What is reality made out of? We all know that water is made up of two hydrogen and one oxygen molecule, snapped perfectly together to form the shape of liquid under a certain gravitational force and atmospheric pressure. But what about our own reality? Is it so logical?
Discussion about BDSM’s association with mental illness has been around forever. Since Krafft-Ebing, Freud and Jung for sure, but undoubtably much (much!) further back than that. Whether it’s the Japanese shunga prints of Edo period 17th century Japan, Chinese culture of the 2nd century or 500BCE when the Kama Sutra was said to have come from India, society has always had norms. BDSM lifestyles and activities fall outside of these norms, and that stretches our concept of reality, which could be much of the reason for an association with mental illness. If you don’t live by society’s rules, there must be something wrong with you.
But, to a six years old child, Pokemon and Narnia are not just fantasy. A child can live in their imaginary world with fictional characters, magical creatures and more. The spoon that a child is holding is not more real than the Pikachu doll on his lap. It is when a child being institutionalised, educated and civilised (enlightened) that they begin to take on a positivist/scientific approach to reality.
With this newfound ability to distinguish between the “reality” of everyday orderly behaviour that is accepted by mass society, and “fantasy”, the world of wild imagination, everything starts to become clear and binary. Reality and non-reality, order and disorder. Anything that isn’t commonly accepted can then be exiled and excluded from the social understanding, perhaps later labelled as “madness”, “insanity”, “disorder”, “criminal”, “psychosis” or any of the other terms we use.
But really, what makes a dystopianic orderly, socially restrained, constructed and continuously routinised existence any less scary than the life of a Master that locks His slave in a cage and routinely uses His property as He wishes?
Which brings us back to the question, what makes a reality real? Who is the board of judges who decide that a six year old child’s perception of reality is not real, and the orderly routinised lives of the many that work hard to conform to an image of wealthiness, political correctness and financial stability, is the only reality approved?
Human beings have always been equipped with aesthetic, poetic, artistic, creative minds. I believe everyone can choose what version of reality they are naturally inclined towards.
For many kinksters out there, being a puppy is real, being a slave, is indeed real. It is only a matter of finding the way to construct the various aspects that contribute to that reality, in much the same way as water needs its configuration of two hydrogen and one oxygen molecule to exist. The life of a Master and slave is structured from close, complex discussions and negotiations, intimacy, even metaphysical explorations that belong to the Master and the slave.
The two people make it real, and that version of reality is continuously aligned, maintained, (re)structured, shared and believed by both the Master and the slave. No-one can judge that.
Feature image by Juan Castaño