Saturday, April 21, 2012

Back Among the Submissives

Thou art to me a delicious torment.

 Ralph Waldo Emerson

          As many of you know who have been following my recent story about a submissive in Second Life (SL) and a new BDSM club there I’ve been spending time with the BDSM community inworld. Why? This is what I do. I visit places and meet people and follow wherever the story takes me.  And, hopefully, my readers enjoy what I write about.  (I sure hope so, I’m certainly not doing this for the money!) 

During one of my exploratory trips I went to DAM BDSM/RLV Island inworld, a BDSM resort.  Here I met a young woman, Anuket Sands, who is on the staff there as a maid and submissive and who offered to help me understand the BDSM community in SL.  After a couple of preliminary meetings, we arranged an interview where I could ask more questions (and, hopefully, not wear out my welcome in the process) about what this new world, for me, is all about. 

A little background about Anu before we begin our interview.  She knows what she’s talking about.  She’s been a sub in Real Life (RL) for fourteen years.  Anu has had extensive BDSM experiences in both RL and SL as we’re about to see.  She’s had four owners, two in SL and two in RL, over her career and has been with multiple doms in both worlds. 

Anu presently owns her own collar and is without a dom or master.  She uses SL to fill in those times in her RL when she can’t participate in the BDSM lifestyle or to do things inworld that she can’t in RL due to either practicality or cost.  (As Anu suggests, try staying on a resort island in RL with your friends and see what it costs you.)

Anu and I meet on Bondage Island inworld where I have been doing more research.  (That sounds awful doesn’t it, but how else do I get to meet people and see what’s going on?)  Her avi is based on her RL body and stands about 5’ 1” and weighs about 110 lbs. Her shoulder length red hair is not that color in RL which apparently serves as a source of continual disappointment to her.  She is has a predilection for latex outfits.  (Most of which come from Graves , check this shop out if you’re in the market for such.  The quality is very good.) 

RLV is Anu’s viewer of choice and she has safeguards in place to ensure that she doesn’t lose control of herself.  (SL puts a whole new twist on the idea of “safe sex”.)

We begin to talk about BDSM and Anu’s views about it.  I must admit that I came to this discussion knowing very little and it turns out that the little I knew was wrong.  (Yeah, I know, I should be used to that by now.  Let’s not go there now.)  My first major fallacy was that BDSM was all about sexual pleasure, the giving and receiving of it.  Anu explains to me that while there is definitely that component, BDSM is not sexual or physical gratification but freedom.  She continues that this may sound contradictory, but that's what she gets out of it - the freedom to indulge in her desires and to subsume herself to the will and whim of another, to have freedom from all cares, doubts, and worries.

Anu expands on her position.  She says that it isn't about pleasure really, it is about freedom.  BDMS can be about pleasure, pain, and many other things, but mostly it is about power exchange, the freedom to trust and indulge, the freedom to...well, for a sub give up control, to trust someone that much that you can give up choices and such...but experience the freedom from responsibility, the pleasure of “serving” someone and making him utterly happy with you.

This is new ground for me.  Anu describes the dom as the yang to her yin.  We turn to the practices that she prefers and her reply is that she likes is total power exchange, when she can get it, anal use, some humiliation (mostly calling and such), bondage of course, latex, some pain.  However, she’s not strictly a masochist.  She doesn't “like” pain
but enduring it for a dom's pleasure turns her on.  That includes flogging, clamps, crops, and things like that.  Anu likes things rough and to feel physically dominated. 

          I next ask whether D/s is about being straight, bi, or gay matters or is it about the act itself.  Anu replies that it’s the act or the power exchange really. Her preference is for male doms over female dommes.  She has worked with the latter but prefers guys.  Anu has tried switching to the top but prefers the submissive role.    

          Anu talks about BDSM in SL and cautions me that SL is not always the best way to be introduced to the lifestyle.  She explains there are a lot of people here who play at it and this is all they know of it.  While it is satisfying, it is one step removed from the very raw emotions and intensity one gets doing this in RL.  It is that distinction that so often divides the online BDSM community between those who do it RL, or at least take it as seriously, and those that only dabble online.

          I ask Anu if BDSM in SL is an end in itself for her or is it a journey.  She replies it is the latter and one of self-discovery mostly, allowing herself greater freedom to express who she is and actually realizing how much she can achieve even through adversity. She has always tested herself like that in life.

          My next question is what will her next challenge be in SL?  Anu replies building things.  She says that doesn’t even know how to arrange furniture. (I can relate to that one. Some of my inworld friends claim that’s why I have no furniture in my home.)  Anu also hopes to teach classes on BSDM inworld in the future. 

          As we prepare to go our separate ways, I ask Anu for any final comments that she may have.  She replies that she has a fairly traditional view of BDSM as defined by the RL community, but I shouldn’t rely on just her.  There are a lot of different views and anybody who represents their way of BDSM as the "one true way" is full of “crap”. Anu learns by observing what people do and how they do it.  People getting involved in BDSM should realize they don't become a dom/me or sub by just be grabbing a whip or putting on a collar.  People have to take the time to learn about it and do it right. If they do there are serious rewards, if they don't, they'll probably just end up hurting people and get labeled a tool.  Even bad subs can hurt good dom/mes.

Anu also leaves me with the name of a good book, Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism, as a primer on BDSM.  I’ll check it out.  (Any trouble I get myself into after that is strictly my own fault.) 

I’m continuing to learn about the BDSM community in SL and its connections to RL.  There will be more visits and interviews in the future as I try to understand better its members and their lives inworld. 

I’d like to thank Anuket Sands for meeting with me at an ungodly early RL time for this interview.  I’m also grateful to her for her frank and intimate discussions of her BDSM life both in SL and in RL.  She has helped to understand better what BDSM is all about.  Although, I still have a long way to go.

As always, I’m grateful to all for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives. 

I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

     If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.

Photo No. 1: Anu Sands – Portrait I

Photo No. 2: Anu Sands – Portrait II

Photo No. 3: Anu Sands – Portrait III  

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