Have you ever heard the misconception about switches not being "true" BDSM-ers?

Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by Leilani, Mar 26, 2009.

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  1. Leilani

    Leilani New Member

    I apologise if this has been discussed before, but I'm new and my brief search of the current threads hasn't revealed such a discussion.

    I'm very interested in the interaction and philosophy within BDSM communities, so I've been looking through a few of them on the Internet lately, and I was shocked to find out that many of them are extremely narrow-minded and judgmental in the way they view dominant and submissive roles in a relationship.

    As a switch, albeit one leaning towards femdom, I was mildly offended that the majority of people who weren't switches would immediately form an opinion about what it must be like for me, and never reconsider their prejudice, even when told about my first-hand experiences that contradicted this prejudice. Being dismissed as not a "real" or "good" domme or sub because I am capable of being both reminded me of someone dismissing a bisexual as not really "interested in" or "good with" either sex because they are capable of loving either.

    I've noticed strict dommes and subs usually also tend to look only for pure dommes and subs, and reject the notion of getting involved with a switch at all. I understand that not everyone wants to trade roles in a relationship like I frequently do, but I find it laughable that one would assume that being with a switch would necessarily mean that the switch would want to try on both roles in that specific relationship. It's like saying that a bisexual girl dating another girl is to be expected to want to go at it with a boy at the same time too, simply because she is bisexual. It can happen, but it is not at all necessary. Love and sex simply cannot be generalised into such absolute terms, but depend on who you're with and during what time of your life, so a bisexual can be ecstatic about a happy relationship with the right man, without ever craving a woman's touch, and a switch can be ecstatic about being a domme with the right person, without ever craving to submit to that person instead. I'm not sure why, then, switches are discriminated against as so much less "true" and "capable" than people who aren't capable of switching.

    In short, seeing as how much the BDSM community is unfairly judged by certain vanilla folk, I was expecting everyone to be very sweet and accepting towards anyone else's bedroom activities, provided they are performed between mutually consenting adults, but alas, I found out that prejudices are still abundant, just of a different kind. I was wondering whether anyone else has had a similar experience, and what your take is on the whole switch lament. I hope I haven't come across as too harsh, heh, but this did really manage to irk the figurative pants off me!
     
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  2. Sparrow69

    Sparrow69 Moderator

    you'll find that even though the bdsm community seems vividly open to more concepts and acceptance of more lifestyle choices, that their is still some prejudices even here. Some doms feel that it is beneath them to be subbed, and their subs, are to afraid to express any interest at all for fear of pain and abuse. However, it has been MY experience, that in order to be a Dom of any longstanding D/s Relationship, you have to know the other side of the coin.

    The fact that your open to learn both sides tells me that you will in fact one day make a good dom or sub, because you will do so out of choice and free will, not out of fear and mental brainwashing or conditioning. I say kudos to you.

    btw, I love the avatar.
     
  3. ReallyGreen

    ReallyGreen Member

    I personally feel that a person cannot be a great Dom unless they have spent time as the sub of another great Dom (or doms). My largest concern is really for saftey reasons. If everybody had the same ideas and feelings regarding safety I'd say go ahead and Dom from day 1. But Some people just have plain out-there wackadoo sadistic streaks, anywhere else and they'd be propery labeled sociopathic, but in the BDSM community, much of which is fiction and roleplaying, They lose sight of reality and think their ideas are brilliant because the latest-and-greatest at BMEzine are self-castrating or an Anne Rice book said hanging people by their ankles for 72 hours is reasonable.

    This isn't paranoia, there are several posters on this site whom I'd recommend a long stay at a psychiatric hospital too.

    But basically my 'Dom' rules are

    *Don't do anything to a sub that you couldn't handle as a sub

    Other than that I've also got bullet points about Doms needing more life experience (as it were) before they take on a sub, Green belts don't train black belts and all that. But compared to my safety concerns this is really a niggling point. Safety first.

    As for switching. I think that relationships work best when you are allowed to grow and evolve in your role. If you're a Dom and you want to be a sub, I strongly recommend you find a new dom, and not use your sub.
     
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  4. serodio

    serodio Banned

    ReallyGreen is right. You first have to follow to be a great leader. How else would you know what a sub can handle without being in that role first?

    sub/dom roles are based on order:The Dom has his/her place of authority and the sub has his/her role to fullfil as a subject. The idea of switching confuses that order. Confusion always brings controversy, and invites criticism that one is not a true BDSMer. This always perplexed me. You must be confined to a single role only? Especially for doms then: aren't you held captive by that role?

