Definitions, Dammit

Dictionary entry for communication
Image by Megan (CC BY‑ND 2.0)

Argh. I’ve had it.

It’s time for some definitions.

Power = Ability to get what we want from others.

Wants: Most obvious ≠ most important.

Consent = The outcome of internal politics among our wants.

That’s how dominant bottoms and masochistic doms can exist. Our wants may not line up tidily with the stereotypes, but in a good scene we are all getting fulfilled. It’s just that your wants ≠ my wants.

And that’s what D/s is all about. I want ten different things before breakfast, and I want you to deny me some of them! Please don’t hurt me, please beat me, thank you [gasp] thank you. Consent isn’t just about any one of my wants. Otherwise, good grief, I’d be violating my own consent every time I obeyed my alarm clock.

Kink is a lot harder than getting up in the morning. And I think that’s why kinksters test saner than average. We are experts at conflict resolution between pain and pleasure, joy and fear, lust and taboo. I want to kiss your feet, I want to thank you for the privilege, and I don’t want regrets.

But stable politics takes work. When a nation is split down the middle like our heads, that’s when you get bloody civil war, e.g. Yugoslavia, Rwanda. Even America suffers from flip-flops between parties that don’t really want to honour each other’s international treaties – or can’t. In a kink consent context, this is traumatic for everybody, including ethical doms.

One solution, of course, is not to think too hard. But internal censorship is not the best means of achieving stability.

I like to think of all my wants sitting at a nice big round table listening to one another with transparency and compassion. They’re trying to give the Get Out Now and Regrets activists a real hearing, because sometimes they’re right.

But mostly they’re working on growing the Yes Please coalition. Because saying yes to the right person is what I want to do with whatever power I’ve got.


2 thoughts on “Definitions, Dammit”

  1. This is one of those delightful pieces of writing that just make you tingle. it’s short, articulate and just crammed with all sorts of deep thoughts. One thing struck me: Not thinking about certain things isn’t necessarily a form of self-censorship, is it? To me, we sometimes need to stop overthinking some aspects of our lives and just let things play out. Going with the feeling or just letting things happen can be the right answer.

    1. Thanks! And you make a great point that I’ll have to think about. Maybe going with the flow is letting one part of you have the floor for a good long speech? That’s also very important for self-understanding. I guess when I mentioned internal censorship, I was thinking more of the times when I’ve had misgivings and don’t want to face them and evaluate them. Does that make sense?

What do you think?