OK, I get up this morning and go to the computer to check my mail.
As many of these things do, this began by being asked how things should begin. (For some reason, I am having strong remembrances of 1950’s fairy tale movies.) A gentleman wished to talk about being a Daddy Dom, and what was needed. Many things came to mind, but this was my answer…and so it begins.
It is terribly difficult to start a process such as this. Far easier to respond to questions or situations. Primarily because the path each person takes is so completely personal and unique to them. Let me emphasize that the relationship is unique to the PEOPLE within it. What your Daddy/lg relationship dynamics ARE (and let me say that a Daddy does not REQUIRE a “little” girl. While my partner is considerably younger than I, she does not really identify as a “little” in any way), what these dynamics settle down to being are determined by your partner just as much as yourself.
But let me throw some things your way to chew on. These may be settled in your mind to a great extent, but I would suggest that they are a process, a living flux, so change is inevitable.
The hardest thing for me in my growth as a Daddy/Dom was/is to resolve the constant conflicts between what I see around me as to the scene, the books and lectures I have attended, the society in which I have grown, the mentors I have had and the way I have been raised as a child, perhaps my life environment, and what it is I actually want or what pleases me. There is so much around each of us telling us what it is we should want. We may have beliefs firmly established within us as to what is “right” or “appropriate” to want because we are “Male”, “American”, “Dominant”, “white” or any kind of identity label you can think of. But those labels are NOT who you are. They are labels which we conveniently use to communicate a small part of ourselves to others. Those labels can mean something entirely different to others because of their societal upbringing. It gets transmitted as a package that is defined by the person receiving it. So they treat you in a way that is appropriate to that package. Haven’t you felt, at times, that because someone sees you as a Dominant or a Daddy, that they suddenly treat you in a way defined by them rather than as who you actually are?
The importance of this lifestyle, at least to me, is that it allows you the freedom to examine what it is that you want out of your life and your relationships rather than what you have been and are being told every second of every day. Freedom.
Sigh, but freedom comes with proportionate responsibility. A large subject there. To my mind the first expression of that responsibility comes in the form of communication. If and when you are comfortable with what you want, you have to communicate it. But communication does not just mean that you are confident in what you have said, it means you are confident in what the listener has heard. So in order to communicate to your partner, the best quality you can develop is how to listen.
So here is the major tip. The most valuable thing to hear from your partner or partners is, “What do you mean by that?” You want to hear that a lot. We use a lot of words in the scene. Dominance, service, submission, responsibility. Well, just like the labels I mentioned before, these are packages that are defined by the listener and what is service to you may not be service to them. So make sure they understand you.
Whew, that is a lot and a good beginning point. It just pored. I hope you understood. If not, ask me what I meant.
What is it that brings this full circle? What gives this glorious BDSM relationship the stability and support that allows it to exist? It is Obedience. In the beginning it is obedience to Transparency. It is said that when a submissive holds something back, she is taking control of the relationship. She is deciding what her Dominant should know and what he should not. She is filtering what she exposes of herself, she is deciding not to show her real self, the whole of herself, she is only giving him the “Mask” of which she approves. Obedience to Transparency is necessary.
This relationship is based in one person giving to another authority over themselves. “I give you authority to make decisions for me.” They do this out of Trust that the person who has authority will make those decisions out of a sense of care, compassion, understanding and some level of wisdom in order to promote the growth of the relationship. If that is the case, and a decision has been made with all available information, how can that relationship grow without the obedience to follow through?
Within Trust, and Obedience to Transparency decisions can be made for the growth of the relationship and the people within it.
When a Dominant has all the information to make a decision he must be able to Trust that his decision will be Obeyed. Without that Obedience, the entire structure of the relationship falls apart. Trust is shaken. Transparency is shrouded. The circle is broken.
For a submissive or slave, they must trust their partner to take all the information given, that their Dominant will take that information in confidence and use it with an understanding of who they are as a human being of value, and no matter the submissive’s level of understanding of those decisions, they will obey those decisions to the best of their ability.
For a Dominant, they must trust that their partner has been transparently open to them, trust themselves enough to understand and be transparent about the motives behind their decisions, and trust that their partner will obey their requests. The Dominant must also seek and obey his own spiritual guidance as to the direction he takes those who have given him authority.
Transparency, Trust and Obedience, the triumvirate that, in my belief, can support any relationship, BDSM or otherwise. The direction of authority and the structure of the relationship is open to negotiation, but in my opinion, the triumvirate still stands.
Last time I spoke on Transparency (as I have often and before), and the necessity for those on the right side of the D/s or M/s slash (the s) to be clear and complete in their communication to their partner on the left (the D and M) no matter how contradictory or embarrassing that communication might be. I also mentioned that the requirements are not quite the same for those on the left side.
I do not mean to say that the Dominant partner in a relationship is not required to be Transparent. I might even say that the requirements are more severe, for a Dominant must be Transparent to himself. (Do I need to repeat that I tend to speak of a Dominant Male Sadist and a female masochistic submissive because that describes my relationship? What I speak about, hopefully, is equally applicable to male, female, Dominant, Master, slave, submissive, masochist and sadist, no matter what combination or pattern your relationship might take.) This transparency requires a strong emphasis on self-reflection, insight and acceptance. While it may be quite difficult for a submissive to admit to their Dominant their most embarrassing thoughts and desires, it may be quite a different degree to admit and accept them as part of yourself. For a moment, try to think of your most embarrassing, possibly disgusting desire as an integral element of who you are as a human being, a necessary part of the wise, compassionate, intelligent creature you believe yourself to be. For that is what it is.
