Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Blog of the week: 'A Domestic Discipline Society's': "One DD World Community"

  In his article "Domestic Discipline: One DD World Community", Mr BBSpanker of the informative 'A Domestic Discipline Society (ADDS)' blog and network of DD sites this week poses the question,

"There is something happening over the years that has been a little puzzling. There seems to be a separation between those who frequent blogs and people who prefer to go on adult discussion groups. This has caused a void of information between the two venues of information. Although with cross-over blogs like this one and others the chasm is closing. But, why is there still any gap? We are ONE DD World Community."
I have some thoughts about this that I would like to share with you here.  I will first say that I have very mixed feelings about the matter as a whole.  There's no denying that there are some very high quality blogs out there and that there has never before been such a diversity of information available on this one topic. Obviously, that can't be anything but good.  On the other hand, as the co-owner of a forum which contains a large amount of DD information and resources that has been researched, collected, written and posted as a labour of love over a period of many years and is still updated regularly, it is very disappointing to see all of this effort virtually disappear into obscurity overnight.  I still think that we have a great deal to offer and it is very sad to see the forums and all the experience and diversity that comes with them, suddenly so underused and almost ignored.   These of course are feelings somewhat personal to me and they are accompanied by a sense of disappointment that I am not often even able to persuade a person whose blog, or even posts to another forum, I have found to be particularly informative, to participate or post an a piece of infirmation on 'D & L'.   There is an unfortunately cyclic effect that accompanies this that dictates that, because there is a obvious deficit of participation, others are discouraged from participating themselves.

Mt first thought is that, whereas forums are a medium of communication on which people generally seek advice and a variety of different opinions on anything that that is troubling or confusing them, blogs tend to be a much more personal experience in which individuals and couples chart and record the unique progress and development of their own DD relationships.  I personally feel that there is equal room for this on a forum, ('D & L' actually has it's own inbuilt personal individual blog facility) but, unfortunately, in that setting, it would probably lack the journal style continuity that is provided by a blog.

The downside of this is that, when people do ask for advice and thoughts, which happens occasionally on most blogs, because there is such a huge proliferation of DD related personal blogs (the 'DD Blog List' attached to this blog runs into hundreds) that it is humanly impossible to keep up with them all, responses, except on the most popular and regularly updated blogs, tend to be fewer and more sparing and there is not the capacity for to and fro discussion, sharing of information and clarification that exists on a forum.  

Also, while there may very well be 50 different articles on various individual blogs that cover much the same problem, they are scattered all over the 'blogosphere' under titles that don't always imply a connection and therefore a huge amount of information that could actually be of great help to others is impossible to pinpoint and is lost in the volume.  Depending on how they are set up, it can also very difficult to locate particular articles on an individual blog.  It's one thing to have the memory that one of your favourite bloggers had some useful things to say about a hot topic; it's often quite another to actually find the relevant entry,  On a forum, on the other hand, all the information related to that topic is likely to be located or linked in the same place and anything that isn't can usually be found using a comprehensive search facility, which, in my experience, makes it much easier to get, or find, advice.  

My other thought is a rather less specific one related what I call the "Great Divide".  The fact is that, whichever way that you look at things, any serious commitment to a way of life of this kind, as opposed to the part time sexually based role play that might be tolerated by some sectors of society, is very largely socially unacceptable. Present day society has promoted an ethos in which men and women are no longer permitted to celebrate and enjoy their differences, but feel compelled to deny that there are any differences.  The principle of choice is widely and enthusiastically promoted, but in reality, "choice" in most people's unconscious (or conscious) minds usually only extends to situations with which they can personally identify.  While this can make a great deal of sense when concerned with actions that can affect, damage or restrict other members of society, when it comes to the restriction of the personal and consensual choice of two individuals as to how to live their private lives, it's directly paradoxical to the very principle of freedom that they claim to promote.  The attitude overall is very much one of, "You are entitled to your freedom just so long as that "freedom" remains strictly within the bounds of my preferences and limitations". 

If this were only to extend to the "vanilla" sections of society, then for me, although I would still view it as short sighted and contradictory, it would be understandable.  People are often made afraid by what they don't understand.  The sad thing however, is that it doesn't. Instead there are enormous divides and much infighting within the world of TTWD at large.  Each 'genre' of  D/s has its own idea of what should be allowed or given the label, and what shouldn't. Many have no tolerance or wish to understand what another does or how it fits into the wider scheme of things. 

What I can never understand is why, with the underlying provisos that something is fully consensual and doesn't impact negatively on other people in any way, those who, within the world of TTWD feel that others don't have the right to judge and restrict them, can nevertheless feel that they have the right to judge and negatively label any practise that doesn't appeal personally to them. 

It makes no sense to me, that instead of presenting a united front to a world that wants to restrict and condemn us because our choices are not theirs, we choose to spend our time fighting and disagreeing among ourselves abut the details. Surely one of the greatest things about what we do is that we can tailor it to meet individual needs and desires without expecting others to do exactly the same.


  1. Hm. Are you saying that you wish there would be more use of forum-type discussions instead of personal blogs? If you are, I'd say that I understand the hesitance to participate on a forum. Cliqueyness, trolling, flaming, etc. seem to be problems on forum-type discussions, and even more so when there's not one person making decisions. On personal blogs, people can set the ground rules for discussions and take ownership of that.

