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21 September 2011, 2:00 pm 2 Comments

Yes, Master: Yours For The Making

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This post was submitted by Master Aiden

Every once in a while, if you’ll notice, there is a period of time in which messages and themes repeat themselves to you for some reason. Coincidences, personal zeitgeists, and that sort of thing popping up at you in succession.

Lately, discussions that I’ve had with others relate to differerent interpretations of BDSM. Books and articles that I’ve read address this issue as well. A repeated theme, for whatever reason, keeps appearing.

What is BDSM? What isn’t BDSM? What rules do you have to follow in order to say “Yes, this is BDSM”?

Does it have to involve leather or some kind of kink-wear? Does someone have to be bound or restrained in some capacity? Must it involve pain or simulated “punishment”?

No one seems to agree on much of anything, which may be the one of the core strengths of the BDSM community. For many participants, the classic/stereotypical approach is taken in the sense that yes, indeed, there are the whips, cuffs, boots, and the rest of the predictable paraphernalia involved. But what if someone wants to do high heel worship on their Mistress, while she sits in a chair wearing a vintage wedding dress, followed by a good round of old fashioned fucking? Maybe that’s what a couple of my friends bragged about doing this weekend….(good job, you two–it sounds weird and strangely hot). And their question was: Was that BDSM? Was it kink? Or was it just sex with a couple of extra ingredients?

It’s all open to interpretation. Worship was involved. Fetishistic elements were involved. One person was in control while the other person played submissive. Then the control dynamic flip-flopped. No one, according to them, was tied up or spanked. Isn’t kink and BDSM under the same tent nowadays? Sort of?

I would argue that any sensual adventure, with experimental and prop elements involved, could be considered kink. Because kink is fetish. And fetish always goes along with BDSM. That didn’t used to be the case but now it is. Go to any dungeon party or kink event and see the wide variety and interpretations that are out there. Everyone sees things differently.

Who says that you need to have ropes and riding crops? There is no rule book. The old ways, which were overly pissy and restrictive, have crumbled in favor of a more inclusive defintion of “leather” (literal or figurative) and sadomasochistic control.

Do you want it to be kinky and taboo? Then it is. Perhaps what is kinky/taboo to you is weak and vanilla to a harder player but who cares? They don’t have to play along if they don’t like it. Every scene is yours for the making between yourself and your partner(s).

A common mode of thinking in the BDSM community nowadays is that the bigger the tent, the better the circus. I agree. The variety of ideas and perceptions of what encompasses BDSM and kink feeds into the strength of the community. The more shared ideas that are out there, the richer the feast. The more you are exposed to and understand, the better off you are. For some people, BDSM means heavy leather and hardcore abuse. For others, kink play may mean a little bit of exhibitionism, a wedding dress, and some high heels. Why not?

If you want to get very technical and specific, then yes there is a difference between fetish and S&M but less and less people seem to care anymore. To me, that’s progress. This all-inclusiveness has allowed the BDSM community to continue to grow as the years go on.

Don’t ever believe that in order to go to a kink event, that you need to be head-to-toe in traditional bondage gear. If you don’t want your Master or Mistress to tie you up, then you’re no less worthy a slave. If punishment, in no way, involves spanking for you then you’re not a weak submissive–it just means that you follow your own interests. You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do. Traditions are meant to be smashed and rules are meant to be broken.

The BDSM culture? It’s yours. Redefine it to your own tastes and fantasies. The notions of kink, leather, fetish, and S&M are not sacred and fixed. If they were, that would completely defeat the purpose of transcendence.

I think that it’s impossible for the kink community to weaken by variety. There will always be those strong, heavier players (along with the lighter players) present to keep things leaning towards the dark and mysterious. Like a gene pool, the more varied the strains, the healthier the tribe is.

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  • Doctor Whom said:

    Nicely put. In my experience at least, it isn’t the experienced BDSMers who cleave to a rigid orthodoxy as to what is or isn’t appropriate in a scene.

  • Master Aiden (author) said:

    True. It seems to usually be the people who are very new (and very passionate) to the scene who can get uppity. The longer people are in the scene, the more likely they’ll be to have a mellower approach to protocol, definitions, etc.