Monday, March 26, 2012

The Perfect or the Good?

            Since I created my “Dark Lord” profile, I have repeatedly found myself in a dialogue with guys who are seeking total incarceration in my dungeon for the rest of their lives. They pepper their profiles with ideas such as “no escape,” “permanent slavery,” and “prisoner for life.”

            Eventually the discussion comes down to this: “It costs approximately $1,000 a month to live in this house. That includes utilities, food, rent, internet, phone, etc. A conservative estimate is that health insurance would cost about $500 a month.... Do you expect your future master [me] to support you?”

            In their perfect fantasy, the answer is “Yes.” They think that the master they will find has enough wealth to financially support them for the rest of their lives.

            Here is a sample response: “Well Sir, its only income is about $250 a month… If it is to be kept captive it obviously won't be going to a job, so whether this for real or not depends on You Sir. If You are unwilling to feed it then so be it, Sir, it will not be able to submit to You Sir.”

My reply illustrates my opinion on this attitude: “As I thought... so go find yourself another owner.”

He answered: “Understood Sir, but it has to ask how You can turn a slave into what You specify in Your profile and have it go out to work, Sir?”

            OK, the vast majority of my readers have no intention of becoming slaves or masters. Their fantasies are much more practical and livable. Still, I think, there are lessons to be drawn from the above exchange.

            In a perfect world good scenes would last forever. Such an occurrence is the “stuff” of fantasy. In this case we can safely equate fantasy with fiction. Consider any good novel as an example. We rarely see the villain paying his bills or going to do the laundry. The heroine is seldom shown having her hair dyed or scrubbing pots and pans. With very few exceptions we don’t go to the movies to watch an actor sleep for eight hours, brush his or her teeth, or read a book.

            Real life is edited out of our fiction and is seldom recognized as part of the “reality” of a fantasy made true. Let’s look at the definition of fantasy from the Miriam-Webster dictionary: “fancy; especially: the free play of creative imagination; a creation of the imaginative faculty whether expressed or merely conceived: as a: a fanciful design or invention, b: a chimerical or fantastic notion, c : fantasia, d : imaginative fiction featuring especially strange settings and grotesque characters —called also fantasy fiction.”

            I’m certainly in favor of using our imagination to create a powerful and satisfying scene. The fact of the matter is that we can do a great deal of what might be fantasy in the limited time-frame of a scene. We can, after all, ignore our cell phones, disregard the laundry, or put off paying our bills for a weekend.

            It’s easy to “disappear” into a dungeon for a few days. It is problematic to disappear “without a trace” for six months or a year.

            So we must come to the conclusion that what might work in a scene (i.e., immobile bondage) won’t work for a long term relationship. In a perfect world, for instance, mummification in a full body plaster cast could go on forever. In this world, after the passage of a day or so, the need to eat, defecate, and move would become increasingly pressing.

            Sometime after the first month of seeking an “extreme slave” I began to question the place of limits in my fantasy. If I sought a “no limits” slave were there things that I just would not do? The best example was presented to me by a guy who wanted me to kill him. His “snuff” fantasy was hot and arousing but significantly illegal.

            So I gave some serious thought to what my limits were, believing that my limits protected both of us. I came up with three limits: in short, I wouldn’t endanger anyone’s health; do anything illegal; or allow a “slave” to become financial dependent upon me.

            Face it. A slave whose health is impaired is much less useful than a healthy one. I’m not willing to go to jail for my fantasy. A master who has to financially support his slave is, in my opinion, a slave to his slave.

            Just as I don’t play with people who won’t give up their limits for me, I won’t give up my limits for them. No problem, we just respect each other and go our separate ways.

            We can forego many things in the short run, such as lunch, regular exercise, or going to work. If we are seeking to experience our fantasy over an extended period of time, we must take into consideration what has to happen over that period of time. It’s one thing to negotiate a scene and quite another thing to negotiate a long term relationship.

            Whereas scenes “end” at a given time, we would hope that relationships are built to last. Unfortunately, as with the applicant quoted above, we often fail to distinguish between scene and relationship.

            I think that we can look at the example of a common human relationship, such as marriage. Once two people are married, that relationship continues 24/7. When “dad” goes to work he goes as a married man, even though he does very little at work that involves his marriage. Marriage (usually) involves sex, a honey moon, children (or not), sharing one’s income with one’s partner, etc. and work doesn’t.

            Going to work does not end the marriage. In the same way, having a job doesn’t cancel out one’s slavery. Even at work the slave is going to have to obey his or her master, keep the rules that have been agreed upon, and will have his or her choices limited in ways that his co-workers might not even imagine.

In fact, in this case, “going to a job” is an expression of the slave’s obedience. Her surrender of a paycheck is another example of the same thing. My applicant asks: “How You can turn a slave into what You specify in Your profile and have it go out to work, Sir?”

