I lurk quite a few of the M/s groups on various online sites, most especially KinkyNet.. err… Fetlife. Something I see quite often is a question of someone asking “help us make a tradition/ritual/protocol/punishment.” A fairly typical response is “do it yourself! We can’t tell you what to do within your own relationship!” That’s a valid response… except when it isn’t.
For a great many people who have been online for more than a couple of years, these sorts of questions become a blur and the same question over and over. It makes sense too, why someone wouldn’t want to repeat the same thing, over and over, especially when sometimes it feels like the person asking is looking for masturbation material, or is looking for an easy/simple answer…
… except when they’re not.
I tend to not answer those questions so much myself, but I’m thinking that I could do a better job of sharing what I’ve learned, much like those folks who took the time to answer my annoying questions.
I know that at one time, I had those same questions, and maybe I asked that same question a time or two, if not online, perhaps at a munch or MAsT meeting or something similar. I was lucky in that I found a group of folks willing to answer some of those questions, if not by direct answer, then by example.
That’s something that is missing from a lot of the online interactions – the example showing. When we go to events, we are seeing folks who have their “A game” on and in full blast. Those are fun to watch, and I know I learned some things, but it was in getting to know people, seeing them in day to day settings or being invited to dinners, to private gatherings, or just hanging out with them that I would learn far more.
It was also that they encouraged me, rather than with a “I don’t have time, go learn it yourself, I can’t tell you what to do in your relationship” response, which I don’t think ends up being very useful. What I can do is encourage someone new to do the things I was encouraged to do:
– think about what I wanted and what was within bounds of the relationship. Look for examples that appeal to me, what gets my dick hard, what turns my head, what grabs my attention… and what did I like from that?
– what feeds my soul and heart? If I want to work on a tradition, what are examples from the community that work for me? What don’t I like?
– If I’ve never seen anything before, or I’m in an area where nobody has tried it, or nobody like me is around, then close my eyes and imagine it. What does it look like?
– Try it! Assuming that I’m not doing anything out of bounds, and everyone’s consented/informed, nothing ventured is nothing gained.
– When in doubt, keep it simple. My collaring/recollaring of slave angie… less than 5 minutes. Most of the words off the cuff or short bullets that I knew I wanted to say and I just let myself speak to my heart. Besides, if you keep it simple the first time, and you like it, then at the 1 year, or next anniversary, you can improve on it.
Most importantly, and I do see this a lot and I think it’s a great answer … is to tell people to seek out others like them. There are over 100 MAsT chapters in the US, some cities have two or more chapters. There are munches, events. For the folks outside of those areas, that’s a tough one. There are webinars, online hangouts that broaden up with video and hopefully for someone seriously interested enough, they’ll consider making the investment to go to a regional event. For Master/slave, there are 5 in the US. And it is an investment, but one that will pay off dividends in being around like-minded people, who can help, who can make those personal connections.