Saturday, July 5, 2014

BDSM Blog Hop 1: What is BDSM?

Hello BDSM Blog Hoppers, Readers, Doms, subs, Vers, Curious, Allies, and everything in between.

Welcome to the BDSM Blog Hop. For the next few days I'm going to do a series of posts that will be a little different than what you are used to seeing from me. While I know that many of you are used to me as Vicktor Alexander, author, there is another side to my life that not many are privy to. That is Vic, Dom, a member of the BDSM Lifestyle.

I have been a part of the Lifestyle since I was 18 when I went through extensive training with another Dom, Jerome, who had been in the Lifestyle for years and after a year of munches, play parties, assisted scenes, classes, training sessions, explanations, and the like, I was finally considered a Dom by not only Jerome but by others within the BDSM community. But I'll talk more about that later on this week.

Today I want to talk about what BDSM actually is.

When I first mentioned to Grace Duncan that we should have a BDSM blog hop, I was only partially teasing. There is a very large misconception about what it means to be either a Dom(me), a sub, Versatile, a Master/Mistress, a slave, or any other member of the community and I, as well as many others who consider this an extension of ourselves, a part of our truth, wanted to put an end to them. With the overwhelming interest in BDSM due to a certain book which many in the community found deplorable in its depiction of BDSM, we knew that it was up to us to shed light and bring truth to those who are either curious, fascinated, horrified, and even to counteract those who try to pain the community in a bad light.

So, what is BDSM? (Bondage-Discipline; Domination-Submission; Sadism-Masochism)

Contrary to what you may have heard, read, or thought, BDSM is not about rape, sex, violence, spanking, watersports, scat, removing free will from the sub/servant, pain, or even about the Dom(me)/Master/Mistress having control. BDSM is a powerful, intimate, relationship between consenting adults where there is an exchange of control.

It is about selflessness, faith, trust, release (mental, emotional, as well as physical), as well as achieving a greater level of intimacy and connection not only with the person for whom you have given your control or whom you have received their control, but with yourself.

"Give me your faith and control and I will give you my care and protection."
-The Dom's Promise (Jerome, Dom)

BDSM, or as it is called in some circles EPE (Erotic Power Exchange) is the freedom of choice for both partners to enter into forms of erotic power exchange. The choice to engage in erotic power exchange as well as the choice of role are non-compulsive are both voluntary. It is usually driven by very deep personal emotions and it should be safe, sane and informed consensual, based on mutual respect and trust and (not always!) love. Next, the partners within erotic power exchange should adhere to certain basic rules known as the concepts of erotic power exchange, such as discussing and negotiating each other's wants, needs, emotions as well as negotiating and acknowledging emotional and physical boundaries. In other words, erotic power exchange is role play by free and voluntary choice of the participants, as opposed to any situation where either of the partners has no choice or is forced or manipulated into a role.

Hardly two erotic power exchange couples or situations are alike, which makes it impossible to try and describe the activity in a few simple terms. Every simplification will almost automatically lead to oversimplifying and thus stereotyping. For example, erotic power exchange is often mistaken for algolagnia ("pain lust"). Pain can be, but does not have to be an erotic component. Using pain in an erotic setting is only one of the very many rituals or conventions power exchange can have.


So, in Lamen's terms what does that mean?

BDSM is the exchange of power, or control, between consenting adults. This usually occurs during a scene, but there are those who engage in the Lifestyle 24/7. A "Scene" does not always have to involve pain (think whips, floggers, cat o' nine tails) sometimes it can be about sensation play (think feathers, ice, etc.). Sometimes the exchange of control or the "Scene" can be about service or just about the person(s) relinquishing their control not being in charge for a set time. Being able to let go and be taken cared of.

At its heart, the deepest core of our community's foundation, that is what BDSM is all about. Taking care of each other. Whether that care is achieved by the Dom(me) tying up the sub and helping them to achieve the blissful state of subspace through pain or sensation play, or whether it is achieved by the Master/Mistress collaring the slave and requiring them to kneel and scheduling/planning out every aspect of their week, it is an intimate exchange. Control for Care. Faith for Protection. Power for Guidance.

And it goes both ways for while the Dom(me) or Master/Mistress is caring for their sub(s) or slave(s) through scenes they are also being cared for.

It is something that is often missing in the BDSM stories that are published, the Dom-headspace, and the care and affection that the Dom receives in return but it does happen. For another misconception that occurs is that Doms are cold, unfeeling bastards. Confident, self-assured, and in desperate need of a sub or two or more to help them to love again. And while this does happen and there are Doms out there who present themselves as such, we must not forget that Doms are human. We suffer from insecurities, low self-esteem, hesitations, nervousness, etc. And sometimes it is the Dom who helps the sub to love again. If that is their aim.

There are a lot of other aspects to the Lifestyle that I haven't touched on in this post that I will later on this week: The Training, Negotiations, Contracts, Safewords, Subspace/Dom Headspace, My Introduction to the Lifestyle & Becoming The Dom, BDSM Terms, and I'm even going to give you guys a free BDSM short story (because I am still a writer), but that's all later on.

And since this IS a hop, I am of course going to offer a giveaway. One lucky person will receive two free ebook copies of any one of my books as well as an autographed copy of one of my covers.

So what do you have to do?

Follow the hop from July 5-13th and leave a comment, pertinent to the post, on each blog, as well as on mine (I won't be posting a BDSM Blog Hop post every day but when I do, make sure you comment) with a link to your comment. It's that simple.

But what about all of you?

Now that BDSM has been defined to a degree, do you have any questions? If so, leave them in the comments below and I will try to answer them, either in the comments or I will mention you by name and answer your question in my next post.

Enjoy the hop!

-Vicktor Alexander, Dom

a Rafflecopter giveaway