But with all-pervasive Valentine’s Day having just passed, I thought this would be a great time to analyze the role of romance in our BDSM lifestyle.
Few of us are born into the BDSM lifestyle. When we first begin, we are hit with a number of “urban BDSM myths” that we later learn are misconceptions. Among these are:
1. “There is only one right way of doing BDSM.”
2. “BDSM scening isn’t about sex.”
3. “A slave is higher on the food chain than a submissive.”
4. “The submissive is the one who is really in control.”
5. “You cannot become a Master/Mistress without having been a slave or a bottom.” (Debatable!)
6. “To be a Master/Mistress, you can’t fall in love with your slave.”
7. “A slave cannot let emotions interfere with his/her service.”
I have covered some of the first five in previous kinkweekly.com articles. But with Valentine’s Day being all pervasive, I thought this would be a great time to analyze the role of romance in our BDSM lifestyle. And myths numbers six and seven imply that romance and BDSM are somehow at odds with each other. As most of us eventually find out, nothing could be further from the truth.
This concept that falling in love and BDSM are incompatible likely originates from the misconception that obedience is the product of punishment – and that a Master/Mistress would be less likely to administer strong punishment to someone whom he/she loves. This, however, assumes that a power exchange is based on castigation. Discipline is just that – discipline. It is rarely based solely on the sub’s fear of the Dominant. In fact, many subs become more obedient when they fall in love. Not only can love and romance be a powerful incentive for the slave to be a good slave, it can also be a powerful tool for the Dominant to use. Love is powerful. And, it is just as powerful in the world of BDSM as anywhere else.
There is yet another reason why the anti-romance belief has taken hold – particularly among newbies. That is because most of us who come to BDSM after time in the vanilla world – and that is quite a large percentage — tend to initially reject all things vanilla. There is a kind of “kamikaze BDSM” mentality that is easy to embrace when we enter this kinky lifestyle. It is much like teenage rebellion, where you revolt against anything and everything, only to find out there are many good things you are rejecting. Romance, the linchpin of the vanilla world, is the first to meet with disdain. The key when making a transition to a new lifestyle is to be objective; embrace the good things from your old experiences and discard the bad ones. To reject romance out of hand is counterproductive. If you take a well-structured and hot D/s relationship, and add the element of love to it, it can – with rare exceptions – only get stronger.
The final “romance misconception” – and this is the big one — is that acting in a tender way is somehow un-Domly. For some, of course, this might be true. But, you must always bear in mind that “There is no one right way of doing BDSM.” Buying a Valentine’s Day gift, for example, in and of itself, does not a D/s relationship make – or break. It depends upon the Dom/me, his/her style and the needs — both substantively and stylistically – of the submissive.
Personally, I have no problem taking my slave to an Italian Restaurant on Valentine’s Day. If Bucca de Beppo wants to help me become a more effective Master, that’s all right with me. And if a gift makes her want to serve me with even greater enthusiasm, then this is a win-win situation all around.
Romance has been around for as long as there has been recorded history. So, why not incorporate it into BDSM? After all, love and kink can be a lot of fun!
After a ten year run as head writer for the legendary bondage.com, and an equally long run as the host of the hit internet show “Baadmaster’s Dungeon,” we are pleased to welcome the one and only Baadmaster to KinkWeekly. His thoughts about all things BDSM will now appear regularly on these pages. From the mental aspects of D/s to the nuts and bolts of S&M play, Baadmaster will cover every facet of this ever expanding lifestyle.