Control Tower

How Did We Get Roped Into the Term "Mentors"?

Comments

1
It's strange to think of anyone asking for something and being surprised when asked what they'll give in return. It's a horrible issue with people my age (early 20s) and seems to be getting worse. I would think of all people, someone honestly interested in BDSM wouldn't do that. It makes me think you're right, that they just want to latch onto the fame part, and aren't actually interested in anything past that. Plus it just really irks me that it seems to be okay now to ask someone to do something very time consuming or elaborate and expect that they don't have to do anything in return.

Things like this that upset me a lot. I love to learn more about BDSM from many people I see as more experienced than I am. But I also I know that I can't just follow one person and magically be perfect at it all. I want to see all the styles, types and views.
2
Great article, really!
3
hehee, I'd love to see the scenes in "Next Top Pro-Dom" where the contestants, having spent weeks washing and waxing your car, discover they've been building the muscles appropriate for flogging...
4
There's actually an organized mentorship program where volunteer mentors teach the apprentices one-on-one each month over the course of a year. As in, one mentor a month, and some group things.

They aren't everywhere, but they do exist.

I do, however, think it's very pushy for people to ask someone they don't even know to mentor them. I've kind of absorbed a mentor in another apprentice, because over these few months, I've seen her play, we've interacted, and I trust her. She teaches me things she knows from being an active Dominant for several years. It's not official, just kinda there.
6
In Las Vegas, our Leather community - one encompassing nearly all varieties of BDSM kinks - provides formal "Mentoring" programs; one for Dominants and another for Submissives.

It is a year long endeavor requiring several weekend "boot camps" and several hours of mentoring sessions with each of six senior BDSM people, These "Seniors" are considered to be at the "master" level. We bring skills and years of personal experience to this table.

The notion is that people entering our lifestyle or a "delightful area of entertainment" be fully aware and knowledgeable concerning safety and care for our fellows, as well as having had basic instruction in skills in most of the areas of involvement. They have instruction about most BDSM activities whether it is their desired specialty or not. There is regular monitoring and interaction between the mentors concerning the progress of the “apprentices”.

Many of us put a lot of time into this project, with the higher notion that education brings not only safety but pride in their endeavors, reducing levels of prejudice and shame, building respect and appreciation for nearly all vectors of BDSM. This is our way of making our community more wholesome.
7
In Las Vegas, our Leather community - one encompassing nearly all varieties of BDSM kinks - provides formal "Mentoring" programs; one for Dominants and another for Submissives.

It is a year long endeavor requiring several weekend "boot camps" and several hours of mentoring sessions with each of six senior BDSM people, These "Seniors" are considered to be at the "master" level. We bring skills and years of personal experience to this table.

The notion is that people entering our lifestyle or a "delightful area of entertainment" be fully aware and knowledgeable concerning safety and care for our fellows, as well as having had basic instruction in skills in most of the areas of involvement. They have instruction about most BDSM activities whether it is their desired specialty or not. There is regular monitoring and interaction between the mentors concerning the progress of the “apprentices”.

Many of us put a lot of time into this project, with the higher notion that education brings not only safety but pride in their endeavors, reducing levels of prejudice and shame, building respect and appreciation for nearly all vectors of BDSM. This is our way of making our community more wholesome.
8
Great article. The use of the term "mentor" in any context outside of a professional trade just comes off as being incredibly creepy.
9
We do something similar to the Vegas example here in Denver. One of my lovers is currently going through the program and speaks very highly of the experience.
10
There is also the reverse, where older, ostensibly more established members of the kink community seem actively to seek out mentees and newbies to "protect". I've been offered these services before, but turned them down. Maybe I am too paranoid or cynical about the true intentions behind the offers, but my limited observations about these kinds of relationships in the kink community is that they often become a roundabout way of turning into a sexual relationship.

Nothing wrong with that, of course, if both parties are aware that that's the game they're playing. But it's not the kind of game I like to play.
11
@10 Yeah it's often a way of making a connection someone hopes will lead to sex. Happens in both directions IMO.
12
@10 - FFS, the title for the person with a mentor is "protege". If "mentee" was a word, mentors would have to go around "menting".
13
Seriously, people, it's not rocket surgery. People have been managing to get off in every kind of kinky way imaginable without killing and maiming each other for centuries. Most kinky folks are not out and performing in public spaces...they are managing just fine with their imaginations and common sense in their own homes. Imagine that.
14
This is one of those rare times when I disagree with you, Matisse. In a subculture where potentially creepy terms like Master, Mistress, and Daddy are widely used and accepted, "mentor" seems pretty tame. And what's more, this term seems to be used to denote a non-kinky relationship inside the larger BDSM community--where relationships are often assumed to be less than innocent. In that context, it seems like a perfectly appropriate word to use.