In Praise of Simple Things
in the world, as you read this, there is a couple who are engaging in BDSM,
although the acronym itself is unfamiliar to them. For them, bondage is an
added spice to their relationship...an exhilarating tonic brewed from silk
scarves tied around wrists or a pair of knee-high leather boots worn with
lingerie. Maybe they don't know much about the "lifestyle" or the
"scene" other than what they have seen reflected on movies and
television, but that doesn't diminish their enjoyment.
They don't know about "aftercare", but they do know that they love each other and reinforce that through an intimacy that flows through and follows even the most aggressive of sexual play.
They don't know about "safewords", but they are close enough to one another to recognize when one of them is in danger of pushing, or being pushed, too far.
And for them, the terms "master" and "slave" or "sir" and "ma'am" are not rigid labels, but merely affectations of the playful roles they have immersed themselves in for the evening...or even just an hour.
Right now, the group has been discussing the use of titles, specifically whether or not a submissive should address all Dom/Dommes present at a particular function with an honorific title such as "Sir" or "Ma'am". While it's true that the use of such honorifics in mainstream society has always been indicative of good manners, which are indeed are sadly falling by the wayside nowadays, in BDSM they are something much more than that. There is an underlying current of eroticism that we in the scene imbue in these words when we use them that gives the words power that is beyond mere politeness. For that power to exist, for that eroticism to exist, the use of such titles must be used sparingly with care...and intimacy, even in the context of a group.
"Intimacy"...that's an important word that we've discussed before, and it implies a caring that goes beyond a simply physical act.
I could go to a hundred different websites right now or read a hundred different articles examining and re-examining, defining and re-defining, every aspect and term in the BDSM scene for me, but without intimacy, what would these sources give me but an academic knowledge of a sub-culture created by others whom I don't even know or respect?
I could go to a hundred play parties and fetish balls, but without intimacy, what would I have but an overexposure to mere titillations that would eventually numb and jade me?
When we are at our best, our community lends its members support and a safe and open forum for discussion, meeting and learning. When we are at our worst, however, can become a cult...an almost religious institution, where such an emphasis is placed on specific rules and rituals that the erotic fun and excitement these rituals were meant to enhance and protect are ground down into dust.
In that regard, that kinky and loving couple, somewhere out there, knows more about the spirit of what BDSM should be about than some of the more experienced "players" in the scene today.