BDSM as a Lifestyle

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BDSM as a Lifestyle

Post by Emerald on Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:37 am

Ok guys, I noticed that not too many people here know a lot about BDSM as a lifestyle a belief system.
It's nothing like what society shows it as. It's not about the whips and chains and leather fetishes that so many people think it is.
I don't know all of it, since I am still learning myself, but I wanted to shed some light on the topic.

Part of the BDSM belief system is asking 'why', and making choices for yourself. We grow up learning things in the environment we live in. Society tells us stealing and killing is wrong. Society tells us that certain words are inappropriate to say in places like school and work. The BDSM belief is taking a step out of that bubble of society and asking 'why'. Why is it inappropriate to say things like 'fuck', 'shit', and 'ass' in the work place? Why are these words even labeled badly? Why.

The belief system also includes aspects of respect, honor, and accountability. By accepting and learning the belief system, you are looking at the world in a different way. You are looking at everything objectively, and you have to respect that others have not done the same. You can look at the world in any way you want, but part of BDSM is to understand and respect that other people see it differently then you do. By making your own choices, you must take accountability for your actions. No matter what it is that you've done, you are accountable for everything you do, be it good or bad.

BDSM is also about taking a step back and understanding yourself. Look at everything you do, how you feel, and ask yourself why you feel that way. Why you do what you do.

The Master/slave aspect of it is not all power-loving dominance and kiss-ass submission, as a lot of society portrays it as.
Your Master/Mistress is a guide. The one that you trust to lead you in the right direction, teach you, and help you fulfill your life. Your slave is the one that you take 'under your wing', to teach, to lead, and to share your life and beliefs with. The relationship between a Dom and their submissive must be based on trust, honor, accountability, and respect. Without these, you don't gain all that you can from the relationship.
Being submissive to someone is not wrong. You are not showing weakness, you are not 'whoring' yourself to someone. You are trusting your life with someone else, and letting them teach and guide you.

(more is to come as I learn more about the lifestyle myself)
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Re: BDSM as a Lifestyle

Post by Emerald on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:22 am

So I found a good group of posts on another site that dissects and breaks down a more philosophic view on BDSM. I'll be posting the information here. Take it as you will.

*Note* This is only one man's findings based on his research and observations. Don't follow it to a T if you don't agree with it.
BDSM is a lot of self discovery and asking questions. I am only posting this article/study because a lot of it gives a good view of the BDSM philosophy, but like everything it cannot be exact. Use the information to gain a better understanding and learn a little, but by no means am I asking you to define BDSM according to these words.
You decide what the lifestyle is to you and where you are a part of it, if at all.


Last edited by KittenGrey on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: BDSM as a Lifestyle

Post by Emerald on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:24 am

BDSM Slave: Fact or Fiction? - Part 1, Introduction (page 1)

by SinfulSailor 2 months ago

Long before the internet became widely available (telling my age here) a woman told me she wanted to be my slave. Obviously, that proclamation didn't just pop up out of thin air. We were doing things, and living in a way that had laid the foundation for her to feel comfortable stating her desire.

This woman's expression of her desire for slavery to me was made in the context of many discussions about how we were interacting together, and in the context of our evolving into that relationship format as a natural result of the dynamics we experienced with each other and the way we found fulfillment in our interactions with each other. I do not recall precisely what I said to her. I may have pulled her close, stroked her head and said, "You are my slave." But I can say with hindsight that I looked on her request as being euphemistic. That is to say, I did not see her asking to be my literal slave. Just as many do in BDSM, I saw her slavery as an erotic exercise that was important only to us and only within our sexual and personal relationship. I did not see it as a literal truth. Sometimes, perception is everything. Other times, perception is deceiving.

As time went on, as we experienced life in our relationship, her slavery seemed more and more real and literal to me. But frankly, on a mental and philosophical level I restrained myself from adopting or fully acknowledging the reality of her slavery. As we all are, I am a product of my socialization, and my socialization rebelled against the concept of literal slavery.

So, I faced a contradiction. Being the rational, inquisitive sort I am, I determined to look into the topic. Were we play acting? Or were we for real?
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BDSM Slave: Fact or Fiction? - Part 1, Introduction (page 2)

by SinfulSailor about 1 month ago

I am a product of my socialization. Of course, we all are.

