This was written by my good friend Luvi Unplugged Lichlore who owns Simple Pleasures Studio and Magazine alongside her husband and Master Dark Lichlore, a Magazine we will be collaborating with quite frequently, so make sure you check it out !

 I am an observer. I sit back and I watch the things going on around me and what is going on not only in RL but in SL as well.  I am an avid educator when it comes to the BDSM lifestyle.

For more years than we can count, we have been trying to dispel the taboo and misinformation out there. We, meaning the community in general, have been trying to get people to understand the type of relationship this is. It’s not abuse, it’s not about doing things against your will, it’s not about undermining feminism. It’s a relationship, pure and simple, between two consenting adults that you might be surprised to find out is no different than any other married couple, no different than any other boyfriend and girlfriend. The difference is, we’re not ashamed of who we are. Yes we don’t go screaming it from the rooftops, yes it doesn’t have to be all up your face all the time. But at the same time, why should it be hidden? The fact that it remains hidden is that society has taught us to fear what is not the “normal”. That is another soapbox for another time though.

What I really wanted to post about is what I have seen going on in the BDSM communities in SL. I have found many places who feel the need to compete. I’m not sure what they are competing for exactly because we all have the same agenda. Furthering education on the BDSM and D/s lifestyle. I have seen these places shun and even run smear campaigns on other sims who try to provide the same thing, but do it in their own way.

I know I can’t be the only one to have seen this going on, but my question is, what makes it right? What makes a fun joke? What makes this fun at all? The biggest question though I have to ask is this. If this is how they treat people who are trying to help further the education, how do they treat people coming to seek the knowledge? Do they shun those that don’t have the same opinion they do? I would ask if they attack them, but I have already heard enough of those claims from several people.

This lifestyle and this community is about bringing like minded people together. It’s about giving people a place to belong so they don’t feel like the odd one out. If you’re competing for membership and worrying about making money off of people so they can learn, then you’re in it for the wrong reason. I would do everything in my power to deter people from going to these places as they can be a trove of misinformation. If you’re going to offer mentoring, do it for the sake of actually helping people. Mentoring is a very personal thing and not everyone fits in that nice little box you seem to want to cram them into. It also takes varying amounts of time, energy and endurance.

If you “play” at knowing the lifestyle, you have no idea how much damage you are doing. You are setting people up for a lot of hurt and that is NOT ok in my book. A D/s relationship is a delicate balance of give and take and it’s not for everyone. So please, before you call yourself a BDSM community, KNOW YOUR FACTS! Don’t go into educating looking to make money. Don’t go into it saying you’re better than anyone else.