Who do you blame when a dog escapes from a garden? The dog? Perhaps it burrowed under the fence, ran amok for the day while you are at work? Where do you direct your anger upon returning home, discovering mud tracked through the house, feathers from a pilfered bedroom pillow spilt over the living room?
Do you blame the dog for following its nature, or yourself for not taking care of the hole that has slowly been growing? We could have checked the fence, filled in the hole then provided the dog with more toys to play with in the garden to distract it’s instincts.
Day after day the dog worked diligently on its escape, digging under the fence, it did not do so because it hates you, or even understands the purpose of the fence and wished to thwart it, the dog dug because it is in its nature.
The animal is doing what it does with little thought beyond the actions at hand. However, we, as humans, have the ability to examine the evidence; muddy paws, a growing hole in the lawn by the fence, and deduce a likely cause and outcome. An animal would do nothing about it because it is not a problem for the now, the human however can act because they can understand the future.
We are all werewolves.
Within us all there are two natures, the animal and the human. The animal is the part of us that responds to those base instincts, it is what makes us run from what scares us, but also what encourages us to lie in bed all day. The animal is simple, quick to react, slow to think. This is wonderful when it works well, it speaks to us on an instinctual level, picking up on things that take our thinking brain far too long to process. However, it also responds too quickly, dealing with the wants of now without thinking about the needs of the future. If we are ruled by our animal nature then we can not plan well for the future, enraptured by the now as we would be.
We build fences to restrict the free roaming of the animal, to channel its energy in line with our human desires. The animal cannot be rationally argued with, thus we must build restrictions around it. This does not mean that we must be in conflict with it however. We can fill that space with toys to keep the animal entertained, we can bribe it with greater rewards if it can hold itself in check, we can communicate, but only ever as it’s master if we do not wish it to master us.
Every one of us has destructive instincts, drives which are geared more towards immediate satisfaction than the considered outcome. We each have a responsibility to strive towards a higher, ideal self. First we must set these fences within our own minds, and be sure of their security before we try setting them for others.
The high handed enemy.
Each relationship is unique and carries with it different expectations of, or limitations upon, each party involved. While most shall fall into broad categories of monogamous or polyamorous, open or closed, even within those you shall have nuances, do’s and don’ts which those involved have negotiated. It is the responsibility of both to be mindful and equal in not just the setting of these expectations, but also in their execution.
However we find that this equality of responsibility and expectation falls away when the fundamental underpinnings of the relationship rest upon an inequality of both parties. It is here where the roles of animal and human are split between the two members of the relationship. The bottom in the relationship gives over the rights of planning to the top, they replace it rather with their obedience. The Top in turn must set the boundaries and expectations of the relationship. We Tops in a sense become superhuman by the absorption of this extra power from our bottoms, while they, in turn, are given over more freely to the animal nature within us all. This can only ever be done if it is truly what both involved want.
The Top takes on a terrible responsibility at this point, of not only setting the boundaries of the relationship but also making sure that both parties are content with where they lie. The Top is also responsible for the maintenance of those fences.
If our partners are straining against the boundaries that we have set in place we need to respond to that in the same way we would if a dog has started to dig a hole. Boundaries are being tested, that is okay! It should even be expected, what is important is that we reset those boundaries, shore them up, fill in the hole. Once we know those fences are secure we can turn to look at the cause of the straining. Does our pet need more toys, is it just bored, or does it need a greater freedom?
We should never be angry when boundaries are tested, even broken. Our partner is acting like the animal they are, and within the structure of our relationship it is agreed that we shall be the controlling, thinking party and they the animal. They have sacrificed part of that human nature, that active critical thinking, to us in the exchange of power that is integral to the D/s relationship.
Within a D/s relationship the Top sets the boundaries and because of this is also responsible for maintaining said boundaries. If our partners follow their animal natures and run amok we should first look to the fences, then to their training.
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