Equality, Part I
(I started working on this and it got very long. I wrote it originally a long time ago, but I did some fair editing and reworking this evening, after the Friday Munch. We were also at a wedding of two kinky friends, which I’ll talk about more, tomorrow, which I have slated as a computer work kind of day.
In the meantime, this got so long that it really needs to be two parts. So now it is. Unless I discover that it actually needs to be THREE parts, which is possible…
One of the subjects that is intrinsic to the dynamic I prefer is equality.
It’s intrinsic, but not in the way most people think of it as intrinsic within a relationship.
Our community is growing by leaps and bounds. That’s obvious to anyone who organizes anything and to anyone who attends related events.
We are gaining people every day and most of them are novices to this lifestyle. They usually come to us through the Internet, which can be both good and bad.
It’s good because so much good information is so easily available.
It’s bad because so much incorrect or misleading information is equally easily available.
It’s good because it can offer a safe place to explore fantasies and learn to understand one’s own reactions and the reactions of others.
It’s bad because an experienced online slave or Master who has no real time experience is still a complete novice, and that’s not something that those novices always realize or make clear.
In an effort to welcome those who are new we as a community have made a number of concessions. A great deal of the established community has been very accepting of others, very willing to say “Our way isn’t the only way.”
I think some of that is borne from the belief that we of all people shouldn’t look down on anyone else’s kink. Unfortunately, I believe that we have sacrificed a great deal of communication due to those concessions.
We do not have defined terms that we all agree on. We have allowed more and more for novices and people with little or no real experience to alter definitions because the definitions that are commonly accepted, are not how THEY see it.
There’s nothing wrong with uniqueness in a relationship.
There’s nothing wrong with arriving at one’s own conclusions, based on one’s own experience and abilities.
There’s nothing wrong with accepting some things and rejecting others based on what works and doesn’t work for you.
But if we do not agree on the basic terminology, we cannot communicate. We do a disservice to those very novices and ourselves when we allow accepted definitions to be shifted to a point that they include every single person’s viewpoint.
To put it another way, a waltz is a dance with a specific pattern of steps done to music with a specific kind of timing. There may be nothing wrong with adding a bit of flair or adjusting the speed of the steps, but if you’re using jitterbug steps and jitterbug music, you’re not dancing a waltz anymore.
Calling it a waltz is both inaccurate and sure to be confusing to those around you who have some knowledge of the dance.
It’s not to imply that a waltz is better than a jitterbug simply that they are intrinsically different.
Having said that, I’ll say that no, I don’t think the partners involved in a D/s relationship are equal. If one person’s choices and preferences rule over another’s, those persons are not by definition equal. I don’t think that submissives have less value, nor do I treat submissives in a less respectful manner.
People as a whole should be treated equally. I do not believe, however, that they are equals within a D/s relationship.
Let me make it clear, too, that inequality does not translate to lack of value or worth. Equality has a specific and clearly defined definition which in order to communicate has been agreed to over the last few hundred years.
The definition taken directly from http://www.dictionary.com, is this: “The condition or quality of being equal; agreement in quantity or degree as compared; likeness in bulk, value, rank, properties, etc.; as, the equality of two bodies in length or thickness; an equality of rights.”
If I am absolutely equal to my submissive that defeats the purpose of being submissive and dominant. We go from being a benevolent dictatorship back to being a democracy.
I for one don’t choose to live in a democratic relationship. I am courteous and respectful towards those who are submissive to me because I choose to behave that way for my own reasons. I might not have the same slaves I have now if I were not, but I would likely still have slaves, and I do not believe that I would be wrong in behaving that way so long as they and I had agreed to that.
I believe two people are equal outside the relationship. I am not more than a submissive because I’m dominant, nor are they worth less than I because the opposite is true.
A dominant and a submissive are also equal within a relationship up to the point that they choose to pursue a power-exchange dynamic. Up until the point I put a collar around your neck, or we sign a contract, or you say, “Yes,” we are equal in our negotiating positions. You have as much right to veto and approve the basis of our relationship.
Up until that point.
At that point, I believe the submissive chooses to subjugate his or her will to that of the dominant’s within the relationship.
To be continued…