elyxer: (Collar Kiss)
[personal profile] elyxer
I was roaming around on LJ and came across a post and I felt compelled to leave a comment, but then I decided it was much better to answer in my LJ and link to the original post here. This will make more sense if you read [livejournal.com profile] belenen's post first.

Let me start by saying that I was most impressed with [livejournal.com profile] belenen's willingness to listen to an opposing viewpoint as well as her honesty. I'd also like to point out that I am answering this from my own experiences and my perspective. This is not meant to insult anyone or imply that their beliefs are any less valid than my own. Don't you love it when you feel the need to put a disclaimer on your opinions? *grins*

Wikipedia defines power exchange (which is the proper terminology...not power imbalance) in BDSM as “a relationship or activity in which the submissive partner exchanges his or her authority to make a decision for the dominant partner’s agreement to take responsibility for the submissive’s happiness and health.” Personally, I love this definition because it’s the most accurate description of what a true power exchange entails. The misconception that bugs me the most when discussing BDSM is the one that refers to the submissive as the “poor, helpless, weak-willed subby” mindlessly trying to obey and please the “big, bad, abusive dom” especially since it takes an extremely strong person to submit and an equally caring person to dominate.

Life in general is neither fair nor equal. Taking into consideration all the different types of relationships a person encounters during their lifetime, there is always an exchange of power happening at some point: children concede power to their parents; employees concede power to their supervisors; and citizens concede power to societal bodies of government and their laws. There is a pattern in these relationships that mirror the basic qualities of a BDSM relationship: most parents want what's best for their children and strive to take the child's opinions into consideration; any boss worthy of his or her job takes the employees into consideration when making decisions; every citizen has the opportunity to make their opinions known by voting; and any decent dominant takes their submissive's wishes, needs and desires into consideration at all times. What most people fail to realize is that the submissive is the the one that can put a stop to anything with a simple word.

While most relationships are neither fair nor equal, the healthy ones have some form of communication where both parties participate in maintaining a modicum of happiness. Unfortunately, you have “bad eggs” in every aspect of life who “ruin the pot” for all concerned. It seems that all the failures of BDSM are splattered all over the media and the people in healthy, happy relationships feel they have to hide in order to live their lives. Is it any wonder that a lot of people can only see bad things when looking into BDSM?

A very popular question that's asked is “why would anyone want to live that way?” That is an extremely difficult question to answer simply because it’s hard to explain that it isn’t a “want” but a “need” when dealing with BDSM. If the average person can’t understand why anyone would “want” to experience a BDSM relationship, how can the “need” to experience one be explained? There is no exact definition of how two people will experience this type of relationship because everyone is different and BDSM is customized to each individual couple. The kink does not define the people involved or their relationship…it’s just an added component that spices things up on occasion.

When comparing a healthy BDSM relationship to marriage, in most cases, the BDSM couple will have fewer issues to deal with in their relationship because they will have discussed and set ground rules that the married couple won’t have covered. BDSM is not for everyone just as marriage isn’t for everyone, but the connection that a couple forms in a BDSM relationship is no less valid than the one that occurs for a married couple. Both have a contract and with the divorce rate what it is these days, it’s hard to use the argument that marriage is “sacred.” The major difference in dissolving both contracts is that you don’t need a lawyer, a courtroom and a judge to get out of a BDSM contract. I am not claiming BDSM is better than marriage, I’m just pointing out that it’s not so different and definitely not inferior.

If not for the kink, then what is so appealing about a BDSM relationship? Keeping in mind that I’m answering from my own personal experience and that this answer could be dramatically different depending on who you ask, for me, it’s the freedom. I don’t have to worry about being cheated on, lied to or ignored. Why? Because all those issues were discussed up front and I know exactly what to expect. I know that I’ll be taken care of no matter what and that my partner will always listen to me. Does marriage offer this amount of certainty? All relationships have kinks that need to be worked out, and not all BDSM relationships are healthy ones, but as I said earlier, there are always “bad eggs” floating around in any type of relationship.

Finally, the power exchange in a BDSM relationship is not to diminish one partner and set the other up on some pedestal of power. It simply means that one partner needs and desires to be controlled in order to find happiness, and the other partner needs to take care of someone who is willing to impart the amount of trust that a submissive holds for their dominant. What’s so bad about that?

Now, I'd like to share a song that I think really expresses the "need" of a slave. It also demonstrates the connection between a dominant and a slave. Most people don't recognize the difference between a slave and a submissive and while there are similarities, there are also differences. The one thing that is completely the same is they both need a dominant to guide them, teach them, push them, care for them, and in some cases, keep them from doing harm to themselves. I want to point out the use of the term abuse in this song is not meant to imply that a BDSM relationship is abusive. Again, it's hard to explain, but a dominant's brand of "abuse" for their submissive or slave is not meant in a harmful way. I hope you enjoy the song.

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March 2010

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