I’ve spoken about acting as a mentor to people in the past but I don’t believe I touched on just what exactly is a Mentor in the context of the BDSM lifestyle.
As I’ve been doing some reflecting lately on it, I thought I’d go into detail about the role.
A BDSM Mentor is someone that has been in the lifestyle long enough themselves that they have experience and a good understanding of the differing aspects of the lifestyle, enough so that they can act as support and guidance needed to newcomers to BDSM and a D/s lifestyle.
There needs to be a solid foundation for a mentor and the newcomer’s interactions though. Forging trust between one another is paramount, as is genuine friendship. You’ll be working together and, depending on the individual, maybe even on sensitive, intimate aspects. So establishing a mutual level of trust and bond is absolutely necessary.
For example, I’ve always said to anyone, that writes in to me intrigued about a mentoring, whether by me or otherwise, to take the time and think about it. Take the time to get to know the mentor and see if they are best person for the job.
A BDSM Mentor should be in a strictly non-sexual role with the person being mentored. If it goes beyond that, either you or your mentor are looking for entirely different things and should either reflect together or apart.
I’m sure there are people who evolve from a Mentor / Mentored to genuine play – and maybe that’s what they want and that’s fine – but for the most part, a BDSM Mentor should be in that strictly non-sexual role.
They don’t own the Mentored, they can’t set protocols or rules or structures or punishments. They shouldn’t be teaching how to be like them specifically but more helping the individual be who they want to be.
Okay, but what does a BDSM Mentor actually do?
In my experience, being a mentor to a newcomer has involved listening to their needs and wants and guiding them accordingly.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of having that line of communication open, sometimes it’s listening about their relationship or their thoughts and helping them make sense of it, sometimes it’s just answering any questions they have about the lifestyle.
Me, personally, I like establishing a level of trust and comfort so that when or if they feel like asking me anything, they can stop in the middle of their day – to ask or vent or simply just talk out their feelings.
Some people need support and structure in their lives – I helped someone I Mentored get to the gym more, while I helped another organise their day in a way that she always wanted to but struggled to.
Setting tasks for the individual to reflect upon, offering resources like non-fiction books and just giving your time and patience – that’s what a mentor does.
Is a mentor needed for a successful D/s or BDSM relationship?
Absolutely not. I never had one. Granted, I took the road less traveled and it took longer to get there, but I’d like to think of my own D/s relationship as successful.
Whether you want a mentor there to assist you, for as ever long as you want, is entirely up to your preference. Some prefer the community in whole, some thrive on a one-to-one basis. It really depends on your personal views.
Should a submissive find a submissive mentor and a dominant find a dominant mentor? Or can they cross?
It depends on personal preference. Though I’m sure a submissive mentor could impart knowledge that I couldn’t fathom, I think learning from both sides of the dynamic could be a fascinating and enlightening experience.
Some people prefer to work with someone of the same dynamic while others like to work with the opposite to gain some insight into the mind. I’m sure personal preference also plays a part.
In my experience as a mentor, I’ve mentored both dominant and submissive people and have enjoyed answering questions to both sides of the dynamic.
Do you still mentor?
I do! The door is always open for people of any background or nationality, if you think I’m the right person to help you. If so, I’m happy to chat with you for as long you want so you can feel comfortable with me and make sure you still want that line of dialogue to be open.
Take your time deciding what’s best for you. You have all the time in the world to learn or to build a friendship and trust with the person that you want to be mentored by. Follow your heart and soul and you’ll be perfectly fine.