Saturday, July 7, 2007

Yes, My Lady: The Pretenders

Recently, a member of our bondage.com community wrote to Me with what she thought was a unique problem. Lisa has lived most of her life as what she calls, "a vanilla," and did not even know that a BDSM or Master/slave community existed. However, when Lisa met her fiancA©e, he told her that he was a former Master in such a community. Having no idea what a Master was, Lisa asked her fiancA©e endless questions. At first she was scared of what she saw as a "strange" calling; however, after pondering her fiancA©e's past (admittedly for years), Lisa found herself intrigued by the limitless possibilities that she felt BDSM could open to her. Lisa has always been "submissive" in all manners of her life and felt that SM would be able to give her a better reason to be submissive, and even perfect her desire to be needed and feel like she is serving someone. However, when Lisa brought up to her fiancA©e the idea of BDSM role-playing as a way to get out of the monotony of everyday sex, the so-called former Master vehemently refused to entertain such an idea.

Lisa had thought that since her fiancA©e had at one time supposedly made a name for himself by being a Master that he would have no problem portraying that side of himself again. Boy was Lisa wrong. Poor Lisa feels like she is at a total loss. She has been fretting over her fiancA©e's refusal to role-play for over a year. She wants to know if there is someway that she can help convince him to be dominant for her. Good luck, right.

When I read Lisa's call for help, I could not help but question her relationship to her fiancA©e. Where is the communication and honesty? It seems obvious to Me that Lisa should ask her fiancA©e why he does not want to play. Confront him. Lisa should attempt to engage him; tell him how important she thinks BDSM will be in her life. I, of course, do not know the exact context or content of this particular couple's discussion or relationship, but I wonder how and why Lisa's fiancA©e disclosed his supposed past. What was his purpose in telling her about such a lifestyle, and what did he hope to get out of claiming some hidden past? Was this man really a former Master with a name? Be aware of one who self-anoints oneself with some utterly fabulous title recently plucked from one's royal arse.

Perhaps I am jaded and distrustful after all My years of playing in a large urban setting, but I can't help but believe this fiancA©e to be a fakea€¦a pretender. My guess is that Lisa's fiancA©e created this little fairytale about his romantic, chivalrous past so that he could make her be in awe of hima€¦so that he could hold some power over her. How better to establish superiority and authority over a naA?ve novice (and your future wife) than to act as if you have vast experience that once made you the titan of the SM world. I may be wrong about this particular former fellow Master, but I have seen far too many who boast about their (former) connection to the SM community. Let me put it as bluntly as possible: nine times out of ten, they are con artists. Watch out, Lisa. Get out while you can. You're not married to him yet!

In my experience, the most serious players out there are humble, and not one has retired from SM. Because they respect the titles they have earned, they do not flaunt them or use them to cow clueless newbies. They have friends who vouch for them, leatherfamilies who support them, and traditions that have been recorded (and probably catalogued at the Leather Archives in Chicago).

The next time someone tells you about their anonymous friends, their former title in some unknown Master/slave community, their unverifiable traditions, not to mention their personal relationships with the Tsar, ask them for personal references. Gee, I would have loved to have seen Master fiancA©e's face if after his infamous story about his past Lisa would have just politely responded, "Can you please provide some personal references who can verify your former position as Master in yahda-yahda Master/slave community?" I bet you that Lisa's fiancA©e would have felt the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome come on immediatelya€¦a quick get-a-way to avoid answering. If a supposedly experienced SM player cannot provide any personal references, please tell him/her to pack up his/her imaginary friends and go home.

Otherwise that "happily ever after" you're hoping for is likely to turn into a truly grim fairytale.

So, where does this leave our friend Lisa? Given that Lisa confided in Me that she does not know anyone in the BDSM community, she is most susceptible to the duplicity of pretenders. Admittedly, it is risky to tell someone that you believe her fiancA©e to be a liar. But if the shoe fits? I suggest that Lisa confront her husband-to-be: ask him for personal references. Verify the personal references if he provides them (Lisa, you can write them to Me and I will help you verify them), and then begin to address why this former Master will not act so Masterly again. If My intuition serves Me rightly, then I think Lisa will be in for a big surprise: a fiancA©e who will have to admit that he fabricated a past so that he could get his partner to think highly of him and be slightly afraid of him and his vast sexual experience.

What may come out of this is two humble novices who desire to learn and play together - or, our friend Lisa may have to head to the highway to find herself a true Master who desires to share with her. Either way, it is up to us to provide community to novices like Lisa so that they will have people to turn to for personal references, support, and honesty.

-- Good luck, Lisa, and do be in touch.

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