Outing or underground? – Similarities between BDSM & LGBTQ

Monday, June 24, 2013

“Outing or underground?” is part of the series on BDSM and society

Imagine that you would be fully accepted as you are. That would be great, wouldn’t it? Can you sense how strong, relaxed and sheltered you would feel, if you did get the support of those you love? And there is nothing wrong with aspiring this: it is perfectly normal to wish to be accepted and cared for just as you are. Unfortunately, for the most of us kinky folks - and for quite a few LGBTQ as well - our every day reality is sometimes quite different: we are faced with rejection, pathologizing and on occasion even threats.

What does this mean to us? What does this mean to you, as a kink, aLGBTQ or both? Well, belonging to a not accepted group is tough and for that reason some of us are forced to stay underground and keep an essential part life hidden and wrapped in the cloths of secrecy. In this blog we look at hidden truths and naked lies. Living a double life, by sheer necessity or by our own choice, is in a way a distortion of reality; of how you really are. In this particular blog we search for approaches on how to choose the way that offers most benefits for you, in being yourself. I am sure you have earned it. Absolutely.

Is kink a private matter?
Depending on who you ask inside the leather scene, kink is either regarded a private matter – after all, how you prefer ‘it’ is really none of their business – or, on the contrary, it is definitely something that belongs to their public profile. Like that Harley Davidson driving Master clothed in thick black leather and piercing through you with his demanding eyes. It is obvious what he wants and clear that he will get it.

Which of the two above options is the best, one or two lives, is hard to say; it will depend on your character and the context you live in; is your community, your culture and your relationship open for you outing your kink, or not? Staying underground or outing yourself is nothing but a consequence your own choices, given the circumstances you are in. It is up to you and your living environment how you can live.

When I live in a relationship with a vanilla partner, I show more reluctance about displaying the true role that kink plays in my life. When I play with kindred folk, I let more of it out. This is not only a matter of ethics, but just as much a sign of respect for your partner(s); give to each of them, what belongs to them in the way they wish it. And in return you may expect to meet a similar kind of openness, as meeting respect and openness with respect and openness is normal civilized behaviour.

However, in reality this expectation proofs more to be based on wishful thinking as on confirming experience. There is always the famous exception, but in fact, most people who are not kinky themselves tend to show reactions towards BDSM that do display a close conformity to their own set of ethics; and those are likely the sort of ethics that regard BDSM as strange, unfamiliar and scary (or in case of religious bias, even as sin or outright evil).

Now, when we are honest, we have to admit that indeed some of the things we do can look very scary; not only is much of the context of BDSM play aimed at creating some sort of suspense and tension, but also the actions are bewildering to individuals that do not understand the mechanics underlying BDSM play, like how funny pain can be or how our power exchange is (ideally) embedded in a safe, sound and consensual praxis.

However, because they are not understanding, liking or accepting our ‘thing’, this does not automatically render our preferences, urges and actions into something immoral, wrong or sick. From one perspective one could argue for this assessment, from another perspective it is clearly a matter of freedom, liberty and identity. What does actually divide us is our view on what is right. Is there a truth regarding BDSM & LGBTQ and how can we be sure of it?

The Duality of Choosing
To put it from the start, I will not lead you on the slippery path of philosophical theories on truth, nor in the confusing maze of (religious) ethics. There are certainly many things to say and needed to be said in these areas, but at the end it will turn out to be arbitrary anyway. Some will be in agreement with what I argue for, others won’t. Overall, the question will perhaps not be to choose for this or that point of view, but rather why we have to choose and divide at all.

With truth - as in right and wrong - it seems that we can discover a similar diversity as we find in sexual urges and preferences; yes, there is seemingly a binary position we can make with regard to our sex organs (and is the mind one of them or not?), but we also find a pluriformity of options on how to experience our naturally appearing sex in- and outside of our head.

For the majority of our fellow human beings, many common dualisms - like e.g. the male/female distinction - will feel as a natural and logical option. But since we realized that there must be around 50 shades of grey, we discovered that the world is not black and white and that it perhaps has never been; not the world is dualistic, as it seems, but the way we look at the world ultimately creates our (dualistic) experience.

This is a very important distinction, as it shows that you - for yourself, inside of your head or inside a safe circle - can have a full self-awareness and self-acceptation towards your sexual orientation or gender identity. Even when the outside word is hostile and intolerant; you can and may always be you, hidden inside or out in the open.

