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Reality or Illusion?

May 21st, 2009

There’s a discussion on FetLife about whether our slavery is real or an illusion. It’s getting pretty heated because people in these relationships tend take offense to the slightest hint that what they’re doing might be make believe. And I’m reminded of the timeless quote, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Hamlet Act 3, scene 2, 222-–230

Here’s my thing.

While I’m sure we’d all love for society to accept our way of life, the vocal majority still maintains that we’re fucked in the head and need to be saved from ourselves. Sadists and masochists. Masters and slaves. Dominants and submissives. We live the way we do, enjoy the things we do because we’re not wired right.

Forget that the shrinks have all finally taken sadomasochism of the mental illness list. That was only the first step.

In most places, society still hasn’t taken the next step. And that would be making consent a defense in cases of women who claim abuse after begging to be beaten.

I understand why. Even among ourselves we have trouble qualifying what is considered abuse in these relationships. We can’t agree on where to draw the line and when to pour the cement. And that makes it ridiculously easy for a top to say “Well, she consented to this. I’m not abusing her.” whether he’s overstepped his bounds or not.

How can the government, in good conscience, make consent a defense without specific guidelines as to what is “too much” in a relationship like this?

To the vocal majority, our relationships are role play. And, in a sense, they’re right. While it’s not a game, it is very much two or more people taking on roles they wouldn’t normally live. Not because they don’t want to or can’t. But because that’s not how society works. It’s not society’s reality.

Does this make our relationships illusions? In society’s reality, yes. Because, as Kaya said in her comment on Fet, the minute the wrong cop overhears you saying “I’m a slave.” you’ll be extracted from that relationship whether you want to be or not. And suddenly, it’s not real anymore.

It’s very real to those of us in these relationships. To those of us who have rules we have to follow, even if they’re just “Submit or leave.” To those of us who are punished and tortured and treated like objects. And to those of us who wield the whip and control. We live it. It’s who we are. It’s in our blood and our hearts and our souls.

But when it comes right down to it, our reality is an illusion. One that we can be violently shaken from should the wrong person find out about how we live.

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