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Submission and morality

21 September 1997

This discussion took place on #SanTara on Sunday, the 21st of September, 1997

Although the theme sounds reasonably straightforward, the actual discussion wandered fairly widely, much of it revolving around what thoughts go though a new Dominant's or submissive's mind when they first realize that they have Dominant or submissive desires, and then, later, when they start practising BDSM activities.

Symbols and abbreviations
Smilies: symbols that represent smiles (when viewed sideways)
LOL Lots of laughs
ppl People
vanillas People not "into" BDSM
LM LordMilz
Janus Society of Janus - an American BDSM support organisation
TES The Eulenspiegel Society - an American BDSM support organisation
Alexa^^ A Pro Dom (Professional Dominatrix). Owner of dina
dina Full-time slave (female) of Alexa^^
MrEos A male Dominant
jalinata A female submissive
LordMilz A male Dominant
PAIN_Mstr A male Dominant
sarah_ts Transexual, biologically male
frogaroo A male Dominant

Alexa^^ OK. welcome to tonight's discussion meeting, loosely titled: "submission and morality"

anyone want to know why I chose this topic?

MrEos Yes. Yes!
Alexa^^ well Eos, I could have made it: "slaves/submissives: what's the difference?" :)

OK. I will tell. it's serious really because almost every sub and slave, and most dominants who I know, went through a 'guilt' phase or trip and I figure since we are aiming these talks for now towards beginners it would be good to share about it so that no one feels alone or that it--'guilt'--has to be an end of exploration

simple huh? silly most likely, but a good issue I think

MrEos No. A valid issue

Maybe guilt that you are betraying what you have learned

Alexa^^ the first point on the topic list is identifying barriers that can create conflict
MrEos The first might be accepting that you are a submissive (or, equally, a Dominant) and have corresponding needs
jalinata and, after accepting, umm, dealing with the concomitant contradictions it creates
MrEos What sort of contradictions, jalinata?
jalinata well, for me, there was dealing with and finding the balance between very strong feminist beliefs and activities and incredibly strong urges towards submission. Basically allowing myself to stop being dependent on my independence
MrEos I understand. Even not considering feminism, there is a strong "push" in our culture towards independence. There is an ideal in our society of strength and independence without treading on anyone else's toes
jalinata true. a number of my dominant male friends have had similar problems dealing with their *snag*-like personalities and reconciling their need to dominate
MrEos Yes. We aren't "supposed" to tell people what to do. And by wanting to do so we feel conflict with what society has taught us is the right way
jalinata mmm... and then, when you go a step further, and realise that there can actually be a sadistic side to personality it can be quite a shock, i think, to self-perception
Alexa^^ what are some external causes?
MrEos External causes? Society's expectation is an external cause. Or family. One's instilled perception of self, eg. I am not a meany but I do like to whip women :)
jalinata i think also of the issue of the *smallness* of the population...
MrEos "Smallness", jalinata?
jalinata i find it can be far too easy to be drawn closely to someone when, often, the key things we have in common are geographic location and *kink* which--in terms of a long-term submissive relationship--does NOT work
MrEos I agree. They don't form a good basis for a partnership
jalinata yes. and for me to really indulge in my submission it needs to be on a basis of a relationship
MrEos Do you then submit to someone incompatible because you have a deeper need to submit?
jalinata mmmm. only on a very superficial level. so, for example, at the moment i spend a weekend every so often with a good friend (who happens to be Dom) but our ideals on everything else in our lives are very very far apart.

so, being a practical person at heart, i keep a level of myself removed--not allowing myself to become too deeply immersed

MrEos Is it "right" for you while you are with him?
jalinata it is "right" as long as we do not talk about anything very serious<g>
Alexa^^ so we have job or self-perceptions, and expectations and status in society, as barriers that create conflict? Let's bring this back into focus.

would gender or sexuality be a barrier? or has it the potential to be so?

jalinata for me these are not a barrier. ideals are, gender not
MrEos I cannot answer that one. Maybe being submissive and male goes against the stereotype of a "strong" man? Being submissive and female is more acceptable, I think. Or perceived to be
jalinata LOL. depends on the circles you mix in <g>
Alexa^^ more 'natural' or socially acceptable. yes, I agree, jal :)
LordMilz within the BDSM society? or in general, MrEos?
MrEos In general, but that's where we all start I agree that it's social-circle-dependent, but we are all influenced by what we see on the news and hear in school (which was a long time ago)

When a Dom tells you to kneel, and you do--happily, aren't you betraying a lot of what society has been telling you?

