Monday, December 10, 2007

Experience

i am struggling with a theme... Experience.. it is so clear in my head .. but when i try and transfer the ideas from up there... to the screen down here ....... it gets all muddy. Stick with me folks and maybe it will all come together and make some sort of sense...........

How does one equate experience in this lifestyle?? i say i am experienced because i have been in the lifestyle for many years (15+ if you must know) ............ But if you add the years that i read about it .. fantasized about it..... gosh it would be over 30 years..... BUT do those years count???

It's a bit like being a teacher .. i say i have been a teacher most of my adult life.... but a goodly number of those years were spent in night school cramming courses into my thick skull......... and then a few years teaching but only part time.. i was under the impression that i had been at the same school for over 20 years .. but when it comes to seniority it turns out it has only been about 15 years (don't draw any comparisons here !! one has nothing to do with the other !) How did they come up with 15 years ?? A simple equation.. to work a full year - seniority wise - you had to work 35 hours a week X 4 weeks X 10 months.. in the beginning i only worked part time therefore i don't have the full 20 years.

Now does this equation - can this equation - be applied to the BDSM lifestyle as well.... do only the years that one is actually fully immersed in the lifestyle count towards seniority or experience??

If one is only "playing" at the lifestyle because of other commitments does it count as a full year?? Like my first years actually IN the lifestyle.. i would play maybe once - sometimes twice - a week and then return to my vanilla life... do those years count?? well yes of course they count.. but not as full years......... i can't have as much experience say as someone who was living the lifestyle 24/7 for all those years can i ??

Do you see my confusion?? (probably not .. i know i know.. some days i am as clear as mud ) ........ Am i lying (white lies count) if i say i have been in the lifestyle for 15+ years when truthfully it is probably half of that?? Can i claim to be an expert at anything when i compare myself to someone who has actually lived it for those number of years?? Who is the expert?? Who has the right to counsel newbies - them or me?? Who has the right to offer courses on any particular subject (from flogging to bondage to fire play) me or them??

Take a look at all those times i left the play session and returned to vanilla.. then i spent the rest of the time reading stories / blogs / journals on line....... fueling my imagination. Does that give me real time experience?? Or does it just give me a bunch of fairy tale fantasy stories to keep me warm at night.

Does any of that give me the right to dictate how BDSM should work?? especially if most of my so called experience comes from fantasy fairy tales.

i am working all this out in my addled lil brain....
why you ask??
because for me it is important....... to know where i stand.. where others stand.. who to believe and who to smile and nod at ......

Maybe tomorrow i will confuse you more with my thoughts on reality versus fantasy.... there is a big leap of faith from one to the other...... trust me - that i DO know about!!

4 comments:

luna said...

I believe experience levels can be defined by personal metrics. If you comfortably feel that you have 10 years experience then that's what you have. What really equates a full year anyhow? 24/7 living? Live in? Weekends only? Once in a blue moon? Exactly your question, and only you can really answer to how much experience you have. For example, I've been living with my Master for 3 years, but I played before that for a year and I was an online-only sub for a year before that. How much experience do I say I have? 4 years. I don't count the online exploration at all as experience; it was learning for me. I do however count the 9 months I played with people off an on (about 2 times a month or so) as part of my experience and so that is a year.

We'd really be in a deficit if we had to count only the times we were actively involved in some form of D/s since life does fluctuate between vanilla and other occasions. Someone with 15+ years in a relationship could be cut down to about 7 if you only added up the ACTIVE times you were involved. See? Experience level is whatever you feel comfortable saying you are.

I also don't believe that ANYone can be expert at anything. There is always more to learn and more to explore. One can be experienced in something though and I really believe that most self-prescribed experts are really just very experienced in one thing or another.

CLoud said...

I do not set limts as to who I take advice from. I listen to what they say and judge it on content. Newbies can have great ideas and old life stylers can learn new things. As to levels of experience I am sorry some thing come naturally to some others must learn it depends on the person I do not believe you can judge by number of years or experiences.

I believe confidence in what you do and how is important if you are confident in your abilities then you can and should pass them along to others so they can benefit from them Perhaps save them from errors.

One last comment some times 24/7 can develop into Ma and Pa kettle where everything has perfect order on Sat it is the whip and Mondays the paddle. I believe some chaos is need to stay alive.

Now if this is an introspective of your self then please offer away as I believe that you have a wonderful grasps of all sides of this lifestyle. Not all will accept everything you say as it might not be everyone cup of tea but if you offer them a taste they might just enjoy it and try more later.

Of course my opinion

Buffalo said...

Does it really matter? In many of life's venues experience means only that you have "survived." While one would hope experience brings increased knowledge and capability we all could cite examples that would demonstrate otherwise.

Is there a BD/SM life style? What defines it? The amount of time one spends involved with different aspects that are attributed to said lifestyle?

Is there really a right or wrong way?

swan said...

I wonder what you are wondering about...

I've never felt the need to present my "lifestyle" resume or credentials, and I am usually suspicious of people who do. That always smacks of "guru-ism" to me.

I am not an expert, and I'll be the first to admit it. I have learned a few things along the way, and if I can offer anything that someone finds helful or interesting, then I'm glad to share, and welcome to it. Others have helped me, and it seems appropriate to pass on the favor.

On the other hand, maybe you are wondering if we'd all be better off if we formalized the ways in which we taught people. That could be an interesting dialog.

swan