Common Misconceptions about BDSM
Individuals who are getting introduced to the BDSM lifestyle come with a myriad of misconceptions, some drawn from popular literature, some for misinterpretation and some from a simple form of self-deception. There also are a lot of people who promote misconceptions to fill their own specific needs and support a possible view that they wish to propel to the forefront or use to manipulate others. Here are the most common ideas I view as misconceptions and how I view the reality. One thing we need to note even in my interpretation is that “Your Kink may not be my kink, but it is okay.” In this style, I would say a colliery is “Your views may not match my views, but each has reasons for his or her own.”
All kinksters are weirdos.
Tops (Doms/Dommes or Masters, etc.) and bottoms (submissives, slaves, and the like) are people first, kinksters second, and have a different set of values form those classified as normal. In 60+ years I have seen that even the vanilla community does not always agree on what is normal and that this has shifted significantly over time. Kinksters do at times push boundaries of human interactions but directly in broader ways than others. 30 years ago Gays and Lesbians were considered dysfunction and aberrant behaviour today while still a minority, it is no longer viewed by most as abhorrent although many ultra-conservative types again carry such views. Kink is the same way.
Kinksters are all players and lack commitment
Like most people and kinksters form obligations and relationships, their views and interactions differ, but their level of investing in each other is never lacking. There are those who do not “bond” well, but this is not different from the errant “vanilla” men and women who have a lack of an ability to place commitments first.
This also should never be mixed with the concept of fidelity. Individuals who knowing are admittedly are open in their relationships are not somehow less but somewhat different than those that do. It does not mean that they are not committed to some aspect or a specific individual just fluid in their interpretation of what that commitment entails.
Dominants are all alike.
All of the factors which define the differences and commonalities of submissives are also at play in the minds and psyches of dominants. Each has their own appetites and reasons for being involved and aspects which draws them to the lifestyle;e. The dominant has the added responsibility of adapting from relationship to relationship to provide for the needs and fulfillment of the submissives they interact with. This is an awesome responsibility, and more than anything else defines the difference between a dominant and submissive. The dominant is always the one accountable for the care and safety of the activities undertaken.
Submissives are all alike.
Each person is different, while many holds common traits, therefore, each person is unique. The people who are submissive range from casual players, to committed lifestylers with no desire for permanent relationships, to those wanting to balance different aspects of their life, to those who seek the comfort and solace of total surrender (the ones called slaves). Equally each submissive wants to explore and participate in activities which most heighten their experiences and fulfills their needs best. BDSM has so many events, flavours, and types of interactions that no two are indeed the same.
All kinksters are up for grabs.
The people encountered stating they are in the lifestyle may either be in or not a part of a relationship.
Those in a relationship “belong” to their relationship with their specific Dominants or submissives. Individuals trying to ingratiate themselves and play a part in that relationship are “poaching” and show a decided lack of honour, dignity and discretion. Sometimes this will be accepted or laughed at, but frequently it is at minimum an annoyance and most an insulting intrusion.
If they are single, individuals have the right to choose to pursue relationships of their choice. Assuming just because they label themselves a role that they are that to everyone is an oversimplification and misses the point that the lifestyle is about relationships no matter how divergent from what vanilla community views as standard. Single people belong or have obligations to no one but themselves unless they willing change that position. No one can compel their involvement.
Lifestyle members like everyone calling them by a role-based label.
The labels applied to a submissive maybe a term of affection, or social label either earned or agreed between submissive and Dominant. Frequently these are private labels which distinguish them from others within a relationship and hence are reserved for those a party to the relationship. Individuals often do not want to be called these labels by anyone to which they not engaged within a relationship or activity. Others are more open or nonplussed about it. Again this goes back to each individual is different and has their own tastes. Before applying a label make sure it is appropriate if the subject of the label rejects it then the better part of discretion requires avoiding its use.
An existing relationship is not an impediment.
This is a matter of principle, not morals or law, people tend to form defined unions. These bonds should allow them to act within the lifestyle between themselves. Being involved in BDSM does not by default open them to “any” relationship or activity andy more than in the vanilla world.
Many people in the BDSM community are in fact monogamous. I would say a more substantial portion of the BDSM community is polyamorous, There is a difference between a couple exploring including a lifestyle partner and thereby extending their committed relationship or by mutual consent including casual players to being viewed as individuals who can be “poached” or “preyed” upon. A good guiding “principle” is if someone is already in a relationship, look to ones who are not; it saves on a plethora of problems and complications.
There is nothing wrong with asking any lifestyle partner to be mine.
Lifestyle relationships are built on trust even more so than most vanilla relationships because there always is an underlying aspect of danger, pain, or risk to many of the activities involved. This trust has to be earned by all parties to the relationship, and not something which is casually formed. Even the sharing of a partner with others requires the partner to trust in your choices and that the external agents have been vetted. The idea of tying a sub in a bathroom in a truck stop for truckers to use as they wish makes for good fiction but would have law enforcement crash the scene quickly. So not very real. Casual encounters with lifestyle participants to become play partners is like asking that the person who sits behind you in math class, to be your wife. Why would you give a near stranger such a high level of intimate knowledge of or control or subservience over your most private activities?
Dominants expect others to hit on their submissive.
Dominants, in general, are very proud individuals and prefer that their relationship is respected,. Encroaching on their relationships is an insult or challenge to their authority and one which must be met without out and forgiveness. There are those who like to flaunt their property and relish in the attention others pay to their property but like most vanilla relationships jealousy is a very real factor in many occasions. While others are neither jealous or fearful but hate the insulting intrusion into their domain. The best way to entreat a submissive which you desire or like is to simply ask the dominant for permission first. This shows respect and allows the choice to be made by them.
Submissive like references as a “whore,” “slut,” and “cunt.”
While it is common in much of the play to use these terms, it is not the same as what individuals like. The submissive may well desire being respected, and only want these term used during activities or find the very term offensive even if the acts performed denote the handle. These terms are very much a part of the humiliation and degradation aspects of the lifestyle, and those into this want to engage in name calling, others do not. Regardless, however, most submissive prefer their partners are the ones using these labels. A stranger using these labels merely denotes an utter lack of respect.
Submissive can be treated in any manner
One of the worse misconceptions is that abuse is a part of the lifestyle and that it is required for submissives. This is a problem with the fact that most masochists are also submissives and many times the concepts get blended. Clearly, NOT all submissives are a masochist; many in fact do not have a high pain threshold, and a significant number do not like pain as part of their activities. Now a considerable portion is “pain-sluts” who feel exhilaration for pain and find it almost an alternate form of ecstasy. Submissive giving up control does not make them unworthy of but rather due respect for enabling Dominants the ability to explore their part of the power dynamic.