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Older ways of doing D/s and M/s

Posted by Tanos on Fri 24 Sep 2010 to O_and_P

The BDSM Code thread prompted an O&P question. Are there any older styles of D/s and M/s that you like sound of? (or even miss?) I mean anything from Old Guard, to the modern US Leather scene, to the Gorean subculture.

Are there ideas we, in O&P, can mine from these subcultures? What positives about them are so attractive for some people?

(Personally, I miss the way M/s felt like an international subculture a few years back, and I'm not quite sure what happened.)

Regards,

Tanos

www.tanos.org.uk

www.bridgewood.org.uk

O&P on IC: Possession. Ownership. Consent. Responsibility. Respect. House. Service. Dignity. Authenticity. Rituals.

Next O&P Open: London, Sat 6 Nov 2010

Reply by Belasarius on Fri 24 Sep 2010 (modified Sat 25 Sep 2010)

I really don't know anything about the cultures mentioned by @Tanos in the OP.

But...

In my first D/s relationship (early 80's) I did meet a gay couple (HE was a retired Coldstreamer (there are fairies at the bottoms of my guardsmen) and PR hack and he was a choreographer) and did hear tales of a BDSM or D/s culture that thrived pre and post WW2.

It was very much an upper class thing and not awfully gay, being based around weekend house parties and weekday suppers and soirees and, apparently connected to a brothel that operated in Curzon St (I passed it for a number of years, walking to work - it had a neon light in the window saying "French Lessons". really :), in Mayfair it was a tad stand-out).

References to slightly saucy sexualities described in Anthony Powell's "Dance to the Music of Time" apparently referred, especially those involving Widmerpool and the newspaper magnate whose character name i forget (Lord Somebody-or-other).

Anyway, the surprising thing about this, as it was described to me, was it was very much a M-dom thing, with the proviso that it was quite private and discreet and men were brought into the circle by the women, who were mostly in a traditional non-feminist role as their men's partners - and that the women "members" would groom and bring into the circle women from middle class backgrounds who would become the victims, or - I guess - real submissives. They would endure this for a time for the cachet of the invitations away, etc and then either disappear or be discarded.

Do I admire or miss it? neither really. I just record it as something English and older than "leather".

My goal - to save women from nature (Dior)

Follow me on twitter: @belasarius99

Reply by othyim on Sat 25 Sep 2010

I started exploring WIITWD in the late 70-ties. Yep, I know, I'm Jurassic.... ;)

However. Back than there was no internet. So it took a long time and real effort to get to know people. And it was indeed very secretive/underground, "the-friend-of-a-friend" thing. You didnt enter the scene that easy. But, when you were finally in, you definately were IN!

What I remember, was that there was a feeling of being a community, taking care of eachother. Especially male Doms were frowned upon if they over stepped certain boundaries that were no longer considdered to be acceptable or hounourable behaviour. And, if it happened several times, the ranks sort of closed.

Also, it was almost an unwritten rule that you were either mentoring someone or had a mentor, or at least a confident (not being a sexual or play partner) in the community. (Both subs and Doms)

For example, immediately after the very first real life (coffee) encounter I had with a Dom, I was offered a "collar of considderation" Yes, you can laugh now. But back than, it meant something, regarding monogamy, responsibilaty, etc etc. If the guy would have taken it lightly, he would have to face his peers for that.

Likewise, my first safecall ever (and at the time I had nooo idea something like that existed) was to the former sub of this guy...

In my defence I should say I was VERY young back than, and information was rather scarse. Books (if you were able to get a hold of some good titles) took ages to arrive from abroad.

But, the wierd thing, I generally felt safer back than, in this very secluded and small community, than I do now, sometimes, on the interwebzz.

The community feeling, the taking care of eachother, the mentoring, the unwritten rules and general/common sense of what was ok and what was wrong, the mutual respect, for me, is in a way rooted in Old Guard, or a corollary of the OG behavioural sets that sort of seeped through. I am aware that I really dont know enough about OG as it is, to be able to state this, but I feel this to be the case.

Obviously there were major negative effects on this too, as all coins have two sides.

Perhaps the major difference was, that, because it indeed took that much time and effort to be "in", the majority of people took bdsm (which was called SM back than) rather serious, and were, what we should call "lifestyle" nowadays, more than just kinky. (Which, btw, is ok with me, but different)

Although the unwritten rules sometimes were very restrictive, and for example switches were frowned upon, I still sometimes miss the feeling of a community, the safety and awareness of behaviour that came with that, that was very present back than.

So far on OG....

