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(CoB) Community of Babel


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Within the ancient lands of Shinar, the angry sky would drop sand and stone upon the city of Babel. The tumultuous scene of catastrophe was witnessed without warning: their grand and mighty tower would fall. As walls and pillars crushed workers and spectators alike, the true devastation was yet to be acknowledged. One man would turn to another to make a statement with horrifying realization: what everyone spoke was sheer gibberish. A confusion of language had taken place. This served as their punishment for attempting a tower that would pierce the heavens and stare in the face of gods.

As I look over the public scene, I can easily see that it is made up of many smaller sub-communities. Like-minds flock together and some can be easily identified with a four-letter acronym, while others have actually nothing to do with the hierarchy and tradition of living an alternative relationship dynamic. Many of these sects overlap and interweave seamlessly, where as hammer and nails couldn't hold two others together. All the while, it continues to grow, for better or for worse depending upon conditions we as individuals can affect and conditions we as a community on whole are unable change. This is status quo; there is nothing wrong with this and nothing right with this because it just is. Time will march forward; people will leave the scene, people will enter it.

The focus of this written contribution, my faithful reader, is awareness of the language barrier and limitations of vocabulary: we are the Community of Babel.

There are as many ways to live the "lifestyle" as there are individuals participating in the lifestyle...and as such, there are countless experiences that lead to a unique understanding, both positive and negative. Understanding begs to be shared, so we find a way to express ourselves, manifesting in words and actions. As these understandings and experiences are unique, so is the language in which one chooses to express oneself; without constant and universal terminology, significant misunderstandings arise and with good cause:

...a confusion of language has occurred.


A sadist, a rigger, and a dominant walk into a play party. The sadist looks around and sees ample play spaces and thinks, "this is going to be a good night!" The rigger looks around and sees a deficiency of suspension points and thinks, "bummer, might not get to suspend someone tonight." The dominant looks around and thinks, "who the hell let in all the pansy ropers and abusive deviants?"

Truth time: writing a good BDSM joke is difficult. So is trying to comprehend the bastardized jargon of the public scene. It is easy to see, however, that with the influx of new mentalities and dynamics, the further we grow from the traditions and ideas that birthed each of our communities, respectively. Titles which were once earned are now common place and fantasy, living by strict protocol is considered taking things too seriously, and edge play that wasn't practiced until years of training was undergone are now being taught by people with less than a year experience. Some may call this progress. However, in my language, I'd call it something different (and still, nothing more than opinion).

How did we get here, though: from a time where a particular color hanky hanging out a particular pocket meant something, to now, in which you may not even know what someone means when they tell you they are dominant or submissive quite directly? The reasons can be countless, but it doesn't change that we are losing sight of what created unity within the public scene: solidarity, intelligence, preservation and integrity.

We want so much to be individuals, we fight against the qualities of the communities we want to belong. However, we want to belong so much, we are willing to overlook lessons and truths learned. We are quick to do away with things that don't make sense to us, rather than putting in the effort to understand why we keep them. Our desire for disposability and convenience undermine our need for consistency and fortitude. I wish I could say these were all falsehoods.


Communication is key to interacting with others...
...let's not be hap-hazardous!

Tips for transversing the dangerous world of interpersonal interactions:

  • Labels are your friend, not life partner.
  • Listen and ask questions.
  • Self defining is perfectly acceptable, but be prepared for no one to understand you.
  • Each community typically has a set of universal and commonly-used vocabulary, be aware and respectful of your chosen community's lingo.
  • Your actions will prove your words as truth or deception, do not insult your own intelligence by thinking you're not under constant observation - by yourself, at least.
  • Simplify when trying to express your ideas, use as few words as possible to clear confusion.
Posted (edited)

Well Cade I must say this makes total sense. After many years being wired the way that I am it has made me realy think about who and what I am .I'm a Dominant not a sadist but for me the sadist side is vehicle to control as in the same way my rope bondage does not make me a rigger. But for me the real prize is control wether it be through bondage,sex or honesty it's still about attaing control and the true finally is to gain love with control...


Thanks for posing . Christopher. 

Edited by Deleted Member

@Mrchristopher70 Thank you, I'm glad you were able to take something from my writing. I'll be posting a follow-up thread regarding labels that you may also find right on topic.

