We have ideas about the way things “should” be…the way we wish or hope they could or will be at some point. Even if we know those things aren’t completely possible, we can use them as “visions,” something to move toward.
After all, the journey is more important than the destination, and even though we may never attain the vision, we are on a path toward something bigger, and that is progress in my book, even if the vision changes and the path changes with it. Revision is sometimes necessary, and that’s okay…maybe even preferable to “staying the course.”
But, I think it’s important to discern between fantasy and reality before going very far. I recently read, that “the more experienced submissive will find BDSM fiction to be mostly useless and uninteresting” (Luna Carruthers/”Submissive Reflection: A Journey of Rediscovery and Affirmation). That may be true for some, but as a writer of fiction, I find it endlessly fascinating, and I know that often readers come to BDSM fiction to “spice things up” or “get ideas” about things they might do to enliven their sexual relationships. There is nothing wrong with that, but I would agree that fiction is not a good resource for the “truth of D/s.”
It’s not so much because fiction can’t portray D/s in a realistic light; I think it does that quite often. But the problem with any book on D/s (fiction or not), is that it is someone else’s vision of what D/s should be…not yours. And yours, no matter what it looks like, is just as valid as anyone else’s.
In that same source mentioned above (Carruthers), she aptly explains, “What we need to do is establish a visible understanding of what submission is like to those looking through the fantasy for the reality of it all.”
I haven’t shared as much of my personal life here as I plan to. After doing a twitter poll, I found that a very large number of people would prefer more information about my real sex life. And, honestly, I can understand why.
We go to the internet for a myriad of reasons…entertainment (which I try to provide through my fiction…another thing I’m going to be stepping up here in the coming weeks), but also information. There are a number of great blogs written by fabulous people on real life D/s relationships, and the more access people have to these, the more likely that the stigma and any unrealistic vision of it can be quelled.
I can’t imagine that D/s would ever be “mainstream.” I don’t even propose that it should be. But it would be good for everyone to know that it’s a way that “normal” people live together, and that there are as many ways to go about starting and living a D/s life as there are ways of being in any relationship.
When I first brought it up to my Husband, I don’t think I really knew what I wanted. I was grasping at an abstract feeling and need, knowing that something about His dominance was necessary to me and that it pulled something from me that both scared me and made me feel more whole. I didn’t know the particulars of what I wanted.
And while I still don’t completely know the particulars, I know a heck of a lot more from “experimenting” by proxy through other people’s descriptions, reading fiction, and watching movies. So while some of that is just fantasy, it can still be used as a valid resource for inspiration, as long as everyone is aware that it’s not the expectation and that it’s not always an accurate account of BDSM.
Fifty Shades of Grey was not the first to do it. Dozens of films and books have offered up visions of BDSM to the public, and while they may not get it “right,” they do make it accessible and intriguing. They open the door.
I personally did not like FSoG. Like so many writers, I though it was terribly written. But, I don’t think it’s right to attack James for offering up an inaccurate portrait of BDSM. That’s HER story. That’s her vision of BDSM. And while so much of the relationships at the center of her story are more about abuse and trauma than anything, it does provide a rather thrilling ride. The public ate them the fuck up. So, rather than hating James for it, those of us who live it and write about it should probably be grateful that it almost “normalized” talking about BDSM and D/s.
My own mother read those books. And while she has no idea about our life, it did give me a chance to explain how wrong the relationship at the center of that book is…and how BDSM is about consent…and D/s is about respect. Of course…she wanted to know how I knew…and I just said “I know some people who live that lifestyle…”
Fiction can be a springboard, but ultimately, it is our job to create our own recipe for D/s. And even if I share my recipe, it still will not cook up the same for you. We share to simply make the concepts and possibilities more accessible and vast.
So, if you read my blog and you are in a D/s relationship, or want to be, I do not want you to think that I believe my way is the one true way. I also do not want anyone to think that we are “doing it wrong.” Neither of those things is true.
We are building this as we go. Trying on little bits…throwing others overboard. What sticks…stays. What doesn’t…is left behind and forgotten.
I’m still trying to figure out my vision of my own submission. But, even with a “vision,” I know I have to be realistic. My real life does not (and often cannot) play out like the vision in my head. A vision is something to work toward. It is not set in stone and it is not a plan. To me, a vision is like “In a perfect world…things would be like this…” I do not live in a perfect world. I have to find ways to live in a very imperfect world, happily and sanely and in a way that does not negatively impact the important people around me.
Plus, I am not in this alone…someone else has a vision of my submission…and I have a vision of his dominance. Those visions are a mix of fantasy and possibility, and together, we have to create a workable system that meets both of our needs.