Power Taboos

feminist? Christian? Pagan? Athiest? Loving partner? Adult?...

if you let someone discipline you?

Well, I know that we *are* all of those things, or whatever else we define ourselves to be. But sometimes, we just need to check in with other people, and be reminded that we're not doing something bad or wrong.

Power Taboos

Postby Meg » Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:27 pm

This is sort of a response to several statements by W in a bunch of different threads....didn't really know which one to choose...so I figured that I would start a new thread.

I think what I value about this group (coming back to TTWD now) is that many of the tops came into it reluctantly. I have a heavy bias leaning twds this sort of dynamic- I tend to question the power dynamics and motives of couples that had dd initiated by the tops. In the time I've been with this board, I've been schooled, however, and have observed healthy patterns and disciplinary relationships where there is mutual respect and ownership over the care and ...


In an ideal world, I think that people would know who they were and what they wanted *before* entering into a long term relationship, and would enter into relationships with those with whom they were compatible....and all of these issues would be discussed prior to any commitment. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world. I think that it is just as hard to be a frustrated Top with a vanilla partner as it is to be a frustrated bottom...maybe more so. I think it is much easier to get a vanilla partner to spank you than to for the vanilla partner to let you spank them...and frankly, it is much less risky. Straight male Tops, in particular, need to be *very* careful...because, well, in any DV, or potential DV, situation with heterosexual couples, if the police are called...the man is almost certainly going to get arrested, even if the woman was the aggressor. Given this, any misunderstanding, even in a consensual DD or TTWD situation, could lead to an arrest for a male Top.

I think that in this day and age, power dynamics in relationships is one of the most taboo subjects...even more taboo than sex and money (although sex and money are often intertwined with relationship power dynamics). The more liberal and even mainstream think that any healthy relationship *must* be egalitarian, and the staunchly conservative folk adhere to man as Head of Household. The reality is that one size does not fit all...and these are issues that really need to be negotiated between partners. I was raised in a so called egalitarian household, where my mom and her partner fought constantly...and in supposed "equality" verbal abuse was rampant. Obsidian was raised by very traditional parents, where her father was at least nominally in charge...although it was more like in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the mother said, "Man may be the head of the household, but woman is the neck. She can turn the head anyway she wants too." lol. I was spanked only once or twice as a child...yet, I suffered much in the way of verbal abuse, while Obsidian has clear memories of being spanked, including once where her and her siblings all had to line up for a spanking (although, she does not remember what they all did for that to happen...:)) In my eyes, her upbringing was far more healthy than mine. Now, I am not saying that the traditional family is the way to go...just that inequality does not equate to abuse by any stretch of the imagination...no matter what the conventional wisdom is now.

There is a line in the musical Wicked that comes to mind in which the wizard sings that most people are ill at ease with moral ambiguities, "so we pretend that they do not exist." I think that is one of the reason it seems so much easier for the conservative DD folk in some way, because they can ignore all of the ambiguities and hard questions. It is much easier to focus on egalitarianism and whether spanking is ok, rather than the complicated issues of abuse and relationship dynamics.

I am not really sure where all of this is going...except, well I really appreciate the fact that Obsidian is willing to Top me...even though I am far from the easiest bottom to handle. Obsidian often says that I am two handfuls :pray: I also know that I don't often show that appreciation the way that I should. I know it is hard for her to come to terms with liking all of this...in some ways, it is harder for her than for me, I think, but I know that I really *want* her to enjoy it...if that makes sense.

Well, anyways... soapbox over...better get going. These are things I have thought about for a long time...and well, it is good to say them somewhere else...instead of always just talking Obsidian's ears off about all of this. :)
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Re: Power Taboos

Postby JigsawAnalogy » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:48 pm

amethyst wrote:Well, anyways... soapbox over...better get going. These are things I have thought about for a long time...and well, it is good to say them somewhere else...instead of always just talking Obsidian's ears off about all of this.


Feel free to post as much as you like. Heck, make yourself a blog if you want to have all of your various ramblings collected in one place (you can do it through the board if you don't want to bother getting one elsewhere, although there's now a kink-friendly blog host, too).

I think there are no easy answers and no one right way to do things. I was raised in a more-or-less traditional household setup where there was abuse going on--physical, verbal, and emotional. But I've seen traditional households where that isn't the case, and non-traditional households where it is. And so on and so forth. It's not the family structure that creates or lends itself to abuse (although I suspect that people forcing themselves into a structure that doesn't work for them are perhaps more likely to be abusive... something to think about in another post, maybe. This is more an observation that my mom was much happier when she divorced my stepfather and stopped trying to be a Good Christian Wife where "Christian" means "submissive.")

I also think that the benefit of TTWD is not so much in the power dynamics, in and of themselves, as in the work we put into making it work. It's all the communication and being honest with each other about what we need (and want) and being as clear as possible in our explanations, and paying attention to the power dynamics of our relationships. I'm not so much leery of tops who initiate as I am of couples that insist that starting TTWD saved them from having to do any more processing. But then, I'm a good lesbian feminist, and as such, I'm a firm believer in processing (just kidding. Kind of.)
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Re: Power Taboos

Postby Meg » Wed Feb 23, 2011 6:58 pm

It's not the family structure that creates or lends itself to abuse (although I suspect that people forcing themselves into a structure that doesn't work for them are perhaps more likely to be abusive... something to think about in another post, maybe. This is more an observation that my mom was much happier when she divorced my stepfather and stopped trying to be a Good Christian Wife where "Christian" means "submissive.")


Exactly!!!

I'm not so much leery of tops who initiate as I am of couples that insist that starting TTWD saved them from having to do any more processing.


Would that this were so...Obsidian would like that. She does not have a lot of attention span for processing...although she would say that I process all of the time, but that I can't help it, being raised by lesbian feminists...lol. I do have to say, though, that TTWD did *far* more for our relationship and relationship dynamics than years of therapy and 12 step groups. Of course, this could be in part because the power dynamics had been way off, and we fit together much better this way.

Btw, I'm seriously considering the blog idea.
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Re: Power Taboos

Postby W-Jigsaw'sBoss » Sat Mar 12, 2011 6:46 pm

Your quoting Wicked both made me super happy (I'm a musical theatre geek extroardinaire) and sad (the couple that I consider my first TTWD mentors- the First Ladies of TTWD- super into Wicked). I miss them.
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Re: Power Taboos

Postby Meg » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:28 pm

I am glad quoting Wicked made you happy...O and I are *way* into musical theater as well :)...but I have to admit, I have spent the entire week trying to figure out who you were talking about regarding the 1st Ladies of TTWD.

Then it dawned on me...well, I could have just ASKED. :lol: So...I guess I just did :).
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Re: Power Taboos

Postby W-Jigsaw'sBoss » Sat Apr 02, 2011 11:36 pm

LOL.

When we started this board, there was a couple who really helped me along my process of finding my power. I'm not completely there yet, but I don't think I could have made it this far without them. Super smart, eloquent women who taught me a lot about discipline. They've not been around for a while and I miss them a lot.
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