"Some BDSMers confuse a responsibility to speak up when they witness dangerous play for an invitation to critique other people's kinks, sexual interests, preferred fetish roles, safe words, etc." — Dan Savage
(This entry is in response to: http://dommedose.com/main/domme-pieces/the-muck-of-the-sea/)
Ugh. "Lifestylers." I've grown to loath this term.
Not so much because I have a problem with people living a life that they believe fullfills them best as a human being, but because I've ran into one too many that are just as stuck up and preachy about the way they live their life as some fundamentalist Christians. I suppose that rings true with just about any group of people. We're all diverse even if we share a common interest, and the loudest and most obnoxious of the bunch will unfortunately represent the rest to many outsiders, no matter how unfair that may be. But still…. Ugh.
My boyfriend and I recently took a trip to burning man over the summer, riding in a giant RV with a group of burners we had never met before. They were a colorful bunch. Loud, crude, and took every opportunity they could to express something sexual. It was a little much for my taste and they came across as very one-denominational people who constructed their whole identity around how they fuck. At one point, my boyfriend (who was making a far bigger effort than I was to be friendly.) started telling a story about a party he went to with a bunch of swingers (not a swinging party, mind you, but a normal party with swingers.) The point of the story had to do with a sex swing in their garage and the witnessing of some kids playing on it not knowing what was. But he was unable to get that far into it because he was immediately cut off the moment he said "swingers" and was asked quite forcefully, "SWINGERS or LIFESTYLERS?" Because, they'd have us know, there's a "BIG" difference, and by golly, we were going to know what that difference was. My boyfriend was a bit taken back, not really know how to respond, and I interjected by saying, "They're couples who have sex with people other than each other. Really, who fucking cares? That wasn't the point of the story."
They were quietly hostile toward me after that. Which is fine by me. The ironic thing was, I'm pretty sure I came across to them as some kind of vanilla prude. They'd never know that I make a substantial living catering to some of the more bizarre and transgressive of fetishes out there. Again…. Fine by me.
My problem with many lifestylers is this reoccurring attitude of, "you're doing it wrong." Which is ironic, considering that very notion is what placed them in that alternative lifestyle in the first place. "Right" is often interchanged with the word "real," which seems to be a reoccurring topic in this online scene, even though we've yet to agree upon what that actually means.
In the DD entry, the writer equates "reality" with the rules and regulations of offline kink scenes. She is put off by "wishy washy" characters with "vanilla obligations" that aren't acting like "true" submissives. She thinks consenting adults should not role play certain scenarios because of her personal history involving a non-consenting crime.
In other words, we're doing it wrong, and by golly, we better start learning the rules.
I'll give her credit to one thing, perhaps their are a lot of dommes out their inflicting physical pain (flogging, canning, whipping, or what have you) onto individuals without knowing that they're doing. Really, I have no idea. I've never learned to do that and I don't make videos like that. So if there's a "right" way that keeps people from serious bodily injuries and the courtroom, I think it's worth bringing up.
But other than that? I think these are personal hang-ups brought up by an angry lifestyler who really shouldn't be dictating how the rest of us play and make a living, no matter how "immoral" she tells us they are.
I've written before about the topic of incest fantasies (http://cearalynch.livejournal.com/100708.html) so I won't go into that again, except to say, if were going to follow any kind of rule within this scene, I believe it should be that any kind of fetish indulged by consenting adults should be allowed. Hell, it should be encouraged. This is a scene that should celebrate and embrace the diversity of fetishes when they're expressed in a healthy manner. We aren't allowed to cherry pick and choose what thoughts are acceptable based on our personal history or what we find distasteful. It's either all okay, or none of it is.
The topic of wishy-washy subs who aren't as committed to her as she thinks they should be, is another matter. It's is a matter lifestylers vs. fetishists. Again, another topic I've touched on before (http://cearalynch.livejournal.com/2623.html) and I won't get into too much again, except to say that there are far more men here looking to scratch an itch than looking to live a lifestyle. No amount of bitching, moaning, or ranting about "time wasting wankers" is going to change that.
The writer of the DD entry admitted herself that she's here because she wasn't making enough money in r/t. Well guess what hun? This is how the job works. There's no business in this world that doesn't profit from meeting other people's needs. Sure, you're welcome to play by your own strict, specific, rules, if that's what's most important to you, but you can't expect to make a lot of money. As one of my favorite Dommes recently said, "I don’t think that 'realness' is as important in any public scene as much as 'good at.'" (http://www.salon-stern.com/)
Furthermore, the very construction of the internet allows certain leeway that real life doesn't. It's far more easy to lie, deceive, and walk away from a situation online than in real life. There's far less accountability. And yes, this results in guys who will waste your time and lie to you. Whoop dee do. Hit the block button and move on. As far as I'm concerned, it's a small price to pay in a job that pays 6 figures a year.
But hey, that's just me. We're all here for different reasons. A lot of girls get frustrated because they have a strong desire to control men in a very specific way and they think this is a world where they will automatically bend to their will. In reality, they'll only bend to your will if it coincides with their fetish. If it doesn't, they can sign off, no matter what promises they made you previously, and not be held accountable. If real life allowed for this kind of a freedom, I guarantee you they'd be doing the same thing there as well.
Despite it's drawbacks, this world has huge benefits, and it works quite well for me. I'm naturally a bitch online and I've been deeply fascinated by fetishes since I was 14. I've long gotten over the fact that "true" submissives are scarce because I realized I'm not really interested in them anyway. This isn't my lifestyle. This is my business and my art form and I cherish the fact that there's a community that nurtures my craft and make allows me to make a shit-ton of money in the process. How nice it is that the writer of the DD article also has a community that she embraces her interests. Maybe the two should leave each other alone.