BDSM and public acceptance

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

BDSM and public acceptance is part of the series on BDSM and society

Sexual freedom today
A recent survey by the US based National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) mentions that “large percentages of respondents view the general society as hostile to BDSM”. It is thought that almost 85% of the people that are not in the BDSM lifestyle do think that there is something wrong with kinky persons. In clear words; this means that they think we are sick, sinners, perverts or mentally disordered. Particularly our vicious sadists are dangerous for public safety and our dear subs are poor little things that are the victims of abusive bastards. Sounds familiar?

It sounds like someone needs to hear about how things really are. In the survey it is additionally stated that as a result of the widespread rejection of BDSM by the general public, 95% of the interviewed kinks think that it is therefore important that the general public is better educated about BDSM. A topic that this blog is intending to contribute to, even when it is primarily aiming at our own community.

Furthermore 74% of the respondents do not feel comfortable to talk about BDSM with their families. Regarding co-workers this goes up to 75%, which makes clear that both private and at work there is a huge reluctance to speak about our BDSM urges or practice. Whether or not you are in such position yourself, I guess we all know situations where we have to avoid openness and fall back on little lies or lame excuses. Personally I do not like that at all, but I sometimes see the necessity of it.

Practical example
Sir Cameron remembers a situation at a business party where he was luring two pretty ladies into a mysterious net of eroticised thoughts. When noticing how he indeed felt rather comfortable playing the game of double meanings and charming courtesy the most daring and less cautious of the two hotties let the first sexist remark slip; “You are a real Casanova; you know what woman want, but you would never hurt them.”

As Sir Cameron was just thinking about caning that neat Polish behind of her neighbour; our brave Sir, for a brief moment, faltered and looked down at his shoes. She had hit the nail; he would love to hurt her sexy nipples. The sweet Russian goddess now realized that she dropped a brick; her own arousal had converted my dominance over her into more acceptable romantic ideas of the mysterious lover that would put her on the throne; instead it would be the dungeons.

The prolonged silence that followed her remarks said more as shouting ‘I’ll dominate you two honeys until you beg for more’ could have done. Yet, it was a normal party and it offered no room for play or confrontation, so I just let it be. From their reactions they had sensed it anyway and soon after the incident the Russian beauty left with her rather irritated husband, who must have spotted that his wife was a bit confused. The Polish lady stayed glued on her chair and we had a very inspiring conversation, as she was just as smart as sexy. At the end I handed her my card; she never called.

You see; quite an ordinary situation with open minded people having modern values; yet, I was not free to say that I am a sadist and that I like to play out women –or men’s - fantasies with those who are brave enough to do so. On the other hand, why should we, most of the times it is perfectly fine to keep your ideas to yourself, but still.

Acceptance of openness
So what is it? How to navigate between wishing to be clear and open about who you are and finding a way to give others room to read between the lines, instead of pushing your kink upon them? How can we best do this?

Perhaps, pointing out the differences between fantasy and reality can shed some light on the issue, just as the notion of consent. We will start with the latter.

A part of the NCSF-survey showed that the interviewed thought that consent should be an ongoing discussion in any relationship, not just in kinky play; a thesis to which 94% agreed. Almost 96% shared the opinion that consent should be revocable at any time. An alarming 1 on 3 kinky persons expressed to have experienced a consent violation. A clear sign that our community is not as ideal as we perhaps think it to be, despite the agreement on consent (96%), roughly one third of them has problems recognizing or respecting this once involved in play.

Unfortunately the survey does not answer if those who violate the rules that make our play reasonable are selfish dominant males or ever more demanding pain pigs that run over their top’s limits and cause him to get trauma treatment right after he had delivered her to get first aid at the ambulatory clinic of the local hospital. Why is it that maso and macho do not really match most of the times?

You think I am too cynical? Well, remember those 33% of the people that got abused instead of being ‘treated’ in the way they like. The sad thing is that these people were kinky and into consensual kink; they likely would have complied anyway, given a bit more attention, care or negotiation. Control is a nice thing, but it works best when it goes in two directions; violation of consent is a lack of control, not a virtue of ‘real’ dominance.