Alexa^^ the reason I put this topic up was in essence to let the newcomer know that guilt was something almost all of us have been through--even if just in a small way.
jalinata in the area of guilt, or umm, *discomfort*, i still remember the harrowing feelings i had when i finally admitted i WANTED to be spanked

when i kneel i am not kneeling to a *stereotype*, but to a particular person who has won my respect

(herein lies the beginnings of my rationalisations) <g>

MrEos <smiles>
MrEos But you still kneel. And kneeling is a no-no
LordMilz why is it a no-no ?
jalinata it is?
MrEos Society says that it is a no-no. No-one bows down to anyone
Alexa^^ society has attributed submission as a weakness
MrEos But when we react against what we are "supposed" to to do, it is like reacting against a parent figure
jalinata and i always thought that kneeling was just the perfect way to get my head to a convenient height..<g>
MrEos jalinata, THAT is an exception <smile>
PAIN_Mstr Maybe just societal condition over a life-time as to what we are "supposed" to do, or maybe it is simply strength of inner-being to be able to break from accepted norms
MrEos I agree that it requires strength to embrace BDSM internal needs. I had problems with being a Dom--accepting that my slave(s) are below me
jalinata i suspect that i am lucky inasmuch as i have not been overly influenced by societal norms, though i know that i have had to be a lot stronger to submit than to not submit
PAIN_Mstr I personally could never see submission a sign of weakness, or a true submissive anything but strong
MrEos I agree, PAIN, but I speak from the inside
Alexa^^ These dominant and submissive "needs", if I where a newcomer how would you tell me what they were? Eos?
MrEos If you were a newcomer you would have already made the first step by saying that you were "interested" and not repelled
Alexa^^ some ppl are feeling conflict before they even know what their needs are or can put names to them
MrEos I agree. It can be frightening to go and seek yourself
PAIN_Mstr I also feel it can be very scary when the realization hits a person that they truly enjoy what has been painted as "perverse" or a "sickness" by all the "normal" ppl around them
MrEos PAIN, that's an issue to do with coming out. What about coming out to yourself?

I often think that the most frightening thing in the world, for some people, would be a mirror that reflects their soul. Many people do not accept what they are and are frightened by it

PAIN_Mstr Agreed, but still possibly the conflict of social norms instilled over time--the young female/male professional who is submissive but needs to keep up a certain professional image of strength, might I even say Dominance

The inner questions: is there something wrong with me?

jalinata it can be very difficult to accept what you are without trying to ascribe some *meaning* to it
MrEos It needs no meaning. It is who I am
jalinata I agree with you MrEos though, for me, it has taken time to give up on the self-analysis <g>
MrEos I still analyse :)
Alexa^^ going back to moral conflict... LM said earlier: while we are prepared to accept most things in others it's when we can't accept our own desires, wants, needs, etc., that we get the most trouble
MrEos Because we cannot walk away from it
PAIN_Mstr It happens to Dominants also that they question whether what they do is really "loving" or "tender"...
MrEos I agree with THAT, PAIN . Very definitely

