Screamer Rant: Real and True and Their Misiplacement in BDSM

Author: Screamer © 2000

Screamer's Web Site

Used With Author(s) Permission


Here's something that bothers me.


Yes. It's Screamer. Stirring the pot again. Imagine.

There's no such thing as a real submissive or a true dominant. See, the great thing about kink is that we get to do anything we want and call it what we want and not have to worry about other people thinking we're sick and twisted. (We already *know* we're sick and twisted or, at the very least, irregular).

Living with your dominant? Wearing a collar all the time? Got a crop behind your car seat and cuffs in the glove box? I find those things very cool. But they don't make you anymore real or true than the guy down the street who only does this on weekends when his kids are at Grandma's and he and his wife can play in the bedroom without being bothered. Participating in public play, going to parties and seminars - these things are wonderful for education, enjoyment and community building. But belonging to, and participating in such doesn't make you any more "true" than the schoolteacher down the street who can't participate publicly for fear of alienating her family or her students.

She's real. He's true. They're both as into this as you and I are. They're just quiet about it.

Words like "real" and "true" do more harm in a lifestyle like ours than good. When you start bandying about words like that, it alienates people. Makes them worry too much about living up to someone's perceived notion of what really *is* real and true. It elevates, in some eyes, people to heights of knowledge and wisdom that they may or may NOT be worthy of. And it makes others feel as if they'll never measure up to what they think they should be.

While I agree that there should be some basic definitions (submissive, dominant, top, bottom), they must be pretty loose and free because I don't want to be put in anyone else's box. I want to draw my own box. That's part of the great thing about being kinky. If I wanted clear, concise, perfect definitions, I'd still be Catholic - I'd still be married with a mortgage, 2.5 kids and a dog in the backyard. (Not that you can't be kinky and have that - many, many do. But they aren't living by the definitions of their vanilla thinking. They're making their own rules. Ain't that cool?)

I get decidedly tight when someone starts saying "Well, he's a true Master because his submissive is on a leash" (and yes, you do hear that.) or "She's a true slave because she wears her collar all the time and never says no to her Sir." I frankly find those things wonderful and fun and romantic. But I don't think you can draw distinctions like that. Hell, the goth kids wear collars all the time. Someone want to tell a 16 year old goth kid to "Kneel, bitch?"

Things do not make you real. Words do not make you a true anything (except a wordsmith). What makes you - you - is YOU. Your actions, your deeds, your life. You aren't real and true to anyone but yourself, and you know what? I like it that way. Someone asked me this weekend where my collar was - and since they didn't see one - I must not be a collared submissive - or, I wasn't a submissive (Was I in Top mode this weekend? Did I want to cane someone? <chuckle>). Anyone want to explain to these folks that this dogtag dangling between my breasts - out of view - close to my heart - is more of a collar than the leather one I used to wear to parties? Anyone want to explain that you don't have to play publicly to be "real"?

I think those of us who are more communicative about our lifestyle are often seen as more "real" because we put it all out there for the world to see. I've been involved in the public scene for over six years. But that doesn't mean I'm anymore a true submissive than the teacher. It just means I have a big mouth and carry a long cane bag. It means that I like to share ideas and I like to discuss things. And that's all it really means.

Which brings me to my other botherment.

Misguided hero worship.

I spent a lot of time this weekend observing some of the most prominent authors of the D/s community. Having met them all at one time or another, I can most assuredly say that, with one exception, they don't want to be 'worshipped' by the D/s community. (And if they do, I don't want to know them.) They wrote books. They shared knowledge. Doesn't mean they *have* anymore knowledge than "Mr. Bedroom" from above. Just means they can string words together and don't mind sharing their experience and knowledge with the public. They take time from their schedules with family and jobs to lecture and teach. They enjoy doing so. I think that's cool. I think it's wonderful that they give of themselves. Anyone who teaches anything is a treasure in my book. But I know from personal experience - and the email I've gotten from my essays over the years - that writing it down doesn't mean the writer knows more than anyone else. Again. In my own case, I just have a really big mouth and a talent for stringing words together.

Hey, we all get naked the same way, folks. Some of us just do it with a royalty check in hand.

I think more than anything else, I just want to see people having a good time. I want to enjoy watching you enjoying yourself. I want to watch you smile when you hold that shiny new paddle and I want to hear you laugh when those new cuffs tickle your feet. And even more than that, I want to know that the schoolteacher and the plumber are having their own fun in their own way. And that they don't think themselves better than I - worse than I - or more real or true than I.

That we all *are*. That's all.






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