But tell me, why am I not surprised? And we did not even talk about hygiene and disinfection of tools did we? The point will likely be the next issue we had planned to look at anyway: the difference between fantasy and reality and the risk of overplaying our hand.

Dream a little dream with me …
Just today I responded on a comment that made it clear to me how important the distinction is between abstract fantasy on the one side and our play in actual reality on the other side. The reason is obvious - if I may refer to Easton and Hardy once more: Our fantasies are all inside our head. We have agreed them to be there and we will never daydream about an act for which we do not have an inner consent.

Yes, of course the villain that brutalizes us in our fantasy is a bastard, yet, he is so sexy with his knowing smile and whatever he does to us, our body reacts on him in such a shameful way … because he precisely know what to do. And that lovely Mistress too, how mean she is when she pinches our nipples with her long red nails, that cause us to immediately get hot tears in our eyes; for which she mocks us with her humiliating remarks while she pushes our face closer and closer towards that soaked spot on her leather string thong ... 

In naked reality however, the bastard does not smell as good as expected and goes into sex way to quick and somehow he cannot read your mind on how you precisely prefer him to give it to you. And what a pitty; but that sexy Mistress is not really open for your wishes, because she can only top without nurturing. But are these tops to blame for being as they are; for not being able to read minds and know everything?

In reality, we need time to build up trust and self-acceptance, in reality we need to learn how our body responds in a scene with factual distress and pain. In reality we have to find a way to deal with differences in limits and technical skills without feeling awkward afterwards. In reality we have to communicate in order to get what we want. Dreaming about the ‘one’, ‘perfect’, ‘true’ of ‘real’ person runs the risk of getting close to self-delusion by confusing dream and reality.

But there is hope; BDSM is just as much a process of careful negotiations on getting what we want as it is fun. And the mental kick of abusive fantasies will for sure kick in when you are involved in a well prepared consensual scene. Just give it some time; practising is just as pleasurable as the final act of perfect play where our passions and bodies merge in blissful clash where we become the stars on the famous stage of the ‘realized dreams theatre’.

Bliss, bless, public
It is the bliss of working and functioning BDSM that the general public both understands and misunderstands. Most people are familiar with the blessings of hot and steamy sexual encounters, likely from their own fantasies, but hopefully from their active sex life too.

When on Monday morning at the university library those two vanilla women question their kinky submissive friend and ask her why she let herself being humiliated all weekend and the bottom answers that she simply needed those 23 orgasms to show her master how she admires him, some women would perhaps think that she is sick; most other women likely wonder how it would feel to have 23 orgasms in one weekend and if they would like or need that themselves, yet all of them understand that it must be pretty awesome experience that shows a lot of  intimacy and expertise.

When we engage in consensual acts that add flavour and spice to our BDSM lifestyle, we chose to do so. We seek it and we seek the suited surroundings for putting our secret longings into practise. The public’s negativity may first come from not respecting their privacy; when the neighbour goes out on his balcony to smoke and sees how your five Mistresses have tied you to a tree, hanging helpless in ropes, visibly aroused, not all neighbours tend to be sympathetic to what you do. Okay, it may be your garden, but it is also his balcony where he perhaps wishes to smoke without being confronted with a bondage scene. So, when we are as we are, we most times have to respect the limits of others. This goes for limits of our play partners and limits of outsiders; a limit that may involve not wishing to know, to see or to hear about what it is that we do.

Just as BDSM-acts result in heavy emotions in us as participants, it also can evoke strong reactions in others; shame, disgust, curiosity and fear, to name a few of the more common ones. When a vanilla person is confronted with our perversities, we can expect them to run against limits that are part of this person’s convictions, experiences and emotions. Just as we, they have the right to have limits, particularly in the public area. Yet, unless they are knowledgeable in BDSM theory, they are to a much lesser extent entitled to judge on what we think is fun, unfortunately they more often as not judge and reject that what they in most of the cases do not know or understand properly.

