What is unique about our M/s relationships?
This is my response to Sir Stephen’s question: We put a lot of time, effort, and thought into our M/s relationships. Are they uniquely different and if so…how?
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Long version: Yes, power exchange relationships exist in many different forms in society, and is hence not a differentiator. I also don’t think that practices and elements such as, for example, the following are unique differentiators:
BDSM – because we can enjoy BDSM just for play
service – because we can serve our the country, serve in the military, etc.
protocols – the military has a lot of them (that we in the M/s lifestyle have adopted)
contracts – yes, society is already full of these
So are there any? And, what are they?
I think it comes down to the interpretation, implementation and use of these concepts. Not the “abstract” practices and elements by themselves, but how they are actually brought together and used by us.
Another way of phrasing it is: customs and habits are the way in which we use these elements that create the social reality of M/s. This is a form of collective intentionality, i.e. we not only engage in cooperative behavior, but we also share intentional states such as beliefs, preferences and desires.
Short version: The uniqueness of M/s relationships is how we created our social reality.