First off, I want to state that I respect those that take the time to create guides. It is a lot of work and rarely yields any type of reward except for a few back pats, and at best, the most common result is plagiarism.
Recently I have had a few people request that I write some newbie BDSM guides. My first reaction was, "why would I take the time to do that when there are already so many resources available?" Then I went to look for the resources that I learned from and they are either completely gone or buried so deep in SEO that they may as well be gone.
Honestly, I keep running into people that are confused or burdened by the fact that they are working from a singular definition of a term or concept when there are multiple definitions for said term/concept. "The guide I read said it was _____."
I respect those that take the time to create guides... but c'mawn... be thorough. The reason so few people write guides is because they are a hell of a lot of work (I know first hand having written many guides in other fields). If you google the word "sand" and look for a definition you will find there are three of them. One is a noun and refers to a sand like on a beach. Two are verbs. One is the action of smoothing something with sand paper. The other is spreading the noun version of sand on something, like a road in winter. If you came across a dictionary that had one or two of those definitions (and not all three) you would probably think it was a pretty shitty dictionary. I'm going to stop at that.
Guides in general are rather interesting. If you hunt them down, and I have read dozens over the years, there are basically two types of guides: One that is supposed to be universal but is obviously targeted at submissive women. One that is purposely directed at men. If I had to give those guides titles to summarize them, it would be something like this:
- Newbie guide for women: How to not get abused and raped in BDSM.
- Newbie guide for men: How to not repulse every woman on the internet.
I'm not actually making fun of these guides. Sadly, they are necessary. Almost too necessary. So necessary it's kind of frightening. Yeah. You know exactly what I'm talking about.
While there are plenty of BDSM 101 resources, what I have noticed that is completely lacking would be BDSM 201, 301, and 401 guides. It took me a while to figure out why. Just about everyone that has been in the lifestyle for a long period of time has a wealth of knowledge and lessons they have gathered over the years. This applies to people who have been with the same partner for a long time as well as those that have not.
When I try to dig into it, I realize it's the effects of cliches. "Everyone is unique, there is no right way." I actually hate this statement for several reasons. The first is that it is an easy justification for making zero effort to understand someone's situation. The second is that it distances us from other people. I am unique, you are unique, we are too different for anything to be applicable to the both of us.
Having been treated different for reasons like weight, build, physical appearance, and the like, I think that feeling unique is isolating. I have spent years searching for SIMILARITIES between people rather than differences. I have seen ways for people to come together rather than remain apart. Special little snowflakes melt alone.
I find the lack of material written about "intermediate BDSM" to be rather shocking. In its place you find "There is no one right way."
Maybe they were right and I should write guides. In the future I can find a post on someone's blog where they bitch about my guide being inadequate and I can pump my fist in the air and shout, "OMG, someone read my shit and took the time to write about it!"