Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Role in Bondage

This is an entry I've been wanting to do for some time, to provide the curious with some concrete explanations, and to promote the demystifying of BDSM and BDSM culture.  I've held off to this point, unsure of how to strike a happy medium between being my usual honest self, and retaining some sense of privacy and anonymity.  I don't know if I can do that, but I do know that I don't really care anymore.

Perhaps it's best to do a quick run-through of my experiences within the BDSM community.  Ever since I was seven or eight years old, I had a fascination for rope, for tying people up, and for being tied up myself.  One day, when I was about fifteen, I finally decided to use the almighty Google to search for something like "tied up girls."  Probably not the best way of introducing oneself to the BDSM culture because if there's one thing the internet is good at, it's hitting you with all the fucked up shit that you don't want to see.

Still, I was transfixed.  For some reason, the prospects of having a woman tied up and completely helpless was very appealing.  I soon knew these feelings to be ones of dominance, and defined myself as such.  Still without anyone to practice my new hobby with, my activities centered around tying myself up, which I also greatly enjoyed.  Adding this aspect made me a switch, which is how I continue to define myself, at least with an asterisk and a more complicated explanation.

My experiences were largely limited to viewing pornography as I dated one vanilla girl after another.  It's not their fault, BDSM is something you need a certain sort of life experience and confidence to approach.  Young people are so often scared off by the concepts, having been indoctrinated by their parents and American culture that sex is wrong, and that weird sex is worse.  It doesn't help that the word 'bondage' often conveys images of torture, of leather, of whips and chains.  The immediate imagery is not kind to the culture, which is one of the things I work to dispel.  The real difference in those that practice BDSM is that they openly acknowledge and encourage the power exchange that occurs in every sexual encounter.  Yes, whether they know is or not, everybody is a practitioner of some aspect of BDSM.  As I said, sex is an act of power exchanges, top/bottom, giving/receiving, pleasuring/being pleasured, orgasming/making your partner orgasm.  Even when things seem completely parallel, there is a dominant side and a submissive side.  BDSM can be as subtle as simply that, or it can involve things that reinforce that power exchange, rope, cuffs, etc.

Poor me, I was kept to trying things on myself for far longer than I should have been.  For my first few girlfriends, I was afraid to even bring it up and the first girl I was really physical with was entirely turned off to the moniker.  (I say moniker because there were several things that she loved that were a part of BDSM culture.  She just wasn't self-aware enough to admit it.)

After that girl dumped me, I resigned myself to finding someone that at least had a curiosity in BDSM.  It was difficult because I found that I was kinkier than most of the vanilla people on OKCupid, a regular dating site, and not nearly as intense as the nutjobs on CollarMe, a BDSM themed dating site.  Landing between the two sites pretty much meant that I didn't find anyone compatible on either of them.

And then I found my current girlfriend.  Her shaved head caught my eye, but it was one of the last lines in her profile that really got me interested.  "You should message me if you're intelligent, Dominant (with a capital D), kinky, confident, and assertive."  It's difficult to describe the process through which we became acclimated with each other's views on bondage because there isn't much description.  It just sort of happened.

This is where we start to get into how things work for me and for her.  She made it clear from the beginning that she identified as a submissive, one who expects to obey her Dominant.  While I do identify as primarily dominant, I don't exactly have an iron will that needs to be acquiesced to at all times.  Even in a leadership role, I'm a pretty laid back person, preferring to lay more groundwork with example than micromanagement.  This fit in well with her because despite the part of her personality that prefers to yield to a superior, there is another part that is very independent.  That I don't enforce extensive protocol for my submissive to follow has worked out very well for us.  Orders must be obeyed when they are given, but they are few, and typically things that she enjoys doing anyways.

I think people have draconian thoughts when they hear that my girlfriend is expected to do what I tell her, when I tell her, without exception.  It seems like such a lopsided relationship would turn ugly in a hurry and never realistically work.  But it does...so well.  A big reason why is that I think that being a Dominant is a responsibility as much as it is a pleasure.  In addition to the carnal aspect in which my submissive satisfies my desires, there is the aspect that puts so much of her well being in my hands.  So many Dominants forget that in owning something, there is as much maintenance as there is enjoying its usefulness.  With a human being that involves input, it involves trusting her to speak up when something isn't going well, it involves trusting yourself to read her correctly, and trusting your connection to pull you through when things do go poorly.

Putting all that together, it makes obeying my orders pretty easy for her.  I know her well enough to know when she's already willing to do something, and she knows me well enough to know that doing it anyways, even when she might not be completely on board, is going to be worth her while.  (Or at least worth not getting punished.)  With that, there is little to no strict dominance in our relationship, no bending her to my will, no coercion.  It's complex, but the explanation that "she gets as much enjoyment out of doing what I want, when I want, without exception, as I do in making those orders" sums things up pretty well.

There are more hardcore BDSM aspects to our relationship as well.  I love using rope to restrain her, and she loves being made completely helpless.  She loves pain, and I love consensual abuse.  I like when she obeys orders to the letter and is a good little girl, and she likes being one.  Together it combines to make a dynamic that has worked better for us than I could have ever expected any relationship to go.

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