One True Way
I was following a car the other day in some stop and go traffic, meaning the bumper sticker on the back of their car was right in front of me while we waited at stoplights.
It was a magnetic cross – not the St. Andrew’s kind – on the back of the car, and written on it were two words, one going down and one going across. It said “Warriors Needed.”
Several things occurred to me as I sat behind the car. One was, it was really snazzy marketing. Simple, kind of majestic, identifying that it wasn’t just believers that were sought, but warriors. Who doesn’t want to be a warrior, particularly if there’s little chance of getting shot at or having to put life on line for home and country? A pretty good gig, sounds like.
The other thing that I was musing about was that this person was so sure of their faith that they proclaimed it. Now I know that it might not seem like a huge proclamation thing to have a bumper sticker, but still we tend to put things we agree with pretty seriously on our car. I have a leather pride flag, slave drew has animal rights stickers, I believe slave thomas has an Amnesty International bumper sticker on his.
So, I’m thinking about this kind of faith and how one can justify believing that the particular niche of deity they believe in – Christ or Buddha or Confucius or Thor or L. Ron Hubbard – it amazes me that they can believe that profoundly that THEIR G/god is the one true g/God.
Their “proof” would be, I think, that the book said so, basically, and that there were miracles and happenings they could point to as proof.
But if I have a book, too, that says it’s not your guy but my guy, and we just happened to beseech those two One True Gods for the same thing, well, I’m going to think it was my guy who deserves the kudos and your guy is just a glory-grabber.
And yet people feel so strongly about their being One True Way in kink, too. I think we’re all guilty of it, myself included.
Sometimes there’s a sort of obvious logic to it. I do things the way I do them, because I believe them to be the most effective, or most productive, or easiest way to do whatever, because if I didn’t, then I would do it a different way. So the fact that you disagree does mean, clearly, that you are wrong and I am right.
Most of us, though, also recognize that each of us have different priorities, and I might be willing to sacrifice more of one for the other, making your choice right for you, and I can accept that.
So maybe that’s less about One True Way than it is about One True Way For Me, But Your Mileage Might Vary.
Ok, so that would be a little long for a catchy new religion, I admit. I’m not really looking to start a new religion anyway.
But religion is one of the more black and white decisions for most people. I believe there is One True God, and that my g/God is that g/God, so if you don’t believe in the same g/God that I do, you are wrong. Period. End of discussion.
Because if I have the only and One True Way, that means, by definition, that not only is my way right, your way is wrong.
So, to get back to kink, which was the next thing on my bumper sticker musings, was how many people really do believe there is One True Way.
I have heard respected kink educators tell people things that were just plain wrong. Not maliciously so, but open to critical reasoning.
Never drink and play! Well, no, not if I’m falling down drunk, but I know my limits and my reactions, a glass of wine is not going to incapacitate me. I would not, however, have that glass were I doing something like a cutting or something that required the steadiest of hands. But I can flog you and cane you and crop you without concern after a glass of wine.
Never hit anyone’s kidneys! No, never intentionally hit the kidney area harder than you would clap for a lukewarm performance. However, they are internal organs, meaning that they are actually internal and have some cushioning.
Now those are ones that have at least a physical reality behind them. Drinking to excess and then playing would be foolish. It would be irresponsible in the extreme to hit over the kidneys or the spine or the joints or the skull with any force. We know that, I hope, from a common sense standpoint.
But often the One True Way is far less based in reality or provable.
Slaves should be this, while submissives should be this, while bottoms should be this. If you don’t have protocol, then you should. If you haven’t used a contract, then you’re not doing it right. If you don’t have a mentor, you’ll never learn what’s important.
So, we should all be all Kumbaya and join our hands together and agree that however you do it is fine.
Really, does that sound like me?
No, it doesn’t, because however out of place it is to say that yes, there is one true way – maybe not One True Way, but one true way.
I think, for instance, submissives ought to be submissive, for one thing. Not to everyone, not randomly, not because they cannot be any other way, but because it becomes them.
To be fair, I believe dominants should be dominant, too. Again, not to everyone, not randomly, but because it is their nature. I am dominant because I am dominant, because I behave dominantly, because I act dominantly, which I do because it is my nature to be dominant. I don’t know how to be otherwise.
I believe that there do have to be some protocols for D/s to work. S&M might work just fine, and that’s fine, too, but D/s has a dynamic that I think does require some rules and true ways, even if they’re not so much one as a few.
Maybe it’s more like a journey, you can take a number of different roads to get to the same city. There are a number of ways to get to Boston, but if the road you chose instead leads to Seattle, then you picked the wrong way.