Power is about what you can control. Freedom is about what you can unleash. (Harriet Rubin)

Reply by Belasarius on Sat 25 Sep 2010

othyim wrote:
I started exploring WIITWD in the late 70-ties. Yep, I know, I'm Jurassic.... ;)

However. Back than there was no internet. So it took a long time and real effort to get to know people. And it was indeed very secretive/underground, "the-friend-of-a-friend" thing. You didnt enter the scene that easy. But, when you were finally in, you definately were IN!

What I remember, was that there was a feeling of being a community, taking care of eachother. Especially male Doms were frowned upon if they over stepped certain boundaries that were no longer considdered to be acceptable or hounourable behaviour. And, if it happened several times, the ranks sort of closed.

Also, it was almost an unwritten rule that you were either mentoring someone or had a mentor, or at least a confident (not being a sexual or play partner) in the community. (Both subs and Doms)

For example, immediately after the very first real life (coffee) encounter I had with a Dom, I was offered a "collar of considderation" Yes, you can laugh now. But back than, it meant something, regarding monogamy, responsibilaty, etc etc.

Likewise, my first safecall ever (and at the time I had nooo idea something like that existed) was to the former sub of this guy...

In my defence I should say I was VERY young back than, and information was rather scarse. Books (if you were able to get a hold of some good titles) took ages to arrive from abroad.

But, the wierd thing, I generally felt safer back than, in this very secluded and small community, than I do now, sometimes, on the interwebzz.

The community feeling, the taking care of eachother, the mentoring, the unwritten rules and general/common sense of what was ok and what was wrong, the mutual respect, for me, is in a way rooted in Old Guard.

I am aware that I really dont know enough about OG as it is, to be able to state this, but I feel this to be the case.

Obviously there were major negative effects on this too, as all coins have two sides.

Perhaps the major difference was, that, because it indeed took that much time and effort to be "in", the majority of people took bdsm (which was called SM back than) rather serious, and were, what we should call "lifestyle" nowadays, more than just kinky. (Which, btw, is ok with me, but different)

Although the unwritten rules sometimes were very restrictive, and for example switches were frowned upon, I still sometimes miss the feeling of a community, the safety and awareness of behaviour that came with that, that was very present back than.

So far on OG....

Your experience and mine seem pretty paralle, with the exception that (see my first few blogs), we cae to D/s as a couple. But, yes, pre interweb, things were terribly different and terribly "secret society" which gave it a cachet that's now a little lost.

Having said that, I think I prefer today, on balance, because there is a community, it can become a real-life one often we support each other well.

My goal - to save women from nature (Dior)

Follow me on twitter: @belasarius99

Reply by TheFalconer on Sat 25 Sep 2010

It may be my own misconceptions, as I'm certainly no expert on the older communities, but it's always seemed to me that things such as OG and Leather all seem to revolve around an expectation that people will be playing with a wide variety of other people. This isn't of any interest to me, as I have no interest in playing with another man's sub, nor do I intend to let anyone else play with my girl.

Thinking more generally about what I would want from M/s or O&P communities, I think it comes down to three things. The first is Open Discussion. The community can be a great place to learn, to share ideas, or just to enjoy talking about common interests. It's also valuable to be able to talk about any problems of difficulties you may be having with others who share the same experiences and values (as the O&P meets have shown).

The second thing would be Shared Spaces. Whether it be clubs, dungeons, houses or open air spaces, it's good to have access to spaces where you can "be yourself" in the company of others.

The third thing would be Shared Experiences. If a shared space is somewhere where many people can be M/s individually at the same time, then this would be something where a number of people come together to share a joint interaction. Depending on the participants this might mean people "playing" or otherwise interacting with many others, or it might be something where several couples just parallel each other for a time (such as a dinner party where each Master is attended by his own girl).

"Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace." - Oscar Wilde

Reply by Tanos on Sat 25 Sep 2010

SinPar has now made a very sensible post on the BDSM Code thread that prompted me, and linked to Baldwin's "Sacred Cows" speech that I'd not read since starting to talk about O&P.

There's a striking sentence, from the point of view of O&P, near the beginning: "When I question people closely about what this need is ... it almost always can be reduced to a few key words: sexiness, cohesion, intimacy, trust, reliability, integrity, accountability, and perhaps most importantly, a sense of family."

Further into the speech he talks about the downsides of inclusivity. That diminishing the sense of community is the price you pay for trying to be more inclusive. I've never thought about it in such explicit terms before.

I've said a few times that I think IC isn't a community, but a space occupied by many communities, some of which overlap. That BDSM inclusivity that IC strives for as a site, with YKIOK rules on the web boards etc, may be the very thing that means it can't be a community.

It strikes me that the shared experiences of a community are the result of some kind of exclusivity. This can be geographical, even accidental: the people who happen to live in one village, for instance. But it can be based on something more abstract, like enjoying the same kind of music or having a relationship within the scope of O&P. I don't think you can have that kind of community made of random people who've wandered in off the street at the other extreme, and a munch full of people with many completely different interests is somewhere between those two extremes.

