Shadow's Essays

"Words are loaded pistols."Jean Paul Sartre ~ "The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say." Anais Nin

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Location: San Jose, Ca, United States

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Prime Directive

#200. Taking care of Your Partners Toys
Essays on a life of P.E.
March 2, 2010
by shadow

During a conversation with a new-ish person to BDSM, i was once again reminded that the internet allows ACCESS to BDSM without STRUCTURE- something we had back in the dark ages when a person could not become a member of the public community without arriving via another kinky person, going to private events, and being MENTORED.
Now a days, people google us up, show up at a public club, beat each other silly, and often have no clue about the deeper and larger foundations of WIITWD (or the acronyms- go look that one up if you need to).

The Prime Directive is one of those underpinnings that make all power exchanges both possible, and easy to do as a dance for the bottom.
The biggest problem for me when i became a power exchange player was that there were times i wanted to say 'Hey, that deep throat thing not only hurts, but i think it will fuck up my ability to speak at my class tomorrow" without feeling like i was topping from the bottom.
Being home sick in bed, i once got up and went out in the rain because i was living with a standing order to do an errand. i got much sicker.

How is a submissive or slave person supposed to both serve unconditionally and not end up killing themselves?
How are we supposed to navigate the realms of information VS selfishness and independence?
What is too much information?

The Prime Directive is the catch all for this.
Now, Star Trek fans will remember this:

"In the fictional universe of Star Trek, the Prime Directive, Starfleet's General Order #1, is the most prominent guiding principle of the United Federation of Planets. The Prime Directive dictates that there can be no interference with the internal development of pre-warp civilizations, consistent with the historical real world concept of Westphalian sovereignty. It has special implications, however, for civilizations that have not yet developed the technology for interstellar spaceflight ("pre-warp"), since no primitive culture can be given or exposed to any information regarding advanced technology or the existence of extraplanetary civilizations, lest this exposure alter the natural development of the civilization. Although this was the only application stated by Captain Kirk in "The Return of the Archons", by the 24th Century, it had been indicated to include purposeful efforts to improve or change in any way the natural course of such a society, even if that change is well-intentioned and kept completely secret.
"Pre-warp" is defined as any culture which has not yet attained warp drive technology and is thus, implicitly, unaware of the existence of alien races." Wikipedia.

"The most prominent guiding principal" is the key phrase here. It is about encompassing everything else based on something important that is designed to stop total destruction.

For kinky folks that adhere to the idea, the "Prime Directive" is simple, and applies to subs, bottoms, property, etc:

* The slave is responsible for taking care of, maintaining and protecting all her Owners toys.
* The slave is the most important toy.

Well, once you can wrap your brain around it, yes, it is.
YOU dear bottomish person, are a toy, a tool, a plaything, a partner in BDSM.
YOU are the most important thing in your partners life, and as such, you have to protect and take care of yourself.
Are you sick? Your job is to make sure you don't get sicker until you get such orders from your partner as change that.
Did you cut yourself? You are supposed to stop and fix that, clean it, cover it before continuing with whatever you are doing.
Are you in the middle of a scene and sure that you are about to have some horrible flashback? It's your job to notify the partner that something awful is about to happen.

Within the parameters of the BDSM realm i live in, the power people want their partners happy, safe, and able to play again. We don't go the 'Boxing Helena" route because we want to play with those parts AGAIN. Most of us believe that the bottom is supposed to be taken care of and protected by the top, and that the top WANTS to make their partner happy- because, if the bottom isn't happy, they are going to leave.

How to do that is not always easy, and can be tricky for the bottom to participate in without this magical 'prime directive'.

When playing, it is your JOB to give the top all the information about what is going on with you, be it cramps, bleeding, pain, fear, or the fact that the building is on fire. You are not allowed to hide that or keep it back. Reporting on how YOU are is what YOU are there for- they aren't mind readers! Is that bondage on your hand making it go numb? Your JOB is to take care of the toy- so reporting on something UNINTENDED by the top is your job.
Playing all weekend and now you have some strange symptoms? It's your JOB to let the top know.
Supposed to go play tonight but you fell and hurt your ankle? It's your JOB to report that info before the Top begins with their plans.

Now- once you GIVE them that info, what they do with it is their decision. YOUR job is to protect the toys, and, depending on your level of Power Exchange, that could, for a basic bottom/ top pair, include calling a scene because you feel damage of some kind is imminent.
USUALLY however, it's about caring for ourselves in the day to day, moment to moment.

Bottomish persons, especially slaves and submissives, tend to want to take care of everyone else before themselves. We will push ourselves when we are not healthy, we will ignore injuries, we will cut our needed sleep or take on chores when we should not. Having the "Prime Directive" in our lives means that we have an order to NOT do those things- we have to take care of ourselves as well as our partners, family, owners, friends, jobs, lovers, etc.

Before i clean up the toys, i clean up myself. When i take time to sharpen knives, i am maintaining them just as i maintain my own body through good sleep and exercise. When i wipe off the furniture, or hang the floggers to straighten, or re-handle the canes, i am taking care of them so that they can be as good as possible- good as new- and used again. They belong to their owner, *my* owner.

So do i. And i am not allowed to do anything that will damage this property. NO self inflicted injuries (cutting, drunken stupors, driving without a seat belt, eating 50 donuts in a row), no forgetting medications, no pushing myself beyond safe limits in my day to day life.
i have to show up in my best possible condition for my partner.

It also means that, when we are learning the dance, when we are new, and getting used to each other, that the Prime Directive keeps me safe. i am SUPPOSED to be watching and evaluating that person, to make sure they can take care of me, that they know what they are doing when they pull out that toy, that they are going to make sure that i am taken care of.

It doesn't mean that we over ride their orders- but it means that we do not have to just SHUT OFF our own natural inclinations or ignore our fears for personal safety.

It takes some time to wrap one's brain around, it doesn't offer someone carte blanche to be selfish, and it is a fluid thing that becomes less and less needed over time as a partner learns about you, the individual and becomes more and more in charge of your world. YOU, bottomish power exchange person, are not in charge of your whole world anymore. But you still have to maintain yourself to be able to give yourself to another. Take care of your partners toys, for they do not belong to you, and they are important, expensive, and loved. YOU are the most cherished toy there is.

Copyright shadow, March 2, 2010
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