A Comparison of BDSM with D/s
and Sailboats: Parallels to the dichotomy of BDSM and D/s relationships.
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 to go.
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
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
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
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
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
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 blessed.
it has been a very long time since I have sailed, I am one happy