In fact, for this reason it might indeed be one of our tasks as a BDSM community to spread the word and to inform those who wish to receive such information about what it is what motivates us, what we get from it and why we still hold to BDSM as a sane, sound and reasonable sexual practise.

Feeling hurt by rejection, feeling frustrated for not being able to openly be as you are, feeling lost and alone with your urges because you sense you are not properly understood and accepted, moreover, accused by labels that do not fit your own perception; yes this is not nice. Nevertheless, when we abide to consent between players, when we wish to respect hard and soft limits from those in the scene, why would we not be more relaxed when it comes to accepting that our branch of sexuality is not very well understood and thus not very often approved on.  The reactions of the public are first and foremost theirs. Where we share a common responsibility would be in refraining from pushing our urges upon those who have not asked for it and in informing those who wish to understand. Whatever emotions the public has after that, they are theirs to cope with.

Like the Scriptures says in John 21: “Peter, seeing him, says to Jesus … and what of this man? Jesus says to him … what is that to thee? Follow thou me.”

In this sense, let us all follow our own call and do not bother too much with how others think about our practise and simply follow our path to fulfilment and happiness. Let us be realistic about differences in fantasy and their realization, let us be realistic about the factual limits of the public and let us be realistic about the increase in openness that our society as a whole is showing to alternative sexuality. We have a long way to go, but I am glad you are with me …

As always, enjoy – Sir Cameron

Uncertainty and shyness - essential bottom qualities, or rather ritual symbols?

Monday, May 13, 2013

‘Uncertainty and shyness’ is part on the series on BDSM and Philosophy

(Keywords: ritual play, topping, bottoms, real and true BDSM)

Bottoms up
In my experience, uncertainty, low self esteem and being shy are disturbingly often perceived as possible qualifiers to explain the behaviour of submissive and masochist bottoms. Well, at least, bottoms are thought to be like that by the outside world, which – understandably - in general has problems to comprehend the mechanisms that drive our BDSM urges and takes for too literal and important that what is only part of our rituals of intimacy.

However, for the insiders it is clear that being kinky has nothing to do with the above stated qualifiers, even when indeed some bottoms can be displaying them in abundance. Likely not just a few tops think that such behaviour does suit them fine too; which, naturally, it most of the times actually does. All provided that such behaviour is part of our play by our choosing.

Yet, like most Masters, Sir Cameron realizes that bottoms who suffer under who they are and what they do, can be problematic as a play partner, or in a sub or slave relationship; in a way one might even say that they represent impaired bottoms, who are not qualified for play. Whereas a healthy self respecting bottom with knowledge and understanding about their own urges, fantasies and limits is way more preferable. As such, ‘normal’ bottoms are able to support their tops by responding with constructive feedback, care and gratefulness. This may not be the type of bottoms, subs and masochists that we perhaps meet in (pornographic) literature or in - porn movie inspired - public awareness. That clearly cannot be, as such roles and images are meant to stimulate our fantasy, not as a real life example.

Does BDSM empower bottoms?
Instead of empty stereotyped perversions of what we supposedly do, we in our BDSM praxis are looking for real, sane and sensible people. Persons that show an amazing assertiveness, a positive self image and a very good idea of what amount of nastiness they prefer in life. These points denote for individual qualities that can be regarded as excellent conditions for playing with them as bottom, sub or slave; precisely because we all realize that BDSM thrives on our co-dependency. Moreover, issues like self esteem, assertiveness or modesty rather seems to be a general issue of ones personality than that it would be something that can or should be related to being kinky. Nonetheless, I will argue that this last position - of subs being knowledgeable, self-confident and communicative - is paradoxically enough quite often the result of being kinky, instead of the reason for being involved in BDSM. Why is that?

