Between the Dashes ~ SIG

21 Nov

SIG stands for Special Interest Group, and it’s a discussion group that meets every month here in Where-i-Live.   We break into groups ~ submissives, switches and Dominants, and discuss the same set of questions.  Then we come back together and share our answers.

The discussion questions this time were:

How do you maintain the dynamics of power exchange on a day-to-day basis?
• What changes when company comes over or you’re in a vanilla setting?
• Do you schedule down time from the power dynamic?
• What about when you’re apart during the day, are there rituals or protocols that you can implement?
• Does 24/7 work for you or do you have to have time apart due to life situations?
• What about children? Or pregnancy? Marriage? Financial? Household? Outside family? Religion? Where do these fall in your dynamic?
• How do you handle this if you’re poly? Open? Bisexual?
• How do you impose a power exchange on a long term existing relationship?
• How important is play in maintaining the dynamic? Is it required?

It was a lovely discussion, relaxed, and most people talked, and i really enjoyed it.

We played with the idea of openness.  We ranged across the board in how “out” we are.  J and another woman {actually, another J} are pretty completely out.  Even J1’s boss knows.  And J2’s grown children know.  They’re both comfortable with that.

But one of us had lost a job for “immoral behavior.”  Not kinky stuff, actually, but still.  That would argue against openness.

Most of us are some mix of open and private.  Some members of the group expressed frustration with that, wanting to be more open with family or vanilla friends.

CS had been open with her parents, and discovered they were more accepting than she might have anticipated.  D’s dominant had been open with his father, and it had not been well accepted.  It’s a risk.

Lots of us are not out to family and vanilla friends.  Several people expressed  frustration with not feeling authentic because their family and friends don’t know they’re in a power exchange relationship and would be adamantly opposed to the lifestyle.  

Feeling like you can’t be yourself, that you’re living a lie, is a miserable feeling.  i think we all have a desire to be who we truly are, in the most open and genuine way possible.

So as we talk, i’m pondering this.   You know, i’m not open about my lifestyle to the vanilla world, and probably never will be.  If i were, i’d have a whole ton of damage control to do and it could, potentially,  have a significant impact on my career.  

My daughter doesn’t know {i don’t think} and my sister doesn’t.  i’m quite sure that neither of them want to know.

So does that mean i’m not being authentic?  Would there be some benefit for me in being more open?  i was just holding those questions in  my mind as we talked, and we talked about a bunch of the other questions.  

But finally i found my way through that maze of uncertainty.  You know, for me, not being open about my lifestyle is more a matter of privacy than lack of authenticity.  i’m the same person whether i’m kneeling at my Sir’s feet or arguing feminist principles.

For me ~ and i’m just speaking for myself ~ it’s not necessary for the vanilla world to know about the submissive or kinky aspect of my relationship with Sir.  i don’t feel that sense of being split, of being someone i’m not.

i am an old hippie, feminist, intellectual, submissive woman with a lot of personal power.  That’s who i am.  All the time.

But it’s fun working through all that and talking with other people and hearing their perspective.  i will not tell you the story of my {possibly inappropriate} snort, or the  table moving dilemma, since Ms Constance does both so well here.  i’ll just say it was a lot of fun.  

If you have thoughts you want to share about the questions from the discussion group, feel free to do it in the comments, or take them back to your blog and link here if you want to, or don’t link back, either way is fine.

i have lots of things to write about these days ~ and lots of questions to answer from other bloggers, which is pretty cool.  Thanks to ancilla for putting me on her list of favorites and coming up with more great questions to be answered.

Of course, Naomi is still on my mind, so she’s not going anywhere.   She’ll be back tomorrow…

8 Responses to “Between the Dashes ~ SIG”

  1. Cerrin November 21, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    I have to say the table worked out better then I expected.

    But the real reason I am commeting is because I dont believe that being a submissive is in conflict with being a feminist. Having feminist views only means we are allowed to choose which path we take in life. Just like men, we can decide for one self if we want to be a Stay at home mom or a business woman or both.

    • aisha November 22, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Hi, Cerrin!

      i love to see you here!

      Well, yeah, if being a feminist and being submissive conflicted, we’d both be in trouble. i so totally agree. And i think it’s something that we each have to think through for ourselves, so we really get it.

      Thanks for commenting!!


  2. Kitty the Submissive Wife November 21, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    I guess since we discuss it so often ourselves, it is not surprising that the Vanilla world would be confused about what a submissive is – I mean really, we are usually chained to a bed post on our hands and knees, aren’t we? (And yes, I suppose some are.)

    So, you are right, there is a difference between privacy and authenticity. I believe that if one acts consistently and ethically in all situations, then you are not hiding anything. You are merely being private.

    However, if you set out to deceive and hide, well, that might be different.

    • aisha November 22, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      Hi, Kitty,

      O, good point!! So if i’m kinky, i can’t run around talking about how awful those kinky people are, or trying to get them locked up. i can’t act like there’s only one right way to express sexuality, or talk about women being sluts if they don’t fit some arbitrary standard. Yes.

      i’m sure there are other examples of hiding and deceiving, but that seems to be one of the most inauthentic!

      Thanks for your comment!


  3. ancilla_ksst November 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    I have that conflict too, especially with people who are very close to me and with whom I have shared a lot of personal stuff. Master sees no need to share our private stuff with vanilla people who wouldn’t understand, or would possbily give us a lot of trouble.

    • aisha November 22, 2012 at 9:41 am #

      Hi, ancilla,

      It’s tricky, isn’t it? There is some value in sharing your experience with friends, and helping them expand their understanding of sexuality can be very cool. On the other hand, i think your Master’s right, it can create problems. Thank goodness for kinky communities and the blogosphere!


  4. vanillamom November 26, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    I think i read this at work, perhaps…but i’ve been thinking about this off and on since I read it. That line about “authenticity” just struck a note for me…a kind of sour one. I cannot live the D/s lifestyle 24/7. It is a deep need in me, to be sure, but I have spent 30+ years building the vanilla life I have…and won’t willingly turn my back on my family (read…kids) just because I need this…this thing…to be personally fulfilled. It is what it is for me, and I balance my needs AND the needs of the others in my life who depend on me each and every day.

    That does NOT make my life unauthentic.

    And…despite being a sex blogger…i am an inherently private person. I would not sit around and talk about my sex life with my dad, my brother, my MIL…it’s mine, dammit, and it’s private! Now, perhaps I’d talk to my vanilla BFF about it, but then again, maybe not. She’s pretty private too!

    Since I wouldn’t share my vanilla sex (I know…*what* vanilla sex…right?…still) why would I talk about my D/s sex except within the confines of my D/s community, where this sort of thing is way more open?

    Okay, stepping off my soap box!


    • aisha November 26, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

      Hi, ‘Nilla,

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts here ~ you know i always appreciate that, and you make some good points.

      i felt a little defensive at times during the discussion too, which is why i spoke up eventually. But i realized that they were really speaking for themselves, that for some of them it does feel inauthentic because they aren’t more “out.”

      i agree, it’s not a matter of how “out” you are that determines whether or not you’re living an authentic life. And i’m glad you know that too. You’re one of the most genuine people i know.



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