Equality, Part II

November 3, 2012 Uncategorized  4 comments

So, I was talking about equality.  I had said that I believe that as people, we are equals.  I am not more than you, or less than you, in the greater perspective.

As a person, we are equal.

If you take a submissive role and your partner takes a dominant role, I am not going to think more highly of one or trust the opinion of the other less.  You will be equal in my eyes.

Having said that, if I were sitting with my friends Charles and jacki, and I wanted a refill of a drink, I would ask jacki for it.  Charles would absolutely do anything for me I asked, but the reality is, jacki LIKES to serve, and that suits her personality.

My relationship to them, however, is not a D/s relationship.  I deal with them as friends or acquaintances, or, more generally, as people.

Within a relationship, both the dominant and the submissive have the power to end the relationship.  In that way, they are certainly equals.  I may say, “I release you,” the submissive may say, “I request release.”  Either ends the relationship.

Even in that, though, the one who must request release is not equal to the one who can grant it.  Perhaps the equality of that is that, should I say, “No, you are not released,” you can still take off the collar, tear up the contract or simply say, “Yes, I am,” and you win.  You are.

We work so hard to apply democratic principles to places where they have no reason to be applied, and in so doing we negate the very things we say we want to have in our lives.

If everyone is absolutely equal, who makes the decisions?  Who chooses how to proceed, and who carries out those decisions?

Not every relationship has to have that quality, certainly, and you may choose for your relationship not to have them.  The definition of such a relationship is easy.  It’s called a vanilla relationship.

A military setting does not consider a private and a general to be equal.  They have clearly defined and agreed upon roles within that delineation of rank.

If you declare that you have formed your own sort of military but add that you have abandoned the concept of rank and authority and are now conducting YOUR military in a communal fashion, with jointly-made decisions and tea parties on Friday, I don’t think you should expect that others recognize you as a military.  By doing that, you have abandoned the very principles and hierarchy that define the organization itself.

One truth to the military example is that every general was once a private, every general once had to take orders before he could give them and theoretically, he rose to the rank of general because of his abilities and inclination to lead.

I know that is, in fact, a fallacy in the real military.  The theory is a good one, however.

Not everyone comes to a position of dominance through submission.  Not everyone has had the opportunity or training that the old guard leather community used, wherein calling oneself a Master meant that you had spent your time as a submissive, had worked your way up from private to general in a sense.

It’s easy enough in our communities to put a “Master” in front of your name, or change your nick to include the word “Mistress,” and declare yourself as dominant.

It’s also true that with so many people coming in so quickly, having any level of real life experience puts you in a more advanced position in terms of experience.  Experience is important and we should, I think, learn from every experience regardless of how much or how little exposure we have.

But those who have now been involved in the lifestyle for TWO WHOLE YEARS(!) now see themselves as experienced and deserving of the title and the respect that they often mistakenly believe should also be due them because of that self-anointed title.

If, as a submissive, you believe yourself to be the equal of your Master or Mistress, then why are you on your knees in front of them?

If you believe your intellect, emotions, judgment, and opinions in every way are equal to your partner, then why on earth would you accept that intellect, emotions, judgment and opinions over your own?

I don’t think you should give yourself to someone you do not believe is at least as strong and at least as smart as you are.  If you do, I strikes me that you belittle the gift you offer.

You should want to kneel because you believe this person in front of you is more than you are, is an amazing being who inspires a certain amount of awe in you, who is, in fact, capable of doing things that you are not able or willing to do.

As a dominant, I may think the same thing from a very different perspective.  I find it amazing that someone can kneel in front of me and trust me with their lives.

Within our relationship, however, you most certainly are not my equal.

Do I expect those who are submissive to me to be submissive to anyone else?  No, I do not.

I don’t expect anyone else’s submissive to be submissive to me, either.  I expect my drink to be fetched by my submissive, but I do not expect my submissive to automatically fetch drinks for everyone else, either, unless they are functioning as a host or hostess or I have specifically directed them to do so.

I expect them to be courteous and helpful, yes, and they do often fetch drinks.  Slave drew is a compulsive table-clearer, and also can’t sit still, so he is often clearing tables or getting drinks at munches, but it’s honestly because he LIKES doing it.

I don’t expect them to bite their tongue rather than express an opinion, or be unable or afraid to think for themselves.  Those of you who know either or both of my slaves are currently laughing, saying “Right.  Afraid to express an opinion…”

What I do expect is for them to accept my will over theirs within the relationship we have, which we have agreed to pursue.  Beyond that, I expect them to be courteous and respectful to others, precisely as I expect others to be towards them.

Outside the relationship, yes, we should be treated equally.

If we are equal within the relationship, however, then the reason for the relationship to exist escapes me, or, more precisely, I do not believe that the relationship of dominant and submissive does exist.

As I said before, that relationship doesn’t HAVE to exist.  If a different kind of relationship works for you, that’s fine and dandy.  If the waltz doesn’t suit your taste or temperament, by all means switch to a jitterbug but accept that you are not dancing the same dance as the others on the floor and recognize that the music the waltz orchestra is playing is not well-suited to your steps.

I believe there is room for all of us.  I believe we have a right to choose the partners and the styles that best suit our lives and our tastes.

However, I believe if we try and mold our definitions so they include everyone, if we insist that the jitterbug is just the same as the waltz despite evidence to the contrary, in the end we all find ourselves stumbling rather than dancing.

Besides that, I’m truly awful at letting someone else lead – just ask drew.

4 comments to Equality, Part II

  • sin  says:

    Well he’s as smart as I am, though in different ways, and he’s stronger and more determined. But is he better than me? Not so sure.

    • MsConstanceExplains  says:

      I don’t think that you should see a dominant as better than you are, though you might, but I do think that if you don’t see them, in some ways, as more than you are, I don’t think I can understand why you might kneel in front of them, in a Master and slave kind of dynamic.

      I can see why S&M activities work, or even limited service, but I don’t think I could kneel in front of anyone that I didn’t believe was more than I was, on some level.

  • Wordwytch  says:

    Perhaps the definitions need to ‘be online’ and clear, so that such failures to communicate and issues can be nipped in the bud, said Wolf. (we are sharing a computer tonight) One thing Wolf mourned the loss of when he moved out here 8+ years ago was of his “book”, which dealt with the training and education that went with the club/group he worked with back east. He does rate the title Master, although he doesn’t use it.

  • MsConstanceExplains  says:

    I suppose there are two schools of thought on that one. One is that the question would be, who writes the definition? I think mine is right, they think theirs is, clearly we have a difference in opinion, and that would make it hard to determine who actually gets to write it.

    The other school is something someone said in a class years ago. Lady Blake was teaching a class on Master and slave in Ohio Leatherfest. In retrospect, I think a certain percent of my own views were taken from there, or built on what was said there, but someone in the audience was making a case for us needing new definitions for Master and slave so they could better fit in, whatever, and she said, rather testily, “Or, we could use the dictionary definitions. How would that work for you?”

    I do think, however, written protocols and rituals have more power than those that are just spoken. Is that a dichotomy or no?

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