The first reason perhaps, is that our kinky urges force us to go and look inside of our selves to find out if we are okay. Outing as a kinky person, goes hand in hand with the awareness that BDSM by the majority of our fellow citizens is still perceived as something wrong, sinful or sick – at least not a normal thing. Therefore, standing to your own sexual identity and perversions, asks for a thorough consideration with regard to our own sanity. By reflecting on who we are, what we need in order to feel complete and how it is safe and sound to be ourselves in this way, we learn and discover how life works. In the process of exploring our sexuality, we get to know ourselves better and get the information that we require in order to be able to get our needs met in joint forces with our peers.

‘Peers’ you ask? Yes, peers indeed. In BDSM inequality is a conditional part of the play. In order to let giving off power in an exchange process function properly, the bottom first needs to have this power. And they need it knowingly and at their command.

A second reason why many bottoms are in fact so powerful, stable and open minded, can be found by seeing through questionable contradictions. In principle being shy or being self-conscious are not necessarily opposites. It is understandable that one mistakes a role in a play for being representative for how those persons are outside the scene: this will certainly apply in many cases, but does it necessarily have to?

We all know the switching type, or the sexually submissive, that can be really bossy in hir job. We explore these real sides of us and overly faked roles alike, whatever is on our agenda. We are the players, remember? We direct, fuel and spice this living out of our fantasies and wishes. And as such, the opposite of shy, viz. being brisk, may well be a driving force behind our play, or not. It does not really mater. Yet, without planned route you have no idea if you fly in the right direction.

Accordingly, the opposite of self-confidence is when you are not conscious of what it does require for you to be – essentially - your self. This implies that you do not realize to what extend your needs, your feelings, your deep desires; your strengths and particularly your weaknesses influence your current behaviour. In order to get kink working in your life, to be aware of your own psyche, your urges and your limits is absolutely essential. By knowing yourself and by holding yourself and your play partner(s) in high esteem, you know why you are doing what you do. You can reflect on why and how events impact your emotions and this gives you a valuable tool to work on your defences, your limits and their transgression. Please, do not give a damn about what others say is the ‘real’ thing! Nor ’50 Shades of Grey’, nor ‘O’, nor your local slaveholder defines what is ‘real’ or ‘true’ BDSM. Real is who you are and what you are doing. And when you are doing it the way you need it, good for you! Stay true to yourself.

And for sure, the awareness of knowing each others needs - and what you can give and share with each other - forms an essential part of any relationship, not only in kink. Yet, in kink it is perhaps more important, as a wrong motivation or poor understanding of the others needs, can end up in a mess. Therefore, the ideal case is when two self-conscious meet (regardless of whether their coming together was hesitant or clashing).

Bottoms and ‘their’ poses
Good bottoms are very sexy to tops. Some tops ‘suffer’ heavily because they easily fall in love (yes we can!) with those adorable, small, helpless, fragile, anxious bottoms who - once they are conquered - start clinging to and feeding on the tops strength and squeeze them out like a lemon.

Occasionally, we might be inclined to accept such behaviour, but in general love or lust should not compensate for structural deficiencies. On the contrary: love is the mutual blowing up of barricades in order to be able to transcend seemingly unattainable limits. This takes courage, but it's the best chance to enjoy a lifetime of love, happiness and hot steamy passion!

Bottom poses, like uncertainty, shyness of even submission itself, are just poses. We can and certainly may identity with such enthralling poses when engaged in play, but to carry this beyond their functionality is a matter of personal flavour. It is perfectly normal for both top and bottom to return to a non-role state after play, where we have a fairly normal attitude towards each other. Sir Cameron is utterly annoyed by delusions regarding sadists being horrible nasty and hideously vicious for 24/7 – as if we are not entitled to be gentle to other beings. Woe on them who do not believe this! Sophia, heat up the branding irons! – oops what did I say?