It took me a fair while to accept myself in that regard

jalinata Yes, and i think that often the thing is not so much what you *do* but the way in which you do it--which creates the difference between loving/tender/sadistic and, umm, basic brutality
MrEos Is it the way you do them, or the intent behind them?
jalinata A combination, perhaps?
PAIN_Mstr Maybe it's good we question a little. Maybe it keeps things in balance ... yin and yang
Alexa^^ I know a lot of moral issues for my friends have been religious or upbringing related.
PAIN_Mstr Heheheheh. I am lucky, no religious issues in CP. I went to an all male Catholic school. LOL
PAIN_Mstr I often find it amusing seeing some self-proclaimed Dominants barking orders--demanding fantasies be acted out--thinking that is all there is to being a Dom/me with no concern on the overall effect they have
Alexa^^ Eos, what would you say then to a newcomer struggling through guilt feelings?
jalinata Alexa, the person is sub or dom?
Alexa^^ I will say newcomer submissive.
MrEos I would tell them to talk to others. So that they know that they are not alone. If they were cute and blond I'd tell them to talk to me :)

They need to talk mainly, to know that they share with others. Being alone does not help you feel secure about yourself

You need support

jalinata and i would suggest they talk a lot to some other submissives. most of us have gone through various questioning things over time
Alexa^^ to afford some legitimacy to their needs?
MrEos Not strictly speaking, but you feel more legitimate doing something that you perceive as odd when you are doing it with others, too

It's really good when you talk to others and find that they think the same way you do

PAIN_Mstr Sort of makes you feel almost normal <g>
MrEos Heaven forbid <laughs>
PAIN_Mstr I do find it interesting that now programs on TV like "Sex Life" now speak of other forms of touching e.g. spanking as normal sexual play

but sad that they do not come right out and say: WHATEVER FEELS GOOD is OK between consenting adults

MrEos I don't agree with that, Pain. I don't think that it always is OK
Alexa^^ I think it might be time for a story. would anyone care to share with us about their first submissive experience? no nitty-gritties necessarily, just how you thought or felt, what expectations there were, etc. were these expectations met?
MrEos My first sub experience was a wild ride emotionally. Lots of conflict internally

Trying to adapt to a new mindset was the main problem, coupled with not knowing what to expect and how I would react

PAIN_Mstr I feel proper communication between partners can overcome that partly, and by consenting and discussing there should be no expectations. Even in permanent D/s relationships there are many variables that effect the outcome--what feels good this time may be uncomfortable or scary the next

Many things affect our reactions

MrEos My expectations came from in me
PAIN_Mstr So you set goals as to what you hoped for Eos ??
MrEos Goals, no. I thought that I knew what would happen. I was wrong :)
PAIN_Mstr Well, we all are wrong at times. the human being is funny like that; it never reacts as you would expect it to
MrEos You're not wrong about that <sigh>
PAIN_Mstr Don't worry. it happens to all of us. Best laid plans of mice and men and all that, too
LordMilz maybe the issue of internal conflict or guilt is so personal that it is too hard to determine how it can be treated or helped. it depends heavily upon people's perceptions
MrEos And conditioning
Alexa^^ I thought that too, but I realised that some places are doing something; like legitimising the 'life-style'--like Janus and TES, etc.--and by opening doors to association and networking the newcomer isn't left to "oh, it's bad and sick" perceptions
PAIN_Mstr Well, I think that is where I came in: no matter how much you enjoy something lifetime conditioning can have you questioning your sanity at times
LordMilz then why do some of us get affected by this "life conditioning" and some not ?
PAIN_Mstr Maybe some of us are poor subjects for conditioning. my teachers always told me I was a lousy student <g>
Alexa^^ I had no 'societal' constraints or religious restraints and I still felt guilty when I first came in

I was told by shrinks that wanting to submit was just an 'attention-seeking tool' and an 'issue' not a need

some shrinks need shrinking

MrEos We all have conditioning from family and society. It cannot be escaped
Alexa^^ I guess it could be society as a whole with its 'conditioning' of strength=dominance, work, home, schools, etc.
PAIN_Mstr Maybe thats where the guilt comes from; we feel that we are non-conformists; we do not fit in with the rest of society
Alexa^^ that's quite paradoxical though, Pain, seeing as how BDSM _could_ be referred back to some 'animal instinct' of sorts

so, in a sense, by adopting societies values we deny our own instincts

I think that we can do more than talk about it though

MrEos Give workshops
Alexa^^ well, we have a lot of literature available--books and papers--and we are slowly networking
MrEos It isn't just in BDSM that we fail to conform. Mr Joe Average isn't everyone's cup of tea.