Regards,

Tanos

www.tanos.org.uk

www.bridgewood.org.uk

O&P on IC: Possession. Ownership. Consent. Responsibility. Respect. House. Service. Dignity. Authenticity. Rituals.

Next O&P Open: London, Sat 6 Nov 2010

Reply by mia on Sat 25 Sep 2010

@othyim said a lot of things that resonate with me.

Back when i was discovering all this side of things, about 10 years ago, something that was very comforting was that there really was a RIGHT way of doing things, so to speak. It wasn't there, in most cases, to cast negative opinions on those not going by these guidelines, but to enable people to understand things and find safe and acceptable people to play with or start relationships with. Perhaps there is less need for this idea of a 'right' way now that, at least within its own practicioners, BDSM (and especially D/s) has become more acceptable.

Another thing that was nice at the time, for me, was the assumption that doms were male and females were sub. Now i say it was nice at the time, for the reason that Ds was a core part of my sexuality and i was a teenager and thus very highly sexed. The idea of 'ME TARZAN, you jane' was very hot. It's now correctly been recognised that there are genuine female dommes and male subs, which fits more with my own sexuality now too, and the realisation that my relationship dynamic is one in a myriad of BDSM types of relationships. In addition, i hate it when i'm objectified through the idea of Female Supremecy and therefore it'd be hypocritcal to still hold close this aspect of older BDSM attitudes.

I never joined in with forums or chat rooms back then, but there did seem more of a community feel when reading them, than there does in general on boards etc nowadays. This group seems to be bridging that somewhat, with people sharing their relationship highs, lows and relationship ceremonies.

x

Ferris Bueller, you're my hero!

@Manchester

@Modified_Bodies

Reply by Belasarius on Sat 25 Sep 2010

Tanos wrote:
SinPar has now made a very sensible post on the BDSM Code thread that prompted me, and links to Baldwin's "Sacred Cows" speech that I'd not read since starting to talk about O&P.

There's a striking sentence, from the point of view of O&P, near the beginning: "When I question people closely about what this need is ... it almost always can be reduced to a few key words: sexiness, cohesion, intimacy, trust, reliability, integrity, accountability, and perhaps most importantly, a sense of family."

Further into the speech he talks about the downsides of inclusivity. That diminishing the sense of community is the price you pay for trying to be more inclusive. I've never thought about it in such explicit terms before.

I've said a few times that I think IC isn't a community, but a space occupied by many communities, some of which overlap. That BDSM inclusivity that IC strives for as a site, with YKIOK rules on the web boards etc, may be the very thing that means it can't be a community.

It strikes me that the shared experiences of a community are the result of some kind of exclusivity. This can be geographical, even accidental: the people who happen to live in one village, for instance. But it can be based on something more abstract, like enjoying the same kind of music or having a relationship within the scope of O&P. I don't think you can have that kind of community made of random people who've wandered in off the street at the other extreme, and a munch full of people with many completely different interests is somewhere between those two extremes.

Regards,

Tanos

I agreed with this on first reading, but then found the use of the word "exclusivity" rather rankled.

in conext it doesn't look right to me.

A community does have things in common that bind them together.

Exclusivity, to me, makes me think of a chosen people, who control access to their community on the basis of whether the candidste ostensible one of us or not - rather than just whether they share similar values or experiences.

My goal - to save women from nature (Dior)

Follow me on twitter: @belasarius99

Reply by Belasarius on Sat 25 Sep 2010

TheFalconer wrote:
It may be my own misconceptions, as I'm certainly no expert on the older communities, but it's always seemed to me that things such as OG and Leather all seem to revolve around an expectation that people will be playing with a wide variety of other people. This isn't of any interest to me, as I have no interest in playing with another man's sub, nor do I intend to let anyone else play with my girl.

Thinking more generally about what I would want from M/s or O&P communities, I think it comes down to three things. The first is Open Discussion. The community can be a great place to learn, to share ideas, or just to enjoy talking about common interests. It's also valuable to be able to talk about any problems of difficulties you may be having with others who share the same experiences and values (as the O&P meets have shown).

The second thing would be Shared Spaces. Whether it be clubs, dungeons, houses or open air spaces, it's good to have access to spaces where you can "be yourself" in the company of others.

The third thing would be Shared Experiences. If a shared space is somewhere where many people can be M/s individually at the same time, then this would be something where a number of people come together to share a joint interaction. Depending on the participants this might mean people "playing" or otherwise interacting with many others, or it might be something where several couples just parallel each other for a time (such as a dinner party where each Master is attended by his own girl).

Absolutely agree with this. Hope we start to create the oppirtunities for eachother you described.