Determining to look into this question, the first thing I consciously brought to the forefront of my mind was the fact that I was not without prejudice. Indeed, whatever the topic, whatever the research, the researcher, the thinker will have thought about it before beginning research. It is those thoughts that are the inspiration for the research at all! I think that a good researcher will bring that fact to the forefront of the mind and keep that concept in mind throughout the research. I think that by that conscious process of reminding ourselves to put our prejudices aside as we research our interests - I think that is the closest we humans can come to achieving an unbiased exploration of a question. So, I resolved to do just that to the very best of my ability!

Importantly, I recognized the fact that this issue did not come from within me. In point of fact, I did not say to my girl, "You are my slave," and then set out to prove that true. She proclaimed herself to be my slave. Nor, by contrast, did I say to her, "No, you can not be my slave in reality because that is not possible." What I did was consider her request to be my slave, her proclamation that she is my slave. I took it under advisement, so to speak.

I do not mean to imply that I had reservations about her or about our relationship. I did not. It was simply the case that I had not settled in my own mind the question that I am addressing in these pages. "Slave: Fact or Fiction?"

So, I resolved to free my research and analysis from any prejudice to the fullest extent possible.
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BDSM Slave: Fact or Fiction? - Part 1, Introduction (page 3)

by SinfulSailor about 1 month ago

As part of the enactment of my resolve to approach my study of the question, "Slave: Fact or Fiction?" in an unbiased and factual way, I had to keep in mind the fact that I was coming at the question carrying more than a little baggage. My study beginning in the pre-internet era, there were fewer people available to me with whom to discuss this topic, from whom to get feedback. Frankly, to the extent that I expected to encounter skepticism and resistance to the idea that slavery could exist as fact in a personal relationship in middle USA in the late 1900's, I was pleasantly surprised to be disappointed. Indeed, I found that I seemed to always hold more innate prejudice and resistance to the concept than did my peers!

In the early days of the internet, as access to the internet grew among the general populace and we kinksters began to find each other online to discuss, exchange ideas, theorize and share descriptions of our experiences, I encountered the same nonjudgmental, accepting mindset and receptivity to which I had grown accustomed. However, as access to the internet grew and spread to ever larger numbers of people, and simultaneously, as BDSM became more and more egalitarian, flexing, stretching and expanding itself in an endless effort to accommodate the masses, I began to encounter prejudice and even intense resentment to the idea that slavery could exist in an interpersonal relationship.

In retrospect, it seems that in its effort to embrace everyone and be all things to all people, BDSM welcomed into its ranks more and more narrow minded philosophies and philosophers. As BDSM flexed and stretched itself to accommodate all the population who might have even the least interest in kink, then necessarily we/BDSM embraced people who were themselves less flexible in what they would embrace or condone. The flexible BDSM group became populated with inflexible individuals!

It was at that point in time that I encountered prejudice that went far beyond my own initial reasonable skepticism. That prejudice continues to this day, as I write.

........End Introduction.......
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Re: BDSM as a Lifestyle

Post by Emerald on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:26 am

BDSM Slave: Fact or Fiction? - Part 2, I am.

by SinfulSailor about 1 month ago

Cogito ergo sum, in English, "I think, therefore I am", is a phrase employed by René Descartes as the foundation for all self knowledge.

In this study of the question, "BDSM Slave: Fact or Fiction?" I lay a similarly rudimentary and obviously true foundation from which to launch the examination of our topic. To wit:

I do. I am what I do.

Likewise, if we want to consider the relationship of master and slave as a unit, we can begin with the truism:

We do. We are what we do.

I am a master in the sense of the word (From Appendix A) as:
*One that has control over another
*The owner of a slave

(This usage of the word, "master", does not express or imply any title, knowledge, status, ability or proficiency. It is a descriptor, describing what I do, as noted immediately above.)

I own and control.

My woman is a slave. More specifically, she is my slave. (As from Appendix A) She is:
*a person under the domination of another person
*bound in servitude as the property of a person
*One who works extremely hard

She slaves.

I am what I do!

She is what she does!

We are what we do!

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Note 1:

One who paints is a painter;
One who sews is a seamstress;
One who doctors is a doctor;
One who teaches is a teacher;
One who sells is a seller;
One who keeps books is a bookkeeper;
And so on.

