Category Archives: individual

“Lifers”

Recently I had a discussion with someone who had spent significant time in the scene, albeit in another city. He mentioned a non-group of people, since they didn’t get together or necessarily even know one another, that he referred to as “lifers”, i.e. people who lived a 24/7 M/s or similar dynamic but weren’t part of any “scene”, although most had been part of one scene or another at some point.

We discussed the reasons most of these people had no further interest in the scene: they had no interest in the mutual admiration performance art of a play party; they had no interest in the mutual justification societies of the BDSM / leather conference circuit; they had no interest in relationship-oriented groups since, just as individuals individuate and diverge from group interests, their relationship had individuated to the degree that group discussions about relationships had little to no relevance.

One of the reasons I found the discussion fascinating is that it articulated many of the things I feel about the scene and the various sub-scenes, and their relation to emmie and me.

I find no interest in playing publicly, the aspects of the way emmie and I actualize our fantasies are rather personal and playing publicly forces us to “tone down” what we do to the point of disinterest.

I haven’t enjoyed the conferences I’ve been to: the only areas of interest are largely for beginners and, it seems to me, necessarily so, since discussions on more advanced topics would be too specific to the people involved, without enough in common to attract any type of group.

I’ve lost interest in the relationship-oriented groups we’ve attended: I have very little advice to offer that is generally applicable, what we do is too personal and thus irrelevant to others; the inverse is also true, where what others who have been involved in this lifestyle as long or longer do things in such a substantially different manner that beyond mutual respect there isn’t much worth discussing; the idea of teaching or otherwise influencing those new to the idea of a 24/7 power dynamic is both repetitive, since what is common to this type of dynamic is very limited, and irritating, since people whose longest power dynamic has been measured in months or less are aghast at how emmie and I actually live and spend the time telling us that we’re doing it all wrong.

I have no interest in any of the established “groups” precisely because they, as groups, depend for their own survival on inculcating and maintaining group values and interests, while my own desires and interests have diverged further and continue to do so.

Although many of our friends, naturally, are in the scene, meeting at “scene events” gets annoying simply because we’ve said all we have to say to one another about “scene stuff”. While I enjoy them as people, the enjoyment of their company has to do with enjoying things that have nothing to do with M/s or BDSM from the perspective of non-vanilla people. Since people are busy though there is an unfortunate tendency to put off getting together with other people in the scene in non-scene situations, with the idea of “we’ll see them at such and such scene event in any case”.

It appears to be the last point that seals the effect where those my acquaintance referred to as “lifers” often know very few or even no people who share their lifestyle the longer they’ve been involved in it.


Nature vs Nurture (sic)

Jubal just had to raise the spectre of the nature vs nurture argument viz BDSM in his post.  Now you should know Jubal and I have very different intellectual backgrounds and very different ideas about most things.  Luckily it creates a healthy, fun argumentative situation and not a nasty type of thing.

In this particular case Jubal states very definitively that all BDSM is a learned thing.  I’m assuming that by “all BDSM” Jubal intends to include M/s and D/s as well as the more playful types of BDSM that interest him more at the moment.  Now I don’t fall, this time, on the complete opposite side of his argument.  With just basic knowledge of information theory it seems unlikely that the number of bits required to produce the quantity of memes in a developed human brain could be found in the human genome pool.  At the same time evolutionary psychology has a foothold in demonstrability in the identical twins raised apart studies, which show striking and sometimes unbelievable correlations between the developed behavioural patterns of people with shared genes and different development histories.

Of course neither IT or EP are really close to my own background and methodology for analysing a question, but in order to satisfy Jubal that I am paying some attention to Science and not all my attention to Philosophy I mention them, and what I feel they do bring to the argument.

So what does phenomenology have to say about the situation?  Since here we are discussing psychology in a broad sense, without agreeing with the DSM-IV that these things are deviant in the sense of being a psychiatric issue, I will bring in the most phenomenological of the psychological schools, Daseinsanalysis.

 Daseinsanalysis prescribes a phenomenological approach of paying attention to the things themselves, and not immediately subsuming the concrete phenomena under a already available set of abstractions, such as specific development theories (Freud) or specific meaning theories (Jung).