            Easy. You go to work because you are my property and you do what you are told to do. You see, my fantasy is that I am a master, not a jailer or a prison warden. You have the right to define your fantasy anyway you like. I suspect, though, that in the long run, you will have a hard time finding the master who agrees to become your warden for more than a week or so.

            So I am left asking the question “Is your need for a perfect fantasy so great that you will forego a good one?” Isn’t this one of those times when “half a loaf is better than none?” Remember I am not implying that the practical and pragmatic long term relationship omits the extreme, fantasy-fulfilling inclusion of great scenes. I am only saying that scenes and relationships have two entirely different sets of criteria.

            In the first case, a scene can be as wild as you can handle. In the second, the weekend ends on Monday morning.

            Perhaps this tenacious hold on an impossible fantasy is subconsciously purposeful, since it guarantees that it will never happen. There is therefore no need to settle for second best because one would rather have the fantasy, discuss it online ad nauseam, and never have to give it up for something that is more attainable.

            All that, you see, and you can blame your lack of fantasy fulfillment on recalcitrant masters rather than on your own self-defeating retention of a never-to-be actualized fantasy. If fiction is what you want, then call yourself an author and write it down. If life is what you want, then get real and enjoy what you can while you can.

Have a great week. Jack

* * * * *

From The Midwest Book Review:

The strangest of things can bring you closer to the divine. “The Dionysian Alliance” is a suspenseful novel following Detective Benjamin Kramer and his discovery of his ancestry within a religious order that promises to bring him into every dirty thing he can imagine, followers of Dionysos, the ancient god of wine and ecstasy. “The Dionysian
Alliance” is  a fun and riveting read that should prove difficult to put down.

I am in the process of changing my delivery options. Please go to http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/mQyjG and sign up to receive my weekly email via my blog site.


You can send me email at mrjackr@leathermail.com or visit my website at http://www.LeatherViews.com. You can also subscribe to my blog at LeatherMusings.blogspot.com. Copyright 2012 by Jack Rinella, all rights reserved.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Urge

It’s true: Once upon at time, a long, long time ago, I was a newbie.

Just like everyone else, I had to muster up my courage to enter the dark, dangerous-appearing, and hard-to-find world of kink. In those days (early 1980’s) that meant finding a Leatherman’s bar, such as the Gold Coast (Chicago), The Lure (New York), or Lafitte’s in Exile (New Orleans).

I was married, with two young children, and did my best to repress my gay self. I didn’t believe I had a gay self, much less a kinky self and, as most others did and some still do, I resisted the urge. Over and over again I said “No” to the compulsion for cock, for man to man sex, for satisfaction of the lusts that burned inside my soul.

As much as I tried, I failed to stay faithful, monogamous, heterosexual. At the full of the moon, my body would rage, pushing me to find an adult bookstore, a gay bar, a guy who would satisfy and silence my libido.

I’ve changed a great deal since then and there is no longer any need for repression, no more guilt, and no more sneaking around. Haven’t even been in an adult bookstore in years.

For many, of course, the struggle still remains.

As you may have read, since November of 2010, I have been cruising hook-up sites as the “Dark Lord,” “Seeking those who wish to surrender without limit.”

My online profile continues: “Experienced Lord and Master seeks additional property. I seek to be obeyed and worshipped. My primary fetish is control which I exercise both sexually and sadistically. I have an exceptionally high libido and the primary objective of my search is to find men who will be used to satisfy my every sexual desire, without limit or hesitation. I seek to transform you into another toy for my pleasure and sexual gratification.”

Seventeen months later, more than 200 men have approached me, the vast majority of them going so far as to send me their phone numbers. I have learned much about these men and their desires and one of the most constant of their shared characteristics is the urge to surrender, to be under another’s control.

“Urge” is a good word to use, but there are many others: lust, desire, compulsion, obsession, craving, need, irresistible push. They share the feelings that this is their birth-need, their destiny, their inevitable fate. For them, as with my 37-year-old self of some 28 years ago, “Resistance is futile.”

Let me give three examples:

The first is from an experienced Gay man in California. He is noteworthy because, though we have had no real-time contact, he visits my profile regularly:

Sun 6 Nov 2011
DarkLordinChicago:   Back again, I see.
CalPig:  Yes Sir, like a fly to honey.
DarkLordinChicago: So fly to O'Hare and I'll take it from there
CalPig:  Yes Sir, on a future vacation.
Tuesday
DarkLordinChicago: Back again!
Wednesday
CalPig:  Yes Sir, thinking ...
DarkLordinChicago: Ah. Now all I need is thought in action
CalPig: Yes, indeed. Putting thought into action is always the challenge, isn't it? Chattel slavery is most extreme, and therefore I am drawn to the idea. In reality I know what is possible, and being drawn to Superior power is most attractive.
Friday
DarkLordinChicago: Drawn but afraid?
CalPig: Yes, strongly drawn and afraid Sir.

The “urge” fights against the fear. Over and over again those two emotions struggle within a person’s heart. “Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t,” my mother would say.