My goal - to save women from nature (Dior)

Follow me on twitter: @belasarius99

Reply by mia on Sat 25 Sep 2010

Belasarius wrote:

Exclusivity, to me, makes me think of a chosen people, who control access to their community

Whislt the word can have negative connotations, i do think Tanos is right when he talks about how exclusivity can lead to communities drawing together more on what it is that makes them that very group.

For example, if you look at Christians, it's what divides them that gives them their more intimate groupings, rather than the umbrella term that links them all together.

As we see on the boards, we are all kinksters, to a degree, but it's what sets us apart that creates the closer knit communities.

Exclusivity can act to set people apart. 'We like our D/s this way because we don't think like X, Y and Z' can work as well as 'We like our D/s this way because we believe in A, B and C'.

x

Ferris Bueller, you're my hero!

@Manchester

@Modified_Bodies

Reply by SinPar on Sat 25 Sep 2010

Tanos wrote:
(Personally, I miss the way M/s felt like an international subculture a few years back, and I'm not quite sure what happened.)
It hit the tipping point and started catering to the lowest common denominator. The hetification of the leather scene has been tragic. So many of the GLBT folk have withdrawn and the results are so sad to watch.

On the other hand... you evolve or you die. This New Leather movement will be Old Leather one day and the boot will be on the other foot then.

SinPar

-- The weak are the most treacherous of us all. They come to the strong and drain them. They are bottomless. They are insatiable. They are always parched and always bitter. They are everyone's concern, and like vampires they suck our life's blood. (Bette Davis)

Reply by SinPar on Sat 25 Sep 2010

Belasarius wrote:
Exclusivity, to me, makes me think of a chosen people, who control access to their community on the basis of whether the candidste ostensible one of us or not - rather than just whether they share similar values or experiences.
If I may, I think that people have a hard time with the fact that they might not make the grade. As a leatherwoman there are parts of leather culture that are just off limits to me (male only space). It's a living practice of "to each, their own". As much as I love F/f play I want female only space for it much of the time. I don't like being 'hot girl on girl action' for the heterosexual men in public play. People get excluded to save certain energies getting diluted. Control of access is important to avoid this.

You cannot buy the skins and show up where leather people are and just expect admittance. You can be there and be tolerated but you will never be a part of the group- not in the essential ways that matter to the core members. They never apologize for being exclusive either, that's part of the mystique. Many do show up in pansexual space because many of us feel an obligation to show up and make our communities strong and vital.

It's like the mafia. Everyone on the inside knows who's on the inside and they accept people who are insiders from other areas because there are people who know people who vouch for them. Plus you can just *tell* there is a certain je ne sais quoi that I know when I see it but couldn't begin to explain in any detail.

-- The weak are the most treacherous of us all. They come to the strong and drain them. They are bottomless. They are insatiable. They are always parched and always bitter. They are everyone's concern, and like vampires they suck our life's blood. (Bette Davis)

Reply by Belasarius on Sat 25 Sep 2010

mia wrote:
Belasarius wrote:

Exclusivity, to me, makes me think of a chosen people, who control access to their community

Whislt the word can have negative connotations, i do think Tanos is right when he talks about how exclusivity can lead to communities drawing together more on what it is that makes them that very group.

For example, if you look at Christians, it's what divides them that gives them their more intimate groupings, rather than the umbrella term that links them all together.

As we see on the boards, we are all kinksters, to a degree, but it's what sets us apart that creates the closer knit communities.

Exclusivity can act to set people apart. 'We like our D/s this way because we don't think like X, Y and Z' can work as well as 'We like our D/s this way because we believe in A, B and C'.

x

If exclusivity means taking an inclusive approach to people with similar values, great.

If exclusivity means a small group excluding people with similar views, but who don't meet existing members personal tastes (a la Bullingdon club), that's not so good.

My goal - to save women from nature (Dior)

Follow me on twitter: @belasarius99

Reply by Belasarius on Sat 25 Sep 2010

SinPar wrote:
Belasarius wrote:
Exclusivity, to me, makes me think of a chosen people, who control access to their community on the basis of whether the candidste ostensible one of us or not - rather than just whether they share similar values or experiences.
If I may, I think that people have a hard time with the fact that they might not make the grade. As a leatherwoman there are parts of leather culture that are just off limits to me (male only space). It's a living practice of "to each, their own". As much as I love F/f play I want female only space for it much of the time. I don't like being 'hot girl on girl action' for the heterosexual men in public play. People get excluded to save certain energies getting diluted control of access is important to avoid this.

You cannot buy the skins and show up where leather people are and just expect admittance. You can be there and be tolerated but you will never be a part of the group- not in the essential ways that matter to the core members. They never apologize for being exclusive either, that's part of the mystique. Many do show up in pansexual space because many of us feel an obligation to show up and make our communities strong and vital.