Luckily the – predominantly post-Christian - world is evolving. A large minority in the West does not regard dualisms and rigid categories as the only valid view on sexuality. As a result we differ with regard to gender issues, we differ in respect to the meaning of the vanilla/kink duality and in BDSM play many of us even differ considerably in what makes it work for us: Diversity - and particularly sexual diversity - appears to be part of the human condition.

From the above it may be obvious that I do not endorse gender binarity, nor in general tend towards a dualistic approach with regard to gender identity, sexual orientation or practical preferences. Instead I advocate a non-dualism, which offers the freedom to accept binarity as the genuine experience of many people as such. However, this is done without setting their praxis or opinion as the (indubitable) norm. Free and open societies do tend to show the multifacetedness of human sexuality, whereas rigid and disclosed societies do not; their truths can only be binary; which brings us back to truth again.

Being true? Reasons for (not) concealing your urges
The ethics of the society you live in, and particularly their ideas with regard to LGTBQ, BDSM and fetish, will greatly contribute to your sense of security. Above all, when it comes to publicly showing that you differ in your gender-identity or sexual preference, compared to what is regarded as mainstream. If general ethics is repressive to your urges and inner being, going against them can be a dangerous endeavour; therefore think before you ‘kink’.

However, morals as such, do not necessarily have to end with the situation that a different view on what is to be regarded as good and acceptable, automatically must lead to a casting out or condemning of everyone that is different. As in any reasonable praxis, an enclosed and tolerant society may simply opt for granting each individual freedom of (gender/sexual) expression, as long as it is not against the laws or against the will of one of the participants.

Just as we, just as Sir Cameron as queer sadist, may enjoy such freedoms, we similarly should be at least sensible for others for having less freedom – seen from our perspective. It may be a nuisance to steadily argue with those who disagree, but at least you should be able to state the rationality of wishing to live your life as you are.

In this regard, it may be fruitful to see if you in your contacts with others can find a common basis with regard to human rights and the rationalization of individual expression. What we have seen above about the connection between dualism and truth, will be important here; as those who make use of a dualist approach often serve themselves from an either/or kind of argument in which you – per definition - are wrong. In my view a sensible advance to counter such contradiction, is the call for evidence and the rationality of their views, after all a belief is nothing but a proposition, whereas self expression is a human trait.

Take care of yourself and protect your rights – Sir Cameron

Corporal punishment? – Why BDSM is very different …

Thursday, June 13, 2013

“Corporal punishment?” is part of the series on BDSM and philosophy

If you were one of the readers that made it all through the previous blog ‘Against her will’ - congrats by the way - you will be inclined to think that the major difference between corporal punishment and BDSM will be found in the notion of consent. Not a bad guess, but in this blog I argue for a different approach: one that also may have something to say to hardcore masochists, self-maintenance spankers and all kinds of glossy tops alike.

What is Corporal Punishment?
Corporal punishment (CP) is a type of physical punishment that involves the infliction of bodily pain as retribution for an offence made at home, in school or as a result of a sentence by a court of law. I will spare you the lists of methods (flogging, caning, birching, whipping, or strapping) that can be used for corporal punishment or what body parts can be involved (buttock, back, shoulders, thighs, hand and soles of the feet) as this blog is for your information, not for mental foreplay. Mind you!

It was only recently – and on an evolutionary scale everything that happened since we can write is pretty recent – that corporal punishment was outlawed in most EU countries. However, domestic or educational corporal punishment in one form or another is still practised in most countries of the world, even when the total number is declining due to various international campaigns against CP.

For those who see inflicting pain on a sentient being as an act of ‘evil’, this will be a good thing. But even for those, who distinguish between merely inflicting pain and consensual BDSM, the question remains to what extent inflicting pain is indeed morally justifiable?

Reasons for Pain in Corporal Punishment
In general the reason behind getting a CP is to be found in a forbidden, undesirable or illegal action by the offender. No matter if the CP is being administered by an angry parent, a vicious head of school or a cruel executioner, the purpose is to make clear to the one(s) being punished that something they did or said was not okay and needed to be corrected: as such CP intends to involve aspects of adjustment, retribution, deterrence and education. Perhaps we can simply add this together and say that CP and perhaps many other forms of punishment too, is aimed at altering behaviour.

As such all forms of punishment can be seen as a measure by which we define borders, force a change in behaviour and create an awareness of guilt and responsibility on the part of the wrongdoer. The pain, the shame, the disgrace and the humiliation are all forced upon the punished persons(s) and it hurts them. It does likely not respect their freedom, their rights or their bodily integrity and in most of the cases there is no previous consent, nor is this deemed to be necessary. And unless CP is actually beneficial to a society, a person’s mental growth or self perception, any form of CP is nothing but mere violence.