Being an individual runs against society's teachings

PAIN_Mstr Maybe society, in general, is simply scared to show animal lust and passion--too real for many
MrEos True. Society fights against animal instincts

But most societies have release "valves" for animal passion and lust, eg. football

LordMilz is BDSM always about "animal lust and passion" though? for some it isn't
Alexa^^ No, I don't think it is either, LM, but for some it is the essence
PAIN_Mstr Yes, sadly ppl seem to be heading towards group ideas; no free thinkers
Alexa^^ meaning, Pain?
PAIN_Mstr I did not necessarily mean simply that BDSM was about "animal lust and passion", just it's one way of showing specific emotions and I agree that it can be many things to many ppl
jalinata i tend to think that the "lust an wanton passion" elements are the ones which are readily acceptable. it is the actual *relationship* elements which become much more difficult to deal with in many ways
LordMilz I agree with jal. it is OK to spank someone as long as you are going to have sex with them--but if they just want a spanking and no orgasm people think that is strange
Alexa^^ no. I see what you mean, LM. ppl think it OK to have 'kinky sex' and not be considered BDSMers or weirdos and perverts
PAIN_Mstr That's what I should have said earlier when I mentioned Sex Life... glad you said it, Alexa
Alexa^^ [You mean] ownership, jalinata? things like that?
jalinata yes. obedience, etc. etc.
PAIN_Mstr I did not know lust and passion equated to sex and orgasm

A kiss can be passionate or simply a token gesture

sarah_ts Desmond Morris is a highly respected Zoologist in the UK and wrote a book, I think called the Human Zoo. in it he equated the red bottom of baboons (red to attract the females) with the spanked human bottom

do you see the comparison?

I mean if that is so then it is perfectly natural to get "turned on" by a spanked bottom

Alexa^^ yes I do sarah :)
PAIN_Mstr To me slapping someone special can be passionate
LordMilz true, Pain. But that is because we "know"; the vanillas don't understand

Kinky Sex--with furry handcuffs, spankings and ropes--are fine... if you actually have SEX

LordMilz but (to vanillas) having the ropes and chains and floggings--and no sex--becomes a psychological problem
PAIN_Mstr Uh oh. what would vanillas say to a sub reaching orgasm simply from being slapped then?
LordMilz they would say it is weird
jalinata ... and the jumping up to make a cup of tea whenever your partner looks thirsty? to me this is the part i find i had difficulty explaining to friends
PAIN_Mstr Oh, well. THEIR loss ;-))
LordMilz but isn't that one of the barriers that needs to be overcome?
PAIN_Mstr So your friends could not even see it as simply a thoughtful act
LordMilz this link that is being created between sex and BDSM--is it to make it acceptable to the masses?

my 'free thinking' friends can accept it--but not understand it

Alexa^^ dina keeps calling the wrong ppl, "Sir" :) that's a self-barrier as well.

dina went through the same thing, jal. dina says that she watched someone else do it for their partner and that showed her how beautiful it was and didn't make her feel so out of place

PAIN_Mstr Maybe we should make it more scary for the masses and just call it "SM" <g>
sarah_ts they do not have to understand it, just accept it
LordMilz I think that we should be saying "S&M is OK"--not "S&M is OK if you link it to sex"
PAIN_Mstr Well, the Japanese see the Tea ceremony as a symbol of utmost respect and it is beautiful to watch
Alexa^^ there has been a lot of discussion recently as to whether the BDSM community will head the same way, politically, as the Gay and Lesbian community... striving for public acceptance
PAIN_Mstr Yes, I have read a few things about putting a nice acceptable facade on what we do
Alexa^^ I think that Eos was beginning to. would you like to continue, Eos?
MrEos What can I add to what I said?
sarah_ts what do you mean by first sub experience?
frogaroo my first experience was self bondage :)
Alexa^^ the very first time you submitted to someone else in a BDSM setting
sarah_ts I mean, I got caned first time by a prostitute in London, but I wouldn't call it a sub experience
Alexa^^ OK, how would you clarify a sub experience?
sarah_ts not sure. that's why I was asking, but if you want I'll tell
Alexa^^ if you feel comfortable yes please:)
PAIN_Mstr masochistic, maybe, or were you just naughty sarah?
sarah_ts a bit of both