I want to emphasize that this difference in requirements is not a power play. It is not the Dominant saying, “You have to do it, but I don’t.” As my good friend Skip Chasey said, a Master has to keep one step ahead of his property. A Dominant has to be in a position to see just a step further, and to help his slave or submissive see that further distance can require the Dominant do things without telling his property why, for to tell them why may work against them.
To be transparent to yourself or to your partner requires a deep level of Trust. Trust that your relationship is bigger and broader and far more firmly based than whatever it is that is going on inside right now, trust that whatever filth you dredge up will be accepted by your partner with love and compassion, trust that whatever pain you expose will be accepted, trust that whatever is asked of you is asked with wisdom, compassion, and respect.
If you find someone you can trust, trust deeply, whose wisdom you respect, respect to the point where you choose to give them authority over you, the only way they can truly take that authority and make the right decisions is by having all the information you can give them. That is all your wishes, all your desires, all your fears, your pain, your uncertainty, your misgivings. How else can they know what to do, what is best for you? How else can they take the responsibility you wish to give them?
When you get to the point where you trust yourself, trust the benefit of your dark parts, when you find someone whose heart is strong and open to you, someone who you trust to share the whole of you, someone who accepts that whole, when you trust yourself to take responsibility for that person, for that relationship, that is the point when you can begin to ask for the third leg of the Triumvirate, obedience.
I was once told that a three legged stool was the most sable, because it could never wobble. I am not sure if the analogy will hold through this. But it is a good place to start.
I often have deeply insightful discussions with my partner pb. Our relationship is slowly but, and most importantly, consistently growing. A subject that has been discussed repeatedly in the recent past has been Transparency.
A simple definition of transparency within the BDSM context is the ability to communicate everything, rational and emotional, without editing. We are not trained to do that. We are trained to hide, even from ourselves. (Psychologists make quite a good living from that tendency.) Transparency is the ability to tell your partner what is happening inside. How do you feel, even if it may hurt to say it? What do you want, even if you know you can’t or shouldn’t get it? It is the ability to communicate what is inside even if it is silly, embarrassing, stupid, contradictory, self centered, jealous, and insulting. Most importantly, even if you don’t like it.
Gandhi once said he had an allegiance to truth, not to consistency. Humans are inherently self contradictory. Our feelings are true, but they may be totally contradictory to what we state. Our beliefs are true even if our feelings brings us to contradictory actions. No matter, to be transparent we must be able to express them.
Now here is the overwhelmingly sticky element in all of this from within an authority exchange relationship. Transparency is required from the slave or submissive to the Dominant, but not from the Dominant to the slave or submissive. That’s a real kicker, one of those, “How come it’s OK for YOU” elements. But there are some caveats there. The Dominant MUST be internally transparent to the best of his or her ability. That is he must understand himself and his reasons for his behavior. But he or she is not required to be verbally transparent about his or her actions to those who have given them authority.
This is not a power play. If a Dominant is attempting to bring forth an insight within his submissive, telling her how and why would, at that point, only give her tools with which to armor herself.
Those on the right side of slash in the D/s or M/s relationship MUST be transparent to the best of their ability in all communication to their partner on the left side of the slash. Those in authority must do whatever they can to encourage and train their partners to be so. How else can the Dominant or Master make the best decisions?
But those on the left, to do their best work, to bring out the best in their partners, are not required to expose the reasons behind their behavior to those on the right. To do their job, to intelligently take on the responsibility of the relationship, to assist in the growth of that relationship and those within it, a Dominant or Master must often do sly and sneaky things. If he is able, he must, at times, trick his partner into insights. He must eloquently finagle.
However, to ACCEPT that finagling, to be able to willingly give that authority, to say, “I may not understand, but I accept” requires Trust, and that is the second leg.
I am not quite there, but I expect to be soon.
Those who read here know that I have been in the process of buying a house. It is in a northern suburb of Austin Texas. I do not truly feel I am a Texan, but I am realizing the innocent misunderstandings of youth about what it is to be a Texan. I am in the process of getting to know my neighbors, making places within this house to hold stuff and placing my stuff in them. I am buying shelves for the garage, investigating the attic, replacing lights and fans, painting walls, buying rugs, and wondering what in HELL I am going to do with my back yard. I don’t even have a lawn mower and I have trees to trim.
But I am meeting kind and generous people. discussing the ins and outs of a new neighborhood, getting help from neighbors and giving help to them. In other words, I am finding my community. It is a good thing.
But it takes time, important time, but time, and I am only now getting back to previous tasks which are also important to me. But so I do and tomorrow will be my next post.
See you then.
I am now in Escrow to buy a house. It is not the first house I have bought, but it is my first house. As my wife said a month back, when she bought her house, “This is the first house that will be all mine. I expect to die here. It will be exactly the way I want it to be.”
It will be an adventure. The geometrics of it all, the reality tunnel, will be unique and incomprehensible to me. But in a very real sense, that is the way of life.
Look upon a lake at night. Watch the reflection of the moon. No one in existence has ever seen or will ever see what you see. The entire universe is conspiring to bring that to you, to give that beauty to you. Respect it, and say thanks.