    However, the drawback to personal blogs is that too often people only blog for a short while and then give up. In a forum, there is always turnover but the forum itself stays stable for a (relatively) longer time.

  2. Wonderful commentary. Not sure which one of the D&L owners wrote it, but I enjoyed the opinions expressed. For those who have read the ADDS blog article "One DD World Community", you may notice that I didn't discuss DD Forums like D&L, because simply there is no comparison to make. In my experienced opinion, and as someone who is well vested in moderating discussion groups, a social site, chat rooms etc etc through the years... the D&L Forum stands alone.
    I have been a member there for years and it offers a wealth of insightful information.
    I was going to open a DD Forum in the end of 2012, contacted my friend Ros, who is an owner of D&L and asked how she would feel about that. She was wonderful and supportive as always, but did ask if I would support the D&L forum from the ADDS sites & blog. I agreed wholeheartedly and as one might notice, the D&L Forum is mentioned all over the ADDS blog and is the only banner placed above all the resources in the Blog Rolls and lists.
    Many of the readers of ADDS have happily joined the D&L forum since the ADDS site and D&L forum have worked closely together to provide experienced free information and resources to the DD and extended community :)
    Thank you kindly for choosing to share a commentary about the recent ADDS article here :)
    We truly are ONE DD Worldwide Community... and D&L has long been a pillar in that community.
    Your friend,
    # MrBBSpanker

  3. I'm new to forums and less than a year with blogging so I think I am new to all of it. It would be nice if everyone could get along and agree to disagree politely. I have always felt that the only RIGHT way is the way that works for each certain couple. Each couple must choose how to do their DD or TTWD as it best fits them. There is no one size fits all. :)

  4. Many thanks for your comments which are all very pertinent to the intended meaning in my original post.

    Looking at what you have said, I realise that, because I became distracted by 'real life' things several times when I was writing, I lost my 'flow' quite a few times and left out some points I had meant to include.

    To reply to your comments, I *do* wish that there was more use of forum type discussions, but, in addition to, and not at the *expense* of, the number of personal blogs. Many of the blogs I have read are of extremely high quality and, unlike forums, which are usually hidden from public, they get the question of DD 'out there' in the public domain where interested people can explore it. The last thing that I would want to do is to send the whole concept back into the closet.

    "Cliqueyness, trolling, flaming, etc". *can* be problems on forum-type discussions and I don't pretend for one moment that we haven't had those problems on 'D & L'. However, whether these things occur all the time or occasionally depends very much on the moderation standards and style of the particular forum. As with blogs, this is not 'standard' and some places suffer from it more than others. Hopefully at 'D & L' we've learned a bit from the incidences we've had and we'll handle it better in the future.

    Actually though cliquishness is an interesting one and can be a bit "Catch 22" in that, if only a few 'loyal' members are currently posting on a forum and no-one else puts into the conversation because it seems exclusive, the clique feeling will be perpetuated even though it has the potential to be changed fairly easily.

    I don't think that you really can directly compare the two mediums because a blog is a very different more personal thing which contains the thoughts of one person, moderated by one person to that one person's standards and beliefs. Going solely by discussions I've had with various blogger friends, the fact we see fewer incidences of flaming or comments from "trolls" sometimes only means that they are moderated out and not that they don't happen. Similarly, I don't think there's necessarily feel there's a complete absence of cliquishness in the blogging world. Most bloggers seem to have their own circle of favourite blogs/bloggers with whom they most closely identify, and many only appear to comment or read within that circle.

    While I fully understand that a blog is akin to a personal journal that reflects the views and beliefs of the blogger who owns it, I don't think that it's necessarily a bad thing to have a completely separate and different medium of communication like a forum which isn't restricted to the views of a single person and encourages a wider and more varied exchange of views, experience and information in one place.

    I suppose that my message is that I feel there's plenty of room for both mediums and that each has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. What I don't see is why there should need to be an attitude of either/or and an unprofitable competition between the two.

  5. Apologies. That last was supposed to be a reply to Anastasia Vitsky.

  6. MrbbSpanker,

    Many thanks for your kind comments.

    I did notice the omission of references to 'D & L' in your article and I thank you for this. Although there are forums like yours that embrace specific principles like DD, the *overall* culture of places like "Fetlife", I think tends to be rather different from that of independent DD forums in that it encompasses the whole spectrum of "BDSM" from committed relationships to occasional play in clubs and 'scenes'. Since some people are alarmed by things like s/m play and bondage, I have often wondered if this has an influence on who joins and who does not.

    Personally, I am of the opinion that accepting and even trying to understand what another does, providing that it appears consensual, shouldn't make us feel threatened or stop us from talking about what interests *us*.

    What your article did for me was to encourage me ("me" being Ros) to put together some thoughts about the apparent clash between the blogging world and the forum world that have been in my mind for a while. Since I wasn't able to attend the chat at which you elaborated on your personal thoughts on the matter. I very much hope that you will eventually publish them.

  7. @Quiet Sara

    In my opinion your comments are spot on.

  8. It WOULD be very nice if there was no gap and we all just came together as one DD community. Unfortunately, It's much easier said than done. There are so many aspects to TTWD and not everyone is open to others 'kinks." It's nice to find somewhere that feels comfortable and safe.