Now, to re-assure those neatly bottoms who are shy, uncertain and soft and weak by nature, I can only stress; do not worry; we still need and cherish you – even when you have to suffer for it! Whatever; just take care that you find persons that respect you as you are and who do not exploit you against your actual needs. A healthy top does not need that anyway. Even when a topping person can be a great help to you, BDSM is no alternative for therapy. If you, as a person, need to heal and solve personal problems, find a therapist and work on these issues with a professional. Despite that kinky play can be outright beneficial to finding out how you are wired; your partner(s) will likely be looking for a partner, not for a patient (except when playing doctor Dark or nurse Needy … )

At the other side, dear ‘topsies’ and ‘bottomses’: feel free to be open about all your needs; when you cannot communicate your thing, your hard limits or your hottest fantasy to your partner(s), why are you playing at all? What are you trying to prove? Do not be afraid to loose your charm by being assertive; in the Dominion of Lord Cameron, we have made the experience that none of us kinky folk is a one trick pony and even that - allegedly - passed stations are great fun to return to, then our rituals have layers of meaning and it takes time and practise to get to know them all.

BDSM Ritual play
Ritualism as such is without any doubt a functional affair; despite the highly organized formality, it often contains celebratory actions with a striking symbolic content. Of course, these symbols are not necessarily sexual in nature, and even if so, they still can refer to general human needs, like sharing, nurturing or love. However, such wants are a genuine part of BDSM play too: often full with symbols, roles and ritualistic elements, like the secret, the dark, the seductive, the fearful, the unashamed, the forbidden, the painful. Not for nothing the dungeons are seen as temples of sex magic.

When arranging a play scene, we use the rite to our advantage, so we get a reward out of it. And like with childish play, it does not have to be perfect, we can fill in the blanks: a candle hear, some music there, a belt, a mean looking leather jacket; soon we create a space that we can use for matters of serious fun.

Consequently, whatever rituals, roles or posses we choose to explore in our play, let them be clearly know; the reward will only be higher. And even when it should not be our goal to fly from the one height to the other, being ‘on air’ for sure is a good feeling.

Rituals can help us in this regard; rituals are the key to understand some of what we do and at the same time they form the tools by which we prepare a space of secrecy where we can be whoever we wish to be, even if it is only for once. We resemble one another in what we see together, in what we suffer and enjoy together. Fantasies change from individual, but the reality of the ritual as meaningful language is common to us all. Striving towards realism is therefore legitimate in BDSM play, for it is basically related to laying the substrate for the imaginative expression that we wish to bring about.

In our ritual play we resonate on such sources as the self and the cultural stance on self-indulgence. BDSM rituals thus help us to form and liberate our sexuality in a save and controlled way that does justice to our humanity in an appealing ceremony.

Perversions are only statistically uncommon instances of human wants. By playing out our urges with consent and care; we realize our creative potential and pursue happiness in a way that we see as appropriate and empowering for our kinky nature.

Enjoy! – Sir Cameron

Acknowledging dreams – Is BDSM for free?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Acknowledging dreams – Is BDSM for free?

- Acknowledging dreams is part on the series on BDSM and philosophy -

Our dreams, Freud and the war on terror

Did you ever have a dream and then one day it surprisingly became true? For most people this will sound like a dream, but for some of us, it perhaps is not. Dreams can come to us in many forms; nightmares, daydreams and – yummy – wet dreams. In our dreams we experience emotions, great ideas, fear and passion, all just popping up in our mind, delivered by our unconsciousness; whether we asked for it or not. Dreaming is not a free choice, but something that happens to us; yet, it occurs with a clear purpose.

From the War on Terror we know that freedom comes with a price tag; it is nothing different when it comes to sexual freedom. And if I may stretch the comparison a bit further – and we love stretching, don’t we? – then I would like to point out that as with the battle for freedom, we  have the enemies that come from outside and those creepy ones that lurk within. And then we are stuck - you and I - somewhere in the middle.

In a sense this reminds me of Freud’s dream theory, where the ‘id’ and the ‘super-ego’ are both hidden in the unconsciousness waiting for our ‘ego’ to loosen and open up so ‘id’ & ‘sup’ can get to us. Normally this happens when we sleep and that is why we experience dreams as strangely unreal. But are they and what message do they hold?

Why has Freud been so influential?

