Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Protector Files

So, today I've spent my second day home sick from work. I'm feeling tired, sleepy, achy, and I have a stuffy nose. A lot like that commercial for the old Nyquil, before they took out everything helpful in it.

I spent most of the day sleeping off and on. I don't know if it's the combination of the meds that I'm taking or just that my dreams are getting a lot more interesting, but I was able to remember a few of them.

Daddy called today and wanted to come up and take care of me. Part of me really wanted to be cuddled, fed soup, and tucked into bed knowing he was near me, while the other part of me wanted him to stay as far away from my cold as possible. I hope he doesn't catch it. That is one thing I really don't have any wish to give him.

But we chatted off and on today. In one of those chats, a subject came up about the term "protection" in regards to bdsm. A group that we belong to had gotten into a discussion about the need for "protectors". And I suppose, by extension, the need of others to BE protected.

I'd started thinking about a conversation that I had recently with a friend about her 17 year old niece that came out to her as kinky. This friend was looking for help from others about how she should go about introducing this niece to the community. We chatted back and forth, and I gave her some ideas about what a 17 year old faces, and that it seems to be so much easier now with all of the information available, not to mention the fact that she had an aunt that could guide her. It's also a lot more dangerous with all of the bad information around. But never did I use the word protector. Neither did she. We both used the word mentor.

So is a mentor and a protector the same thing? I don't think so.

A mentor is a teacher, a counselor, an advisor. They're not there to tell you that you're doing something wrong, but to show you how to do it and to let you run with it. They're also there to teach you about your chosen field, and to be a sounding board for problems that you've discovered along the way. They might have some advice about how they solved the same things for themselves, but to me, mentors don't have a vested interest in the lives they're mentoring. They care about the person for sure, but I think that a mentor's greatest satisfaction comes from seeing a person whom they've mentored exceed and succeed.

A protector is someone who cares for property. You protect things, not people. Although in this world, property is a label that is taken on by a lot of people, in actual reality, they're still people. You can to protect people FROM things, you can shield and shelter and call it protection, but I don't really think that this is the best way for people to learn. Shielding and sheltering, while nice and cozy, just perpetuates a sense of security, and doesn't give someone the tools they might need to exceed and succeed the way mentoring does. A protector has a vested interest in the protectee...if the person whom you're protecting ends up hurt, then the protector has failed to protect. A mentor, who allows someone to make their own mistakes and then is around to show how to fix them...isn't a failure at their job.

Is a protector in the scene necessary or will it just become a way for doms and tops to prey on naive subs and bottoms? Daddy said that protection wasn't limited to just bottoms and subs....but somehow, I can't really imagine a top saying "hey...anyone want to protect me?" or even saying "I think I need protection before I got to this really cool party for the first time". Other than condoms.

No, I don't think that when people talk about protection, they're thinking that doms are looking to be protected. I think they're specifically speaking about all those naive, stupid, too agreeable to say no, and airheaded subs that they think NEED protecting from all those "other" domly doms. Unfortunately, I've rarely met ANY sub who doesn't have a mind of her own enough to see through this device. Most teenagers and young adults these days have a very well-defined sense of bullshit.

It's those few that come into our midst that don't have a clue in hell about LIFE, not just bdsm that I worry about. I don't feel a need to protect them, but I do feel a need to be around, talking to them, and leading by example. When they can see a strong, confident, intelligent, fun woman submitting....maybe they'll say to themselves, I don't have to get on with the blond jokes to be real about this.

No, I think that there's too few people needing protection, and many more needing mentoring. And I also think that no dom should EVER mentor a sub....or vice versa. While they can and do make a nice secondary resource...primary mentoring should come from those with like experiences. I wouldn't want to be mentored by a dom. In fact, I was mentored by a switch. Although he didn't call himself that because that word wasn't in general usage when I was being mentored, I can't imagine being mentored about things like subspace by a dom. Unless you've had the experience that your mentoree will likely have, what are you gonna tell them? Can a dom really tell someone the strength of effort that it sometimes takes to submit? Can a dom really understand how it feels to be a submissive in a relationship..anymore than I can understand what it's truly like to be a dominant in a relationship? Will the protector just impart their own expectations upon the protectee...also known as that dastardly "one twue way" of doing things? That's a huge danger. To protect, a protector sets the rules and limits....and isn't that the very essence of a d/s relationship? So are they really protectors or just doms who don't want to scare the newbie until she or he has learned to please the protector?

So all I can do is laugh at the "Protection Club" that's been started, and try not to think of it too much as a protection racket. Which, in my opinion, it certainly seems like it. Well, laugh and try my damnedest to be more aware of people who might just need a friendly ear to talk to once in a while. Just to let them know that protection offers false comfort and security at the expense of self reliance and determination. Letting a protector say no FOR you does not teach you how to say it for yourself.

And I think that's what makes the whole idea of protecting so sad.

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