Differences with Kink
As I have said in the introduction, consent is not the distinguishing issue here, even when it does play a role in the relationship as such. Within a BDSM context CP can of course be used to correct an obstinate bottom, change the subs attitude or prevent certain unwanted actions by the slave. As such the punishment can be seen as a form of discipline and is for certain something that falls under the consensual agreement of the partners.

Yet, the purpose of punishment is correction and in my opinion this is the decisive factor: punishment is by the majority of the sufferers not experienced as sexy or pleasurable - nor meant to be as such - but as real and genuine punishment. It is not an act of love, but one of violence; it violates and hurts. The pain may set loose some typical bodily and mental emotions, but that is not the goal. One could even argue that if the one being punished is starting to enjoy it, the dominant partner perhaps better stops and chooses another, more suited punishment; one that is not a reward.

Pain, however, that in general is applied by the top to the bottom partner, is not aimed at changing behaviour, but rather used for encouraging the bottom to do or get what they actually desire and enjoy. For this reason in the Dominion of Lord Cameron to administer or to receive a naughty spanking, a bitter-sweet BDSM-punishment or a sexually helpful humiliation is quite different from CP. There is no need for offensive behaviour, breaking rules or being disobedient. Pain, discipline or limitation is not given out of anger, frustration or feeling offended, but out of freedom of discipline.

Freedom of Discipline
As with any consensual BDSM act, discipline – or punishment, if you wish – is something that is aimed at fulfilling each others needs by respecting the urges and the borders of the other person in a sane and sound context. Freedom to be a Master or to be a pain pig is a privilege that needs to be honoured. The whole context of offence and punishment is in a way foreign to this.

In the Dominion of Lord Cameron – both in the virtual as in the factual realms – the freedom to discipline is an inherent prerogative of any Master, dominant or top. It denotes a right they can execute without asking or without any other reason than feeling in the mood for it. They use that what is offered to them (with the intention of being taken!). In case of an incidental play, this may precisely be the reason to play, but also in a long term kinky relationship, it simply shows the roles of master and slave, top and bottom, dominant and submissive. It is the bare nature of kinks.

Factually, free discipline does need no other context or pretext than just being those persons who we are; both on the giving as on the receiving end; and in this case, we can be at both ends at the same time; as the we trade energy, power, pain and lust.

And all those roles, you ask? All the chains, intimidation, imposing rules, cages, interrogations, all that punishment equipment that we have borrowed from CP: yes, what about that?

Well, that is all show. The costumes, the role-playing, the poses; they are nothing but the requisites on the wicked stages of the Grande Opera of fetish, kink and leather. We like to create the settings that make our heart beat faster and our genitals aroused. We slip in our (predefined) roles and play the villain or the smitten victim with conviction and passion. The pretext is our being present and our consent as free sexual beings.

Freedom to Serve
This is a delicate thing, my dear readers. As serving someone is not an easy act for any of us: it requires courage, perseverance and a lot of self reflection. We have our self-esteem, our dignity and our natural grace. To lay all that down for another person is a matter of great trust, devotion and often love. To help us getting in that state of mind that we actually start behaving as we deep inside crave for, we take our time, we adapt to the pain, we create a sacred space to play in and we make use of symbols and roles.

For an obedient slave that wishes nothing more than pleasing the Master, a set of rules that cannot be kept is only frustrating. Getting punished for being unable to serve properly is no fun at all. It is neither encouraging, nor helpful. Service should not be enforced on servants, but be expected by those who are being served.

The greatest achievement a Master can pride oneself with – if you have to - is not by forcing a servant, a submissive or a lover to being a slut, a pig, a pervert or a whore. It is rather actually letting them be like that by themselves. Laying bare the heart of a serve and love (and humiliate and discipline) them for it, is not only a complement and a great source of joy to those involved, but moreover, it is the acknowledgement of their sexual identity and that of your own: real people being real.

Use your power wise and with certainty – Sir Cameron

Against her will? – Ponderings on BDSM, leather and kink

Monday, June 10, 2013

“Against her will?” is part of the series on BDSM and psychology

Against her will, a challenging title and an equally challenging subject to write about, as you will see. It seems we humans have a thing with power, will and sexual feelings. Basically we should have sex as human beings; meaning, our humanity is presupposed and as such also the acceptance of the other as equally human. What happens afterwards, if the princess becomes the bitch, if the lover become the servant or if you just spent a lovely hour of sharing passion, that is up to you. What is important for now is the awareness that by living out sexuality in a humane way, the issues of power and will (or consent) will be defined by your morals, which, when they are humane, endorse sexuality as typical for human functioning and as good in itself. When we err, it is us who are to blame for our choices, not sex, sexuality or a positive attitude towards sex.

