Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mind Your Manners!!

When i was a kid growing up, Mom was a stickler for manners. Wash your hands before eating, no hats at the table or in the house, no fidgeting or interrupting when others were speaking, introduce guests and shake hands when one is introduced, and NEVER address someone you don't know by their first name. Mr. Mrs or Miss at all times. And even if you DO know them--use the proper and polite name until THEY signify otherwise. And even then...even if they were standing right there and telling you it was OK, i would still get the death glare. Why was she so hard on this? Because it showed that i was educated and polite. I was able to be respectful, show grace, and treat people as i would want to be treated. The bonus was that it cost me nothing and gained me respect from people in return. Something that i continued to strive for the rest of my adult life.

Why is this little anecdote important? Lately it has become one of those "issues" that annoy the ever lovin' poop out of me that O/our community has to argue about. Yup, I'm going to sound off here...getting out my soap box and while i will be polite (as always) i am annoyed so i will also be blunt.

Fellow submissives i can not understand for the life of me why it is so hard to address a Dominant (even one you don't know) with Sir or Miss. The only excuse for this i have heard is that "it gives them respect for a title they have not yet earned with me". POPPYCOCK! All it truly does is show that YOU have some intelligence and grace. Enough to be respectful. Just because i called my neighbor Miss Hanson doesn't mean i was now HER child. I was honoring my upbringing and showing my own dignity. And as for earning that much, don't we as submissives complain about the people who arbitrarily call us "girl and boy" or order us to kneel? They don't know us and automatically disrespect us.

Wake up. You are doing the same thing to this stranger. Yes i realize that a true Dominant must prove that title. But you didn't submit to them, give them any power over you or even offer to feed Their goldfish. All  you did was show them basic SELF respect. Not to mention a level of polite distance. If i were to yell out to my neighbor "Yo girlfriend what up??" when i hardly know her...this would rather imply that i knew her well enough to be so friendly. By addressing a person who enters the room with a Dominant title as Sir or Miss, i am putting that protective barrier around ME and giving them that respectful space. It is formal and polite..NOT submission or putting yourself beneath them. In fact Sir or Miss doesn't even GIVE them a title. Just basic respect. And we should be able to respect another person at the very least as a human being and give that respectful SPACE. You don't know them. DON'T call them by first name and imply that you do. Or that you have the right to. Further more, i always address strangers as Sir or Miss until they tell me otherwise. Even in RL...big surprise...Sir and Miss and Ma'am ..are all perfectly acceptable in the vanilla RL world. And i am not submitting to THEM either. I can't, with my upbringing, imagine referring to a stranger who walks into a room as "dude". "Thank You SIR" if this man holds the door for me at the BASIC MANNERS.

And i don't care if you are Gore, M/s, D/s or just plain giggleberry. Manners should not be optional. They should be required. A Dominant is required to respect the collar, show respect to other submissives they don't own, and can be very harshly judged when They don't. As submissives it is our OBLIGATION to give at LEAST that amount of respect back. I am owned. I can show that respect and still consider that Dominant my equal. I also believe that not having a collar is no excuse. They are still your equal until you submit...bottom line. The only thing you show when you DON'T use a polite greeting is that you are being too familiar and are clearly an ungraceful slob. And don't give me that horse hockey about "well submissives don't get that polite term". You're a submissive! It is what you signed up for! If you willingly and proudly display to the community that you are submissive, then why take offense when someone uses your given name and not a title? If you had wanted a title, then you would have chosen to be DOMINANT. Be happy and content that they are being polite when they use your name and not "yo slut" the first time they meet you.

Finally, for the Dominants who refuse to allow their submissives to address ANY other Dominant by polite greeting. First...clearly you are an ego maniac who thinks calling another Dominant "Sir" is stealing your spotlight. Second...consider what i just told submissives above and now consider that YOU are a reflected upon by their behavior. Wow..don't YOU just look hunky dory! Of course it is a Dominant's choice how to run their household. Just don't go cryin' in your boots when you don't get respect from others. You made it clear YOU didn't have any for anyone else either.

My final sub-stance: There are MILLIONS of IMPORTANT issues in O/our community. W/we should be focusing on THOSE. Manners should not have to be an issue at your age.

" The Balancing Act"

Recently we started a new support group at Solace of submission called Dom/me Nation. This had been a work in progress for several weeks now and we finally found a wonderful facilitator to head this project up in Master Ric Bechir. Master Ric was kind enough to offer his ale house on his Sos parcel as a meeting place.

Last Wednesday was our first meeting and I was thrilled with the results. It was attended by several Dominants whom I hold in high regard and respect. Master Merlin Swordthain, Miss Kaddan Yue, and Master Joss Mubble to name a few.

The most intruging thing to me was the fact that from the outside looking in, our households appear to be happy and effortless. Those of us who have households know that no household is on auto pilot and regardless of how healthy they seem, a lot of work is involved in keeping it that way. I am extremely proud of my girls, sarrah and alisha. They are wonderful women and have embraced their submissiveness while at the same time representing me honorably. The other Dominants in attendance are equally proud of their families.

So what was the common denominator at this discussion? It was the " Balancing Act" that we as Dominants struggle with on a daily basis. That is why I love this new discussion group. We all seem to have the same struggles, but because as Dominants we feel we should be "super heros" as it is not easy to talk about our challenges. How liberating it felt to finally open up to each other. It was amazing that after the initial "awkward" silence, once we got going on this topic it flowed like a river. As Dominants we instinctively take on challenges as that is what empowers us to be who we are daily, but what we all seem to do is take on more than we are prepared for. Being able to balance a household with respect to time, care, and growth goals for each submissive under our care leaves us feeling stretched out emotionally at times. We want to be everything for everyone at all times but this is not a realistic expectation. The gift we offer is the gift of our time and attention. With RL challenges in the mix it is easy to assume our submissives are on "auto pilot". The other factor is that submissives naturally tend to not burden us with issues if they sense we are overwhelmed. That is a wonderful quality for a sub mindset, but in fact keeping these burdens from us removes our power as the heads of the households. The decision as to what to do with burdens is OUR decision and our households must trust that the decisions we make will benefit the entire household.

In order to balance our time and energy it is necessary for us to withdraw into ourselves. Not because we want avoid the issues, but because is it natural for us to absorb, process, and decide. That may require having to spend extra time with a submissive who is needing specialized care to acheive his/her goals. Should the decision to spend extra time be of concern for siblings within the houshold? You would think that there is enough trust and respect built that our decision to spend extra time with a submissive in need would be understood. In most cases it is understood, but that does not mean that it is an easy pill to swallow. I asked a question the other day during a discussion to the subs/slaves in attendance...." Do you want to be the sub/slave within the household that needs your Dominant's constant attention with issues? Or do you want to be the one he/she comes to for peace and tranquility?" Looking at it through that standpoint gives peace when faced with feeling a lack of time is an issue.

Admittedly, we Dominants can have "tunnel vision" and there are times when we missed the signals being sent out. At least I know that is true in my case as I strive to hold myself accountable to my core values. Thankfully, I have learned from the Dom/me Nation support group is that I do not have to internalize my challenges. I can lay these burdens out to my fellow brothers and sisters in this community. We are also benefiting from the fact that as a group we can hold eachother accountable for decisions that have caused issues within households. That way we can learn to balance our lives in a healthy way and become better each day as we take this journey together.