Dreams tend to strike us with things that we often do not know or wish to know; negative feelings, repressed memories, trauma’s and all kinds of other stuff that we like, but do not allow to live. According to Freud this is because our ‘super-ego’ - a kind of unconscious cop - is keeping us in line and ‘tells us’ what is acceptable and what is not. Dreams, of course are not merely negative or stressful, they just as easily can provide us with beautiful images, inspiring ideas and the reassurance that life is great and worth to live. Dreams are outlets of creativity; originating deep inside each of us.
The funny thing is; even when most of us pursue happiness - and rightly so I think – we nevertheless are far less touched by dreams that offer us love, peace and harmony, as by those dreams that are disturbing; freaking us out, confront us with immobility, show our fear or anxiety or even such feelings like failure or expendability. Why is that?

Now, let me be honest; I am not the biggest fan of Freud, as he – simplified for the sake of argument - seems to reduce everything unconsciousness to repressed sexuality. Even when I tend to belief that this is probably precisely the reason why his theories were such a success in the first place, this success does not automatically render his theories true. Perhaps it rather shows the currents of his time and the fascination that followed in what Darwinism had to offer with regard to our sexuality and our ethics. But overall, reducing so many mental diseases to repressed sexuality seems too farfetched from our modern point of view.

This brings another aspect to our attention; Freud’s theories are over an age old now. Seen in their own moment in time, the approach for sure embodied a formidable achievement. Freud for the first time deemed the experiences of his patients as a reality that was both meaningful and significant. Accordingly, Freudian treatment was not merely directed at treating – read suppressing - symptoms, but at understanding the patients and their experiences in order to help them feel better.

Nevertheless, up to today much of our unconscious behaviour might still be related to repressed sexual drives. Sex does play a much larger role in our behaviour and in our society as a whole, as we are perhaps willing to acknowledge. On the other hand, we have discovered that there is a bit more in our mind as repression and frustration with regard to our sexual fantasies.

Factually, as scientific dream theory evolved, also psychoanalysis did. Today Freud is still influential, but by the majority of therapists, Freud is only one influence amongst that of other schools. Sexual deviations are no longer regarded as a symptom of sickness, or, as such, morally deficient. Yet, it is not regarded as normal either.
As we - as BDSM community - grow by learning from and about ourselves, we will perhaps be able to further strengthen our position and be accepted as, admittedly peculiar, but nonetheless healthy behaviour, provided we keep the important distinction between ‘statistical abnormal deviation’ and ‘sick mental disorder’ neatly separated.

It would be great to no longer have to be an underground or hidden sub-culture. I know many of us do not bother, yet Sir Cameron does. He would like to take his slave to the local bar and ask the waiter to bring him an espresso and some water for his bitch. As long as people understand, we are simply living our lives in the way we prefer it, there is no reason to feel attacked, provoked or declined. Well, it’s a dream.

Why dreams are not lies

In the culture where I grew up, it was said that dreams are lies that do not come true. For us, being a dreamer carried a very negative connotation, as did being ‘progressive’, as did being a ‘feminist’ or being ‘alternative’. Conformance to traditional values was key and communism was the enemy.

Well, that is the past. And even when many of you share a similar past, we all have evolved, perhaps also by listening to our dreams. My experience has teached me that dreams are not necessarily lies, but simply require some understanding from our side on what dreams are and how they come to us and for what reason.

Dreams can represent the voice of our other side, that side that is unknown by definition, the side that is hidden and has strange dark currents that confuse the orderly world of our rational mind, with strange feelings and disturbing emotions. Depth psychology coined dreams as occurrences in which our unconsciousness speaks to us, but the language it uses is not that of clear reason – when also not irrational – nor do dreams speak to us specifically in terms of repression – even when they often do precisely that. Dreams seem to be mechanisms to communicate what is going on in our unconsciousness, so we do understand and can integrate this in our praxis.

