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I just thought this was what I was supposed to do

“Isn't that what I'm supposed to do?”

"I just thought that was what I was supposed to do."

"I just thought that's what was expected of me. Isn't it?"

I've heard those comments more often than I can count...and I've heard them for 36 years.

Many women jump onto FetLife or one of the other BDSM-related websites and immediately start posting pictures of their tits, ass and pussy...because that's what they think they're supposed to do.

Yes, many do it because they feel insecure and need the attention. But many do it simply because they honestly think that's what is expected of them.

Many guys new to the lifestyle do the same thing. They look around the site for a bit, see all the cock pictures, boob shots, pussy pics, and think that's what they're supposed to do.

And it's not just the posting of "expected" pictures that reveal a preconceived notion about expectations. I've heard many women say they get into the BDSM culture to fulfill a need, but that they really have to work on their ability to receive and enjoy pain...because that's what they're supposed to do.

Or, I can't tell you how often I've heard women say that they are interested in the M/s or D/s aspect of this culture, but that they just don't think they'll ever get used to the idea of being shared sexually, or seeing their partner shared sexually. But, after all, isn't that what is supposed to happen?

This is something else I hear a lot:

"I don't really want to play in public, but I guess that's what I'm supposed to do. I don't want all those judgmental people watching me, judging my body, my technique, judging anything and everything, from the color of my toenail polish to the quality of our whip. I don't want to feel like I'm entertainment for someone or am putting on a show for someone. But that's what I'm supposed to do, isn't it? I guess I'll have to get used to it."

No. I've been in this lifestyle for 36 years and I rarely play in public. For me, the type of play I enjoy is intimate and personal. Play for the sake of play is recreational, and it's okay once in a great while. On occasion, if I'm in a group of close friends I trust and am comfortable with, I might. But it's a rarity, regardless of what others think I'm supposed to do.

I honestly couldn't care less about any critiquing of my techniques or my abilities, judging how I do this or that, or determining what I do or do not know about different types of play. I honestly couldn't care less about those people who say I don't play in public because I can't. I choose not to because I don't want to. Period.

So, no, you're not supposed to play in public. You do not have to get used to it. If you like play, and want to experience different kinds of play, but want to keep it private and personal, there are a lot of people like me out there who feel the same way, regardless of what many people think you're supposed to do.

Too often have I heard people say that they have to learn how to throw a whip or swing a flogger...because that's what they're supposed to do. “That's what a Dom does, right?”

No. When you're first dipping your toes into the shark-infested waters of M/s, D/s and the BDSM culture, there should be NO expectations of you whatsoever. Other than expecting you to be non-judgmental and expecting you to display the other common-sense social attributes, no one has the right to expect anything of you.

Your hopes and desires, dreams, wants and needs, and your ethical standards are mostly the same in a BDSM relationship as they are in a vanilla relationship. None of that needs to change.

No one should come into this culture and be concerned about what expectations others may have of you. Your only concern should ALWAYS be about what expectations you have of yourself and others.

Do you have tits that you're proud of? Fine. Show them off. If you WANT to post them and have considered exactly how much of yourself you're putting out there, and what the consequences of posting your boobs on line may be, then go right ahead. It's probably gonna be fine and, yes, millions of people do, without incident. I promise, I'll probably look at them, too.

But DO NOT do it because it's what you think you're supposed to do.

Guys, if you're proud of your cock and you want to post pictures of it, then go right ahead. I promise not to look.

But don't do it because it's what you think you're supposed to do.

But remember this. The pictures you post say a lot about you, and people will get a lasting impression of you more from your posted pictures than they ever will from anything you say about yourself.

Yes, of course, there are those who are all about the sex. They will lavish you with attention. They will soothe your feelings of insecurity and feed your craving for acceptance, if that's the need you're trying to fulfill within yourself.

But don't do it because you think that's what you're supposed to do.

If you're new to the BDSM culture, or to FetLife, or any of the kink-related social medias, then take the time to find out exactly what sits well with your heart and soul. What kinds of adventures are you looking for? What kinds of people do you want to associate with? What kind of reputation are you going to establish for yourself if you don't take the time to learn a few things before you jump in and start doing a bunch of things you think “you're supposed to be doing?”

Many people, when they first delve into the BDSM culture, think it must be a Utopia, filled with welcoming, friendly, honest people. Open, accepting, trustworthy people who only want to practice kink and be left alone by the mainstream public. Just poor, misunderstood souls, looking for acceptance among a group of like-minded adventurers. A big family of unity, brotherhood, sisterhood, love, tolerance, acceptance and understanding.

And when someone new dips their toes into the waters of BDSM, it's all too easy for them to fall into the trap of doing what they think they're supposed to be doing. That tendency is amplified by the new-found freedom of expression they feel and their obvious desire to cut loose the binds of a sexually awkward, oppressive society.

Find a COMPATIBLE mentor. Find a group of LIKE-MIDED friends to learn from and who will help you grow. Be honest with yourself, with others, and never be intimidated into doing what you THINK you're supposed to be doing. Find someone who will protect you and have YOUR best interest at heart.

Be true to yourself and your OWN moral compass. Don't try to be something you're not, something you think you're supposed to be, and don't feel you have to change ANYTHING about yourself to be accepted within a BDSM community.

Believe me, if you give yourself enough time, you'll find someone, or maybe even an entire group of people, who have the same ideals as you. And I promise you, none of them will be concerned about what they think they're supposed to do.

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