Lord Colm's Discussion on
"Mutual Respect in a D/s Relationship"

#Ithaka_Bound / DalNet / Mon Mar 10 21:07 EST 1997
(Channel creator and host is RTSade)


(LordColm) Good evening, and welcome to tonight's discussion. I am Lord Colm, whom most of you know. I will be speaking on the topic of "Mutual Respect on a D/s Relationship."
(LordColm) My hope is that, by the end of this discussion, you will understand that D/s relationships exist on two very distinct levels simultaneously. Equality and inequality. I'll explain that shortly.
(LordColm) First, let me explain the perspective from which I speak: I am a natural dominant, a lifestyler, for whom D/s is not merely a means to enhance bedroom encounters, but a way of life.
(LordColm) Loving D/s within the framework of a monogamous relationship where our dominance and submission are natural expressions of our fundamental characters, based on deep affection and friendship.
(LordColm) Having said that, I'll move to the topic at hand.
(LordColm) I chose this topic because it is something which is very near to me. In the time that I've been exploring and developing my dominance, I've encountered many different types of people and attitudes.
(LordColm) From this exposure, I quickly realized that, for me, to fully self-actualize, I needed two seemingly contradictory things:
(LordColm) A partner who was confident, successful, self-assured, and aware of her own sexuality as well as someone who would love me unconditionally, surrender her personal power to me, and submit to my will.
(LordColm) What I didn't understand then was that these traits are not automatically mutually exclusive, but could co-exist as two sides of a coin.
(LordColm) I wanted someone who was my equal in all things, but could find joy and contentment in a relationship of unequal power. This is the "unequal equality" to which I alluded earlier.
(LordColm) As a novice, I did my best to learn from the example of others. I observed the attitudes and behaviors, measuring them against what I knew that I felt, discarding those that did not fit and incorporating those that did.
(LordColm) And one very distinct schism that I noted was that there are dominants and submissives who, while they may enjoy the play, have little, if any, respect for their partner.
(LordColm) This to me was, and still is, incomprehensible. Since I wouldn't enter into even a vanilla relationship without someone whom I respected, I could not understand doing so in this lifestyle, which, by all rights, is much more intense--physically, emotionally, and sexually.
(LordColm) What I see is a tendency by some dominants to dismiss submissives as a whole as somehow beneath them. Their egos feed off of submissive gestures without ever considering that behind the soft smile,
(LordColm) Behind those demure eyes is a person. Someone, perhaps, with an IQ of 160, a CEO, capable of possessing opinions and probably even having experiences which, if only asked, would be of tremendous benefit.
(LordColm) Being submissive does not equate to being ignorant, an air-head, or a doormat. While they have a need to submit, they also have a need, just as dominants, to be recognized for their own self-worth...
(LordColm) ...their artistic abilities, creativity, problem-solving skills; their need to succeed.
(LordColm) We dominants tend to forget this, especially when dealing with submissives who are not our partners. Often, submissive behavior engenders in us feelings of "fatherliness" and we default to the parent/child roles.
(LordColm) In many contexts, this is appropriate. Submissives may need that fatherly figure to care for them, make the bad things go away with a tender hug and soft whispers about how things will be alright.
(LordColm) But outside of that, it becomes condescending. It is easy for us to look down from our thrones of dominance at the precious submissive sitting below us and forget that they are not children whom we need to treat as not yet having the facilities to comprehend.
(LordColm) I've often heard submissives express dismay at how they receive this attitude. Their opinions and concerns are dismissed as inconsequential, receiving instead the verbal, if not actual, equivalent of a pat on the head and a dismissive word.
(LordColm) Far too many submissives do not feel comfortable addressing a problem or need left unfulfilled for fear of being not "submissive" enough or worse, being reprimanded for inappropriate behavior.
(LordColm) This does not promote the growth of a submissive, but inhibits. Dominants, think about how you would feel if, by word or deed, you were made to feel insignificant, of no consequence, that your opinions were worthless.
(LordColm) An unfair comparison, perhaps, but, human nature being what it is, we all need to feel like we are valued, and not just for the perfection of our kneeling posture. Within a scene, there may be times when this works. But when the toys are hung on their pegs...
(LordColm) ..and the clamps are returned to their storage place, this attitude loses its appeal.
(LordColm) Certainly I acknowledge that there are many different needs and practices in this lifestyle and I am not disparaging those who mutually agree to such relationship dynamics. If it works for them and fosters personal growth, hallelujah!
(LordColm) But outside of those, we dominants could be, need to be, more conscious of the way we interact with submissives. We can be dominant without being arrogant. Respect is earned, not automatic.
(LordColm) We can be true to our natures without condescending. Perhaps a better approach is to realize that we, mighty and all-knowing as we are, can learn something from each person we encounter, even in a teacher/student relationship.
(LordColm) Jay Wiseman, in SM101, advises: (paraphrased)
(LordColm) Within your relationships, realize that few people can sustain a dominant or submissive role for long periods of time. At some point, the need for personal intimacy, the need to associate with our peers, to come out of role and relate on equal, more intimate terms arises.
(LordColm) And this intimacy must be between equals, without roles or conditions. It must be freely and willingly given. You can no more demand it than you can demand love.
(LordColm) It is this loving intimacy between equals that is the essence and lifeblood of most romantic relationships.
(LordColm) No highly structured dominant/submissive relationship, and no exotic sexual activity, can ever replace or substitute for a mutually loving, intimate relationship. (end paraphrase)
(LordColm) Without mutual respect, this goal, if you accept that it is your goal, can never be realized. Eventually, a lack of respect on either person's part will likely lead to a dissolution. What incentive is there to remain when needs are left unfulfilled?
(LordColm) In my definition, D/s relationships are some of the most intimate, loving, and natural ones that can exist. They should promote the emotional growth of both, be satisfying on all levels, including intellectually.
(LordColm) It should encourage open, honest communication. And it is the dominant's responsibility to establish that atmosphere by relating to submissives as equal in all but the degree of power they hold.
(LordColm) And that power can only be given to you by another; it cannot be forced (remember the "consensuality" aspect of the SSC credo?). Unless a submissive gives you that power, all you have is control over yourself.
(LordColm) Submissives, don't assume that you are somehow less than deserving of respect. Don't perpetuate this notion in your actions. You can remain submissive and respectful without being rude...
(LordColm) ...or tolerating disrespect on the part of any dominant. Your worth is as least as important as the dominant's. After all, without a submissive, whom shall a dominant dominate?
(LordColm) I thank you for bearing with me in this monologue and appreciate the opportunity to express my views in this forum.
(LordColm) In the time remaining, I'd like to solicit your thoughts and comments on what I've presented.
* jade{LC} smiles proudly
(Guest 1) Very well spoken LordColm... my compliments!
* LordColm glances at his watch and smiles...stepping to the side of the podium and exhaling in relief.
(Guest 2) May I be the 1st to say.... well said
(Guest 2) guess I wasn't 1st... LOL
(Guest 3) Very well said LordColm....
(LordColm) Thank you, Guest 1, Guest 2, for those kind words...
(Guest 4) Bravo, LordColm
* advena applause
* a guest clapping to LordColm
(Guest 5) that was wonderfully worded LordColm
* LordColm smiles warmly and nods in appreciation.
(Guest 2) As you spoke I reflected on my own relationship with my pet.... one who I have a deep and abiding respect for
* jade{LC} hands Master a glass of ice water and smiles