Is normal sex boring?
Perhaps this is not a fully legitimate question, even when on first sight some kinks feel innerly inclined to answer it confirmatively. I remember a conversation from last year where the Mistress I was chatting with, expressed her concern about the many tops she knew that were no longer able or willing to have normal sex. Of course I share her ideas and advocate a healthy mixture of all kinds of sex; after all, you do not eat the same nice food each and every day, do you?

So, let us take a closer look at this concept of ‘normal’ sex. Instead of seeing vanilla sexuality as the normal and opposed to that to regard kinky sex as an abnormal form of human sexuality, we have been arguing on this blog that, in general, human sexual urges and wishes are much more versatile than that we might be able to put them in just two classes. Examples of what I mean we do find in dualities as ‘kink & vanilla’ and in the infamous ‘same-sex & opposite sex orientation’. What about trans- or bi-, or queer? What about fetishists, switches or a-sexual people?

They have always been there. The diversity has always been there, but due to word-views that had only two options, there was no room for expression. It is only in the last 50-or-so years that surveys started to ask after alternative designations, but even in that relatively short time it has become apparent that the existing diversity cannot be put in dualistic classes.

Statistically speaking there are hardly persons to be found that are pure vanilla or pure kink in their sexual urges. So stigmatizing one side does not make the other better, true or more real; in fact this way of thinking is contra productive and does not help our understanding of sexual diversity; it just favours one.

Over the last two decades quite a few BDSM theorists have put on the agenda that neither kink nor vanilla should be used to make a diversion where there is none. I heartily endorse this stance, as this way of separating between different ways of expressing parts of our selves is biased from the beginning. Not only with regard to our freedom to express our sexual preferences as we see fit, it is also biased by reducing our expression to an either/or choice, instead of enabling us to opt for an and/and approach.

Most of the time, a struggle to accept deviation is the result of assuming that many differences – or nicely called; deviations - are wrong and that we are entitled to label them as a perversion of normality. Such ideas start with the hypothesis that we actually can decide what normality is and of course, that those who decide this do essentially know what is right and wrong. The most likely two candidates underlying this need for splitting up and to differentiate are firstly many versions of religious systems and secondly the historically grown sex-negativism that combines Victorian morality with Freudian terminology.

Such principles were a common good a century ago and do still resonate in our idealization or romance a la ‘Holywood’. Such ideas and principles developed gradually after the renaissance where mankind got rid of medieval praxis like slavery or other feudal customs like ‘ius primae noctis’. For those unfamiliar with the later; Wikipedia describes this as the ‘Lordly right’ or ‘Droit du seigneur’, a “putative legal right allowing the lord of a medieval estate to take the virginity of his serfs' maiden daughters.”

Now that is terrible! Why did we stop with that for G’d’s sake? Believe me, Sir Cameron in his virtual Dominion for sure would like to reinstall this right of the first night! But I am drifting off. Seducing a bunch of teenie’s by an older man is so bad, yes, to the extent that grossly 2/3 of the males fantasize about doing it. Any teenage girls who are having similar wishes; please mail to Sir Cam-moron (big sorry, to Sir from himself- even more drifting of …. You want a few of those email addresses you say? Shame on you!!!)

Allegedly, Perfect 19th Century sex
If we would take a tad of Victorian prudery and mix this carefully with some steamy Freudian psychological assumptions, like the terrific concept of penis envy, we finally would end up with the definition of what it is that constitutes perfect sex. So, get ready: The recipe to perfect sex would go something like this: take two - married!  – persons (of the opposite sex, mind you!) that are having regular intercourse – for those kinks who forgot how that goes: it is sex without tools, whips, canes, belts, clamps, ropes, and badges, without leather, without watching porn and even without using hands or tongues – simply with the woman on her back, man kneeling between her spread legs, tender insertion and then up and down.

Now, I do not know if kissing was allowed, but at least orgasm was; ideally simultaneously (at the same time), but for the situation that the man came first, it was of course perfectly normal for him to roll off, close his eyes and fall asleep. After all, it was first with feminism that the idea of wanton women was born, and even they do not climax after one minute and twenty five seconds of intercourse. At least, not many that I know – but gosh, what do I know?

