April 18 1999 EhBC Online Discussion

<`abi> Okay folks....welcome to our *regular* Sunday discussion.

<`abi> _Tonight's topic is "Qualities of Good Doms and subs". We will be logging this discussion for posting to the ehbc website. If you wish your nick to be changed to "Guest" on the log before it is posted, please message me.

<`abi> We only have two rules during this rather informal discussion

<`abi> First, please refrain from Walton style hi/byes during the discussion time

<`abi> Second, please try to stay on topic....

<`abi> Lets get rolling by talking a little about the qualities that make us Doms and subs....how are we different from our vanilla friends?

<`lucius> our fashion sense.

<`abi> ah...true enough lucius...but do we have any personality characteristics that make us different?

<Trefoil> Good communication

<`lucius> Yes some differences I think

<shadoe^> most of my vanilla friends view this lifestyle as consensual abuse..

<BernieRoehl> A willingness to talk about our needs and desires and fantasies

<`abi> why do you think we communicate differently Trefoil?

<lvs2btied> We develop a deeper trust in each other I think.

<`lucius> many of us know what makes us feel good, and we have what it takes to do it.

<Trefoil> I think that we are prpared to face our darker side.

<`abi> are we more trusting lvs?

<Trefoil> It forces us to communicate difficult things.

<dalian{B}> we have to be in order to allow another to take us places we would otherwise not dare to go

<`abi> trust is such a recurring theme for us....are we more trusting in general do you think?....Do we even trust our family and vanilla friends more easily...or just our BDSM community?

<SirBear{}> I have to play devils advocate here (no pun inteded) and say that open communication is important in any relationship I have, be it Vanilla or bdsm.

<BernieRoehl> In fact, I wish there had been the kind of communication in some of my vanilla relationships that I've had in most of my D/s ones.

<Guest#1> i wouldn't say i'm more trusting in general

<shadoe^> *agrees with SirBear*

<Guest#1> and i trust those in the bdsm community more than my vanilla friends

<SirBear{}> I don't think that the level of communication changes solely on whether its a bdsm or Vanilla realtionship

<Guest#1> those in the community seem to be more open to "different" things

<thespian^> I have recently been becoming involved with a vanilla boy, and the communication skills I've picking up in 7 years of BDSM are *valuable*

*<Trefoil> I think a lack of acceptance from the vanilla world can make us less trusting or certainly more cautious

<thespian^> he and I were involved 9 years ago for a summer, and we were a complete mess on straightening things out then.

* Guest #1 agrees with Trefoil

<`abi> but is that a characteristic that defines us as Doms or subs Trefoil?

<thespian^> now, it's not that I couldn't have picked the skills up elsewhere. but there are so many friends in polyamory and BDSM to show me the ways they've needed to painfully pick out for themselves before me.

<BernieRoehl> I think good communication and trust are valuable in all relationships, but *essential* in D/s relationships.

<`abi> but do they define us Bernie?

<Trefoil> We are in a way defined by our past, and most Doms and subs have experienced rejection or distrust of their feelings.

<Trefoil> In a way, then, yes I think it does define us as a group.

<BernieRoehl> Good question, abi. I think there's more to it than just trust and communication, though they're two of the building blocks.

<Mstr^slv> not entirely abi

<Trefoil> But it doesnt define a submissive or a Dominant.

<`abi> what does Trefoil?

<thespian^> that's the same for any sexual minority, trefoil. the gay community, the bdsm community, the poly community, etc.

<Mstr^slv> strength

<Mstr^slv> knowing yourself

<Trefoil> I agree thespian... but the gay community or other sexual minorities dont delve so deep into the psyche I think

<`abi> when you "know yourself" it means you recognize what it is about yourself that makes you who you are....what are you recognizing Mstr^slv?

<`abi> do we know ourselves better therefore Trefoil?

<Mstr^slv> the abilities within myself ...strength, honesty, my limits..

<thespian^> uhm. I differ. gay people can spend years figuring out why they are 'different'. and the poly community deals with some serious trust issues, as well as jealousy...

<Mstr^slv> fantasy,

<Mstr^slv> the ability to share them

<Mstr^slv> and explore

<Eloraguy> How do you go about finding out just "who

<Eloraguy> Sorry, you really are?

<Trefoil> I dont think we know ourselves any better than anyone else... I just think that it is likely that we face more profound trust issues than most.

<`abi> Last week we talked about finding a BDSM partner....what are the "desireable" traits that we look for?

