Open Your Mouth, Jackass!

No, this isn’t a post about piss play or strap-ons.

It’s a post about peoples’ dumbitude.

Lots of people out there have an interest in some facet of bdsm, and they’re not quite sure how to tell their partners.  So they post online asking for advice on how to broach the subject.  No problem so far.

Then lots of people end up saying things like, “You should buy this book and give it to her”, or, “Show her this website; it’s got everything she needs to know.”

I’ve got no problem with people learning and using various resources to further themselves in some way.  But why not, you know, communicate?  Aren’t you in a relationship?  Don’t you talk to each other?

Handing someone a book or link and then running away is a timid way to handle the situation.

Plus, they’re other peoples’ words.  This is a problem on two fronts.  First, it’s very impersonal.  It doesn’t come from you. It comes from some shmo who doesn’t know either of you, who doesn’t know a thing about your relationship.  Second, those words are only true for the person who wrote them; your relationship, your interests, and your limits are different than the author’s.

It’s important to develop your own style of bdsm.  We all have our own flavor.  Reading books, going to demos, and checking out websites can all be part of learning what’s out there.  But they’re not a substitute for thinking for yourself.  Handing someone a prepackaged bundle of words comes across as cold and scripted.  It leaves little room for the recipient to feel out his or her own way of doing things.  Plus, it adds pressure, which is very un-sexy.  Not only that, but what if the recipient has a question?  They can’t ask the book, and since you’re obviously not willing to talk, they can’t ask you either.  Making someone feel alone and pressured isn’t real conducive to open-minded exploration.

Instead of just trying to hand someone a book, why not take the time to think about why you want to do whatever it is, and then talk about it?  Use your words to explain why it appeals to you and what you think she might enjoy about it.  Yes, it actually involves a little effort, but it’s more personal, more accurate, and more likely to get the other person interested.

2 Responses to “Open Your Mouth, Jackass!”

  1. Tom Allen Says:

    Ooooh. I’ve got a problem with this line of thinking: I suspect that most of the people who are able to communicate well are doing so; it’s the people who aren’t particularly good at it who seem to point to websites and books.

    Frankly, a few books and websites were of a lot of help to me a few years ago when my own words just didn’t seem to be working. The books helped me re-frame what I wanted to say, and at the same time, having Mrs. Edge read one allowed her to go at her own pace and feel less pressured and stressed by our conversations.

  2. pureliquidkink Says:

    I suspect that most of the people who are able to communicate well are doing so; it’s the people who aren’t particularly good at it who seem to point to websites and books.

    That’s part of the problem- if a couple isn’t good at communicating, how are they going to handle any aspects of bdsm when things go wrong, go too far, or just aren’t as they imagined? For the most part, bdsm requires bilateral communication, and not just in the beginning. A book or site might get people started, but if they still aren’t communicating at that point, there will be problems. Once you get the engine started, you need to be able to keep it running.

    Reading other peoples’ words can be enriching and helpful. As you said, they can help clarify your own thoughts, or even give you ideas that you never would’ve come up with on your own. My problem with it comes in when people use outside sources as a substitute for their own thoughts without making much individual effort to share their own ideas, interests, and fantasies.

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