Master Dale's Lifestyle Community Bulletin Board: Finding the definitions - Master Dale's Lifestyle Community Bulletin Board

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Finding the definitions A rose by any other name...

#1 User is offline   MasterDale Icon

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 06:36 AM

I am going to start one of those topics that are akin to skating on thin ice. It has to do with defining such things as Mentor, Dominant, submissive, Top, bottom, slave, Masochistic Princess, Protector, and so on. There are no universal definitions for any of these things, just as there are no exact formulas for a person to act so they can "fit" any of these labels. But there are definite attributes and behaviors that help define each of them. For the most part, people reading here on the Board are either trying to see how they fit within these labels and legitimize feelings they already have, or they are here trying to help those people figure those things out. I don't see how we can offer to Mentor people...or how people can come to us and ask for Mentoring...if we dont offer up some common language and some definitions that we can all be happy with. You already know that I have a problem with labeling people, especially early in their explorations. Yet, as people, we need these labels at times, even if they are only worn temporarily. They help us define ourselves, map out our goals, and help others relate to us more comfortably.

So, let's see if we can set some definitions for a list of terms. I think if you come up with a good definition for anything within our Lifestyle you should add it here....even if it is not a personal descriptor like "Master" or "slave". Maybe you have a great definition for masochism. Toss it in.

As we develop this thread, I will make a new pinned thread at the top of this Forum with our definitions. Hopefully, it will make it easier for people reading here to identify what it is they are looking for...or what they have to offer.

Thanks to all of you for reading and coming out of the woodwork to help with this very worthy endeavor.

M. Dale
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#2 User is offline   tiamet Icon

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 01:33 PM

I'm not going to touch the slave vs. submissive one just yet, nor SAMs and brats. Lets start with the easy ones and build up some goodwill before we go there...

Top, bottom, and switch define play orientations. Master, Dominant, slave, and submissive define D/s relationship orientations. That is a very important distinction.

There are a lot of different kinds of switches, so if that is how you identify I suggest you say I'm a switch and I <insert explanation here>, instead of just defining yourself by a one word label and letting others make incorrect assumptions. What does it mean to you to be a switch?

I am a Master (D/s orientation) and a switch (play orientation). I do not switch within my relationships, I do not switch casually at play parties. I have a small, safe circle of Tops who I occasionally bottom to in private. For a Top to make it onto that list they have to understand that I am not a submissive, and that our dynamic does not extend out of scene space. Complicated, isn't it?

I think we need to teach those we mentor to create complete descriptions of themselves using our lifestyle's labels, instead of trying to pigeon hole themselves into one specific label. Labels are there to assist dialog, not define our boundaries.

There are different kinds of Mentors, casual and formal. I have had many casual mentors that have heavily influenced my development. This basically applies to anyone with more experience than you who takes the time to answer your questions and guide you along the way. Formal mentorships are contractual relationships, usually begun with a petition from the student to the Mentor asking for help in learning specific things and offering service in return for that teaching.

Guardians and/or Protectors are individuals who assist you in entering personal relationships. If you are under guardianship then anyone who is interested in playing with you or entering a D/s dynamic with you must first talk to your Guardian. The Guardian will help you learn negotiation and screening skills until a) you meet the right partner or B) you become skilled enough to take care of yourself.
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#3 User is offline   SMF Icon

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 02:51 PM

View Posttiamet, on Jun 17 2008, 02:33 PM, said:

I am a Master (D/s orientation) and a switch (play orientation). I do not switch within my relationships, I do not switch casually at play parties. I have a small, safe circle of Tops who I occasionally bottom to in private. For a Top to make it onto that list they have to understand that I am not a submissive, and that our dynamic does not extend out of scene space. Complicated, isn't it?


Complicated, not really - you show both the usefulness and limitations of labels very nicely with one succinct definition about your self. Which is how I think all human interaction needs to be defined - a label followed by a series of definitions which refine the initial label. You've actually transmitted quite a lot of information in a few lines - important information about how you relate to others.

I really do not think that anyone can be defined by a single label - its too simplistic to transmit any significant information. On the other hand, a person can transmit a good deal of information in a dozen words or so.
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#4 User is offline   Michael's jewel Icon

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 08:16 AM

If we looked up masochistic princess in the dictionary, there would be a picture of me next to it. :-)


I will try to give some rough outlines of a definition for the words that I often us to describe myself.

power exchange relationship:

A relationship where the roles are outlined, discussed, and chosen. These forms of directed relationships can include at least two people and can include two or more. It is often also called an erotic power exchange relationship.
The exchange can be negotiated to be a set time span, as in a sadomasochist scene or session. Or it can be a complete exchange of power, this is often a Master/slave relationship where the slave partner has negotiated away their portion of the power, aka choice, within the relationship.

submissive partner:

The partner in a power exchange relationship who agrees to yield to the dominant partner. Mostly agrees. :fallenangel:

masochist:

A person who is wired to process stimulation that others often consider pain. This wiring is often tapped into during a sadomasochist scene/session to provide release, which may or may not be sexual in nature.

Mentor:

A person who offers thoughts, guidance or advice to another. Mentors usually enjoy helping others find their path, using the knowledge and/or experience that they have gained on their own path. This enjoyment is usually the main goal of a mentor to help and assist another, just knowing that they have helped another person. But not always. Mentorship relationships can be eloborate and well defined or they can be as fleeting as a sentence or two spoken. The advice given can also run along the lines of s and m skills or relationship advice.

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