It's like the mafia. Everyone on the inside knows who's on the inside and they accept people who are insiders from other areas because there are people who know people who vouch for them. Plus you can just *tell* there is a certain je ne sais quoi that I know when I see it but couldn't begin to explain in any detail.

I don't think I have an issue with this, it doesn't sound as if anyone would be arbitrarily excluded for being different, just that people would wear out their welcome if they weren't real and didn't make the right effort.

That seems right.

My goal - to save women from nature (Dior)

Follow me on twitter: @belasarius99

Reply by Diablos_patience on Sat 25 Sep 2010

TheFalconer wrote:
If a shared space is somewhere where many people can be M/s individually at the same time, then this would be something where a number of people come together to share a joint interaction. Depending on the participants this might mean people "playing" or otherwise interacting with many others, or it might be something where several couples just parallel each other for a time (such as a dinner party where each Master is attended by his own girl).

This is something that we seriously need to consider coordinating in the near future :-p

~* Raku wa ku no tané; ku wa raku no tané. *~

Reply by Belasarius on Sat 25 Sep 2010

temperance wrote:
TheFalconer wrote:
If a shared space is somewhere where many people can be M/s individually at the same time, then this would be something where a number of people come together to share a joint interaction. Depending on the participants this might mean people "playing" or otherwise interacting with many others, or it might be something where several couples just parallel each other for a time (such as a dinner party where each Master is attended by his own girl).

This is something that we seriously need to consider coordinating in the near future :-p

Adds my vote.

My goal - to save women from nature (Dior)

Follow me on twitter: @belasarius99

Reply by Tanos on Sat 25 Sep 2010

SinPar wrote:
People get excluded to save certain energies getting diluted. Control of access is important to avoid this.

I think that's very much the idea that I'm groping towards. That we shouldn't be defensive about the idea of exclusivity, just as we shouldn't be defensive about having O&P relationships that are unequal for instance. This is the same principle as people running rope bondage events insisting that it's for people doing rope bondage rather than SM.

There's a whole spectrum of ways of achieving it too: from the hard-edged quasi-Masonic introduction, vetting and maybe rejection that I expect people worry about - to just saying what the scope is and assuming that other people will be polite enough not to intrude.

It's like the mafia. Everyone on the inside knows who's on the inside and they accept people who are insiders from other areas because there are people who know people who vouch for them. Plus you can just *tell* there is a certain je ne sais quoi that I know when I see it but couldn't begin to explain in any detail.

Yes, this "thing of ours" :)

Regards,

Tanos

www.tanos.org.uk

www.bridgewood.org.uk

O&P on IC: Possession. Ownership. Consent. Responsibility. Respect. House. Service. Dignity. Authenticity. Rituals.

Next O&P Open: London, Sat 6 Nov 2010

Reply by De_Luxe on Tue 28 Sep 2010

SinPar wrote:
Tanos wrote:
(Personally, I miss the way M/s felt like an international subculture a few years back, and I'm not quite sure what happened.)
It hit the tipping point and started catering to the lowest common denominator. The hetification of the leather scene has been tragic. So many of the GLBT folk have withdrawn and the results are so sad to watch.

On the other hand... you evolve or you die. This New Leather movement will be Old Leather one day and the boot will be on the other foot then.

SinPar

I have long thought that when it comes down to individual relationships the experiences of het or GLBT households that would fit under O&P are remarkably similar.

It is an abysmal tragedy and loss if LGBT people felt they were, or are not, as welcome as their het counterparts and I dare say we would lose just as much if het and binary gendered people felt unwelcome or that they didn't fit too.

True we must incorporate change and evolve to make progress but there's no actual progress if we do so pendulum fashion is there?

Reply by Tanos on Tue 28 Sep 2010

De_Luxe wrote:
SinPar wrote:
It hit the tipping point and started catering to the lowest common denominator. The hetification of the leather scene has been tragic. So many of the GLBT folk have withdrawn and the results are so sad to watch.

On the other hand... you evolve or you die. This New Leather movement will be Old Leather one day and the boot will be on the other foot then.

I have long thought that when it comes down to individual relationships the experiences of het or GLBT households that would fit under O&P are remarkably similar.

Yes, I agree.

It is an abysmal tragedy and loss if LGBT people felt they were, or are not, as welcome as their het counterparts and I dare say we would lose just as much if het and binary gendered people felt unwelcome or that they didn't fit too.

Maybe I'm projecting my own concerns here, but I'm not sure it's feeling unwelcome as feeling that the hard edge of M/s is being lost. I've only been to one of the leather events that SinPar is talking about (the Master/slave Conference in Washington way back in 2007) but I didn't get a feeling that gay and lesbian people were unwelcome. Rather that there were lots of heterosexual couples some of whom did not come across as being very M/s in their relationships.

