Master's post has gotten a lot of attention (thank you for everyone has visited from my blog/lj). In one of the comments left on his blog, someone made mention of the whole group think concept not necessarily being a good thing. The more I started thinking about Master's post the more I realized I had some issues to discuss about the whole group think mentality.
There are some sites that make D/s sound all romantic - hearts and flowers - and there are others that do the "there is only one way to do bdsm." Specifically I can think of 2 websites that are given to almost every new person out there when they ask for a good learning website. I never give them out because of the overly romantic hearts and flowers type notion of D/s they subscribe to. On one of the sites I do like some of the writings but the overall website is too over the top to me. Looking back I actually wished I had never found either of them when I was new as they did give me a skewed view of D/s: there is too much group think which did not correspond with how D/s has been in my life.
This doesn't just apply to those websites there are others communities,websites and discussion lists that also distort D/s and reality. They say they are all inclusive but in reality they aren't....they really want you to just fall into line of the group think. And I know I have backed away from communities and discussion lists because I don't conform to the group think mentality.
That concept really clouded me when I first started to pursue D/s actively...I started to think that the things I desired weren't the "right" way to do D/s. The most valuable learning tool --- instead of conforming to the group think mentality -- was learn about myself. I figured out what I really wanted, desired and needed from life and M/s. I thought about who I am as a person - not just in a BDSM sense but my moral and ethical beliefs, what movies do I like, what my political and spiritual beliefs are....I thought about my emotional baggage that needs to be worked on....I basically took a self inventory. And in the end that helped me more then any website, group, or discussion list figure out D/s that works for me.
I also think it is not a bad thing to discuss and share ideas with others. I know that sometimes when I having problems within my slavery....discussing it with others helps sort out my own feelings. Maybe even hearing what others have done in the similar situations will help me find my path in how to work those struggles out.
So the type of thing Master was talking about in his post was not so much that he doesn't know himself more like -- dominants struggle at times too...they are not perfect, they don't always make the right choices, they don't always lead with foresight....and "hey do others go through this and lets share and discuss it."
The Servants Retreat he refers in his post is....not like a meeting or an event or munch. It was a small group of submissives that basically discussed their baggage and issues that interfere with their submission and life and what they can do about it so that we are serving better. It was not group think, but it was sharing experiences. Master feels a Dominance Retreat should be out there too to discuss and share experience in the daily real world of M/s and D/s. So the Servants Retreat and the Dominants Retreat (now found out there is a Master's Retreat held yearly since Master's post) is much different then the stereotypical event, meeting or munch and not part of the group think and that there is only one way to do BDSM.
I know Master and many dominants do what they believe, want and desire - are strong and confident in themselves -- but it still doesn't mean they have all the answers or don't struggle. And just like everyone else in the world sometimes discussing that with others - like minded others - can be helpful and that is not a bad thing in my book.