Voluntarily vulnerable

There are many teenagers who would like to experiment SM (sado masochism) in a deeper way. Some of them say that they want to be slaves, some others want to feel dominated and finally some want to feel pain. Unfortunately it doesn’t work this way; first of all we need to clarify that in an SM situation we are talking about an exchange of power; one part has the power over the other one to make decisions. The dom/sub relationship works like this: the submitted part becomes voluntarily vulnerable.

In order to “become” this way one needs to understand what it means to be vulnerable (physically but also psychologically). The voluntary nature of this situation is extremely important; I doubt someone can be forced into it but, with an appropriate handling (and a good dose of mutual respect), the situation can definitely be respectful. In the SM scene the bottom ones are not slaughter meat; they need and want to experience what the Masters have to offer. Many Masters respect the submitted for his will to please and to be vulnerable. The Master and the slave (Top/Bottom) can share the pleasures, especially if these are defined in the same way and if they well understood the concept of voluntary vulnerability.

I would like to emphasize that this concept is not only applied to long-term relationships, in fact, this is the core of many other types of games that deal with “power exchange” which could last less than the relationship Master/slave but that could involve the partners in SM sessions in which the first element has to be the will of the bottom to become voluntarily vulnerable and for the Top to accept this as a gift that needs to be compensated and respected. Being voluntarily vulnerable has many aspects; I will talk about two of them:

1. One becomes vulnerable when he is capable of expressing his needs to someone that can satisfy them. In our society this is seen as a weakness because it implies that we are not able to satisfy them on our own. A bottom that sais: “Please, I need…” expresses the necessity but also the desire to lose control of himself and, as a consequence, to be voluntarily vulnerable.

2. To be vulnerable in every type of relationships (love and marriage as well) you need to put yourself in a state in which you are hurt in painful ways. The wound can also be psychological, of course (this type of damage is the most painful of all). A bottom can put himself in the position to make painful physical experiences, and he does it voluntarily, trusting that his Top will understand his needs and his limits and that he will accept his vulnerability as a gift that will be returned in the pleasant experience that involves both of them. For neither the Top nor the bottom this is an easy task. An alternative, to the sole exploitation of the bottom, could be a study in deep of his fears, his anxieties and the explanations of what other gifts the top wants from the bottom.

This method of communication in both directions, in addition to prove understanding and attention, is a way to ask for more voluntary vulnerability. Many submitted would like to go over their limits, they would like that their tops lead them to the very end of their capability of being vulnerable but, at the same time, they need the certainty that they are trusting a Top that will care about them and that will lead the game with mutual satisfaction.

It is not pleasant that a Top stops at the first complaint. It is not pleasant that a bottom is kept under his real limits or hurt in a way that shows lack of attention and compassion coming from the Top. This does not mean that his own Top is “the killer of the chain saw”, it means that even while he is inflicting pain, pushing the bottom to go over his limits, the Top needs to proceed with love and care. In a wanted submission, accepted with love and affection, with joy and intimate complicity; without these assumptions there is only a relationship of mere abuse.


From: Dolce Vita International 4