The phenomenon of personal domination, in my history, is one where it was something I simply did.  It was only later that I realized how much I exerted control in my early relationships, without being overt or, really, honest about it, even with myself.  Partly due to my ex’s being a dominatrix, but mostly due to mitda’s need for submission and the immediate way I responded to it, I became open to the idea of being dominant in a thoughtful, proactive sense.  And this has continued since, as we’ve developed from playing at BDSM to entering a TPE triad, myself, mitda and emmie.  So the practice of domination is something I have definitely learned, but it seems to have been learned from a strong pre-existing tendency. 

This feeling I have seen talked about on the BDSM boards when the question comes up by dominants and submissives alike, who can trace their immediate responsiveness to BDSM situations, whether real or portrayed, as far back into their childhood as they can remember.  And while I am sure there are people into BDSM that can trace their interest back to specific events, such as childhood abuse or trauma, when asked on the boards it doesn’t seem to have that strong a correlation for most of the participants.

I am asking mitda and emmie to put in their opinions as to how they experience and first experienced the submissive traits they have developed.  How much came in the development and how much (if any) do you feel was a priori present?  My own feeling about M/s, at least, as a subset of BDSM, is that it is learned, but learned out of strong pre-existing traits.  That I happen to share my dominant traits with my mother (who I am similar to in many ways) shows a possibility of a genetic connection also, but since my parents raised me, it being developmentally acquired from her is not out of the question.


Nature vs Nurture (sic)

Jubal just had to raise the spectre of the nature vs nurture argument viz BDSM in his post.  Now you should know Jubal and I have very different intellectual backgrounds and very different ideas about most things.  Luckily it creates a healthy, fun argumentative situation and not a nasty type of thing.

In this particular case Jubal states very definitively that all BDSM is a learned thing.  I’m assuming that by “all BDSM” Jubal intends to include M/s and D/s as well as the more playful types of BDSM that interest him more at the moment.  Now I don’t fall, this time, on the complete opposite side of his argument.  With just basic knowledge of information theory it seems unlikely that the number of bits required to produce the quantity of memes in a developed human brain could be found in the human genome pool.  At the same time evolutionary psychology has a foothold in demonstrability in the identical twins raised apart studies, which show striking and sometimes unbelievable correlations between the developed behavioural patterns of people with shared genes and different development histories.

Of course neither IT or EP are really close to my own background and methodology for analysing a question, but in order to satisfy Jubal that I am paying some attention to Science and not all my attention to Philosophy I mention them, and what I feel they do bring to the argument.

So what does phenomenology have to say about the situation?  Since here we are discussing psychology in a broad sense, without agreeing with the DSM-IV that these things are deviant in the sense of being a psychiatric issue, I will bring in the most phenomenological of the psychological schools, Daseinsanalysis.

 Daseinsanalysis prescribes a phenomenological approach of paying attention to the things themselves, and not immediately subsuming the concrete phenomena under a already available set of abstractions, such as specific development theories (Freud) or specific meaning theories (Jung).

The phenomenon of personal domination, in my history, is one where it was something I simply did.  It was only later that I realized how much I exerted control in my early relationships, without being overt or, really, honest about it, even with myself.  Partly due to my ex’s being a dominatrix, but mostly due to mitda’s need for submission and the immediate way I responded to it, I became open to the idea of being dominant in a thoughtful, proactive sense.  And this has continued since, as we’ve developed from playing at BDSM to entering a TPE triad, myself, mitda and emmie.  So the practice of domination is something I have definitely learned, but it seems to have been learned from a strong pre-existing tendency. 

This feeling I have seen talked about on the BDSM boards when the question comes up by dominants and submissives alike, who can trace their immediate responsiveness to BDSM situations, whether real or portrayed, as far back into their childhood as they can remember.  And while I am sure there are people into BDSM that can trace their interest back to specific events, such as childhood abuse or trauma, when asked on the boards it doesn’t seem to have that strong a correlation for most of the participants.

I am asking mitda and emmie to put in their opinions as to how they experience and first experienced the submissive traits they have developed.  How much came in the development and how much (if any) do you feel was a priori present?  My own feeling about M/s, at least, as a subset of BDSM, is that it is learned, but learned out of strong pre-existing traits.  That I happen to share my dominant traits with my mother (who I am similar to in many ways) shows a possibility of a genetic connection also, but since my parents raised me, it being developmentally acquired from her is not out of the question.


