As smart as I probably thought I was when I started exploring the lifestyle, I have since discovered I had much to learn. Before I forget all my hard earned lessons, I am jotting them here to keep them fresh, to remind me how far I’ve come, and how learning never stops.
- Sexy isn’t what “they” say it is. Sexy is confidence. Sexy is a smile. Sexy is being comfortable with your body. Or, at the least, not commenting on it and making someone else have to judge it. Being attractive is being attracted, or at least attentive, to another person;
- Being open regarding your interests in the bedroom or in play does not equal being intimate with your essence. Exposing your body does not mean your soul needs to be exposed. Be careful and protective with who you are;
- Never say “Never!” Hard limits should be respected, but be willing to look at why your limits are in place. Be sure you know what you’re saying “no” to and why. Be willing to try things more than one time, in more than one way, in more than one circumstance;
- Those that organize groups aren’t necessarily leaders. Those that lead, don’t necessarily organize. Neither is necessarily who is wisest, most deserving, or even the best person for the job. Sometimes leaders are assholes, abusers or just happened to be the right person at the right time. A group that rests on one person’s shoulders will often fail when the leader loses his/her head;
- Realize that the same word or action can have more than one meaning, depending on the person or situation. Is “pretty good” better or worse than good? Is “brat” an insult? What is the meaning of “sex”?;
- While it may seem smart to play along when a discussion goes into unfamiliar territory, it is often even smarter to keep quiet and learn, and wiser to ask well-placed questions. Those that talk the most don’t necessarily (often don’t) know the most;
- If you’re so focused on how you are serving, on making it “just right”, it can be all too easy to lose focus on who and why you are serving. Instead of being pleasing and selfless, it becomes showy and selfish;
- Unless you were there, you didn’t get the whole story. Even if you were there, you don’t know the whole truth;
- Even if you give up the authority in an authority transfer/power exchange relationship, you don’t get to abdicate responsibility. Ultimately, at the end of the day, you are still responsible to and for you;
- People can change – a lot sometimes, especially in conjunction to power exchange relationship. Sometimes they change even more after the end of a relationship. However, more often, people evolve and grow – not change;
- That said, don’t count on people to change. If you know a person to be a “scorpion”, don’t be surprised when s/he stings you.
- Some Dominants/subs/Masters/slaves/(insert term here) are bad/dangerous/assholes/trouble. Many more are just a bad fit for an individual(s). They’re not always the same thing;
- It’s usually not about you, even when it feels like it is. They’re not looking at, thinking or talking about you. And, if by some small chance they are, and if they are reacting in a negative way, remind yourself of Suess’s rule of “Those that matter don’t mind, and those that mind, don’t matter.”;
- Making mistakes doesn’t make you dumb. Being unable or unwilling to learn from them does;
- Learn your “deal breakers” (those things that you must / must not have for a relationship to be successful and enjoyable, especially if they cannot change). If they’re there, don’t continue to waste either partner’s time.
- There is a difference between wants and needs. Learn and accept your own. Wanting something realllly bad doesn’t make it into a need. Having a want doesn’t mean you’re selfish;
- Putting someone’s wants before yours doesn’t mean yours don’t matter. Putting yours first doesn’t mean you’re selfish;
- Just like in driving, looking backwards and beside you is sometimes necessary. However, keep in mind, the majority of your focus should be forward and on your lane;
- Be willing to safe word – in play, in life, in relationships. Sometimes, the pain is too much. Occasionally, what’s going on needs to stop, and sometimes, it needs to stop for good;
- For all the fun and information that can be gained online, nothing can replace real time experiences. (Not saying there is no value in online information or experience). Reading someone’s facial expressions in play, having conversations and meeting people – is generally more challenging and ultimately, more rewarding than graphic descriptions, emoticons and Skype. Be prepared: A cane or flogger strike really will hurt;
- Receiving pleasure can be a service, even for a submissive. Giving pleasure can be a dominant’s desire. Actions themselves are neither submissive nor dominant, but instead the intent and manner of giving them can be;
- Life’s not fair. Really. The good guys don’t always wear win, and the bad guys don’t always lose or wear black. And, yeah, that’s not fair;
- On the other hand, sometimes karma does handle payback to level things a bit. Don’t assume because you don’t see it, that it hasn’t or won’t happen;
- How someone acts is on them; how I choose to respond (or not) is on me;
- There is only “one true way”: It’s what works for you, and for your relationship(s). And, the “one true way” can, and likely will change with time.
More to come…