Monday, September 1, 2014

Tribal mentality

Over the years, i have witnessed many long term partnerships, commitments and marriages crumble. So many times, the explanations given for the dissolution of these relationships focus on money, ambition or political/cultural identities. I think this is hogwash. What we are talking about is a coupling, which at its root is a sexual pursuit. Either out of embarrassment or convention, we do not pinpoint sexual incompatibility when we cite the demise of a relationship. It was:
  • We didn't see eye-to-eye on money issues
  • He was too thrifty/she was too much of a shopaholic
  • I couldn't see where he/she had a plan for their future
  • Their position on reproductive rights troubled me
I'm not suggesting that these are not real or important matters, but in my experience, a great number of these issues had a sense of intractability due to the fact that they concealed deeply flawed sexual alignment. For each story about how this person's endless and frivolous online purchases exasperated the other, i've witnessed the self-medicating, cosmetic purpose of these shopping sprees - to cover up the fact that their root, physical needs weren't being met (and perhaps even being shamed by their partner). The reasons for this have become increasingly clearer over the years.

Sex is how we intimately connect.

And I don't just mean how we connect with our sexual partners.  For the extent of my life, I've felt like an outcast. I have a healthy amount of friends, those i'd call my social compadres. All but a very small number know about this site. I have been faced with concealing this side of me to mostly everyone i know. And yet, i have been incredibly blessed to meet people with whom i'm able to share this partition of myself like i share with those of you who visit. Initially, we chatted about our respective engagement in the SM world, and then...our conversations resumed a normal, conventional discourse. In fact, to anyone who observes our interactions from the outside, the conversations we have are incredibly (and perhaps, boringly) normal. However, these people represent the folks with whom i get to be my most authentic self. I get to be my dominant self - no question - but i also get to be my challenged, struggling, uncertain and questioning self in ways that are liberating.

There's a lot of cosmetic manipulation that can make a life pursuing this kind of sexuality sound glamorous and profound, but if we never find those who make up our tribe, it never feels real.


cindi said...

Focus isn't cindi's strong suit but she'll do her best to respond. The importance of sex in a relationship can't be underestimated, especially when one's sexuality informs multiple aspects of one's life - how one dresses and relates to the other and even how one thinks about oneself. It was a thrill to find people who can either relate or who find no need to proselytize. At the same time, cindi doesn't need a tribe. She just needs a few close friends who know her, understand her and can relate to her in some way. She doubts she'd enjoy a club situation, for example.

There's no doubt that having an identity and belonging is important to all people and that people look to identify their place in the various aspects of their culture. In 'Theory of Culture' Keesling quotes Harris as saying that 'The culture concept comes down to behaviour patterns associated with particular groups of people, that are to "customs" or to a people's way of life.' Keesling writes that " not all of what an individual knows and thinks and feels about his world. It is his theory of what his fellows know, believe and means, his theory of the game being followed, the game being played." It's possible 'the game' is being misinterpreted and there's more room, in our cultures anyway, for alternative mindsets, certainly if conducted privately and consensually.

cindi wouldn't say that it never feels real because she hasn't found her tribe. Each and every time she expresses her sexuality in the most private of manners, it feels very real. As a dominant, it must be very comforting to chat with K, another dominant with whom you can relate on various levels. This is so important because our relating to anyone in a sexual context has to encompass so much more than a symmetry sexually to be meaningful.

In a cultural context, people like you strive to do good and hence there is a bit of questioning as to how your particular sexuality finds its place in society. Still, if you're expressing your true self, that's always real, (and true, as Hemingway would say) and the right decision to re-establish a little tribe here too. Welcome back.

Kira said...

I think your good dynamic comes from more than just good sex. Is the fact that you are true to yourself and to her. Openness and trust.

Deity said...

Hi cindi,
A tribe can be simply you and another person. If you are always alone with your needs and views, those matters that provide you sustenance are never real.

Like porn vs. reality.

Hi Kira,
I definitely never said it has to do with good sex. My dynamic with K involves zero sex, but we are able to be ourselves fully because we can embrace and discuss our sexuality without any fear or chastisement.

cindi said...

Ah, hadn't thought of a tribe being two. In that case, cindi agrees entirely.