* LordColm grins and gratefully accepts the drink with a lingering touch.

(Guest 3) I think that your words were touching to those of us who have that special relationship with our partners.....
(RTSade) Quite well said Lord Colm
(Guest 3) and an inspiration to those who might be searching...:)
(Guest 1) quite so Guest 3
(LordColm) Thank you. It was my goal to inject a bit of reality into the fantasy...
(jade{LC} I think many submissives begin to harbor resentment when they are never taken seriously
(LordColm) It is something that I have noticed, too, pet
(LordColm) It had to be brought to my attention, but there it was....something that I'd overlooked.
(jade{LC} I think all of us have been placed in positions where we've had to be problem solvers or answer-givers, then been patted on the head and dismissed like a child
(RTSade) jade a question for you
(jade{LC}) yes, Sir?
(RTSade) If you find yourself in a situation where you feel you are resentful of the treatment of yourself by a Dom/me (any Dom not necessarily your Master)
(RTSade) How would you feel it appropriate to inform Him /Her of your feelings so as not to tarnish your self image
(RTSade) Hypothetical
(jade{LC}) I'd find it very difficult, Sir...With my Master I could ask permission to speak my heart and I know it would likely be permitted and that He would listen and weigh what I'd said carefully....I don't feel safe to do that with other dominants.
(Guest 6) In my opinion....it is only my Master that I would be afraid of offending.
(RTSade) Ahh but the feeling is still there at times yes?
(jade{LC}) yes, Sir, it is there at times
(Guest 6) I am never afraid to speak with Him of my feelings.
(jade{LC}) RTSade, Sir...may I give you a brief example?
(RTSade) Yes jade please do
(jade{LC}) Master and I both worked hard at creating our website...but when other dominants commented on the site, it was never even considered that I had done any of the creative work...it was assumed that it was all done by my Master.
(jade{LC}) I felt safe to talk to Him about how I felt about this...but I would NEVER have said that to another dominant.
(jade{LC}) I've seen it with other D/s couples too....the submissive sits there and is never asked her/his opinion on anything...
(RTSade) I have seen it as well jade and it is not a good representation of D/s
(Guest 2) The couples I know have no such relationship.....
(RTSade) I have always viewed D/s as a Master student relationship
(Guest 2) tho, my own pet might appear so as she is a quiet person
(RTSade) Well maybe not always :^)
(jade{LC}) I saw this when I was being trained...the same thing...when play time was over, the dominants sat and had discussions...the submissives sat in the shadows or were dismissed
(jade{LC}) most of us do not desire the spotlight...but we do have valid thoughts and ideas...sometimes we even know more about a subject than the dominants might...but seldom do they ask us
(RTSade) How true jade how true
(Guest 2) perhaps I have a skewed perspective.... the group I associate with has more unattached female submissives then anyone else...
(jade{LC}) I depend on my Master to be my voice...but what of unclaimed submissives? Who speaks for them?
(Guest 2) so they are not shy to speak there minds
* advena smiles
(Guest 2) Advena knows the group I speak of... LOL
* advena would never think "shy" for that group
(jade{LC}) when I was unattached, Guest 2, Sir...I was painfully shy in a group of dominants
(jade{LC}) it was VERY hard for me to speak up..in fact I can't remember ever doing it
(Guest 2) I would think most submissives would be if all that were about were Dominants.....
(jade{LC}) Sir, it wasn't that everyone there were dominants...it was just that the only ones who spoke were dominant
(Guest 2) I see... that is too bad....
(jade{LC}) it is far too common, Sir
(Guest 2) I have not seen much of such encounters, in the places I frequent, it seems the subs are more vocal then the Doms
(jade{LC}) in the party scene it might not be true...but in the formal arena it is VERY true
(jade{LC}) and that is all part of the formality...but if this extends to the submissive's relationship with his/her dominant then I see that it could be a major problem
