Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Objectification


Over the past several weeks I have been following a discussion by a number of blogger on the topic of objectification.

I know I run the risk of covering ground that has previously been discussed to death, but I do feel the need to have my say, from my particular point of view.

First off I must be clear that I was in a very long-term D/s relationship and had a submissive, but that is no longer the case, so what I have to say is predicated on that relationship and, on my knowledge of the BDSM community both online and live,   formal seminars and hands-on workshops, together with extensive reading, and research.

I will attempt to encapsulate the main points of both schools of thought.

The arguments that I have been following are thus:

The first one is of the willing embracing of one’s inner object or role.  Once the inner object is embraced, there is a releasing of their personality to acquire a new one, usually one that is an object, a cunt, a sex object, or as one of the proponents of this argument suggest, their “inner dolly.”

The participants of this kink  claim they feel liberated and freed when they don this persona, but in blogs I have read expounding the virtues of this kink, it seems the writers wish to be in this persona for an extended period of time and as often as possible.

The other school of thought that engaged in this debate riled against objectification of the individual, asserting that it was detrimental to the individual psyche and destructive. They argue that to objectify a person is demeaning, dehumanizing, and fundamentally wrong.

As you strip the person of power, and identity, the impact of this can be devastating to the person’s emotional and psychological well being.

Both schools of thought are right and wrong.

Among the various forms of objectification, are those people whose kink is to be an inanimate object (i.e., tables or lamps or a foot stool).

This form of objectification is a form of meditation for those people, the willing loss of self, a quieting of the mind, very similar to people who find flogging meditative, or find bondage meditative; however, like any type of meditation, it is for a specific duration of time.

Now as for the objectification of turning a person into a object (i.e., body parts or unthinking dolls, a cunt, or fuck hole), this type of fetish is arousing and often involves the eroticization of a body part, heightening the enjoyment.  It does, however only tap into a facet of that person!!

The first form of objectification - that of the willing loss of self can be liberating, freeing, and a means to embrace one’s quiet core, as in meditation. but it is only within the limited context of the scene, and, like meditation, has a beginning middle and end.

If one attempts to extend this form of objectification beyond the preset parameters of the scene, then for both participants in the  D/s relationship, it can be dangerous. For the person who strives to always remain the object is doomed to fail, and in the process to wreck damage upon the D./s relationship. One cannot be a object all the time; no matter how hard one strives, one will always remain more than an object.  For the submissive there is only failure after failure in their attempt to remain the object that their Dom wishes them to be.

For the Dominant, there is disappointment after disappointment because they are asking the impossible. Eventually the strain will seriously impact the relationship, if not end it.

The other interpretation of objectification is self-evident; people are more than just body parts, more than just a certain role.  Whether the Dominant wants to admit it or not, a submissive is more than just a body part or an action or a thought. A submissive is more than a submissive, they are people with various roles and skills and abilities.

To see anyone as one-dimensional, as an object or as a certain role ONLY is wrong and misleading. To do so is to deny the realities of the world you live in.

To continually do so the dominant is doomed to disappointment, and to persist after disappointment and evidence that implies otherwise, the dominant is either learning disabled or just an idiot, who refuses to deal with reality.

To eroticize a body part or a role or a facet of the submissive’s  personality is wonderful and can heighten the mutual experience , but  that eroticized  facet already exists within the personality. and there has to be mutual synergy developed between the Dominant and submissive. The relationship must be mutually gratifying, or else the relationship is doomed to end, if one of the parties’ needs and desires are not being met.

That eroticized aspect of the personality is only an aspect, a facet of an integrated personality.  To bring it out and have it as a focus is fine, but you have to realize that it is only a facet of a whole, and as such will be reintegrated into the whole when the play is over.

Just like a Dom who taps into his stern ‘yes sir’ side, he can only maintain this persona for the duration of the scene. It would be impossible for him or her to continue this persona into and throughout his life.   One cannot expect the people with whom he or she works to call them sir or master, nor can he or she expect the gas attendant to kneel and address them according to strict protocol!

Reality bites into the persona and eventually crumbles it.

We are only capable of suppressing our personalities for a limited time; the demands of reality, time and space and the flow of experiences eventually solicits from us other actions, other aspects of our multi-faceted personalities. and it is through this interplay with experience that we become complex multifaceted individuals, rather than one dimensional cartoon characters.

For the person who wants to be the doll, or a fuck hole, it is freeing because for a brief moment, there is the liberation from cares, worries, history, thinking, decision making, freedom from all of that; the freedom for a few moments to transcend their reality, a freedom to escape into the placid center of themselves. As a form of meditation it can be liberating, because all the stresses of that person’s life are submerged and for a brief moment the individual is free from the rest of themselves. The interval, however, is of short duration, for that scene, that moment; not indefinitely, which form of objectification is only “common” on the Internet!

In reality there are just far too many demands on a person to remain “in character”, or to be just an object.  The pressures of dealing with reality will soon force the person out of their one dimensional persona.

No matter how hard they try, reality will force them out of that role. It is impossible to interact with all you come in contact with as say just a doll, the pressure to function in a multidimensional world will force the one dimensional character to assume other facets of their real self.  So the sexual objectification can only be temporary, and specific to a scene. When one attempts to carry it further, it will soon collapse, as it does in the world, that is why stereotypes and objectification eventually breaks down.

Now the reason all the Dominants just love this type of objectification, is that it is easy, there is a minimum of work involve, there is no mastering involved; the relationship is only one dimensional  shallow and empty of any meaningful interaction..

When you have stripped a person into an object (i.e. a doll), you don't have to take the person into consideration, you don’t have to fear that they will evaluate or make judgments and they won’t think so they won’t question . they won’t challenge, and they won’t defy the Dominant’s power.  There is a surrender that, for the Dominant, is nice and safe.

If a Dominant is uncertain of his powers or abilities an objectified doll is safe to deal with.

The Dominant only has to relate on one level , there is no thinking or evaluating or assessing to be done, the interaction is flat and one dimensional. so there is nothing.  It is safe and comfortable, requires no creativity or insight, only compliance.  It also lacks skill, or imagination, or true power to interact in a shallow one-dimensional relationship on a long-term basis.

To reiterate, this form of relationship can only be successful in a scene. In fact in a scene, it can be very powerful and exceedingly erotic and fulfilling, but like all scenes they must and do come to an end, to do otherwise, to attempt to turn it into a 24/7 relationship is to doomed it to failure.   Too many factors would interfere with the interaction and the illusion would crumble very quickly, when exposed to the light of day.

Although I know a lot of those in Cyber Land dream of such things, it cannot be done!! The demands of the world will erode it to oblivion in a short time..


6 comments:

Gray said...

This was one of the most well written posts on the thoughts of Objectification that I have read in a long time. You are completely right when you stated: "We are only capable of suppressing our personalities for a limited time". It is not reasonable to expect someone to be able to spend their entire existence behaving in such a manner. I think the online role playing has encouraged such unrealistic thoughts. But that is just my .02.

Luna Mauvaise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luna Mauvaise said...

I came here expecting more of your fluid poetry; but instead find you educating. :)

Very insightful, Finbar.

xoxo
~Luna

Gray said...

Merry Christmas Finbar!!

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Tepid said...

very logical to one who is on the outside looking in. thank you for such a thorough post.