Guilt and Fear
That was the topic of our SIG group meeting today. It’s funny, I think the discussion groups are absolutely not for everyone, but I think that for the people who find them valuable, they find them very valuable.
We talked about how guilt and fear affected us and our relationships. Random observations follow, based on our conversation. Your mileage, as always, may vary.
Submissives and slaves feel guilt more often, when dominants do feel guilty it’s often a more intense guilt, because we feel guilty for both parties.
Most male dominants had a lot of guilt based around their kink because they were all told that they shouldn’t hit a girl. I was the only female dominant, so it’s less of a consensus, but I think it’s harder for women to be selfish about being waited on and getting what they want when they want it.
Sometimes pushing limits and fears is part of the job of the dominant, and sometimes we need to keep our hands off of them, depending on the limit/fear, and the reason for it. Pushing someone to get over a fear of canes might be totally appropriate, pushing them to get over a fear of fire when they were in a house fire once is probably not.
Most dominants felt the most fear about harming someone, or guiding them down the wrong path. Again, I was the only female in the group, but I find that I worry more that I am being too easy, letting slaves get away with more than I should.
There was another dominant in the group, Charles, who has been with his slave, jacki, for ten years. We agreed, though, that we thought it was probably more a function of us having long-term relationships. The slave wouldn’t last all that long if they misbehaved often, so there’s rarely an infraction that deserves punishment, but even that brings its own special set of issues.
We talked about the use of fear and guilt in relationships, and whether they were valid tools. The consensus was, sometimes they are, but you have to be careful how you use them, and how much.
We meet as separate power orientations, then come together at the end to talk together, which is always interesting.
It’s also amusing to me because I always say, if you get caught up in one question and that’s what you want to talk about, that’s fine. The submissives, though, always go over each question. Someone asked them today what order they went over them in, and jacki, who leads the submissive discussion, said, “The order that Ms Constance posted them, of course.”
There are always more submissives than any other group and they always have more to say than the dominant’s group. I think for them the opportunity to share in personal ways is very appealing and helpful.
We often tease the switch group because it seems that every answer to every question is, it depends, but they did have three definitive “yes” answers today, so that’s a good thing.
It depends, I suppose…
Anyway we talked, too, about how having a community can alleviate guilt and fear about your preferences and desires, because we can set our own norms.
If any of you are interested, I’ll post our questions below. If you’ve never thought of starting a discussion group in your area, I have to highly recommend it. Again, it’s not for everyone, but I think for the people who do attend, it’s always a worthwhile exercise.
Guilt and Fear
• How do guilt and fear fit into D/s relationships?
• When are guilt and fear unhealthy and harmful, when are they good?
• Is it ethical to use guilt and fear within relationships and if so, how and when?
• What good benefits might guilt and fear bring?
• Is guilt more pervasive in one orientation than another?
• Does guilt serve a useful purpose?
• Are there ways to use guilt effectively and ethically to manage behavior?
• What, if anything, do you feel guilty about your own desires in terms of S&M and D/s relationships?
• Which do you find to be more crippling, guilt or fear?
• What’s the first thing you remember feeling guilty about in terms of S&M and D/s desires?
• Do you believe that we as a community allow fear and guilt to dictate our actions? How valid is that fear and guilt in the larger sense?
• How do you feel guilt can be handled within a spiritual or religious framework?
• What’s the biggest fear you have about your own orientation?
• What do you think the biggest fear other orientations have?
• Is it ethical to use fear in scenes?
• Is fear always something that should be overcome?
• Are there instances you can think of wherein guilt or fear made an otherwise good relationship unworkable?