Ouch! Don’t you love the textbook crap?

Today most of us probably bring forth a wry smile regarding this former ‘perfection’, but if the above description actually reminds you of your own relationship, please do yourself a favour; do not feel guilty for reading this blog. It is good to learn and understand how you can improve your sex life. Looking around in this blog and to inform yourself with other sources of quality information are indeed excellent ways to get more fun into your relationship. Striving to give your partner good, fulfilling sex is after all an honourable thing and something we all seek – I hope (all nod yes!).

Yet, with such a definition of ‘perfect sex’, there are probably not many real people left with a ‘normal’ sex life. This on itself should already make us realize that what some see as normal, may not always be normal to others, even within the same (sub) culture. And why should it? We are all different persons and that is what makes sexuality so exciting in the first place; to get to know each other and to enjoy what we have in common or complement in each other is a wonderful thing to do, and believe me, it is mostly not boring, considering the fact the population of the world has now passed the 7 billion mark.

Sharing what you have to give in a loving and caring attitude and with the freedom of mind to enjoy the many sexual pleasures that people can give each other is never something we should joke about, look down upon or feel worse about. Such intimacy is never boring, contrary to many of the porn productions that in their commercial monoculture show their alienation of sexuality with regard to how it functions in the reality of most people. Of course, Rocco is an exception … and we have to remember that porn is made for masturbation, not as an instruction of how to best make fun together.

The whole idea of perfect sex or copying porn ideals has a sting attached to it. It is a striving that contains the elements of performance and comparison. It has this feeling of obligation attached to it and this more often as not kills our lust. Beside that, it also takes the joy out of that what is actually not hard to do at all. Just follow your instincts, play around a little and use your own imagination to be happy; and if you run out of creativity, you can still se an external source for occasional inspiration.

And yes, it may be funny at times and for sure very embarrassing too, but as trust and curiosity is more important as perfection and performance, it is as good as it gets. This even more goes for kinky play; even when good technical skills can greatly improve a scene, it can never replace the emotions we feel and the tension in the room whether we play for the first or the seventh or seventy-seventh time. However, with kink there are, beside the regular save-sex precautions, a few other things to consider; including our health, our borders and our consent, and yes, legal issues too.

Is BDSM without consent evil?
In a previous post “Satan and Sadist” we have seen that there is something erroneous when ethicists define evil as the infliction of pain upon sentient beings. For BDSM as a reasonable praxis is definitely not evil. It does not feel like it either. Admitted, it might be a tad dark, but consensual pain is not near to evil whatsoever. Perhaps we can even argue that it is closer to pleasure as it is to displeasure; the reason for that is not as much to be found in the notion of consent, as it is in how we as sexual being process painful experiences. Many people ask: when it feels so good for both of the players, how could it be wrong?

Now, there may be quite some valid exceptions to this question.  Most prominently would be that definitely not everything that is feeling good, actually is good. Abuse of substances, or other persons, can feel good, yet it may be harmful to one or more of us. Distortion of reality or damaged relationships may be the result. So seen, experience may thus not be the most perfect guide to ethics, but it is for sure a helpful one as it will naturally filter out that what does not work. This said, it is clear that some kind of justification for administering pain or showing humiliation or derision to other humans is necessary: particularly in order to keep BDSM out of the range of pathologizing definitions.

Out of considerations on practical kink the famous trio of safe, sane and sound evolved. For beginning leather folk the idea of consensual kink may have an unexpected twist to it and also those involved in risk-aware kink and edge play will get the point; consent in a way takes of the idea we have formed with regard to what the ‘real’ thing is.

From actual incest, rape and abuse cases, as well as form forced marriages and prostitution we know that being forced into non-consensual sex is having devastating effects on the victims self-esteem, their ability to enjoy their sexuality (even with partners they trust) and their experience of feeling safe. Any sexual act ‘against their will’ is consequently no glorious fun factory, but rather a vile pool of distress.

Nevertheless, the questions remain why forced sex has such a strong attraction potential and at the same time consensual kink seems to be the less appealing alternative?

One partial answer we can find in the difference between fantasy (in our head) and reality (in our bed). To start with the first; pondering on consent is not something that does play a large role in our fantasy. As usual, our fantasies can tell us a lot about ourselves. The demons that haunt us in our sexual dreams, the villain that kidnaps you, the brutes that so shamelessly make use of your weak spots and force you to serve them; they are all parts of our own imagination or are derived from images we saw somewhere else. In either case, we use to go through an intimately sexy experience within our minds. And as it turns out, what is in your mind will most of the times greatly differ from what is in someone else’s mind.

