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Sunday, February 22, 2015

What people will do for love? - Lacy Muircastle reporting ...

Please note that this is an opinion piece, and does not represent the views or opinions of the publisher.

On the back of the release of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie last week, and the storm in a teacup it caused, with those saying it condones abuse etc. I thought I would poke around the lifestyle in Second Life.

I rather like vanilla, don’t you?  Added to milk it makes a refreshing drink, when baking, added to cakes it makes the house smell amazing, but it appears that vanilla has other connotations attached to it that have nothing to do with flavoured milk or an ingredient in cakes.  I understand that to be ‘vanilla’ means to have boring or mundane sexual preferences.  Clearly I am boring then.

I have a friend, a platonic friend by the way, who told me “Oh you are so nice, vanilla, but nice.” A bit of a backhanded compliment to say the least.  I in turn asked said friend to enlighten me as to what it was he thought I was missing out on.  He then proceeded to take me on a tour of BDSM and D/s sims and venues available in Second Life.  Who knew there were so many and that ‘the lifestyle’ was so prevalent in SL?  But I was still not convinced that it was something I could get in to.

Out in the real world BDSM and the D/s lifestyle, think Fifty Shades of Grey, are not very obvious, giving it the air of being erotic and ever so naughty. In my opinion it makes more sense in RL than in SL, as from what I understand, the main thrust (forgive the pun) of it is all about control and domination, with a side order of pain and submission.  Just typing this makes my hair stand on end, I absolutely hate the thought of being punished for something that is supposed to be mutually satisfying and enjoyable, and therefore I am not a good candidate to be a submissive in the true sense of the word, and handing over total control of myself to another person is unthinkable to me.

Okay so now you understand that I DON’T get the concept of the BDSM lifestyle, therefore I asked a couple of people I know who do live the lifestyle to tell me what the appeal is.

From a SL submissive’s point of view:

LM: In your opinion what does the D/s BDSM life style entail and personally what is its appeal?

The D/s part of the lifestyle came naturally for me, I have an innate desire to be controlled in almost every aspect of my daily life. Of course many decisions regarding my work must be made by me, but Master has given His approval on handling those parts of my life. The need to give control to my Master is soothing and is essential for my life's journey. I crave the strong hand of not only a Dominant, but of someone who truly cares about me and my well being. I am not a weak, fragile person, but a strong business woman, and with all that responsibility I tend to immerse myself in a world where I am guided by a partner who is larger, stronger, and wiser than myself.  It is only when I feel the bondage of the collar and the restraint of the leash that I am truly relaxed and at peace with myself and my environment. The Dominant in my life is a main focal point to my happiness, and therefore it is a pleasure to please him.

LM: Are they separate entities (so can you embrace the D/s lifestyle, without the BDSM elements) or are they irrevocably intertwined?

My personal opinion is no, D/s and BDSM do not go hand in hand. Many people I know do not engage in bondage, S & M, or pain play, and they simply live the D/s lifestyle, which is giving control to one partner. I also know of people that enjoy BDSM play but cease D/s relations after the scene collar comes off.

“It’s hard for an educated woman to turn her head off. That's part of the joy of being a submissive. None of the decisions are yours. When you can't refuse anything and can't even move, those voices in your head go silent. All you can do, and all you are permitted to do, is feel. ” 

From a RL married sub to her Dom on Valentine's Day ....

Inside the bedroom, I am His. Outside, we are great friends, partners and spouses. He completes me, he makes me whole.

Sir:  This is our 14th Valentine’s Day together.  Time flies when you are having fun.  Thank you for being there always.  You are my strength when I am weak, my comfort when I am down, my courage when I am afraid.  Thank you for being patient with me through the years and teaching me to embrace my sub.  Thank You for waiting for me to join you on this journey.  I crave your touch, the sound of your voice as you say “Good Girl,” the look on your face as you come, the Dom that wants to ravage His kneeling sub, thToe delicious pain entwined with pleasure as you play with me, the intricate rope work and beautiful scenes you bring to life, and the unique flavor you bring to our dynamic.  Thank you for your Dom – it is a most beautiful and special gift of self.  Happy Valentine’s Day my Love!  Your SFT.

From a Dominant’s point of view:

LM : In your opinion what does the D/s BDSM life style entail and personally what is its appeal?

There is a somewhat common belief that Dominance entails a lot of shouting and bullying people around, and that Dominants should be belligerent and confrontational, always eager to get their own way at the expense of others. If that were true, then this lifestyle would certainly hold no appeal to me.

What I believe real Dominance requires are traits that are more subtle and constructive, such as empathy, understanding, patience, humor, and a strong urge to care and protect the submissive, as well as guide and teach her. He must remain firm in his behavior, but willing to adjust and adapt as the situation demands. He must be patient with his submissive, but at the same time insistent that she fulfill her obligations and duties to the letter. He must project strength of character and confidence, but at the same time be able to laugh at himself and at all of life's inanities. It's a tightrope act that many new people in the lifestyle may not realize lies behind the somewhat simplistic facade of what Dominance means.