    When I meet people that claim they've never switched, especially that they've always been doms: chances are they don't interest me as a partner
     
  5. ReallyGreen

    ReallyGreen Member

    I'm not saying individuals can't switch. I'm all for variety being the spice of life and what-not. But I do not think that a D/s couple switching is a wonderful idea. If you want to be a sub, find a dominant partner, if you want to be dominant, find a submissive. You can even do both at the same time [friday sub to jack, sunday dom to bill].
     
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  6. serodio

    serodio Banned

    agreed greenie. 100%
     
  7. Sparrow69

    Sparrow69 Moderator

    Just for the record, I am a Sadist. I am often considered a sociopath, and have been considered legally insane by several doctors, HOWEVER, I am a very caring, compassionate, and safety conscious Dom.

    I was a sub in the beginning, but a person forced into this lifestyle, as well as anyone not in this lifestyle, can only be tortured so far before they develop enough of an "I don't care anymore" attitude and do what needs to be done to obtain freedom.
     
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  8. ReallyGreen

    ReallyGreen Member

    Of course, thats why I only have consensual fun.
     
  9. Leilani

    Leilani New Member

    Thank you for all the non-hostile responses!

    The view about a domme needing to be a sub first to better understand thresholds of pain and humiliation is an interesting and valid one, in spite of the fact that a natural born domme will not perceive pain the same way a natural born sub does. Still, it is better to have a rough idea than none at all, and furthermore show your partner that you respect their preferences and lifestyle choice as a sub by having been willing to try it on yourself, so I tend to agree, in most cases.

    What I don't understand is how any domme can feel it is "beneath" them to submit to someone. I can understand how it would not be their preference, but refusing on the grounds that it is "beneath" them reeks of disrespect. Just because one person prefers to dominate and one to submit does not make either of them any less or more "worthy." D/s should be about two people who understand they are both equally deserving of pleasure, but go about different ways to obtain it, and make an effort to understand and fulfill their partner's way as much as their own. A sub isn't someone you kick around irrespective of their own wishes because you get off on it.

    I would be very upset if a boy close to me suddenly began perceiving our "worth" as different because he is male and I am female, and equally upset if instead of sexism, he applied the D/s distinction to do it, like in the case above. In my opinion, and purely my opinion, because I know many people in the community would disagree, such a person simply wouldn't be worth bothering with any more.


    BTW, thanks, Sparrow69; I've fallen in love with the dynamic displayed by the two in the comic books and TV show, so it made an obvious avatar choice!
     
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  10. ReallyGreen

    ReallyGreen Member

    Well unless there is some neurological disorder at work then they should perceive pain the same way. The difference is how they deal with the pain. And in this case a very clear line can be drawn between a submissive, who will do their best to block or ignore the stimuli, and a masochist who will do his/her best to focus on the pain and possibly gain sexual satisfaction from it or more often the following endorphine rush (aka. runner's high).

    In contrast we have the sadist, who gains sexual stimulation from causing pain on others, and to a lesser degree people who suffer from scadenfreude, which is the suffering of others but not necisarrily suffer that they themselves caused (such as your bosses car getting wrecked makes your day better).

    I'm not really sure any of this is congruent to the thread, but I did just smoke some decent hydro, and I ramble a bit when I'm chemically altered.
     
  11. Leilani

    Leilani New Member

    I disagree a little, since people are differently neurologically and psychologically built up and pain thresholds may vary based on either, but we're basically on the same page here. In most cases, there won't be an enormous difference, although I do suggest that every domme who has at one point tried out as a sub still takes their acquired knowledge with a grain of salt, and makes sure to talk to their sub about it rather than relying purely on their own findings, but this much is obvious to anyone in a healthy relationship.

    On a geeky note, I'm familiar with Schadenfreude, especially from the Avenue Q musical. That needed mentioning in case any fellow nerds are on the forums!
     
  12. ReallyGreen

    ReallyGreen Member

    Anytime somebody here mentions roleplaying I always offer to bring my dice.

    "Sure anybody else can hit you, but can they hit you with a +2 riding crop (symbol of pain once/day on natural 20 or called strike to the testicles)?"
     
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