Over on her lovely blog, Ruby Red posted the other day about the problem of finding the right person. You know, not just a playmate and / or spanking friend (though we love those too), but a life partner.
I'm so damned picky. Even then, I'll meet someone in a moment of weakness and continue to meet with them until that moment of clarity that says, "He's totally wrong for you, dummy!"
Whether it's differences in politics, religion, familial ties... or if it's completely spanko-centric, there are a lot of reasons why people might be incompatible. It's not enough to share an interest in spanking. We all know how faceted the world o' spanking is... There's domestic discipline, roleplaying, erotic, bondage, BDSM, hardcore spanking, light spanking, good girl, daddy/daughter, M/F, F/F, F/M, M/M... there's spanking for fun, spanking for punishment, spanking for the hell of it. There's costume choices, implement purchases...decisions, decisions, decisions! It's all about finding the partner that comes closest to what you're actually interested in.
Ruby isn't the only one to bring this up -- we get email from a lot of women (and men!) looking for partners. I know some of us have mentioned stuff in passing, but the question of how one gets into a relationship with discipline / punishment is maybe worth addressing in an entry of its own.
(Besides, I'm having trouble getting my comments to stick on blogger today.)
For me, if I imagine I was currently looking for a partner, values matter. Ethics matter. Kink matters. And politics matter. (For me, politics matter a lot.) And of course, (dare I say it?) love.
And the greatest of these is love. For me, love is what makes us willing and able to see the beauty in another's desires and needs. Ones which might not start out as our own, but ones that become ours too.
See, that's what makes this issue of finding a partner so hard, especially when it comes to relationships with real life discipline. Because I think that for a lot of spankers in the scene, if they were asked in the abstract "would you want to be in a relationship where you disciplined / punished a partner?" they'd say "no -- that's not me." I know that would have been Pablo's reply. In fact, it was his reply when we talked about it as we got to know each other. But when the question became one of "will you discipline / punish me because I want and need it?" his answer / desire changed. Or maybe he realized that doing this for me wasn't about him being "head of household" or "dominant male" but taking care of someone he loves.
When I look over my friends in these relationships, that's what I see. By in large, the topping partner took on that role at the request or in response to the desires of the bottom. Not necessarily because it was what they always wanted (though maybe they found that that was the case when they really looked deep enough) but because they loved them and discovered what an amazing connection this sort of relationship can create and reinforce.
I guess my point isn't to tell Red and others that finding the right person is easy, or even that love can conquer all. But that it can move an awful lot and make things more possible than they might seem, at least at first.