That which is present in each of us, is not by definition bad, good or harmless; but based on whom we are and what we have to learn or accept. Depending on our willingness to work on ourselves; dreams can be beneficial or damaging to us. E.g. for a nasty sadist philosopher - like Sir Cameron - to wallow in his dark desires is not free of charge, and yet, his dreams have formed a beacon of light, illuminating the secret corners of his heart.

Most of us who are admitting to BDSM, leather, fetish or kink, will acknowledge that our urges are natural to us, coming from inside and as such part of who we are. This view is of course not undisputed, yet, I think this experience of us insiders is more genuine as the affixing of labels by those who adhere to other views, either because this is their – equally genuine – experience, or because they feel morally obligated.

That human sexuality is generally a more instinctive drive as it is rationally motivated, will not likely be regarded as a dubious claim. For this reason, I consider the unconscious as one important factor that can supply us with information that might explain our sexual acts and the urges that drive them. As parts of our psyche lie dormant and get active when triggered, also the way we experience our sexuality changes over time, as it changes with us.

I assume that because of the roles we are teached to play in society, some of these roles do actually hinder us to be ourselves to a larger extent. Particularly the identification with urges that are socially or morally prejudiced may take some time to evolve. For this reason I see the ‘dark’ side of our sexuality, not as connected with evil or inequity, but rather as ‘hidden’ in the sense of not fully appeared in the light of consciousness.

Once we see this, the function of sexual fantasy becomes apparent too; we play around with images, ideas and illusions in order to get to known them better and our own herewith concerned reactions too. Yet, in fantasy we can still guide our train of thoughts, in dreams we do not. On the other hand, dreams are normally also experienced in a completely different setting, as they are unconscious.
Reflecting on our dreams is important too, as often our dreams can tell us what our mind or fantasy is blocking. The language of dreams is subtle and individual. Luckily there are widely distributed symbols too, e.g. the Archetypes, unconscious universal patterns, which give us clues to access the meaning of our dreams. Well known archetypes are the hero, the hag, the wise elder, the child.

When growing older, our psyche becomes more and more individual, as we reflect on our roles, ideas and attitudes and find out what does suit us and what not. Also more and more of the content that is hidden in the reservoir of the unconscious rises up to get integrated in our individuality. We learn how to deal with aggression, passion, loss and our negative sides that originate in our ‘shadow’. Ultimately, the latter will not go away, but we are more in control as we get to know ourselves better.

Because the Dominion of Sir Cameron takes BDSM as partially shadow driven, a considered evaluation of our dreams can actually help us to better understand why we are facing such non-conformal issues in our selves. This equally goes for gender issues and many other things that we have repressed or have not yet crossed our path.

Reflecting on our sexuality is of course a very personal matter. No ones sexual roadmap is the same, nor should it; the diversity is what enriches our experience. Most of the times, when we think about our sexuality, we think about what we would like to do or to be, which is all fine and essential in itself, but what is really interesting is the question who we are and why we do what we do. With controversial lifestyles, like kink, this reflecting is almost an obligation, not with the goal to condemn, but obviously with the goal to embrace and internalize so we can indeed be as we are.

It may just as be obvious that such a process is taking a lifetime. The foresight that we can still grow and enjoy our sexuality in ever increasing complexity irrespective of age or gender, is a profoundly pleasurable one, I belief.

The physical discoveries at young age, the internal reflections that lead to growth at middle age, and the successful integration at old age, makes clear that BDSM as part of the development of our sexual identity is not simply heaving the whip or spanking the bottom; it is much more and that richer spiritual and mental dimension is a welcome addition to the more physical fun. This is also the reason why so many kinks are wonderful caring persons, great dads and inspiring moms, understanding partners and fabulous lovers.

I hope this will encourage all of you to seek out that empowering part of our kink and perhaps focussing on your dreams as message from your heart, should – for a while - have a higher priority than the living out of your fantasies. Ultimately, we are seeking ourselves too in our play with others. Why not take the guidance that comes to us when we are sleeping; dreams come for free; to live accordingly may require a price, but I am sure you agree that you, your sanity and happiness are definitely worth it.

Sir Cameron