before this becomes a post rather than a comment..

and just remind folks ..if they are interested.. that an article will be posted to my blog on Friday morning that covers the difference between Abuse and BDSM.

morningstar (owned by Warren)

selkie said...

Annie, I found the comments so fascinating that I thought this a good way of continuing the discssuion.

Morningstar, agreed on one front - that there MUST be some understanding about BDSM before labelling things willy nilly! While it is all about perception, to me it has always been fairly clear (at least I guess according to the lines I draw LOL) what is abuse and waht is not - I woudl NEVER in a million years see your relationship as absue and Im actually surprised someone did (or I shouldn't be really, as perception is in the eye of the beholder).

But DON'T stop writing! I decided a long time ago that people must take my writings the way they wish to - that I cannot and will not write simply for a an "audience" or to spare feelings; that woudl negate the whole idea of blogging to my mind.

I could cite what I think is abuse, but like you, I will refrain, because as I have been trying to get across- ultimatley if there are adults involved- then it comes down to THEIR choices.

I don't know what motivates people (hell, I don't know what motivates me half the time)- but damned if I have the right (no matter how I see it) to dictate someone else's life for them!

vanimp said...

Thank you for the follow up selkie much appreciated :)

Morningstar I think people don't realise that the term consensual nonconsent is a whole other issue that is predominant in healthy structured M/s relationships where others would highly likely see it as abuse because of a lack of understanding and a failure to ask questions and look outside their own preconceived boxes too. It's a very fine line and one that is difficult to approach with many. Don't let that push you to stop writing, I agree with selkie. You write for you, no one else x

Florida Dom said...

Selkie: I'm gad you will continue at windmills and I appreciate the fact that you became a follower on my blog even though we disagreed somewhat.

I am definitely against abuse and think any woman who's being abused should run to the nearest shelter. And I'm aware of the battered wives syndrome.

And I agree you can't live this lifestyle 24/7. That's just fantasy. Real life often intrudes.

But I think there's a tendency to think that what we do is "normal'' and what other people do is "extreme.''

I will await morningstar's definition of the difference between abuse and BDSM.

But for example, when Kaya on underhishand.com posts a video of her husband nailing her tits to a board and she was so flying on endorphins that she barely felt it, are we supposed to not approve of that?

This is an interesting discussion and I'm not sure if there's any right or wrong answer but I always think consenting adults should be free to do what they want.
Remember, many in the vanilla community don't think routine spankings are right.

But, Selkie, will be happy to have you tilt at windmills any time you want. Your insights are very interesting.

selkie said...

Imp - agree about your insight - there are also many D/s or M/s dynamics that don't involve the S/m element and it is sometimes difficult for those not in the headspace to understand the sometimes fine line between consensual and nonconsensual.

and FD, truth - we all have our own parameters when it comes to "normal"; however, I know in my case, I try very hard not to judge those outside my comfort zone based on MY preferences - and usually I think I am fairly successful at that.

The incident you bring up here I've addressed in another blog I wrote some time ago. In a nutshell, I think Kaya is an incredibly insightful, creative and awesome woman - in no way do I perceive her as a victim or in any way or manner being "abused".

mouse said...


I found your blog via Sir J's, and would love to comment but honestly have nothing to add. I was really messed up in my last M/s relationship, well it was my first. I'm still learning the difference between right and wrong, abuse and submission...I know that sounds stupid doesn't it? Shouldn't I know the difference???

I'm lucky I have a Master that cares about teaching me the difference. Not simply his twisted version of slavery that everyone else seemed to get was abusive except me.

Anyway, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Omega's mouse

selkie said...

little mouse, don't be too hard on yourself, sweetheart! Of course you coudln't know! That is exactly what I am raving about - that innocents like you come onto the scene, with those incredibly strong feelings and predators scent you out and try to destroy.

The positive thing is that you have a good Master now- one who will show you the differences so that one day you will completely internalize and think to yourself - how coudl I EVER have mistaken it! and NOT be hard on yourself - becuase we ALL must learn.

I love your name by the way - such a wonderfully sweet, shy little name. Welcome to my space anytime hun.

Jz said...

"Why indeed are you trying to completely and utterly alter the essence of the submissive who one could safely assume attracted you for certain innate personality quirks that belong only to her?"

I smiled seeing that phrase as a summation of my comment because a quirky personality is the one unalterable truth about me. I've never put much stock in my looks but my personality? Now, *that* I like, despite it's many flaws.

So yes, if you're going to date/woo/seduce/spank/bind me, you're going to have to do it to the real me. If that real me isn't what you want, then don't try to fix me, just move on.

Liras said...

Oh Selkie, as you are a non-trad woman, I always expect you to speak your mind and call it as you see it.

Some things are kinda fucked up, others are totally that-fucked up. Nothing wrong with pointing out the Emperor is naked.

Out of respect for women and men who do things that make me flinch and frown, I don't read their words. No need to be a surly houseguest, pointing out the missed spots and running my white-fingered gloves along the baseboards.

Like the way you answered the comments. Very cool.