Not only do you consent to your own thoughts, even the limits you feel are carefully stretched and exploited, as fantasy normally is rather edgy too. Just as all parts of our identity naturally seek to develop and mature, equally this is the case for our sexual identity. We evolve by playing out our urges in both dreaming and realising.

Yet, as this process is equal to all the people we meet and play with and as we are all very different in our urges, needs and fantasies, there is an equally large potential for disappointment as for pleasure. Despite the fun sex has to offer, despite the absolute thrills BDSM has to offer, we still run the risk of being disillusioned. Most of the times this however has nothing to do with consent or appearance, but rather we need to learn that fantasy is simply not transferable to reality on a one-on-one base.

The good thing however, is that fantasy can be realized in a different setting. Yet, for this it will be necessary to understand your wishes and to communicate them in a way so that others do understand and respect your thing. Similar as with consent, a negotiation seems so unsexy, at first. But on a second thought this does not have to be like that at all. On the contrary, planning a play session, planning to get fucked hard, planning to get those tits tortured actually is a very sexy activity. It will not only bring your thoughts on the same wave length, it will also create an atmosphere of trust and expectation. After a while it becomes a part of the ritual and can have similar effects as foreplay: you can hardly wait to get started; images in your head all day and those feeling in your genitals tell you all there is to say.

Why then, you ask, do we not consent, plan and scheme much more? Likely we are more interested in finding the perfect partner that telepathically reads our wishes; a real God or Goddess can do that, don’t they?

And blaming others for being so disappointing, technically under par and insensitive for our needs, has certainly nothing to do with our lack of communication or the quality of our communication skills.

And as you in this world have to take care of yourself, it is normal that you take advantage of an opportunity when it offers itself. After all a one night stand is nothing to be ashamed of and a change in diet increases your appreciation of what your regular partner has to offer.

No matter how many truths the above three remarks may contain, dreaming idle wishes, projection or egoism will not easily set you on the path of enjoying sexual liberty by which you have your needs met with. As with any other reasonable praxis, living out your sexuality is worth some consideration. And I know that those subs are often irresistible, and you indeed have to lick those boots, but ages of false religious, politically correct and sex-negative beliefs should warn us to distrust those who know the ‘real’, the ‘true’ and the ‘right’ thing.

Just start with what you have and improve on it. This is a fail-save mechanism and will result in having more fun in the way that you and your partner(s) are. And if you have these hot fantasies, you ask? Then find people you feel secure enough with to share them, perhaps you are in for a treat. I wish that to all of you.

Enjoy – Sir Cameron

BDSM and vanilla relationships - Waiter, bring up the good stuff from the vault …

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

‘BDSM and vanilla relationships’ is part on the series on BDSM and social ethics

The many flavoured thing
Vanilla is by far the most popular ice-cream flavour and also otherwise it is widely used; e.g. in cocktails - like Golden Dream (see the recipe below) - whipped cream, vanilla sugar, cakes, bath foam and some women that I know even wear vanilla as a perfume. As such vanilla is a good marker for that which is considered as well tasting, widely accepted and in ever growing demand.

Consequently, in popular language the term vanilla developed as a genuine and positive expression of what we call romantic love. Over time it became a hallmark by which ‘normal’ sexuality and ‘normal’ relationships were denoted. In this sense, BDSM is not ‘normal’ and a flavour that perhaps one in ten people actually likes; although Sir Cameron and those on his Court do think that it is a great flavour and something that will be to the taste of many more persons, if they would only be willing to try out what our hot and spicy ‘kinky-cuisine’ has to offer. BDSM is not a diet or a replacement for vanilla, but an expansion on what is on our regular menu.

Who to tell (not)?
In my earlier post from the beginning of April with regard to the rationality of BDSM we have seen that the rationality of the BDSM experience is to be found in the way it functions in our praxis. A not unimportant facet of our kinky practical life is found in how we deal with others. This might be people that are not precisely advocating those things that we like to do; even when it is not with them we play out our urges. Therefore, most of the times it will be none of their business anyway, yet as it is with the weather; we have not caused it and cannot change it either, but everyone feels invited to talk about it. Even though I am open for clear and transparent relationships, when kink is involved, resorting to a need to know basis is perhaps a smarter option.

There are of course exceptions when it comes to outing yourself with regard to your typical branch of kinky sex. First and for all, you may have a partner, or an ex-partner - and the other parent of your child – who are often entitled to getting this kind of information disclosed to them, particularly when you run risks like getting bruises, being arrested by the police or a sexually transmitted disease.