True we must incorporate change and evolve to make progress but there's no actual progress if we do so pendulum fashion is there?

Very true.

Regards,

Tanos

www.tanos.org.uk

www.bridgewood.org.uk

O&P on IC: Possession. Ownership. Consent. Responsibility. Respect. House. Service. Dignity. Authenticity. Rituals.

Next O&P Open: London, Sat 6 Nov 2010

Reply by hollythedolly on Tue 28 Sep 2010

temperance wrote:
TheFalconer wrote:
If a shared space is somewhere where many people can be M/s individually at the same time, then this would be something where a number of people come together to share a joint interaction. Depending on the participants this might mean people "playing" or otherwise interacting with many others, or it might be something where several couples just parallel each other for a time (such as a dinner party where each Master is attended by his own girl).

This is something that we seriously need to consider coordinating in the near future :-p

which excludes those pesky single people who aren't in a relationship but who have the same values.

And it has been spoken about on a different o+p thread.

But the principle i agree with.

begging is my business

Reply by Diablos_patience on Tue 28 Sep 2010

hollythedolly wrote:
temperance wrote:
TheFalconer wrote:
If a shared space is somewhere where many people can be M/s individually at the same time, then this would be something where a number of people come together to share a joint interaction. Depending on the participants this might mean people "playing" or otherwise interacting with many others, or it might be something where several couples just parallel each other for a time (such as a dinner party where each Master is attended by his own girl).

This is something that we seriously need to consider coordinating in the near future :-p

which excludes those pesky single people who aren't in a relationship but who have the same values.

And it has been spoken about on a different o+p thread.

But the principle i agree with.

Yeah pffft who would want single people there? ;-)

Actually im really liking the idea of a small dinner party for Master's/Dominant's/Owners and their female slave/submissive/possession... which would be something on a rather small scale rather than a massive group of people.... anyway i think we're hijacking a really interesting thread....... :-$

~* Raku wa ku no tané; ku wa raku no tané. *~

Reply by hollythedolly on Tue 28 Sep 2010

temperance wrote:
hollythedolly wrote:
temperance wrote:
TheFalconer wrote:
If a shared space is somewhere where many people can be M/s individually at the same time, then this would be something where a number of people come together to share a joint interaction. Depending on the participants this might mean people "playing" or otherwise interacting with many others, or it might be something where several couples just parallel each other for a time (such as a dinner party where each Master is attended by his own girl).

This is something that we seriously need to consider coordinating in the near future :-p

which excludes those pesky single people who aren't in a relationship but who have the same values.

And it has been spoken about on a different o+p thread.

But the principle i agree with.

Yeah pffft who would want single people there? ;-)

Actually im really liking the idea of a small dinner party for Master's/Dominant's/Owners and their female slave/submissive/possession... which would be something on a rather small scale rather than a massive group of people.... anyway i think we're hijacking a really interesting thread....... :-$

Which nicely brings out @belariusis point earlier on about exclusive verus inclusive.

begging is my business

Reply by De_Luxe on Wed 29 Sep 2010

Tanos wrote:
De_Luxe wrote:
SinPar wrote:
It hit the tipping point and started catering to the lowest common denominator. The hetification of the leather scene has been tragic. So many of the GLBT folk have withdrawn and the results are so sad to watch.

On the other hand... you evolve or you die. This New Leather movement will be Old Leather one day and the boot will be on the other foot then.

I have long thought that when it comes down to individual relationships the experiences of het or GLBT households that would fit under O&P are remarkably similar.

Yes, I agree.

It is an abysmal tragedy and loss if LGBT people felt they were, or are not, as welcome as their het counterparts and I dare say we would lose just as much if het and binary gendered people felt unwelcome or that they didn't fit too.

Maybe I'm projecting my own concerns here, but I'm not sure it's feeling unwelcome as feeling that the hard edge of M/s is being lost. I've only been to one of the leather events that SinPar is talking about (the Master/slave Conference in Washington way back in 2007) but I didn't get a feeling that gay and lesbian people were unwelcome. Rather that there were lots of heterosexual couples some of whom did not come across as being very M/s in their relationships.

True we must incorporate change and evolve to make progress but there's no actual progress if we do so pendulum fashion is there?

Very true.

Regards,

Tanos

Having not been an eye-witness myself I cannot give an opinion on the state of play other than in dear old Blighty but I'm sure that with your depth of experience and time in this your own and SinPar's accounts have foundation.

I was wondering if some of those whom you came into contact with who came across as less in tune with M/s in their relationships were representative of the phenomena of growing and developing in that direction rather than being noticeably very much M/s from day one.

