The reality of this life is that those who do not live it rarely understand it, and often even those of us who DO live it fuck it up.
There are so many ways to do this thing that I do, yet so few methods to make the outside world understand it, and respect it.
When I told my shrink about my BDSM lifestyle, I could almost see him turning the pages of him mental textbook trying to recall which year of med school kinky sex was covered in, and what did it have to do with my anxiety attacks.
To his credit he brought himself up to speed very quickly. It took a lot less explaining to him my life as slave, than it did the doctor before him. We swiftly moved past the sexual aspect of my life and into the deeper connections of my relationship (s). He is a trained professional though, the rest of the world is not as trained as he is and it is often reflected in my interactions with the ‘vanilla’ folk.
I don’t hide this part of who I am, no more than I hide being a parent, or being a Democrat. Sadly though this segment of who I am is not something that I can be as open and free about as I once was.
I was in a Facebook conversation this week. The topic on the surface had nothing to do with this lifestyle. It was about single motherhood in the Black community and the value we place on marriage in the Black community. The woman and I went back and forth multiple times, we disagreed about a couple of minor details (or at least I thought they were minor). Then it happened.
I was asked if I were married. No. I was asked if I wanted to be married. It is not my decision to make.
Not every BDSM relationship works the way that mine does. I live a total power exchange relationship (TPE). I am with a man that I trust with my life, and the life of my son and mother as well. That was not a decision that I entered into lightly and it is also not one that will work for everyone. It is one that works in my world though, and I do not apologize for that decision.
The debate continued though as I explained, what frankly I am a tad bit tired of explaining: for a decision such as this, well for any decision I gave up my authority to make decisions. That responsibility belongs to The Man, and I do not regret that at all, not one iota.
I went into the discussion and explained that marriage is not something that I personally desire, but that does not mean I would never marry The Man. She called me hypocritical and condemned my life choice. I’m sure that she does not think that she did, yet, when you toss out a statement like: You pretend to be this together and progressive woman yet you do what a man tells you to do…the writing is pretty much on the wall.
I attempted to explain to a male associate about my lifestyle. It seemed simple enough, I was asked was I single, the answer to that is yes. At the same time though, my devotion to The Man is not at all a secret. As he and I spoke I asked if he were familiar with the Master/slave dynamic. He said that he was…yet….by the end of the conversation he also was confused that I would simply do what I was told to do.
I know that if this were 1900, how I live would not be questioned at all. Women did not have the option then to CHOOSE the life that I choose. We were obedient and subservient because there simply were no other options. In 2012, I am not limited in the options available to me. I can work outside of the home, I can have multiple college degrees, I can get on the space shuttle and explore space. Yet I choose to surrender my authority.
I was speaking to yet another male friend and the concept of non monogamy in a TPE came up. This man is lifestyle educated, and he practices. Even he did not understand as I explained my parameters, and what that means. This is a man with a submissive of his own that was not clear on what I was saying.
It got me to thinking that perhaps I am not very clear when I take the occasional step to educate others about BDSM and stuff. For a ‘vanilla’ to not get it well, that can be more simply understood. When a fellow lifestyler leaves the conversation scratching his head? Whitney Houston we have a problem.
Then I stop and look at my relationship and realize, it is not necessarily a failure to communicate, I actually explain things pretty well (okay SOMETIMES). It is that what I have is incredibly unique. It is not unlike a snowflake in the storm of life.
I think it is safe to talk about snow…It was 80 degrees today.