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Intolerance

June 19th, 2007

When I first met Master and was introduced to [[BDSM]], I loved the BDSM community.  I fit right in.  I was younger than most but we had similar attitudes.  I had my BDSM bible firmly implanted in my skull and anyone whose opinion differed from mine was obviously either stupid or abused accordingly.  Luckily, the majority of my opinions coincided with the people we chose to spend time with.  How could they not? Weren’t they, as Master, the group of peers I’d chosen for my mentors?

I felt threatened by people who spoke out against my opinions.  Scathed by those who pointed out that I was wrong, overbearing, or just plain ignorant.  And I preached better than any evangelist you’ve ever seen about “the way things are™”. Always covering it up with a calculated “Of course, this is the way things are with us.  Things with you may be different.”  making it obvious I believed that “different” == “wrong”.  And I lashed out with snide comments, insulting inferences and a good deal of sarcasm.

Then, suddenly, things began to change for me.  I started learning what it meant to be in a relationship with a man like Master.  I began to understand the kind of relationship He needed.  And I did a little soul-searching and found that I, too, needed the kind of relationship He desired.  Craved it.  Burned for it.  And just like that, my opinions began to change.

It was like having a blindfold ripped from my eyes only to find that I was standing in darkness all along.  I flitted from friend to friend with my new-found happiness and strange new thoughts, feelings and opinions and they no longer accepted me.  I couldn’t be part of their club anymore.  In their mind, I had joined the clubs of the stupid and abused.

I still approached my opinions, when discussing them with others, as gospel.  My way is the only way and if you can’t hack it you’re just not as much of a slave as I am.  I was one of those people I, now, cannot stand.  I couldn’t have a debate over anything BDSM without resorting to name calling, arrogance, preaching.

I don’t remember what changed.  I think Master pointed out how silly and arrogant and un-slave-like I was being.  And maybe I grew up a little? Who knows? In any case, I “saw the error of my ways” and began putting my best effort into learning how to debate without being overbearing, how to discuss without attempting to force my opinion on people, how to stop seeing things in black and white and recognize the gray in between.  And by the gods, I learned how to answer a friggin question without attacking the asker, even if I thought, for whatever reason, that they were a complete idiot. 

With these new tidbits of knowledge, this new found maturity, I decided to venture once more into the BDSM community, determined to find people like me: people who could have a conversation without resorting to childish behavior when faced with adversity to appeal to my curious side and people who had the same kinds of relationships as Master and I, or at least similar, to appeal to the side of me who enjoys being surrounded with like-minded people.  Not having the attention span to sit and scan through endless amounts of forum threads all day, every day, I post occasionally to sites such as Bondage and SlaveFarm (and am continually searching for more with the interest of broadening my horizons).  Usually in response to something someone else has already started but sometimes I start my own threads.

Even in a community that preaches tolerance, I’m constantly pulling back my hand mere millimeters before having it chomped off.  It never fails.  I start posting with the intent of enjoying a discussion and I end up walking away as jaded and disillusioned as the people who poke holes in my sails.

Maybe people completely miss the point? And I know plenty of people have mistaken my interest in starting a discussion for asking for advice.  What frustrates me the most are those who take someone putting themselves out there as their open-ended invitation to ridicule or insult them.  Is it really that difficult just to discuss how things go in your life? And if so, then why not avoid discussions altogether, rather than be a dark cloud over an otherwise enjoyable discussion?

Anyway… It’s depressing.

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