Regards,

D.

Reply by TheFalconer on Sat 9 Oct 2010

Tanos wrote:
SinPar has now made a very sensible post on the BDSM Code thread that prompted me, and linked to Baldwin's "Sacred Cows" speech that I'd not read since starting to talk about O&P.

There's a striking sentence, from the point of view of O&P, near the beginning: "When I question people closely about what this need is ... it almost always can be reduced to a few key words: sexiness, cohesion, intimacy, trust, reliability, integrity, accountability, and perhaps most importantly, a sense of family."

Further into the speech he talks about the downsides of inclusivity. That diminishing the sense of community is the price you pay for trying to be more inclusive. I've never thought about it in such explicit terms before.

The Sacred Cows speech was very interesting, and I agree completely that we could probably do with more smaller, exclusive groups within BDSM. The worry I have though is whether the numbers are there to produce health communities.

"Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace." - Oscar Wilde

Reply by MaxFaust on Sat 9 Oct 2010

This is my personal bias only, of course, but I consider much of what is today called BDSM to be extensions of older times' ritual (sex) magic -- stretching all the way back to certain practices of old pagan "mystery religions" (cults of Isis, Dionysos, Demeter, etc.), not forgetting "witchcraft". Consider this: How do you imagine a "play party" would have looked in, say, the 1300s?

Old Skool

Reply by SinPar on Fri 15 Oct 2010

TheFalconer wrote:
The worry I have though is whether the numbers are there to produce health communities.
A healthy community can be surprisingly small. My immediate circle/community comprises about 25-30 individuals of varying sexual preferences and gender expressions. Beyond that the next tier brings that number to around 50-60. That's enough depth for us to get together as individuals and groups. The expectation is that you show up when asked to.

I happen to live in Dallas. That does give me advantages that I wouldn't have in other parts of the country.

If you want to grow your community then you have to ensure that people have fun and that it doesn't become a cult of personality. If you ever read the story "Yertle the Turtle" you can see the cautionary tale for people with power and control issues who start believing their own press.

SP

-- The weak are the most treacherous of us all. They come to the strong and drain them. They are bottomless. They are insatiable. They are always parched and always bitter. They are everyone's concern, and like vampires they suck our life's blood. (Bette Davis)

Reply by Tanos on Fri 15 Oct 2010

SinPar wrote:
If you want to grow your community then you have to ensure that people have fun and that it doesn't become a cult of personality. If you ever read the story "Yertle the Turtle" you can see the cautionary tale for people with power and control issues who start believing their own press.

I keep trying to make Stone Soup! :)

:T:

www.tanos.org.uk

www.bridgewood.org.uk

O&P on IC: Possession. Ownership. Consent. Responsibility. Respect. House. Service. Dignity. Authenticity. Rituals.

Next O&P Open: London, Sat 6 Nov 2010

Reply by SinPar on Sat 16 Oct 2010

Tanos wrote:
I keep trying to make Stone Soup! :)
I think that you've done a very nice job here with IC. You've got a strong core group of sensible people that have hung on through the years. I certainly appreciate your efforts on behalf of the international community. :-D

I've met all kinds of nice people on here.

SP

-- The weak are the most treacherous of us all. They come to the strong and drain them. They are bottomless. They are insatiable. They are always parched and always bitter. They are everyone's concern, and like vampires they suck our life's blood. (Bette Davis)

Reply by Altissimus on Mon 18 Oct 2010

Tanos wrote:
Older ways of doing D/s and M/s

The BDSM Code thread prompted an O&P question. Are there any older styles of D/s and M/s that you like sound of? (or even miss?) I mean anything from Old Guard, to the modern US Leather scene, to the Gorean subculture.

Are there ideas we, in O&P, can mine from these subcultures? What positives about them are so attractive for some people?

(Personally, I miss the way M/s felt like an international subculture a few years back, and I'm not quite sure what happened.)

Regards,

Tanos

As a long-time advocate of the Gorean subculture, you might expect me to reply with "I miss the Gorean subculture" - but actually, I don't. Notwithstanding the fact that 99% of it was misunderstood, misrepresented bullshit, the 1% that did get it "right" came a cropper of the fact that the Gorean outlook is just too extreme for it to practically work in most day-to-day relationships.

As an aside, the Gorean sub-culture has an enormous number of things that can (and have, without many knowing) be taken in isolation and incorporated. Mind you, they were all stolen in the first place anyway...

What I do miss, ironically, is a world in which D/s was simply that; before everyone jumped on the bandwagon and realised it was really easy to get laid if you said you were "dominant" and subscribed to Riding Crop Monthly.

And so were born the "tops".

