It's a question someone posed on Twitter that I thought was fascinating: Is the BDSM lifestyle 'real' and if so, what does it mean? I suppose it could be interpreted as asking if you can live BDSM 24/7 but I think one could also ask if life with a kinky component or D/s dynamic really does constitute a different way of living altogether. Or rather, are kinky people not that much different from so called 'vanillas'? Thoughts?
I've always thought that the idea of a whole lifestyle centered around your kink was a bit fantastical. I mean, you don't eat your breakfast on a latex covered tablecloth and sit on bondage horses, do you? I know I'm being a bit facetious, but my point is, even if you have an intense D/s dynamic or master/mistress/slave relationship, surely at some point or another during the day, these things are put aside and you are just two people. Or maybe I am wrong and there are people who really are living it 24/7. But if that's the case, how do you stay mentally fit and autonomous?
I have been in and around the bdsm "lifestyle" over 20 years and only ever known one couple who actually got the full time 24/7 thing to work, they are still together so it can be done. For most of us though I guess the concept is really does having a kinky/bdsm side constitute a lifestyle? I tend to think of it more along the lines of a sexual leaning, although granted not all bdsm is sexual to me it still is more like a predisposition in the same way being gay or straight or bi is.
Of course there is most definitely a bdsm "scene" but to me that's more like a club than a lifestyle with rules and protocols that I find far too regulated and organised.
Ultimately some of us are kinky and some aren't, is the bdsm lifestyle real, you bet. I just think a lot of people have very different ideas of what it actually is.
Yeah Rod, I'd agree about the different definitions. As far as actually living D/s 24/7, I imagine both you and your partner would have to be incredibly mentally fit to manage it without damaging your health as an independent individual.
I think that so many see 24/7 BDSM to mean high protocol leather. This is like saying the lifestyle of a college student is what you see in the classroom or at the party. Being in the Kinky lifestyle is not 24/7 play or power exchange. I personally never say I live 24/7 as it has no real value for me to do so but my girl is my submissive 24/7. We know our roles and we live those roles everyday even when we are apart. She can be off having a night out with friends or tied in my rope. No matter what she is doing she is who she is and who she is is my submissive. She is also so many other things that make her a well rounded amazing woman that I am blessed to have as a partner. I think that like so much in kink so many new or non-kink people see the high protocol play to be kink and never see DS in the normal behaviors seen in the everyday life of so many of us.
I look at other groups such as bicyclists. Living in the Midwest, we have a lot of people that get out their bikes with all the gear and fashion that go with it. If you let them talk about their bike you will see how much of their life is taken up by that activity. If weather permits I have seen individuals who ride from every weekend or even everyday.
Comparing that to BDSM and I see similar patterns. Get a Kinky person talking about their kink, ya they looks a lot like those crazy biker people. So much of my life and identify is wrapped up in being Kinky. Kink is the way I live my life, it is my lifestyle.
I think the BDSM lifestyle is a real as the vanilla life style. "Vanilla lifestyle" doesn't mean that you are in bed having straight sex 24 hours a day, 7 days a week... that would be impracticable. It means that, when you have sex, that's the kind of sex you have. Same with any Kink lifestyle.