baked-beansI read something yesterday which annoyed me.  I know that probably I should leave it but then again I have a blog so if I want to rant about something then I have an outlet to do it. Warning – if you are not in the mood for a random rant then please look away now. I really think that I am quite an open-minded person and I am open to people having the views that they do. If they don’t marry up with mine then that is fine. If someone wants to talk complete and utter bollocks then why should it bother me? And yet every once in a while that is exactly what happens. Someone gets my goat with their nonsense and I just want to tell them to get a grip. If there are two types of people who annoy me is it those who are arrogant and those who are fake.

What has rattled my cage this time? It is the growing arrogance and continued claims of someone that they have actually invented D/s within a married relationship.  D/s has been around for centuries so it is nothing new, no matter how you choose to package it.  It’s many faces and appearances relate to the different ways it has been practised and the people from the variety of cultures and ages who have practised it over time. In my opinion, to lay claim over something with roots so clearly embedded in human nature is not only arrogance in the extreme but is also ignorance in an equal measure.

I do understand marketing of course and I know that if you take a tin of baked beans and re-package and re-label them into something which will appeal to your target audience then there are some who will be drawn in.  Perhaps they prefer the look of this new can, or they identify with the other people who also use this particular brand, or they like the size of a more compact tin. But at the end of the day inside it still contains baked beans and so you cannot say that you invented the baked bean itself, just because you have re-branded it in an effort to make money.  The elements will remain the same. It is essentially a haricot bean, in a tomato sauce, in a tin. If the target audience it different to those of the neighbouring baked bean manufacturer then that does not alter the product, it only alters those buying it.

In life there are so many different personalities and appearances and styles that it is healthy to have lots of different options to choose from. It makes for a competitive market place and is ultimately better for the consumer, so I really have no issue with offering an option. Being able to find something or someone who will cater for these little differences in life are what gives us the feeling that we fit and that ultimately we have something which meets our needs. So my beef is not with the packaging it is with the claims on the tin. Which brings me to the claims which are making me mad.

The first is the statement that this new type of D/s is different to the ‘old type’ which is referred to as ‘the dirty gritty in the basement style where anything and ANYONE goes’. Where ‘The Dominant makes the rules and the submissive really does not have much to say about it.’ Hmmmm.  I happen to know for a fact that there has been D/s going on for a while amongst married couples who do not use a basement and do not go with just anyone. In fact some go only with each other. In addition to this, most actually have arrangements which mean that the submissive does have a say. This claim is based on using a stereotype which is one that many over the years who participate on our alternative lifestyle have fought hard against.

It is not only arrogant but also very inappropriate to use such a stereotype. To lay such bold claims in this sort of way without evidence and research to support them is surely libellous? To me it actually smacks of insecurity and fear. It sends the message that the speaker is too afraid to be honest as they know that really they are selling nothing. It could well be that what we have here is a case of The Emperors New Clothes.  I assume that money must be behind their decision to risk alienating themselves from everyone else who is practising D/s. But what may have been designed to be seen as exclusive can also be seen as being almost cultish in the advocating of such a narrow and rigid view. I wonder if what was possibly intended as a marketing ploy could lead to something much more serious as these are many sets of toes to tread on down in that gritty old basement!

As I read on I learn that they ‘are the founders and creators of the D/s-M dynamics and methods.’ Is this different to the D/s that the rest of us are practising I hear you ask? What are these amazing new methods and dynamics?  It seems that they are actually the foundations that many of us use to create a healthy relationship; respect, honesty, communication and trust. And of course there are the rules and rituals that you have to help you to create the structure of your power exchange. What’s that you say? (cue a mumble from the basement).  You do that too? Well what a coincidence, so do we!

I do see crazy in life. And I do know that it is better to simply walk on by and just not get involved but in a world with freedom of speech when one can lay the claims that one wants, there is sometimes little to act as a control.  So I have hummed and have hawed and come to the conclusion that sometimes it is right to challenge other people’s ideas. That seems healthy and as a writer myself I would expect nothing less. I read blogs and reference material and I also read fiction and I like to offer an opinion where I have one.  I am also open to receiving the views and ideas of others, for that is how we learn.

I don’t mean to have a go for the sake of it but I do think that if you are going to write something extreme then you leave yourself open to being challenged.  A bit like the emperor, if you surround yourself with people who won’t actually tell you the truth, then you risk not being able to see it yourself. So I will be that little boy on this occasion and say to the crowd – WHAT? My experience of the D/s community has been more based online than off although I know a lot of people who are part of both worlds. From what I have seen so far, the majority are people who want to help and share with others for no profit to themselves other than the satisfaction of passing on their knowledge and experience of something which is a shared interest. There will always be exceptions to this of course, but I know that I would rather stand with the majority and be counted as part of an accepting, diverse and inclusive group who are honest and real.