As someone who find D/s to be a natural propensity of most people and creatures, to varying degrees or another, and find it to be kinky only in its extremes (which I wholeheartedly support, of course) I do find the concept of a "top" to be distasteful. I try to be polite about it, but really I just think they're a little bit pathetic, like wannabe doms that have discovered they haven't got what it takes.

Being a dom isn't hard, if you're dominant. If you're not, well, then, um...you're not, are you?

Better stop talking before I move much further into rant mode.

A

Reply by maskedwomyn on Wed 18 Apr 2012

Belasarius wrote:
mia wrote:
Belasarius wrote:

Exclusivity, to me, makes me think of a chosen people, who control access to their community

Whislt the word can have negative connotations, i do think Tanos is right when he talks about how exclusivity can lead to communities drawing together more on what it is that makes them that very group.

If exclusivity means taking an inclusive approach to people with similar values, great.

If exclusivity means a small group excluding people with similar views, but who don't meet existing members personal tastes (a la Bullingdon club), that's not so good.

In the case of 1970s leather community the exclusivity is the exclusivity of a small oppressed minority community. i have been fortunate/unfortunate enough to have belonged to a number of oppressed minority communities throughout my life. The trade off for inclusion and diminishing the oppression experienced by the minority is always the loss of that special community.

No one with any sense volunteers to be an oppressed minority just so they can share in the sense of community. The majority actually controls entry into the exclusive minority community. Being rejected by the same people who rejected me is all you need to get in and you stay in if you are willing to agree to the in group norms that protect everyone from their common oppressors.

i careened from Hippie/anti-war activism before Kent State, to feminism, to SM exclusivity, to the women's community in the late seventies and eighties, to GLBT activism in education and now to M/s, O&P consensual non-consent in the land of consensual everything, so many facets of my identity, so many ways to be oppressed by the people you initially thought of as 'your people'.

i miss all the communities. i am grateful the exclusivity has in most cases ended. i am grateful i no longer need to fear non-consensual beatings from the people who are not part of my community. i am grateful that fewer of my friends are committing suicide. i am grateful that fewer of my friends have been murdered because of who they are. When i look back there are so many corpses that stare at me.

No one here today needs to fear the exclusivity of the early leather community. Please, if you weren't there, just tolerate those of us who would wax nostalgic. We share a genuine grief for the community that is past. But we also know how boring it is when old geezers get together to swap yarns of the good old days. We don't do this often and we won't do it for a long time at one sitting.

i don't think there is anyway you can transplant the sense of community the old groups experienced to our life today. i don't think that, if you really knew the cost, you would want to.

Reply by Belasarius on Wed 18 Apr 2012

maskedwomyn wrote:
Belasarius wrote:
mia wrote:
Belasarius wrote:

Exclusivity, to me, makes me think of a chosen people, who control access to their community

Whislt the word can have negative connotations, i do think Tanos is right when he talks about how exclusivity can lead to communities drawing together more on what it is that makes them that very group.

If exclusivity means taking an inclusive approach to people with similar values, great.

If exclusivity means a small group excluding people with similar views, but who don't meet existing members personal tastes (a la Bullingdon club), that's not so good.

In the case of 1970s leather community the exclusivity is the exclusivity of a small oppressed minority community. i have been fortunate/unfortunate enough to have belonged to a number of oppressed minority communities throughout my life. The trade off for inclusion and diminishing the oppression experienced by the minority is always the loss of that special community.

No one with any sense volunteers to be an oppressed minority just so they can share in the sense of community. The majority actually controls entry into the exclusive minority community. Being rejected by the same people who rejected me is all you need to get in and you stay in if you are willing to agree to the in group norms that protect everyone from their common oppressors.

i careened from Hippie/anti-war activism before Kent State, to feminism, to SM exclusivity, to the women's community in the late seventies and eighties, to GLBT activism in education and now to M/s, O&P consensual non-consent in the land of consensual everything, so many facets of my identity, so many ways to be oppressed by the people you initially thought of as 'your people'.

i miss all the communities. i am grateful the exclusivity has in most cases ended. i am grateful i no longer need to fear non-consensual beatings from the people who are not part of my community. i am grateful that fewer of my friends are committing suicide. i am grateful that fewer of my friends have been murdered because of who they are. When i look back there are so many corpses that stare at me.

No one here today needs to fear the exclusivity of the early leather community. Please, if you weren't there, just tolerate those of us who would wax nostalgic. We share a genuine grief for the community that is past. But we also know how boring it is when old geezers get together to swap yarns of the good old days. We don't do this often and we won't do it for a long time at one sitting.

i don't think there is anyway you can transplant the sense of community the old groups experienced to our life today. i don't think that, if you really knew the cost, you would want to.

Thank you for such a different perspective -and for revitalising a fascinating thread.

My goal - to save women from nature (Dior)

Follow me on twitter: @belasarius99