 Slipping into the D/s lifestyle was very natural for me. For example, I am the oldest in the family, and I have always had the strong and innate urge to protect and care for my younger brothers and
sister. This was true even when I was very young, when most siblings tend to be competitive towards one another. My mother told us how one day a classmate in elementary school was pushing around my youngest brother, and I had immediately confronted the aggressor and told him
to never to do that again, and this had been enough to dissuade the bully from bothering my brother.

Finally, D/s appeals to me because it creates a structured orderly framework that enhances and supports the relationship between two (or more) people. As such, it is not essential to my life, merely a tool. But in the context of something greater, like Love, D/s is synergistic and provides an extremely satisfying way to investigate and understand and explore the many niches and secret hollows of a relationship.

LM: Are they separate entities (so can you embrace the D/s lifestyle, without the BDSM elements) or are they irrevocably intertwined?

In my opinion, D/s and the sexual aspects of BDSM are not irrevocably intertwined. Many people engage in D/s interactions, but without the baser aspects of the lifestyle - people can and do derive pleasure from D/s without the addition of sexual play. Saying that, I personally enjoy the full range of BDSM.

 “So you’ll get your kicks by exerting your will over me.” “It’s about gaining your trust and your respect, so you’ll let me exert my will over you. I will gain a great deal of pleasure, joy, even in your submission. The more you submit, the greater my joy – it’s a very simple equation.” “Okay, and what do I get out of this?” He shrugs and looks almost apologetic. “Me,” he says simply. ”
E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

So about condoning abuse then, like most controversial issues, you will have those for and those against, and in reality some of the things that go on in the real world make anything in Fifty Shades of Grey pale into insignificance.  In my opinion the real attraction to the 'lifestyle' is control, and if you think about who really has the control in a D/s relationship?  In my opinion it is the submissive who has the control, but in the end it all boils down to that very complicated issue of love and what people will do for love.

OpenCollar is an open source project within SecondLife™

When you freely give your will to someone in Second Life, you shouldn't have to spend hundreds (or thousands) of lindens on a collar to make it more real.  Now you don't have to.  OpenCollar provides a free, high quality collar with open source scripts.


  1. I just read this post and could not go on with my day until I made my own comment. I hope I can shed a bit more light on this topic myself from my own experiences.

    I would like to first say: It is not what you will do for love, it is what you will share in love.

    It was hinted at that you cannot enjoy the same experience in SL as you can in RL. I 100% disagree. When two minds melt together, you can become one with one another and experience an even deeper connection because you are working to express yourself and understand your partners needs and desires as well. When you are both on the same page, the experience can be phenomenal. It is a stimulation of all the senses.

    In our relationship, we thrive together. We feed each others desires and we hunger for the opportunity to expose both our desires. I happen to be very lucky if you wish to call it luck to have found my male mirror image in the BDSM lifestyle but this also carries over into who we are in reality as well. Myself, I am a strong woman with a strong career. However in my off time, I am a whole other entity. I wish to surrender my control but have my control tested at the same time if that makes sense. It is a growing experience for me and has nothing to do with abuse. My Dom not once has ever raised a hand to me in anger or in humiliation. My Dom reads my needs and delivers accordingly while also expanding on his own needs and pleasures. I have said many times I am not vanilla and I am not ashamed that I am not. I have embraced who I am as a human being and I can hold my head up just as proudly. Together, we enjoy the pleasure we release by testing ourselves. It is not abuse it is sensation and it is a combined release. It’s the passion we feel for each other exploding in a much more intense way.

    In truth, as the writer came to the final conclusion, I am the one who controls what my Dom does to me, so many forget that we as the sub have the control to stop the pleasure play at anytime we wish. A good sub must know her Dom inside out and feed off his pleasure and lead him down that same path with her. In my opinion that is the ultimate relationship between D/s, the final release, together while binding yourselves even closer together.

    A D/s relationship has nothing whatsoever to do with condoning abuse. It it not about the power a Dom over a submissive. It also has nothing to do with what one will do for love. It is what two can build together to build strong love for one another thru the power of control. It is a lifestyle and it is a choice. It is also a strength of a bond that when two people understand each others desires can be a very rewarding relationship. Enough so for us, that we are now married.

    1. Very well stated. I think if someone cant relate or fully understand the concept of the lifestyle (or any other matter, for that matter) then the opinions aren't fully credible. Sure, it's not for all, but that doesn't mean its weird, or "bad" for the rest.

      Thank you for showing and sharing your experience. BDSM and D/s relationships are very loving and caring relationships. More so than I ever experienced in the Vanilla world.


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