Having a relationship in
life is difficult at the best of times. Adding in the complexity of BDSM is
enough to throw anyone for a loop. The bottom line is that relationships are
only as easy or difficult as you make them.
Many people stumble into
BDSM by way of needing something to ďperkĒ up the sex life in the bedroom.
Donít get me wrong itís a very good way to explore the BDSM lifestyle. With
some people it stays in their bedroom. With others they search out others they
search out people with the same interests. This leads them to the BDSM
community. The benefit of finding the BDSM community as a whole is the education
and support that comes with it. However with the community, come the
personalities that make it up.
Playing, for the first
time, in the BDSM community can be like diving into the shallow end of the pool,
head first. It can take your breath away. No amount of preparation can fully
prepare you for what you will discover. Just take it one step at a time and
remember this is what you were looking for.
Ok you ask, what does this
have to do with relationships? Well, honestly, quite a bit really. Depending on
the area in which you live, your community can be fairly large or very small. In
my opinion, and I am going to get a little clichť here, it is not the size but
the quality of the community that counts. It will take time, but you need to
build trust with your community. Both, them with you and you with them. Our
communities tend to be a little gun-shy about new people, this has to do with a
mistrust of society as a whole. Especially since most of society does not know
how to deal with us.
The next question to ask
yourself, is what kind of people are involved in the BDSM lifestyle? Well we
come in all shapes and sizes actually. People, who consider this a serious
lifestyle, are people who have always had the desire somewhere within them. They
can even relate that triggering moment. When they knew that they were interested
in the BDSM lifestyle go one of two ways. They are long lasting or they are
transitory. Long lasting relationships are that way generally because the
relationship was formed and stable before the couple began to explore BDSM. The
transitory relationships are ones that are entered into after being involved in
the BDSM community. If you are single coming into BDSM, you are doing it in the
hopes of finding a partner that feels the same way as you. That is not a bad
thing, however it is very idealistic. Many people involved in the BDSM lifestyle
are not very honest with themselves about what the hope to get from the
lifestyle. Admittedly they are there to garner experience but some are there
only to have sex. Regardless of our beliefs that BDSM remain sexless in public,
in private it is the inevitable outcome. Many people come to the BDSM lifestyle
in search of sexual partners. Now this really isnít a bad thing either, itís
just that people are not honest about it and they tend to foster a lot of
resentment with their community. This is not exclusive to BDSM. It does however
complicate the BDSM lifestyle as we are constantly defending our choices and
practices, in a society that does not accept BDSM as a viable lifestyle.
Now you are in the
lifestyle and you have found someone you feel comfortable enough with to explore
your BDSM. Itís a good start but where do you go now? How do I build a
foundation that is stable and wonít fall out from under me, when things
donít work out as I planned? These are the two most important questions to ask
yourself at this point. In BDSM, as in the ďvanillaĒ world, you need to
negotiate. In the vanilla world, the negotiations are almost all unspoken.
Millennia of breeding have implanted the desires and needs we want in a partner.
In BDSM, the negotiations start out silently, but soon, due to necessity, we
start the give and take that is fundamental to BDSM. It is the negotiation that
helps you to build the foundation to your relationship. You now have a starting
point. BDSM in some ways is a lot like dating only a lot more intense, like
being able to have sex on the first date. Like everything else in life things
donít always go smoothly at the beginning. There will be times of awkwardness
until the two of you are more comfortable with each other. Donít be afraid to
show this vulnerability, itís honest. Thereís that word again, honesty. It
is a fundamental in BDSM, as it is in the vanilla world. Donít be shy about
telling your partner that you expect this in your relationship regardless of
what you have already negotiated. With out honesty how can you trust and once
trust is lost in a relationship, you sometimes have no choice but to start over.
You now have a relationship
with someone you are happy and comfortable with, but things feel a little stale.
Strangely itís hard to think that being involved in BDSM can become stale, but
it can happen. What can you do about it? Well that all depends on your level of
intensity. Itís difficult in BDSM to find new things to explore, but if you
have a good relationship, good communication skills and a creative imagination,
it should be fairly easy to find new things to explore. Hey if all else fails
you could even try going back to being vanilla for a short time. There a
probably many things you could try, the only limit being your imagination. Iíd
love to be able to give you a list but where would the fun be in that. The whole
idea is to make things fresh for you and your partner.
Life is never perfect and
things donít look good for your relationship. What went wrong? Well I honestly
canít say that I know, but there is something, which I call the ďBDSM
CurseĒ. It may not be what is wrong with your relationship, but it could
possibly have some bearing on it. It is one of the inherent problems of BDSM. No
matter what the size of your community, there is a limited amount of singles in
the scene, making BDSM somewhat ďincestuousĒ
Far to many people, single players especially, move from partner to
partner, searching forÖÖ..for what? Well
as difficult as this is to believe, they are searching for the same thing they
were searching for in the vanilla world. The right person to ďtake them away
from it allĒ! There isnít much we can do about it, it is genetic, the
hunter-gatherer syndrome. It is my belief that this is prevalent in all BDSM
communities. It is also the underlying reason why the single searching for a
single relationship so often fail in the BDSM lifestyle. How can you develop a
relationship with someone who is looking for something better. Itís a cycle
that never ends, as there is no such thing as perfection. These people are not
exclusive to the BDSM community, they can be found in all walks of life. We know
who they as their actions tend to give them away and usually we can learn from
but it is generally the hard way , from first hand experience.
The only other real
hindrance to forming a relationship, is something I cannot stress enough,
honesty or rather a lack of it. You need to be honest in everything you do, even
if you know it may cause resentment or make you feel vulnerable. The bottom line
is that people treat you the way you treat them.
Well as you can see
relationships are no different in BDSM than
they are in any other lifestyle. We who practice BDSM are really no
different than any one else. We just play different. All we ask is to be treated
with the same respect that you expect us to treat you with.
The only thing to say now
is that if you have an interest in BDSM, research it. There is a ton of
information, along with all those pictures we like to look at, on the internet.
We tend to fear things we do not understand. If you arm yourself with knowledge,
then there is nothing to fear.
I should point out to you
that the views and ideas expressed in this article are solely my own. Some may
agree with me and some may not. I welcome any questions and comments you may
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