<Mstr^slv> i feel we do know ourelves better..our likes/dislikes. what we want...limits..

<thespian^> the emphasis on what part of yourself a community expects you to have delved into and understood are different. maybe I see the issuesdifferent being part of all three communities. there's quite a lot of self knowledge needed....if you don't know your desires, you can't expect someone else to figure them out for you.

<Mstr^slv> we are more finely-tuned into our senses

<Mstr^slv> another good quality that makes a person is the abilty to read people...their body language....a higher sense of perception of our suroundings..

<thespian^> Intelligence.

<thespian^> everything else you can work on. ;-)

<`abi> why intelligence thespian?

<Eloraguy> I think a big thing is admitting who we are, thats a big step is it not?

<Guest #1> i agree with Eloraguy

<Guest #1> it is a very big step

<Mstr^slv> it certainly is

* ^LordJay has tried to deny who and what i was for the longest time and that was not good

<thespian^> well, I personally get *bored* with dull people. While Perception isn't a guarantee with intelligence, it helps if the person is smart.

<^LordJay> you really have to knw yourself and accept it

<`abi> was that because you didn't reconigze the traits LordJay or because you didn't want to recognize the traits?

<Mstr^slv> yes accepting it is an important part

<Eloraguy> Knowing and excepting it two different things :-)

<^LordJay> i did nt recognize them and did not know how to deal with it

<Trefoil> thespian has a really good point... I think the difference between use and abuse is consciousness.

<`abi> how so Trefoil?

<thespian^> I have a button that reads 'Intelligence is the best Aphrodisiac'. Marian Zimmer Bradley actually stopped me in the hallway to tell me she thought the button was an 'eternal truth' (her phrase).

<BernieRoehl> Intelligence and a sense of humour are very important, since there will often be periods of time during which you're not in scene.

<thespian^> err, in the hallway at a con.

<BernieRoehl> And intelligent submissives tend to be *better* submissives... more communicative, more creative, more fun.

<SirBear{}> again, I don't see the difference between bdsm & Vanilla realtionships, so far, when it comes to desirable qualities/traits of a partner, be it a bdsm or Vanilla one

<`abi> good point Bernie....how much of what we are as BDSM folk carries over into the vanilla aspects of our lives?

<Trefoil> I think to add to Lord Jay's point... a degree of self awareness is a pre requisite to awareness of another.

<Mstr^slv> exactly SB

* `lucius has many carryovers

<thespian^> ok, Bear. I also look for someone who can handle the *hell* out of a cat, too ;-)

<`abi> examples lucius?

<Guest#1> i notice more carryovers everyday

<SirBear{}> lol

<BernieRoehl> For me, a lot does carry over.

<^LordJay> i agree with the inmtelligence part as mentioned you are not always in scene and if you cant have a good discussion betwen scenes where will the relationship go??

<`lucius> I think it's more to do with my view of myself than anything

<`abi> how do you view yourself lucius?...what personality traits define you as a switch?

<SirBear{}> good point LJ, but what about those that only have play partners?

<Mstr^slv> to me there is no separation...ther is no *vanilla* there is no *bDSM* it is just Me. My life is the same wheterh i am a Dom or not

<thespian^> Similar tastes. is someone's main fetishes are anal sex and enemas, and those squick you out, it's going to be a problem.

<Trefoil> you know one thing that I look for in a submissive... sensitivity.. the ability to listen with care.

<SirBear{}> I agree with Mstr^slv

<^LordJay> well SirBear{} do you always just play with you play partner and never have any meaningful discussions??

<Guest#1> i also agree with Mstr^slv now that i think about it

<`lucius> Perhaps it's a combination of the pony thing and the switch thing...there are times I can find the strength to do what seemed impossible.

<`abi> how important is "strength" of character?

<SirBear{}> not recently LJ, but in the past - yes (long long past)

<thespian^> Oh, here's one that'll bug people. I rely on other people's opinions.

<Guest#1> i think it is very important abi

<Mstr^slv> one cannot be weak in this lifestyle abi

<BernieRoehl> Sensitivity is very important. So is responsiveness.

<SirBear{}> it seems to me that we get hung up on labels a lot in this scene & feel that because of a certain label we must behave or act a specific way

<`abi> yet many who don't know many believe that submissive=weak Mstr^slv....

<Mstr^slv> exactly SB

<Mstr^slv> the labels and honourifics can really weigh a person donw

<thespian^> In the BDSM community, your rep is important and valuable. It is not my main issue, but I *always* ask among my friends to make sure that I won't find out about big problems.

