25 March, 2008

The How, Who, and Some of the Why

As those closest to me would tell you, the question of "why?" is to me surpassingly unimportant. Any psychic or emotional energy spent on satisfying for "why?" is pure profligacy with respect to getting on with anything worth doing or which may properly be said to be actual living. "Why?" Feh.

However, "why?" is, as perhaps one might discern in this series of posts, central to the academic Weltanschauung. If what academic endeavoring came to was purely descriptive, most of the humanities (including my beloved philosophy) would promptly whither and die. "Why?" is a critical tool in the way of science, with its substantiation of theory and testability of hypotheses (Nietzsche took a very dim view of philosophizing with the scientific method - his preferred tool was a hammer). In word "why?" is rarely to be found, but as subtext it's often comically apparent. See what you think of the next few questions.

  • How do you let potential partners know about your BDSM interests?
Since I undertook to have multiple partners, BDSM has been the exclusive interest which prompts a liaison in the first place. In my case, it's given that potential partners are interested in me in the first instance at least as an extension of their antecedent interest in BDSM.

With respect to the particulars of my interests in BDSM (that being principally, of course, the “B”), interested parties are either similarly inclined or have determined that they would like to experiment with bondage to enhance their overall experience or pervy résumé. I have suspended several people for whom the rigors of hanging in rope was challenging in a way they were drawn to, but the attractiveness of being bound purely for its own sake was minimal.

The circumstance of my meeting a new partner usually governs their knowledge of my BDSM interests.

  • At what point after meeting a potential partner do you tell them about your BDSM interests?
If they are known by me to be kinky but are not aware that bondage is what I do, then I will query their orientation inside BDSM, which will inevitably be reciprocated. This is usually covered within the first few minutes of discovering we have kink in common.

  • Are you “only” involved in relationships where BDSM is present?
Yes, although I am still involved in one relationship that has tempered its kink component and now favors straight sex. She was deeply interested in being tied up in the early going, but has since determined that the greater attraction was my passion for bondage, and it was that passion she found most compelling. In the end bondage itself did not suit her sex style. We still speak of rope with plenty of animation and enthusiasm, and she still enjoys other alternative sexual activities (which I would not characterize as BDSM in nature), but our companionship has tapered off significantly as a function of bondage having fallen out of it.

  • If yes, how is BDSM used in your relationship?
In all my current relationships outside my marriage, bondage is the leitmotif upon which the relationship is founded. The interest and passion for rope is entirely reciprocal and the roles are very clearly complimentary, otherwise the connection reliably fades. Although rope is a prominent feature of my history with my wife, the foundation of our relationship is far more diverse and chambered. Our sex life would be unrecognizable without bondage, but our larger relationship is built on the notion of YES, of positive affirmation of the other’s interests and aspirations, and of making the contour of our lives according to our own designs. Thus do I believe that the relationship has neither static or durable aspect, but is an endogenous property of the continual friction of two people expressing without limit, the evanescent spark as it were. We have the pleasure of being fascinated by who the other is and is becoming, again and again, in the process of stoking the fires of aspiration and then walking into them.

The elective challenge of bondage impresses us every time we turn to it as an especially apt metaphor for how we live life. My position in my wife’s life is to make things “difficult” for her, to give her an honest and impassioned reaction to who and how she is, to challenge her assumptions about the world and herself, and to offer informed critique. As an artist this informs her professional activities (she readily acknowledges) to good effect. For her part, she puts down before me the requirement that I be in, acknowledge and accept the power that I am capable of expressing, which I extend profitably into many another area of my life. To paraphrase Anne Desclos in the epigraph to Story of O:

“You ought never have accepted the mantle of deity if you are unwilling to execute the office faithfully, and we all know the ways of gods are not all that gentle, don’t we?”

Before anyone gets it in mind that I consider myself a demiurge in some unique sense for having cited that bit of wisdom, let me say that I believe we are all perfectly capable of manifesting the divine, and that bondage (and SM more generally) is something of a fast track to that quality of experience.


Asobime said...

Hi Mac!

Reading this very sensitive essay, I was struck (pun!) by your mention of Nietzsche would use a hammer...

Yes he would! He has always been more popular with ordinary folk than with professional philosophers and perhaps amongst these ordinary people it is the young who have embraced him. Also the workingmen's associations in Germany in the years between the wars.

So, with a hammer indeed.

However, what caught my eye immediately was this:

I have suspended several people for whom the rigors of hanging in rope was challenging in a way they were drawn to, but the attractiveness of being bound purely for its own sake was minimal.

What is your approach to someone who loves the attractiveness of being bound purely for its own sake? I am sure there are many that honor the power of the ropes just in stillness, on the ground!

Of course, I believe many would love to experience the suspension, but so many are denied this because of no one around that can do safe suspension.

However, that aside...this, as again and always, is a provocative

Thanks, Mac.


Mac K. said...

Hi Asobime,

Someone who loves the attractiveness of being bound purely for its own sake is a fellow traveler of mine. As often as I'm sexually aroused by tying a partner I am in equal measure transfixed by the poignant suasion of a fully developed human sensibility readmitted to the pupal stage. It works for me whether I'm doing suspension or newaza (floor technique).

I noted suspension in the post to highlight the fact that some people do bondage purely to experience themselves triumphant (or not) in a physically exacting trial with big psychic dimensions. While perhaps not as physically arduous, the psychic dimension of comfy bondage and its attendant stillness can be just as big and move me in similar measure. Likely the closest I'll ever get to midwifing a birth is cutting a partner out of a mummification. :)