I had been lucky enough to work as a maid for a Mistress in a pro establishment. after a couple of months of hinting, she finally lost her temper and carried out a wish of mine to have my foreskin pierced. she was angry and grabbed hold of my wrists to cuff them behind my back

I resisted at first, scared of her anger, then I thought, "I trust her and this is what I wanted..."

I relaxed a bit and let her cuff me. she then attached it to a chain and pulley and raised my arms above my head. there was no backing out now and I was actually totally helpless for real. I felt incredibly powerless as she took my penis firmly in one hand and pierced it with a needle. that, I think, was my first true submission. very confusing

Alexa^^ how so?
sarah_ts I had been scared but I should have known there was no reason to be... but I couldn't have done anything if there had been and because deep down I trusted her I was totally turned on

I had been whinging about it for weeks, so in the end I had no choice

Alexa^^ agreed. were you confused because you felt you should have trusted her?
sarah_ts I don't really know and it was so long ago

I think I was confused because I never knew if she was really angry or it was just for effect

and I was cross with myself for whinging

Alexa^^ did you have a safe word or something similar?
sarah_ts no. that was the turn on
PAIN_Mstr Fear can be quite erotic at times

Maybe the confusion came from knowing that it was what you wanted and yet when it was time you had no control over it

sarah_ts I knew she was going to hurt me, not fatally or anything like that, and that there was nothing I could do about it; but I wanted her to
Alexa^^ dina says that she felt the same as sarah in the sense that the thought of no control was the turn on, but she had a feeling of 'how can I want this?' or 'it isn't right to want this'...
sarah_ts please. who is dina, your sub?
Alexa^^ sorry. dina is my slave and has joined the channel with me for tonight's meeting

dina smiles and waves hi over my shoulder

Alexa^^ we can't remember really how we dealt with it either. it was long ago... but we did talk and look for options
PAIN_Mstr I think every sub/slave must go through the, "How can I want this?", as they lay bound before their owner and see the whip or whatever approaching; especially the first time
sarah_ts it has to be with a "certain" person though. it can't just be anyone
PAIN_Mstr Yes, well, my slave has always said it's not the pain, it's YOUR pain that I want
sarah_ts there must be a reciprocal feeling
PAIN_Mstr Well, for myself I can say there definitely is

[Though] I guess we should not generalise. some subs think differently and have different needs

Alexa^^ dina says that she felt it a conflict when she _wasn't_ at the feet of her Dom, so to speak, it was just there all the time; [and], yes, it increased when we where 'scening', for want of a better word
PAIN_Mstr Surely there must be some self-doubt of what they are doing when they first find themselves submitting
LordMilz as I say, each individual submissive or slave can only know that. we can't assume that it is so

for some it may be the most natural thing they have ever felt themselves doing and there may be no guilt or questioning at all

for some it may be a feeling of "coming home"

PAIN_Mstr Yes. agreed, LM. [It was] only an assumption on my part. I guess that I am curious as to their thoughts
LordMilz as Dominants we want to know what submissive or slave thought patterns are--it helps us to be better Dominants
PAIN_Mstr And I am sure many feelings and ideas run through their minds
LordMilz yep
Alexa^^ folks. we must soon close the meeting. hmmm, and we have gone into so many topics that I am not sure I can make any kind of summary :)
LordMilz Well, Alexa. I agree with you. a summary would be difficult
Alexa^^ Feel free to stay but I will close the log by saying thank you for coming and for all that you have shared here and know that someone out there who reads this will benefit if only to know they are not alone...

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