<BernieRoehl> I think that "submissive=weak" idea is mostly found outside the scene. It's a common misconception among my vanilla friends.

<SirBear{}> nod his head in agreement with Mstr^slv

<`abi> what does a "clean reputation" mean thespian?

<Trefoil> yep.

<`lucius> Yes, many subs have incredibly strong characters.

<BernieRoehl> I think it takes a lot of strength simply to come into the D/s community. Even a small thing, like coming to a munch, requires a certain courage and strength.

<^LordJay> my subs must feel good about themselves and be stong personality wise

<Guest#1> no just strong characters but inner strength to do things that might be really hard

<thespian^> I mean that I won't find a Domme has been known to ignore safewords, things like that.

<Guest#1> meant not

<dalian{B}> i agree...it can be very intimidating for some

<`abi> strength, good communication skills, intelligence, sense of humour, knowledge of self.....we sound like pretty kewl people :)

<`lucius> we are kewl people

<BernieRoehl> Yes, we are.

<`lucius> that is..those that are people ;)

<SirBear{}> we are abi

<^LordJay> yes i agree too abi

* thespian^ nocomments.

<^LordJay> good subbie = well put together

<`abi> do we have that reputation as a community or just as individuals?

<BernieRoehl> I've found that vanilla friends of mine are often drawn to people in the D/s community, or to the community itself, because those traits seem more prevalent here.

<SirBear{}> both I'd say abi

<Mstr^slv> certainly not as a cpmmunity

<thespian^> just because someone is in the scene is by no means a guarantee they'll have any of those skills. which is a BIG problem in BDSM communities.

<Mstr^slv> there are many who make us look very un-cool

<`abi> okay....we've discussed the qualities that make someone a good sub or Dom....can someone learn to be a "better" Dom or sub?

<thespian^> frankly, my first sub had none of them.

<Mstr^slv> we are ALL always learning

* ^LordJay believes they can

* Guest#1 agrees with Mstr^slv

<`lucius> We can always improve.

<`abi> how do we identify traits that we wish to improve?

<Trefoil> I think becoming a better sub or Dom is the same as becoming a better person...

<BernieRoehl> It's a lifelong process, really.

<thespian^> and my lover of 2 years ago had the intelligence and humour, but he was a liar and couldn't be trusted an inch.

<delight{Kane}> yes, i believe that Oone can learn to be a better sub or Dom...arn't wWe always learning?

<`lucius> I think most of us already know what we would like to change about ourselves

<^LordJay> our whole life is a learning process

<SirBear{}> sure abi, but again I strive to improve all areas of my life, regardless of whether its the bdsm or vanilla side

<BernieRoehl> I think one way of identifying traits in ourselves it to listen (really listen) to the feedback from our submissives.

<Trefoil> I think striving is a common theme... pushing limits.

<cylen> feed back from anyone....

<`abi> and how do submissives identify areas for improvement?

<SirBear{}> what we are basically talking about here is relationships, and again the common threads are communication & trust

<`lucius> It's hard sometimes when you seem stuck between sub and dom tho

<delight{Kane}> i agree with Sir Bear....and as for thespians comment....in this lifestyle..trust is first and formost...at least in my opinion

<BernieRoehl> If they have a good Dom, then some of the areas will be pointed out to them.

<`abi> as a switch lucius, is it difficult to develop one aspect of your BDSM style without compromising the other?...or are they mutually exclusive?

<delight{Kane}> Trefoil...how would pushing limits make you a better Dom? _12real interest

<`lucius> well, I'm drawn to both sides...recent events have drawn me back to the sub side tho'

<`abi> does "pushing limits" develop personality traits?

<`lucius> it's hard to be a convincing dom when I'm distracted.

<Guest#1> yes i think it does abi

<`abi> how so Guest#1?

<Trefoil> pushing ones personal boundaries is I think essential... thats the only way of becoming a bigger (and hopefully) better person

<`lucius> oh yes...just like when you were hurt as a child and your father said it would build character.

<`abi> do we push boundaries ourselves...or does someone push them for us?

<Trefoil> challenging oneself, and ones peers is I think the key to developin positive personality traits.

<Mstr^slv> my personality traits are allready well established abi....

<delight{Kane}> Yes....a good Dom that has a good 'handle' on Their sub, will know the areas that he/she need improvement on. if i were asked i could tell you where i need some

<Mstr^slv> i push my own boundaries....Mstr makes me see them

<`abi> so how do they "grow" and "develop" Mstr^slv?