We are what we do.
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Re: BDSM as a Lifestyle

Post by Emerald on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:29 am

BDSM Slave: Fact or Fiction? - Part 3, Denial (page 1) Prejudice or Impartiality?

by SinfulSailor about 1 month ago

If we study ancient Roman slavery (or any historical slavery for that matter - but taking ancient Roman slavery as an example) and if in that study we consider Roman slavery solely and without qualification from our present, modern perspective, it is unlikely that we will understand either Roman slaves or Roman slave owners very well.(1) Similarly, if we consider, hypothesize about and analyze BDSM slavery exclusively from our modern perspective about legal, institutionalized slavery, and/or from our modern perspective of underground, forced slavery as it exists in the world today, then it will be virtually impossible to understand BDSM slaves or owners.

Will we open our minds and free ourselves of our prejudices in order to study and understand the phenomenon of BDSM slavery? Or, will we close our minds, steep ourselves in the so-called, but often fallacious, "truth" our society has foisted upon us? The choice is ours to make.

Indeed, the effort of freeing oneself from the prejudices and preconceptions that are part and parcel of our experience, education, learning and growing as a person in society and in life is a basic, common first-step practice for any researcher and analyst worth his salt. As I noted earlier, when I first determined to look into my topic (prior to the internet age) one of the first things I did was to recognize that I held preconceptions. Through that recognition and acknowledgment, and through conscious effort, I determined to negate, or at least minimize, the effect those preconceptions might have on my research and logic.

Will my readers do the same?

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

(1) Imber, Margaret, Professor, Department of Classical and Romance Languages and Literatures, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, USA, http://abacus.bates.edu/~mimber/Rciv/slavery.htm (2011): "We live in a world that condemns the practice of slavery. If we impose, a priori, the moral reasoning of our age upon the Roman period, we will in all probability fail to understand the complexity of the experience of both slave and owner."
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BDSM Slave: Fact or Fiction? - Part 3, Denial (page 2) Socialization

by SinfulSailor about 1 month ago

It has often been said that history is written by the victors.(1) I can think of no case in which that is more true than with respect to the topic of slavery. And when it comes to writing the history of slavery, to be absorbed by society, to become interwoven into our society's very fiber of being so as to become an inseparable part of our social psyche, there is no person and no document that has had a greater effect on us and on our society than Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Lest there be doubt, I offer for the reader's consideration:

* Upon Harriet Beecher Stowe being introduced to Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln reportedly credited her, through the publication of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" of course, with starting the Civil War!(2)

* "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was the best selling novel of the 19th Century and the second best selling book of that century (following the Bible).(3)

* "Uncle Tom's Cabin" struck a nerve and found a permanent place in American culture. Translated into more than sixty languages, it is known throughout the world.(4)

"Uncle Tom's Cabin" is, first and foremost, a lesson in the morality of slavery as it would come to be universally accepted in the world of the 20th century and beyond. It is a litany of the evils of slavery as it existed in the USA prior to the Civil War. (And in other parts of the world.)

I have never met a BDSM kinkster who practiced, advocated or supported this pre-Civil War type of slavery.

I have, however, met more than a few BDSM kinksters who acted like other kinksters who identify as slave or owner were advocating pre-Civil War slavery. It is a disconnect from reality.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

(1) Often attributed to Winston Churchill, I can find no definitive reference documenting that quotation. Even if Churchill did say that history is written by the victors, or something close to it, a question would still remain as to whether he was the first person to express what has now become widely accepted as a truism.

(2) Stowe, Charles Edward, "Harriet Beecher Stowe The Story Of Her Life", Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, The Riverside Press Cambridge, 1911, page 203. Available online via Google Books (http://books.google.com/books?id=j0MLAAAAIAAJ&p…

"Mr. Lincoln rose awkwardly from his chair saying, 'Why, Mrs. Stowe, right glad to see you !'(sic) Then with a humorous twinkle in his eye, he said, 'So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war !(sic) Sit down, please,'"

(3) As claimed by the publisher ("republisher") in the "Publisher's Preface". Republished 2008 by Forgotten Books, www.forgottenbooks.org. This edition is also available via Google Books. (http://books.google.com/books?id=Vb_m_9wk7KcC&p…

(4)Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (http://www.harrietbeecherstowecenter.org/utc/impact…
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BDSM Slave: Fact or Fiction? - Part 3, Denial (page 3) Prejudice

by SinfulSailor 26 days ago

Certainly by all current civilized standards, institutionalized slavery is immoral. Likewise, I think I will find no disagreement when I say that slavery absent consent is immoral. However, when we come to the topic of BDSM slavery by consent, the view quickly becomes hazy, less clear, less cut-and-dry, at least for some of us.