Then there are your closest friends, your parents perhaps and maybe your psychiatrist too and you may need to see your doctor some day, while you still have visible proof of your joyous activity from the week before. Remember that medical professionals are obliged to doctor-patient confidentiality and in many countries a breach of secrecy from their part is a serious offence. See to it that you get a fair treatment and are not treated as inferior.

I definitely do not advice to get out in the open with your kink, unless you are not in the situation where you are vulnerable to harassment, ridicule or discrimination. And do not over estimate the tolerance of your society or sub culture. Even in BDSM clubs Sir Cameron is often opposing a lack of understanding for not using his real name. But for him trying to protect his identity is not out of shame or because of awkward feelings regarding his perversions, but rather for the sake of his private life and those involved in that. Not only are we entitled to have our privacy respected, but also our families and partners.

Do not think your children, friend or neighbours will find it a comforting and pleasurable thought to know that you like to confine someone to a cage during the next weekend or that they actually believe that getting spanked until your butt is black and blue is really sexy for you. They will likely not understand what it is that you do, nor feel comfortable with the idea’s that are part of your fantasy and your sexual roadmap. And why should they? So think twice before you tell someone and if you have too, be nice and show respect for their reservations. Taking others serious in their concerns and worries is the first step to getting your own ‘liberties’ acknowledged.

Vanilla partner(s)
In case you happen to have a vanilla spouse or partner that is appalled by your kinky fantasies and wishes and particularly when you want put those into a nasty and dirty praxis; I can only say: welcome on board; while as you read this, there are thousands and tens of thousand other kinky persons that find BDSM irresistible, yet cannot share it with those that they love and life with. And yeah, that really sucks big time!

When you think that living a double, secret life is the only – or the best – option in that case; consider this: facts on BDSM are a given that we can ignore, accept or try to promote. The way that we ourselves deal with our kink can greatly influence how others perceive it, especially uncertain partners. When you are with someone and that person is not kinky, that fact that you are a ‘pervert’ can be a real shock to them.

Sharing your kink may for that reason easily cause problems, even in non-sexual areas, ranging from Church attendance to what kind of friends are welcome at your next Sunday afternoon barbeque party. Not only will most partners feel bewildered when they first find out about your sexual deviation(s), they also might feel offended by it or face all kinds of internal fears; the fear to be losing you, the fear to be forced into playing someone who they are not, nor wish to be; the fear that you may get hurt (which is very likely when you are submissive in nature) or fear that you are sick and will get more extreme over time (which is a common phenomena too).

Moreover, in a relationship that has started as a - let’s say – more or less romantic ‘vanilla’ relationship; you have the normal matters of trust, loyalty and sexual exclusivity that goes with the idea of ‘the one and only’. And even when a relation has been open from the start, once made promises are still expected to stay that way. Of course, we all know that we change over a certain period of time. Nevertheless it is often expected that if you truly love someone, you are completely satisfied with the other person. This is of course a grievous misconception, resting on the age old dogmas of fidelity, monogamy and heteronormativity.

Hence, in reality it is probably smarter to see a once made promise as an ideal, an intention that you at that given time and with that particular person wished to follow up upon.

Consequently being true is a concept that you might need to reconsider over time. Imagine that you opted to be open and honest to each other, yet in the process of being together you find that you changed in one or more points and your partner has not. In general it is of course always your choice to be true to those you are together with, but once you find in yourself this wish to act upon this darker side of you, those long dormant but now awake urges that turn you on like a violently hot flame that brings this tension in your live that you so dearly have been lacking all those years, yes, than you may face another hard choice. Are you willing to trade your needs and wishes in exchange for staying in a relationship?

This is a very hard and difficult question, believe me. The relationship may still work, you can and may still love your partner, but what is when their ideals and views on truth no longer reflect your own? What is when your former happy life now becomes a prison that sort of forces you to go underground, with the risk that you feel like a cheater or which harms your self respect?

Even when it is hard to accept that you have neared the limits of your relationship, in order to stay mentally sound, you may have to face this and be forced to consider to what extent your current relationship is still working for both of you. Then a relationship is not about keeping promises or living in the same house, but rather an expression of your love and affection; the former are only means to achieve this.