<Guest#1> one can learn to be patient if the right limits are pushed

<delight{Kane}> Wwe push my boundries together...always mutually consentual.

<Mstr^slv> growing and developing isnt changing your personality..

<Mstr^slv> a good Dom would NEVERR try to change who you are

<Mstr^slv> would work with what is there

<Trefoil> a smart dom realises He cannot

<Mstr^slv> right Trefoil

<`abi> so, is growing becoming better at what you already are....vs changing to become something you are not?

<Mstr^slv> yes abi...sounds close to it :)

<Trefoil> One improves, but doesnt change.

<SirBear{}> agrees with Mstr^slv

<delight{Kane}> that's an interesting point that you've made `abi.

<BernieRoehl> Well-said abi.

<`abi> should we ever try to change anything about ourselves?

<Trefoil> of course, some change but dont improve.

<`lucius> only the things we don't like abi

* Mstr^slv sees too many Doms who think they can mld ppl to the perfect slave...

<Mstr^slv> if you feel it needs to be changed....

<Mstr^slv> but you should not feel you nave to alter your personality for anybody

<`lucius> this is just for yourself.

<`abi> is there a difference between changing behaviour and changing personality traits?

<delight{Kane}> in this lifestyle either you are or you arn't...whether it be Dom/me or sub. Yyou can't change yourself from the vanilla to BDSM. There isn't any conversions.

<SirBear{}> absolutely abi

<Galadan> definately abi

<`abi> does changing behaviour alter your personality....if I learn to "act" more submissive, will I "feel" more submissive?

<Galadan> btw...g'day all

<BernieRoehl> They different... but changing one can change the other.

<delight{Kane}> delving deep into the realms of psychology

<Trefoil> traits can be measured as consistent behaviors.

<BernieRoehl> In theatre, the answer is "yes".

<`lucius> I think if you act one way long enough, it will affect some changes.

<Mstr^slv> this ISNT theater Bernie!! LOL

* BernieRoehl chuckles

<SirBear{}> not necessarily so abi

<BernieRoehl> True... and yet, many of the same principles apply.

<delight{Kane}> at times i think that the answer to that question is yes...acting and being will marry.

* `lucius has seen very definate proof of that

<Mstr^slv> no Bernie..my life is not acting...

<Mstr^slv> its being and expressing who you are...

<Mstr^slv> not a script to go from

<`abi> but does repetitive behaviour mould you in any way Mst^slv?

<Mstr^slv> what do you mean by repetitive behaviour?

<delight{Kane}> Mstr^slv, i don't think that was the point that Bernie was trying to make.

<`abi> I've heard lots of "conditioning" "Yes Sir, please may I have another Sir" kind of rote.....

<Mstr^slv> lol delight

<`abi> does that ultimately effect just behaviour...or does it shape who you are?

<BernieRoehl> An example from theatre... some actors will spend long periods trying to "live" as the character they're going to become, in order to feel what it's like to "walk a mile in their shoes"

<delight{Kane}> smiling at Mstr^slv

<SirBear{}> repetive behaviour can teach you to behave or act a cetain way, but the way you feel comes from inside

<`abi> indeed SirBear....is there anything that changes the way or the what that we feel?

<Mstr^slv> i am me bernie..i walk in my shoes every day...

<Mstr^slv> it isnt acting

<Mstr^slv> or pretending

<delight{Kane}> But will the conditioning sink in. Let Uus all remember Orwells 1984.

<Mstr^slv> exactly SB

<delight{Kane}> in the end 2+2 still equaled 4.

<`abi> In a slightly different vein....people who are newcomers to the lifestyle often express the desire to become "better Doms" or "better subs"....what advice do we give them?

<SirBear{}> be yourelf

<`lucius> watch, listen, absorb, and learn

<delight{Kane}> To have patience first and formost i think. Yyou can't rush this sort of thing

<Mstr^slv> listen to thier own desires...and have patience...

<cylen> Do what feels right, not what is expected

<BernieRoehl> Stay open to new experiences and new insights

<delight{Kane}> good point cylen.

<Tysliea> that everyone makes mistakes and try to learn from them

<Sir_Kenneth> very well put cylen

<BernieRoehl> Be willing to learn from your partners

<cylen> thank You delight, SK

<delight{Kane}> smiling at cylen

<`abi> ...and to the people who say "hmmm....I look around and I see that I'm different than these people"....how do we reassure them that their experiences, feelings, sense of themselves as Doms and subs is valid?