(Guest 2) perhaps we are too casual out here in (state omitted)
(LordColm) I have noticed that it is rather common online, as well.
(LordColm) I'd like to ask the other submissives here if they've experienced these things as jade has.
(Guest 4) yes LordColm, i have as well
(Guest 4) but i differ in one area, i am perhaps more vocal
(Guest 4) and being in the presence of Dominants does not intimidate me in the least, i am usually quite in awe and enthralled...thus i have questions, thus i am vocal
(LordColm) How would you handle a situation described by RTSade, Guest 4?
(Guest 4) mmmmm please tell me what the question was again Sir
(at this point LordColm repeats RTSade's question by copying and pasting it to the channel)
(Guest 4) As diplomatically as i possibly could, i would let the gentleman know that i had some feelings on his verbalization or treatment and i would simply speak my mind
(Guest 4) it goes back to your words LordColm....
(Guest 4) respect is earned!
(jade{LC}) Guest 4, if you feel your opinions are not being given validation would you speak up?
(RTSade) Congratulations Guest 4
(Guest 4) no, i wouldn't , i would say something one time...and that would be all, if i was not 'heard' i would evaluate the person not hearing differently
(jade{LC}) or if the discussion is going on and you are not asked for an opinion, would you interject it anyway?
(Guest 4) thank you RTSade Sir
(Guest 4) jade, that would depend on the circumstances of course....however
(jade{LC}) most of the time I feel that it's not a deliberate act...it's more of an accepted attitude
(Guest 4) if i were an issue that i felt extremely vital about, perhaps i would say something
(RTSade) It is fair to interject with an opinion as long as done in a manner that is tactful and above and beyond reproach
(LordColm) I'm speaking in more general terms...not a specific act of rudeness..more like...just being generally ignored, as if you didn't exist.
(LordColm) Or when you do say something, having it politely dismissed.
* Guest 2 has not seen such an attitude amongst Dominants... perhaps I have just been lucky... or perhaps I am just not seeing it....
(jade{LC}) I've seen it happen on this channel more than once
(jade{LC}) a submissive asks a question and is all but ignored...it's not intentional...it just is
(LordColm) I have noticed that most who do this aren't even aware of it, which is why I desired to point it out.
* Guest 2 examining his own behavior now... LOL
(LordColm) Perhaps promote a bit of introspection and self-evaluation.
(Guest 2) LOL... guess it worked on me LC
(LordColm) I didn't realize that I had been guilty of it until it was pointed out to me.
* Guest 2 will ask for feedback from the submissive he knows... see if I am guilty of such conduct
(LordColm) Well, at the very least, we did fill an hour with stimulating discussion.
(jade{LC}) I asked Master a question one day...When did You ever ask a submissive for their opinion?
(jade{LC}) other than me, that is
(Guest 4) is waiting to hear the answer to jade's question
(LordColm) Oh..my answer...
(LordColm) Well, the answer was,
(Guest 4) yes Lord, that's what i am waiting for
(LordColm) I paused, thought about it...and realized that I couldn't think of any specific instance that I had...other than to elicit an anticipated response...
(LordColm) And, because I couldn't, it told me something very clearly..
(LordColm) That I was doing exactly those things..
(RTSade) Thank You Lord Colm for Your valuable dissertation.. I can only hope that it was well received by all.
(LordColm) It was my pleasure, RTSade. Thank you again for the opportunity to share my views.
(guests begin leaving and farewells and hugs fill the screen)
(jade{LC}) You were wonderful, Master...
(LordColm) Aww..thank you, pet.
(jade{LC}) not that I'm biased or anything, Sir..
* advena giggles
* LordColm settles comfortably in his chair and rests his hand on his pet's shoulder..."Noo, not biased at all, are you?"

(In order to protect the anonymity of guests attending discussions in #Ithaka_Bound, all references to and comments made by some guest were omitted. Other guests are referred to by a number and their comments included.)