There are, I would think, many reasons for this being so. First off, the status quo is always more comfortable than any anticipated change.

Secondly, there is a great fear of the unknown. “What does this mean? How will this end? Am I crazy? How will this work? Can it work?” are all challenges to the idea of fulfilling one’s fantasies, especially the dark, taboo, and outside the “normal” ones.

There’s also a fear of failure, that this idea just can’t work.

Mostly, though, it is the unknown.

As ChicagoObject wrote: "Was just re-reading your 'contract' and it always makes me feel like I am being drawn to the edge of a precipice."

I know it is hardly credible to say so, but ChicagoObject and I have been negotiating for nearly all of the last17 months.

For him, there is no “sight” to the bottom of that precipice. He feels blind as to what could happen, anxious to pin me down to every detail, while fearing that there is more to it than he can handle, more than he can learn and more than he can sanely survive.

Still he relentlessly pursues me.

An applicant whom I’ll call NYsubmissive says the same: “I’ve had homo-erotic fantasies and desires since my preteen years. These are becoming more frequent and stronger with age to the point of occasionally being obsessive and even disrupting my daily routine.  
            I will admit that the idea of total objectification builds in my mind and drives me crazy for days on end, but then becomes too scary and unreasonable. When I give in to the temptation to jerk off, it leaves, then slowly builds again, etc...”

That is the typical pattern. It is an emotional roller coaster of desire and repression, of embracing the fantasy and then running from it.

I should warn you about my “pop psychology” but it seems to me that this urge is, in fact, a critical part of what Carl Jung calls the “individuation” process. The following quote is summarized from http://www.schuelers.com/ChaosPsyche/part_1_27.htm

“Jung calls the main task that we face during the second half of our life the individuation process, an open-ended process of psychological maturity. It is a process of maturation in which the psyche ages or matures in much the same manner as the physical body. The general guidelines are summarized  as consisting of four parts:

“1.  Becoming conscious of the shadow. The shadow is our dark side, containing those things that we have repressed or ignored for one reason or another. It usually manifests to us in dreams as an archetypal figure who is dark and ominous. Just as the persona [conscious self or ego] is that part of us that we want to present to the world, so the shadow contains those things that we want to hide from the world, and from ourselves. This dark side of ourselves must be confronted and accepted, at least in part, as the first step in the individuation process.

“2.  Becoming conscious of our feminine and masculine sides.  The individuation process is, above everything else, a process of wholeness. This includes sexual completeness.

“3.  Becoming conscious of the archetypal spirit. The individuation process is primarily one of uniting opposites. In the first step, we unite good and evil and try to see ourselves as capable of both. Eastern religions often symbolize this with the lotus, which has its roots below in the dirty mud and its flower in the clean air above. In the second, we see ourselves as containing both masculine and feminine characteristics. Now we must unite matter and spirit, form and formlessness, body and psyche.

“4.  Becoming conscious of the Self. Jung called this final step self-realization- “We could therefore translate individuation as “coming to selfhood” or “self-realization” (Jung, 1977, p. 173).

“Jung’s (1978) individuation is similar, if not identical, to the self-actualization of Maslow (1968; 1971).”

The ego, fearing its destruction, resists the process of individuation, not wanting to surrender its control over to the unconscious Self. This inner struggle is manifest in the urge/fear interplay that my candidates feel. Rather than being destroyed, the process is meant to align ego and Self in a harmonious and productive relationship. Rather than being simply an inner conflict, It is a reasonable manifestation of the maturation of the psyche, a process that leads to wholeness, to the living a more authentic life.

In this context authenticity implies that one surrenders to the Self within, eschews, in some way, the pressures of society to conform, and embraces one’s uniqueness and individuality. Did you think that all we did in our dungeons was “play.” Now you see why my Old Guard forebears called it “work.”

As I wrote to NYsubmissive: “The task is to discern whether the impulse is authentic to your inner self or merely a jerk off fantasy. Only you can tell for certain. Discussion and experimentation can give you clues and ideas to reflect on.”

BDSM, as we practice it, provides us with safe, sane, and consensual environment in which to explore the urges we feel. Jung would note that not all unconscious desires need be fully lived, that ritual and theater can provide the psyche with soul-satisfying experience without destruction.

It is this ability to “explore” and “experiment” that teaches us what is authentic about us, what should be accepted and included in our lives, and what is mere never-to-be-real fantasy.

A blog is hardly the place to explore Jungian psychology and the maturation of the psyche, but here we are, struggling to let that fantasy come out, afraid of what it means for our lives.


Have a great week. Jack

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I am in the process of changing my delivery options. Please go to http://feeds.feedburner.com/blogspot/mQyjG and sign up to receive my weekly email via my blog site.

You can send me email at mrjackr@leathermail.com or visit my website at http://www.LeatherViews.com. You can also subscribe to my blog at LeatherMusings.blogspot.com. Copyright 2012 by Jack Rinella, all rights reserved.