K is for Karma

Karma derives from the Sanskrit karman, which is a philosophy and word at least 5,500 years old. In English, the first usage was in 1827 brought to Europe as a result of the British rule in parts of India. The proper definition of karma is: “the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.” There are parallels in Western thought, primarily phrases such as: What goes around, comes around. Reap what you sow. Treat others as you desire to be treated yourself. They all have roots in religion and serve as parables pointing out the dangers of being a jerk; as in what [if anything] comes after life is determined by how you behaved towards others.

So is there a Golden Rule in BDSM?

Well, deciding that would be like herding cats; frustrating and ultimately futile. Every single person has their own idea of what is correct behavior according to their own experiences and expectations. But for the most part, ‘karma’, is used as a negative in conversation in order to justify an event as deserved. “Did you hear what happened? That’s karma for you.”

So if someone tells you they are interested in exploring D/s, where does karma fit into the equation? If you are a Dom, is it positive karma or negative if you spank someone at their request? If you are a sub, does instigating a paddling by bratting mean your karma took a hit for deliberately being naughty? What are the degrees of karma when it comes to domination and submission? Who gains and who loses?

I don’t believe BDSM [done right {and don’t get me started on what constitutes right}] is a zero-sum game. On the contrary; when involved in any aspect of D/s in any intensity or scope, the more attuned the partners are to each other’s needs, the more ‘good’ karma is gained. Giving or receiving pleasure and pain should be about selflessly serving a loved one without requiring reciprocation.

D/s is a true partnership between equals who find things that both enjoy in a loving, respectful and most importantly, with honesty in a relationship with full knowledge, consent and trust.

Byron Cane

1 Comment

  1. Thank you very much for your insight into being in a D/s relationship whether it’s very brief or long term. The respect should be the same IMHO. 😀

    Like

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