Grey sky leaking the bedroom windows, a soft rain on the roof over my head – laying naked in bed this winterly morning, I’ve been reflecting on my time acting as a mentor, of sorts, to those that have wanted or needed a recurring figure and friend to help them in their own journey, be they new and learning or savvy to the ways but finding new wrinkles in their mind.
When I first learned that such a thing as a BDSM Mentor existed, I didn’t really know what to make of it – was it key for some special sexual dynamic? Another riff on addressing one as ‘Sir’? It wasn’t until I read up on it, and read thoughts from the community on this here internet, that I realised what it was. And it spoke to me.
A mentor needs no ceremony, no bells and whistles, no special speech assigned to them – they merely are a friend on standby, someone to offer resources and guidance, someone who stands by the individual for as long as the individual needs their help.
A mentor is a preference though – one does not require a mentor. I didn’t have one, I stumbled through knowledge and here I am – and if someone like myself can do it, anyone can. No, a mentor is purely for those who feel they need the guidance. Someone to drop in and chat.
So in late 2016 / early 2017, I started to give it some thought. Could I be a mentor, I thought? Do I know enough? Can I help others? Am I worthy of their time? I doubted myself but my desire to help others where I struggled won over. I ran it by my kitten, clearing misconceptions, making sure that – if I were to chat with anyone about these things, man or woman, that she would be comfortable with that notion.
So I began to offer it more openly to readers here, being sure not to push the concept or make any shy person feel obligated, as I sometimes have been known to feel. I just wanted people to know someone could chat with them.
It became a thing of growth for me. I learned to be careful of influencing others with my own thoughts on kink, instead creating a space for them to feel at ease in their own skin. I listened and didn’t speak unless they asked. It’s not my place to interfere, I didn’t want to put thoughts in their head. If they needed a push, Well I would do that gently and only if I felt it was safe to do so. I didn’t want to rewrite their thought process.
Since 2017 I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to help people work through some of their own thoughts – and seeing these people go on to happy D/s relationships has been a beautiful and fulfilling thing for me, knowing in some tiny way that I helped them. It brings a tear to my eye.
It’s strange to me, when someone approaches me and apologises for their scattered email of thoughts or for wasting my time – because I’ve never had a problem with any of that. I’ve never felt out by an email, never minded wandering thoughts – as I’m the same – and I make the time to check my emails and blog. More than that, perhaps I think it’s strange because I can see myself in that person – scared and doubting, unsure about what they’re doing.
I don’t offer mentoring as much as I used to. A flare up in my anxiety caused me to doubt myself, leaving scars that remind me of those troubling thoughts – Who are you to offer that help? No one wants a stranger interfering. Just stop what you are doing.
But I try to relent and push through and still offer help where I can, because once in a while someone will write and say they’ve been trying to write for months but couldn’t overcome their own anxiety.
Being a mentor and mentoring fulfils my soul in many ways, but it has taught me growth. I’ve learned about who I am, about being a teacher, about the sides within me that someone I’m helping helps me see in the first place, thus teaching me.
It’s just a wholesome, lovely thing. And the fact that this person trusts me enough to let me in and help? That’s an honour.