Most of us come to BDSM from the vanilla world. Very few start off our sexual and play lives in the realm of bondage, rope and restraints. (I am sure there are a few lucky ones out there who have. I was surely not one of them. Maybe, in my next life!) One of the first things that hit you, when you enter this lifestyle, is how exciting it can be. Ideally, BDSM should tap into a part of your soul that was unfulfilled in your vanilla days. After all, if vanilla were so great, why would we all be here? But, the ticket of admission comes with a price. One cost is wading through a minefield of pervasive myths, fallacies and misconceptions.
One of the most widespread of these is what I call “the myth of perfection.” This is when a submissive expects his/her Dom/me to be perfect – or, when the Dominant expects perfection from his/her slave. One reason this myth has such staying power is that it is very sensual, sexual and alluring. For example, “The Story of O” is a fantastic tale of slave O’s faultless devotion to her perfect Sir. Romantic? Yes. Exciting? Yes. Likely? No!
“Fifty Shades of Grey” features a so-called Master with movie star looks, a helicopter and billions of dollars. Talk about superficial perfection. Hopefully, most new submissives are not buying into this fantasy as a requirement when they meet a Dominant. (I have a radio-controlled helicopter. Does that count? LOL!)
Online, of course, all Masters are honorable, all are marvelously skilled and all know how to properly train a slave to a “T.” Subs and slaves talk with flawless protocol; never is a “Sir” or “Ma’am” missed during online interactions. But, once we get to real life, a more reasoned appraisal is in order. It is in this context that I have compiled a few principles that should be helpful in your BDSM relationships. They are —
1. There is no such thing as a perfect Master — or a perfect slave.
2. There is rarely such a thing as a perfect Master/slave relationship.
3. You should be able to talk about, within your protocol, any parts of your relationship that are not working. But, during any discussion, you should be searching for solutions, not perfection.
Almost everything in life is a trade-off. From the sub’s point of view, if you are happy with your Dom/me, make sure he/she knows this before you bring up any problems. On the other hand, if the relationship is, on balance, good, it might be wise to simply live with some of your Dom’s less-than-perfect traits.
From the Dominant’s point of view, one should not expect a textbook slave. Do not assume that stringent discipline can make your sub perfect. The Dom/me should have a sense about what infractions should be punished or corrected and those that he/she should let slide. If you nitpick everything, you can drive your sub crazy and take the fun out of the relationship. If you let everything slide, you are not really being a Master or a teacher. Knowing where to draw the D/s line in the sand is a skill that every Dom/me should strive to be proficient at. But, you should always weigh any concerns that you have against the overall satisfaction you get from the relationship. You might not have a perfect sub or a perfect Dom/me, but you might have a perfect relationship!
Striving for perfection is one thing; being unable to accept anything less borders on obsession. A balanced, effective D/s dynamic should be your goal; perfection should not be.
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.