BDSM priority
Let us, for a moment, turn away the focus from our relationship with your partner(s) and start with you. This blog is about us kinks and in favour of BDSM activity: we first start with us, so we can be there for others too. Not as a victim, not as a sinner, not as a sick pervert – though Sir Cameron loves sick perverts most of the time – or as an irresponsible immoral person, but predominantly as a partner with equal rights to happiness and fulfilment and with equal rights to have your needs met.

The fact that we may find our bliss in a different way is complicating matters. But pathologizing our kinky side - e.g. because is not fashionable - is not really a concept that will work on the long run. As an equal partner in a relationship, we are entitled to pursue our (sexual) happiness, just as our partner does. We definitely need to avoid being forced in the defence and feeling the need to justify why we are not ‘normal’.

Not being normal or being rejected because you are kinky is of course a terrible experience, but, as strange as this sounds, it is comfortable position in a way. For example, you will harvest sympathy among your fellow kinks for being repressed sexually by an intolerant partner or society. And feeling neglected is a powerful emotion to justify a double life, the usual way out; but a hard way too; then who does decide what we may feel?

To a certain extent the term ‘double life’ does not properly reflect what is going on. At work you are different as at home, just as you behave different with your partner(s), as with your neighbours – at least, most of the times. In a way this is all double too; in each and every relationship we show a different side of us, like we are playing roles that fit with that particular context. In the depth psychology of the Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung such roles are the complexes of the 'Persona', the masks that we wear. For Jung playing different roles is not seen as cheating, but just one side of who we are.

The mask is not something we necessarily do hide behind, but rather something that is adapted to what is expected from us with regard how we should be. The expectations and requirements of our surroundings force us to adapt in order to be an accepted part of the group. So seen, the mask is as much a reaction on our surroundings as it is something that we hide behind. Nevertheless, when kink is concerned, we often perceive such ‘roles’ as double, as it does mask parts of how and who we are; it actually is double to the extent that you apparently cannot be yourself without far reaching consequences.

That what is double is not per definition a matter of convictions, but predominantly a valuation regarding the truth or the priority of your convictions. The fact that sometimes your ideas and urges are being handled as something inferior is also something that is double. Most often such an attitude it is not justified either, then just as masks and roles can hide something, they can also display something; e.g. our richness in variation and diversity.

There is another side of the coin regarding the term double. We should understand that it is awkward to face something that is new, particularly when it is this slightly unusual thing as BDSM. Such feelings of awkwardness are unavoidable; and they are neither wrong nor right. They simply tell us how we feel and that we are, or are not, challenged by what we have heard or seen. Outing in BDSM can be just as tough as being the one that gets this stuff revealed. When we realize that this often mutual embarrassment and the flood of thoughts and emotions it can cause is not a matter of final judgement, but first a natural reaction and the way things go.

Our praxis has to show that we are still reliable persons and in many ways the same persons – and why not? Why should one sexual thing change who we are? We still love the dog, make good burgers or are an excellent lawyer. For those you love, to accept that things sometimes are double may take a while, but ultimately nothing is gained by reducing a person you know to one single praxis or mode of being. And if your partner cannot prevent reduction, does that not tell us something about their problems too?

As a free sadist, Sir Cameron will continue to represent BDSM as a reasonable praxis, provided those involved are sane and sound of mind. Being faced with prejudgements, discrimination or rejection is never pleasurable, but it can be really terrible if you find such attitudes displayed in the ones you love and appreciate. Ultimately, you have to accept that your partner must deal with their own emotions regarding your kink. When you are lucky, you have their trust and make them clear that having a need they cannot or do not wish to fulfil, does not mean they are insufficient; you can still love them and be grateful for what they do share.

If this will be sufficient for you is quite another question. Perhaps, once you proved to your partner, that you still wish to be with them, you may find a solution together; a solution that gives you the freedom that you need to be even happier.

And if not, you ask? In this case; do not despair; there is more than enough love and affection in the world to get your needs met. You are a worthy person and there is no compelling reason to belief that you will end up deserted. Most important is to keep true to yourself and accept that not everybody is your friend. Yet, if you manage to live with yourself, be sure that there are many others that can do the same.

As always, enjoy!

Sir Cameron

P.S. The Golden Dream cocktail is one of the few official Dominion cocktails and is served at the Court of Lord Cameron as short drink. Take a big tumbler and add 2 units fresh orange juice, 2 units CuraƧao triple sec (Bols or De Kuyper), 1 unit Liquore Galliano L'Autentico and 1 unit fresh unsweetened cream, not whipped (sorry folks). All mix and stir briefly with a few ice cubs until the side of the tumbler gets cold, strain into a pre-cooled cocktail glass without the ice.