If you say talk about BDSM to most people they would immediately assume that you’re talking about a physically restraint, a real set of shackles, rope cutting into flesh. That isn’t always the way of it. Real practitioners of BDSM will tell you that alongside the physical is the mental, at least as important and as you become more familiar with the scene the psychological aspect becomes paramount.
That’s not to say that we’re into BDSM, we’re pretty vanilla. However it struck me tonight that all real relationships have a form of BDSM in them. It’s the constraints placed upon you by the act of loving another person.
I’m devoted to Suze, sometimes this takes the form of doing things I know she likes, and at other times it involves doing and saying things that she will find uncomfortable or objectionable. I don’t like doing anything that will make her feel uncomfortable, but sometimes I know that I need to.
Take this as a truly perverse example. Suze is her own worst critic. It’s not that she’s lacking in confidence, but she’s always been one to doubt herself. It’s a good thing because it avoids you becoming conceited. Yet it can hold her back. She produces some great pieces of writing, reviews and stories, yet still she will not accept compliments from me about it. This isn’t a false humility, it’s genuine modesty.
The problem is I find it frustrating and when I see her doubting herself it can cause arguments because I want her to believe in herself far more than she does. Bringing such an argument on yourself is a source of great pain to me because not only is there conflict where there need not be, but also in a weird way my insistence that she acknowledges her own abilities is the source of the conflict.
I have to do it. I can’t stand to see her question herself when she doesn’t need to do so.
So I’m locked in a sort of masochistic embrace, wanting to make her recognise how much I respect her abilities and yet fighting against her innate modesty.
Like I said BDSM doesn’t have to involve whips and chains, masochism can be being a slave to love and having no choice but to be with someone who you love so much that you’ll do anything, even fall-out with them to make them understand how much you think of them.