<cylen> Everyone wants to be molded on some level, it is just knowing when to go forward and when to tread water for a bit longer

<delight{Kane}> chuckling

<swann> does everybody want to be molded???

<delight{Kane}> i think venues such as the one wWe are all engaging in right now goes a long way.

<Mstr^slv> not everybody swann

<`abi> ...is that another way of saying "help me to grow and change" cylen?

* `lucius always feels a little different among bdsm groups

<BernieRoehl> Yes, delight -- sharing experiences and insights with each other in these sorts of forums helps a lot.

<swann> thank you Sir....that was my point

<delight{Kane}> i don't think so....guided maybe, but not molded...to me that says that i am to be remade into someone elses image. Wwe are brought back to the earlier subject of changing into something else

<Mstr^slv> the biggest thing to tell them is to be themselves. we have to respect them for that.

<cylen> Not in a tight term swann, but i think everyone looks for knowledge to lead them

<Mstr^slv> and not try to mold them

<cylen> thank you delight, well put

<delight{Kane}> smiling at Bernie, thank You.

<Mstr^slv> too many ppl inthis lifestyle are hung up on the standerdized doctrine of bdsm

<Mstr^slv> and it does NOt work for all

<delight{Kane}> nodding to cylen

<Galadan> most people that I know of do not want to be molded..it makes them feel they have no control on what they do.Being guided is a much better term, I think

<Mstr^slv> yes guided and molded are two different things :)

<cylen> i agree Galadan

<`abi> A pragmatic question.....can anyone suggest specific resources for newcomers that will provide some guidance in the quest to become a "better Dom" or a "better sub"?

<`lucius> right here for one abi

<Mstr^slv> the d/s kiosk is a wonderful starting pont

<delight{Kane}> There is the ever popular "Story of O".....but with the invent of the net, there is a wealth of info out there for the plucking.

<Mstr^slv> books are good....

<Mstr^slv> the story of O is not for everybody delight lol

<Mstr^slv> would scare many subs off

<Mstr^slv> more like different loving

<SirBear{}> I think one can aquire & learn skills; e.g how to perform a task, scene, tie up someone.... thats one side of the coin

<Mstr^slv> screw the roses

<BernieRoehl> There's also a lot of value in sitting down with a Dom or sub you respect and simply asking for their advice.

<`abi> what's the other side SirBear?

<Mstr^slv> the beauty books...

* cyberbrat_ nods vigorously at Bernie

<swann> The books and sites are an excellent start but the very best resouce in my opinion is your partner

<Mstr^slv> if you have one swann

<SirBear{}> the other side is the "who you are as a person" side

<Mstr^slv> good point SB

<`abi> ....and you can't learn that in a book...you can only discover it....

<Mstr^slv> to us you have to know that before you can explore completely

<SirBear{}> right on abi

<Mstr^slv> thats right abi

<swann> Mstr^slv Sir.....if you are to be chosen or to offer to submit to somebody ...should they not be attracted to you as the person first and foremost...

<Mstr^slv> yes swann

<`abi> does learning the technical stuff help you to become more confident as a Dom or sub?

<Mstr^slv> of course!

<Mstr^slv> conected is more like it...

<Mstr^slv> like us :)

<cyberbrat_> big time, abi

<SirBear{}> one would hope so swann

<Mstr^slv> Mstr and slv i mean ;)

<swann> thank you ....

<`abi> ...and the best technical references?

<Mstr^slv> thre is more you need than just attraction

<swann> yes Sir that is true..

<swann> but one can be attracted to more than looks......*laughing* that is why the arranged marriages were so successful in the past

<`abi> well...with a few minutes left and half the channel split...does anyone have any "specific" questions?

<Mstr^slv> a question...

<Mstr^slv> why do ppl feel they have to keep their bdsm separate from the rest oftheir life?

<Mstr^slv> they express themselvs as having 2 dentities..

<`abi> lol....great question Mstr^slv...that sounds like it's worth a whole hour on it's own!...Shall we choose that as our next discussion topic?

<Galadan> now that is a good question...

<cyberbrat_> yes please! yes please!

<Mstr^slv> sounds good to us :)

* Ruffles^ was just thinking the same thing abi

<BernieRoehl> That's changed for me... I used to keep them separate, but I find it's getting easier and easier to integrate them.

<`abi> terrific!...we have a topic for next week!...

<BernieRoehl> Yes, abi -- let's do that.

<`abi> Well...thank you everyone for joining us!...Please feel free to continue chatting!