By contrast, there is a significant portion of the kinky population for whom the existence of consent makes not one whit of difference. In short, these people have pre-judged the issue and for them, that's that. The result of their pre-judgment, or prejudice, is that for you (if you are a person who identifies as a slave or identifies as owning a slave) to fit neatly in their world view, the prejudiced people must label your slavery as either immoral or not real. Their world view does not have a place for moral slavery, even by consent. And since there are a significant number of people within the kinky population who identify as slave or owner, labeling that large number of people as immoral, and maintaining a working relationship with the kinky population becomes problematic. Therefore, by default, the vast majority of BDSM people who are prejudiced against slavery label all BDSM slavery as role play fiction of the mind. Whether that is a valid conclusion is the subject I explored and is the topic on which I now report my findings.

In our conventional, vanilla, mainstream society most (if not all) kinky, BDSM fetishes, activities and proclivities are the objects of similar prejudices. Many are even labeled pathologies. All of us who practice these kinks and fetishes share one common trait. We are all labeled deviant, to varying degrees, by our vanilla societal peers. Having that in common, we seek each other out both in person and via technological communication. With our shared bond being that we have experienced and have been the target of prejudice, one might reasonably expect freedom from prejudice among the victims of prejudice. Not so! Unfortunately, many people are not quite that rational.
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BDSM Slave: Fact or Fiction? - Part 3, Denial (page 4) Misconceptions

by SinfulSailor 24 days ago

Just as our socialization leads some of us to prejudice, so too it leads many people to misconceptions. Because the victors, the Abolitionists, wrote the vast majority of the history from which our socialization draws its information concerning slavery, the impressions we are left with, post socialization, are by definition unbalanced.

These erroneous characterizations of slaves and owners may be entirely honest in belief and devoid of intentional prejudice. These flawed characterizations may be put forth without malice, and indeed without emotion. But when we start from a flawed premise it is nigh impossible to end up with accurate conclusions. If, for example, one begins with a belief that a slave is an automaton, and one sees that there are no automatons to be found, then it is easy - no, it is inescapable - to conclude that there are no slaves.

Similarly, our concepts of fetish and, indeed, our fetish theorists and philosophers have led us astray when it comes to understanding what a slave is and whether a BDSM slave can indeed exist in fact.

Earlier, taking my cue from Descartes, I opened by proposing the truism, I do. I am what I do. A person becomes a slave by becoming a slave. A person becomes a slave owner by becoming a slave owner. Though some would like to deny the possibility of this truth, at least when it comes to slavery (and I will address their objections in the pages that follow) I think both Descartes' original truism, and my subsequent truism will withstand challenge.

By contrast, should I try to take the truism I do. I am what I do. too far would lead me to error. Consider:

A person who works on cars is a mechanic. However, not all mechanics work on cars with diesel engines. Similarly, not all mechanics work on transmissions. Likewise, not all doctors perform heart transplants.

If were to make the mistake of believing or claiming that all mechanics are and must be diesel mechanics in order for me to accurately recognize them as a mechanic, or that all doctors must be heart surgeons in order for me to accurately recognize them as doctors, then I would have pushed the concept of I am what I do to an untenable degree. And that, would result in fallacious conclusions.

The concept I am illustrating is that while I do. I am what I do is a truth upon which we can build from a macro (broad) conceptual view, it is not a concept that we should attempt to take to a microscopic examination to determine what is, or is not, a slave or owner. This is an error made all too often.

In an attempt to define or describe a BDSM slave, I often hear or read such errors as:

A slave is an automaton.
A slave has no will.
A slave is always obedient.
A slave has no thoughts of his or her own.

I will dissect this type of misconception in later pages. For now, let it suffice to point out that a quick reflection by a logical person on these and similar claims will expose these claims as the uninformed, socialization-based misconceptions that they are.

Similarly, I often hear or read conversationalists, speakers and authors attempt to differentiate between submissives and slaves, or describe the difference between submissives and slaves by attempting to identify and describe differences in the things submissives and slaves do, are able to do or are allowed to do. For example:

Submissives have limits. Slaves have no limits.
Submissives have safewords. Slaves have no safewords.
Submissives have choice. Slaves have no choice.
Submissives have free will. Slaves have no free will.

This is an exercise in both futility and misconception. As before, while I will delve more deeply into these issues in pages to follow, a brief reasonable review will lead most of us to quickly dismiss these claims. There is no documentation or rationale that supports these contentions. They are simply a product of our misconceived socialization.
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