and Sailboats: Parallels to the dichotomy of BDSM and D/s
the non-participants or weekend recreationalists, there may
seem to be little or no difference between powerboating and
sailboating. Both get you out on the water, time in the sun...
great fun! Serious participants in both sports spend a great
deal of time, effort in preparing their craft, honing their
nautical skills. But to the true recreational mariners, there
is a world of difference in these sports!
the powerboater, there are so many opportunities for fun...
skiing, sunning on the deck, powering up and driving through
the waves. For the "captain," it is plot a course
and let the motor drive you to where you want to go... power,
speed, toys... lots of fun! Or just go where your whims take
you. In the powerboat, you can always get back to where you
started. The appeal to the serious powerboater is having the
knowledge, equipment and toys to overcome the forces of nature
and achieve whatever it is they want to do... the powerboat
has the capacity to get you fairly directly to where you want
the sailor, there is a much greater need to understand the
driving forces, to plan the voyages. The speed and toys are
not so readily available; the "captain" must understand
currents and winds, setting the sail and plotting an indirect
course... the invisible, often subtle things involved in getting
from here to there. The accomplished sailor must utilize the
forces of nature to achieve his goals and can achieve tremendous
satisfaction by combining control of the craft with the currents
and winds with his expertise.
many ways, pure BDSM is the "powerboating" end of
the spectrum of BDSM and D/s. The focal center is the scene,
activities, achieving pleasure (hedonism) through the use
of knowledge or toys. The nature of activity oriented BDSM
allows for an extremely wide range of experiences, proficiency
and results. As with a powerboat, the novice, even the most
inexperienced Top can achieve reasonable results. However,
there is still ample opportunity for an extraordinary range
of activity and there are many who achieve tremendous levels
of skill. The pleasures achieved by the highly skilled Top
or Dominant can be incredible!
the other end of the spectrum, the Dominant in D/s, like the
sailor, faces a much different set of considerations as he
goes about his voyage. To begin with, he cannot often set
a course that carries him directly from his port of origin
to his destination. Both his ability to reach that destiny
and his efficiency in getting there depend on many more outside
forces, his ability to read them, his knowledge of his vessel
and his proficiency in brining all of these things together.
the voyage begins, to those just observing, the sailor may
appear to be undertaking a leisurely, quiet trip. The boat
cuts smoothly through the water, riding the waves. The sounds
of the wind in the sails and rigging can be calming. But the
sailor, while pushing toward his destination, is seldom just
leaning back, enjoying the ride. He is watching the sails,
getting the most that he can from the invisible winds. He
is plotting his course, monitoring progress so that he know
when to tack, making sure he does not get out of the channel
and run the vessel in his charge aground. The proficient sailor
must combine knowledge about a great many things to arrive
at his destination safely.
recall my first experience in taking my "new" craft
out on the open waters. With my son, we motored a short distance
from the mooring into the middle of the channel. Once there,
we cut and raised the motor, and raised the sails for the
very first time... only to find that instead of heading down
the river to the Chesapeake, as intended, we had turned and
were sailing back up river to the flats! Experimenting, we
were able to turn the boat and set off toward the new marina,
some 8 miles away, as the crow flies.
"nautical charts," brought along so we could monitor
the landmarks and measure our progress, consisted of an old
State Farm Road Atlas and a well worn official Maryland state
road map. To make a very long story short... it took us some
14 hours to make that 8-mile journey... something we could
have done in less than an hour in a powerboat, or 15 minutes
by car. We had no channel or depth charts, and more than once,
we had to raise the keel in order to free ourselves when we
ran aground on hidden hazards. We were exhausted when, well
after dusk, and hours after being expected back home to a
very anxious family, we finally tied the Synapse to its mooring
and drug our weary bodies ashore. Looking back, it was a wonderful
experience for us both! And we learned a great deal.
next day, instead of taking the boat out again, as we had
planned, we went to the bookstore and got some version of
Sailing for Ninnies. We went to the boat where we read together
and studied the rigging. We sought guidance from experienced,
competent sailors who shared the same goals of enjoying the
sport that we did. We eventually, along with an experienced
friend, took the sailboat out into the channel, where we learned
everything from how to raise the sail without turning the
boat in the wrong direction to monitoring the sails to capture
the wind's potential. I remember the pure joy we both experienced
the first time we had it all right... the boat keeling over
until the rail was in the water, gaining the combined feel
of having the mainsheet in one hand, the tiller in the other.
It was pure joy when we took on the 34' Hunter is a short
race. And nearly won!!!
time, I became a fairly proficient sailor. It came from a
combination of time on the water... and of very serious study.
I spend a great deal of time with experienced sailors, picking
their brains. I truly grew to love it!
what has all of this to do with D/s and my participation in
this wonderful lifestyle?
all of my life, two things have been prominent in all that
I am. First, I have an unbending need to significantly influence
the outcomes of anything that I do or am involved in. Second,
I have always been oriented toward personal growth, for myself
and others who are important in my life (or those in my charge
in the business world.) It has only been during the last few
years that I realized that there was a label for me... Dominant.
But I have been growing in this lifestyle, as a way of life,
and living it for my entire life!
first knowing involvement with BDSM came when I entered a
chatroom. Like the occasional, recreational powerboater, I
powered up and drove right in. On my first visit to the chatroom,
I was involved in a cyber scene that received a great deal
of attention... and very positive feedback. I was powering
full speed ahead and having a blast! Soon, I met someone who
caught my eye, and I hers, and within a year, she wore my
collar. We had a great time Then I hit a sandbar... and was
stopped dead. As much fun as we were having, something was
missing... the growth and total sharing was not there. We
were powering ahead, without knowing what our destination
I sat grounded, I looked closely at the "sailors,"
those relative few who were savoring what seemed to be more
satisfying, fuller relationships. In time I found that theirs
were the type of D/s relationships that I needed, deep down.
My submissive and I shared the pleasures, but we most certainly
did not share the same goals. The relationship ended badly.
looked at other things in my life, and back to a wonderful,
growth oriented, sensually exhilarating experience I had had
years before... and examined the differences.
my learning to be a proficient sailor, I learned everything
I could about her, Sexually, well... she is amazing... but
that is not the strength of our relationship. I took all of
my knowledge about people, learning, leading, discipline and
anything else I could and brought it into my D/s life. (I
am a psychologist by training, a college professor and business
executive by profession.) Using this knowledge and experience...
and hundreds of hours of just getting to know one another,
we set off on a marvelous voyage together.
what we share seems to many, I am sure, to be a rather tranquil,
not so adventuresome journey together. But looking at it from
the inside, our voyage together has much in common with my
very best days of sailing (only MUCH better and satisfying.)
At times, together we set a leisurely course, and together
bask in the sun. At others we let out the full sail, catch
the wind, and put the rail in the water! I am able to bring
into what we share all that is important to who I am and where
I want to go. It is often hard work. Getting to where we each
need to be is seldom a straight course. But we discuss and
we plan where we each need to be together, and she then allows
me to "captain the boat" via her gift of submission
to me. As I was master of the boat, she honors me by calling
me Master in her life. And I savor every moment of it. I am
it has been a very long time since I have sailed, I am one
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