A few quotes from my inbox:
“I am learning much from her words and most of all that it is possible to live so beautifully as this.” - referring to something Cat wrote.
And another: “Does it really exist? These connections you speak of?”
And: “Your words and hers give me hope that this really exists.”
I have encountered a similar sentiment a few times here, expressing apparent surprise that people actually live ‘this thing’ in the way Cat described it, in the way I try to describe it. In the way we lived it.
No, not everything you read is fantasy, though I concede that Tumblr might make you wish otherwise at times. And yes, there is certainly a lot of fantasy and wishful thinking around. Making the distinction can at times be difficult, especially for someone new to the ‘lifestyle’.
Yet there are normal people out there who actually live ‘so beautifully as this’. The realities, of course, are not always as glossy as the pretty pictures on Tumblr might suggest. Rather more mundane even, as Cat also pointed out so eloquently. And at times a lot messier too.
On Tumblr and elsewhere on the internet, D/s is at times treated as cheap entertainment. Quotes from E.L. James, 9/12 weeks and John Norman’s Gor novels on the same page in an apparent belief that they are somehow related. D/s reduced to fictional soundbites and cliches. One might almost think that emulating the dreaded inner goddess is somehow the same as being kajira. And one could easily believe that being Dom or Master, slave or submissive is nothing more than putting on boots or fancy lingerie for the evening and learning a few lines, or beating the hell out of someone until they beg for mercy and beyond.
Yes it is frustrating at times, because I care deeply about a ‘lifestyle’ I’ve been exploring and living for more than 25 years, and for those who explore it seriously. And I care that misconceptions and caricatures are perpetuated ad infinitum, feeding the kind of prejudice and idiocy some of us have been fighting for decades.
And yes 50 shades of kinky fuckery has caused damage. While bad fiction about D/s is nothing new, the popularity of these ‘novels’ has caused numerous people to get hurt, and others to step up proclaiming the new ‘truth’, straight from the fictional lips of a psychopath and an inner goddess. Instead of learning what it’s really about and enjoying the true beauty of D/s. People getting hurt. Not very fictional at all.
Truly living D/s is not a life of trite cliches or fuck-me heels and airbrushed asses. Or for that matter, 24-hour whippings. Or a list of rules. Or a man ordering a stranger around because she calls herself a submissive.
It’s infotainment, and people expecting this to work in the real world will be sorely disappointed. Not in the least by the amount of hard work and careful building of long-term trust it takes to experience D/s in all its glory.
Yes, in the physical world, there are Doms and subs and Masters and slaves living and breathing ‘this thing’. Real people, consenting adults living their lives in a D/s dynamic, yes 24/7, yes as Master and slave.
In the physical world, these are connections forged over months, sometimes years, not in a few pages of rules over a glass of wine. And to the outsider, many of these connections might look just like non-D/s relationships. The reality is, for most people, far removed from the fiction of a Dom and his 24/7 ‘dungeon’, or a whip-yielding slave Master buying his chain-gang chattel in the auction house. Or the millionaire in his penthouse dishing out ‘punishments’ with questionable consent at best.
And lest we forget, in the real world D/s is not a game. For some people a bit of back and forth role play online is a bit of fun, for another it may be a devastating first experience, taken entirely seriously and causing real, devastating hurt.
In the physical world, these relationships are hard work, but we don’t see it much. Because most of it happens behind closed doors. Maybe we don’t hear of the good news and the beautiful, lifelong bonds so much because these people are quietly, happily living their lives. And perhaps hiding their own reality, because of prejudice and misconceptions.
Yes there are real people out there who live D/s, and who know from experience that it *can* be ‘as beautiful as this’. I personally hope that those who come looking have a chance at finding and living the beauty of D/s.
M. / Her Liege