Great topic Cade. It speaks to what I have been calling the liberalisation of the kink and BDSM world. In the past liberalism has been associated with politics or on an individual basis, an open mindedness that is more open to freedom, change and new ideas. However as with many movements over the years it begins to stagnate and become insular or perverted. Today we have the ultra liberalism of the self defining ambiguity generations rising, taking liberalism and using it as a an excuse to be, do and say whatever they wish. If that is their prerogative so be it, I do not judge. However problems and issues arise when those ultra liberals are disagreed with and anyone who would disagree with this precious snowflake perspective would suffer the type of ad hominem attacks that deflect and attempt to divert the issue as opposed to addressing it. We see this more and more in the traditional BDSM world we inhabit and hence the ensuing confusion of language you speak of. With older or more experienced BDSM folks often struggling to understand where many of the newcomers are coming from and just what or how they identify as people. I often liken this to a self identifying person (usually ultra liberal) wanting to join a football/soccer team, but instead of wanting to play by the set rules and use the traditional and well understood vocabulary and vernacular used to train, play and understand the game and their team mates. They wish to be spoken to, interact and play under new terms, be identified in new ways and impose their own vocabulary and rules on the game. Such a person will often find that they struggle to be understood, connect, participate or even take much enjoyment from their chosen style of play. This holds true in the BDSM and kink world too and I am glad you have broached this subject with far more eloquence than I have. I look forward to your follow up thread regarding labels.

Good thread and good observations Cade. I think the main point is that labels are masks,behind which people can hide. They also denote belonging to a notional community, where people can hide. 

This is the irony; in the quest to be individual, people adopt labels without considering the traditional methods of acquiring them. There is a difference between a craftsman who has trained in a guild and the one who sets up business and calls himself carpenter.

i actually only came across the term rigger a couple of months ago. This is not particularly complementary of a skill; Shibari-Master would be much more apt. 

It is, however, only a label. What defines us are well, us - of which the sense of community arises.


@Robustlove Thank you for your reply! You very eloquently added the possible cause for the inconsistencies in common communication tools. Interestingly enough, I also found the sports analogy extremely useful in explaining this phenomenon. The similarities between most sports and the community/public scene are uncanny: detailed structure, often complex rules, the tendency for "pre-game" rituals (haha), et cetera. I appreciate your input.


@Carnelian2 Excellent response. I think your craftsman/carpenter analogy is very apt view on the lifestyle, itself, representing the conceptual difference between dominant and master or submissive and slave, perhaps. Certainly, I'm not one to dissuade anyone for indentifying in the way that makes them comfortable; but as you pointed out, there is a difference. 

In any alternative lifestyle community, diversity creates unity, but still, difference has importance. Awesome insight!

Posted (edited)

Good Morning,

what a great piece of writing- as always. I have yet to explore and understand the “old world” of our community and am desperate to know which colour hankies are for what!! 

I like the old school way, which encompasses the four pillars which are so often drawn upon and the chivalry of times gone which have been diluted by the modern condition. 

I have struggled with labels/ tags but am learning that by having them a dialogue can be progressed. I really like your comment that a label is a friend not a life partner and this has assisted me greatly in processing the notion of a label. 

I am new and despite this I can already see on the newsfeed the difference between those who are old school (real deal) and the new inexperienced ones (might have read 50 shades and fancy a bit of a face fucking) who I fear may not fully grasp the importance and responsibility of what they are doing and be unable to manage themselves safely. 

I appreciate the forum and the discussion that is prompted and I hope the new ones like me will read and digest the broad knowledge base that is on show- I just had an image of a majestic peacock- take from that what you will!! 


Fire 🔥 

Edited by Deleted Member

@Firewitch Thank you for the kind words. I found my exploration into the history of our culture extremely prolific; there are so many things to learn from the past that it can feel intimidating even asking questions! Haha.

There are many in the lifestyle trying to preserve this history, the traditions and rituals of "days past". When I entered into the public scene, there was someone there that shared their knowledge with me; in honoring them, it seems only right to do the same. That is a lot of the duty behind living this way, I think. I hope I can make those that helped me be who I am proud by helping others reach their potential.

From my point of view, this begins with understanding ourselves so that we can communicate effectively - and without fear of ideas and words. I hope that made sense, and I'm glad you found some value in the writing!


cade dude you fascinate me in a good way 


cade s mind us awesome. i love our king random talks. iv had kink for years. but im learning so much. im lucky cade as become my mentor

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