Domination, mastery and control

These words, mentioned together in reference to ocularcentrism, and to an apparent audiocentrism, in the quote that centres the previous blog entry, sound odd in an M/s blog, especially a blog that seems to promote, at least for the participants mentioned, a full 24/7 power exchange. Sound odd because they are spoken of in a derogatory fashion. Sound odd because they are applied in conjunction with people who would otherwise seem to be anti-coercion, anti-domination …
But domination and mastery, surely, are not exactly synonymous. I can dominate all I want and not gain mastery over a thing. By the same token I can have mastery over something I didn’t dominate to begin with.
It’s a truism in BDSM that the submissive makes the dominant, in that without the submissive behaviour dominating behaviour would look irrational and ridiculous. No doubt. What about that point where the “Dominant” asks the submissive to accept him/her as his/her “Master”, for the submissive to become an all out, flat out, totalized slave?
The totalizing, that would seem to be related to the gigantic, to the massive in other spheres. If we live in an age of gigantic, totalizing machination how does this universalized fate fall down to the particulars, the individuals, to us?
To jump to it without any explanations, or justifications, we will make the assumption that the description of the wage-slave and the bourgeois, having not properly been superseded, are still applicable. That we fall into one or the other or both haphazardly without really seeing the distinction between them or the advantage one might contain. The wage-slave no longer sees the results of his labour in nature modified, he simply assists in producing a cultural product. The bourgeois doesn’t see his ideas realized in material, he just contributes to the ideas that eventually end up commercialized and vulgarized to the most popular detail. Neither is really involved in struggle except that of struggle with the massive itself. A lifetime fight against being overwhelmed and dropped behind by the gigantic totalization of our society and the remnants of individuals that one finds in it.
Back to our modest little M/s trio. I have asked, and received the gift of absolute obedience, of total slavery to my person, my being, and not to anything I represent, hold, own or command. I have given the gift of total responsibility, not to ideals, or for some teleology in a future that only exists assuming history hasn’t in fact stopped already, but to two people whom I have chosen to be responsible for, for the rest of my life on this planet.
This is the particular. Laws against M/s relationships can’t, of course, take the particular into account. But perhaps if you know someone involved in a relationship that is set out, set apart from the massive, you might understand it.

Mitdasein


Domination, mastery and control

These words, mentioned together in reference to ocularcentrism, and to an apparent audiocentrism, in the quote that centres the previous blog entry, sound odd in an M/s blog, especially a blog that seems to promote, at least for the participants mentioned, a full 24/7 power exchange. Sound odd because they are spoken of in a derogatory fashion. Sound odd because they are applied in conjunction with people who would otherwise seem to be anti-coercion, anti-domination …
But domination and mastery, surely, are not exactly synonymous. I can dominate all I want and not gain mastery over a thing. By the same token I can have mastery over something I didn’t dominate to begin with.
It’s a truism in BDSM that the submissive makes the dominant, in that without the submissive behaviour dominating behaviour would look irrational and ridiculous. No doubt. What about that point where the “Dominant” asks the submissive to accept him/her as his/her “Master”, for the submissive to become an all out, flat out, totalized slave?
The totalizing, that would seem to be related to the gigantic, to the massive in other spheres. If we live in an age of gigantic, totalizing machination how does this universalized fate fall down to the particulars, the individuals, to us?
To jump to it without any explanations, or justifications, we will make the assumption that the description of the wage-slave and the bourgeois, having not properly been superseded, are still applicable. That we fall into one or the other or both haphazardly without really seeing the distinction between them or the advantage one might contain. The wage-slave no longer sees the results of his labour in nature modified, he simply assists in producing a cultural product. The bourgeois doesn’t see his ideas realized in material, he just contributes to the ideas that eventually end up commercialized and vulgarized to the most popular detail. Neither is really involved in struggle except that of struggle with the massive itself. A lifetime fight against being overwhelmed and dropped behind by the gigantic totalization of our society and the remnants of individuals that one finds in it.
Back to our modest little M/s trio. I have asked, and received the gift of absolute obedience, of total slavery to my person, my being, and not to anything I represent, hold, own or command. I have given the gift of total responsibility, not to ideals, or for some teleology in a future that only exists assuming history hasn’t in fact stopped already, but to two people whom I have chosen to be responsible for, for the rest of my life on this planet.
This is the particular. Laws against M/s relationships can’t, of course, take the particular into account. But perhaps if you know someone involved in a relationship that is set out, set apart from the massive, you might understand it.

Mitdasein