For several years we in the BDSM community have hidden behind shadows because of people’s narrow minded prejudice against the BDSM lifestyle. Just recently Littlefield which has a heavy BDSM orientated grid was listed on HG Business for leading in the Opensimulator grid survey. Almost immediately the ugly bigotry and prejudice crept in with a comment by one of the users named 1derworld – “Who would of thunk low self esteem and BDSM would be the large population in opensims :(” Now I have to wonder if Littlefield was a Gay / Lesbian or Transgender grid if the same type of remark would have been forthcoming. I suspect it wouldn’t have. To assume or insinuate that a group of people has low self esteem because they choose to have an alternative lifestyle is nothing short of bigotry.
I’d like to site another example… Recently, one of the members of HG Vision’s Magazine made a request that we create an article regarding the BDSM themed regions on Littlefield Grid. We received our reply from Sunbeam Magic the editor of HG Vision’s Magazine today – “I regret to inform you this, but the Vision’z Staff Team voted NO on accepting your article, citing HG VISIONZ is more of a family magazine and they thought the BDSM theme does not fit in with our format.” Again, there’s that uninformed bigotry in action. The article in question had NO sexual overtones, photos, etc.. anywhere. However because the letters BDSM were prominent in the article, the article has no place in the “family” magazine. Again, I can’t help but wonder if this article was about a TG, Lesbian, or Gay grid and what it has to offer for that community if it would have received the same response? Anyone who is interested in the article is more than welcome to request it from us. You’ll find there is nothing “Adult” or “Offensive” in a sexual nature at all in it.
For those people who watch too many movies, and read too many dime novels, BDSM isn’t 50 shades of Grey, nor is it Story of “O”. BDSM is a “lifestyle” just like any other alternative lifestyle. In the primary case of most people who participate in the BDSM lifestyle, they participate in D/s which means Dominant – Submissive. Simply put… one person is the Dominant and one person is the Submissive. It is as simple as that. It isn’t too unlike “who wears the pants in the family” in a standard married relationship. The difference is that the D/s partners put a label on their positions. That doesn’t mean people are beat, whipped, chained, etc.. 24×7 wandering around naked continually. That would be illogical and nobody can live that kind of lifestyle.
BDSM although it has many factions of bondage, etc.. attached to it, it doesn’t necessarily mean any of that is part of the BDSM lifestyle on a whole. If the parties involved choose to go that route, that’s a decision they BOTH make. Not too unlike people in a standard married relationship playing “bedroom bondage” games or playing with sex toys. Yet you don’t see them condemned for their lifestyle choice. The collar that a Submissive wears is no different than a ring on the finger of a married couple. In some cases the collar isn’t even a collar but some other discreet object worn as a reminder that you have a commitment to your Dominant.
It is unfortunate that the BDSM community continues to have this stigma attached to it that the people involved are somehow perverted or sexually deviant simply because they choose to address their partners as Dominant or Submissive. In all the years I’ve been involved in the community, I’ve found that BDSM’ers tend to have longer lasting and deeper relationships than most married couples in fact. How many times in the Virtual World as an example do you see people partnered/unpartnered several times in a short period. Most people I’ve met in the BDSM community are with their partners for years. Case in point, both of my Submissives have been with me well over 5 years.
Why is that you might ask? The partners who accept and live this lifestyle have respect for each other and the other partner’s position. And, the BDSM community also has zero prejudice toward other alternative lifestyles such as the Transgender, Gay, or Lesbian communities. The BDSM community tends to have respect for ALL people’s likes as long as they are legal and not an attack or hurting a group or person directly.
In conclusion, given the open nature of the world today, and how accepting that the rest of the world has become to the LGBTQ community, maybe the same consideration could be given to the BDSM community since our way of life is no different than anyone elses. Take the time to talk with people who are involved in the BDSM community for a change, and you’ll be surprised to find out they aren’t at all what you THINK they are based on what you THINK you know from watching TV, Movies, or reading fiction.