I was once told that a three legged stool was the most sable, because it could never wobble. I am not sure if the analogy will hold through this. But it is a good place to start.
I often have deeply insightful discussions with my partner pb. Our relationship is slowly but, and most importantly, consistently growing. A subject that has been discussed repeatedly in the recent past has been Transparency.
A simple definition of transparency within the BDSM context is the ability to communicate everything, rational and emotional, without editing. We are not trained to do that. We are trained to hide, even from ourselves. (Psychologists make quite a good living from that tendency.) Transparency is the ability to tell your partner what is happening inside. How do you feel, even if it may hurt to say it? What do you want, even if you know you can’t or shouldn’t get it? It is the ability to communicate what is inside even if it is silly, embarrassing, stupid, contradictory, self centered, jealous, and insulting. Most importantly, even if you don’t like it.
Gandhi once said he had an allegiance to truth, not to consistency. Humans are inherently self contradictory. Our feelings are true, but they may be totally contradictory to what we state. Our beliefs are true even if our feelings brings us to contradictory actions. No matter, to be transparent we must be able to express them.
Now here is the overwhelmingly sticky element in all of this from within an authority exchange relationship. Transparency is required from the slave or submissive to the Dominant, but not from the Dominant to the slave or submissive. That’s a real kicker, one of those, “How come it’s OK for YOU” elements. But there are some caveats there. The Dominant MUST be internally transparent to the best of his or her ability. That is he must understand himself and his reasons for his behavior. But he or she is not required to be verbally transparent about his or her actions to those who have given them authority.
This is not a power play. If a Dominant is attempting to bring forth an insight within his submissive, telling her how and why would, at that point, only give her tools with which to armor herself.
Those on the right side of slash in the D/s or M/s relationship MUST be transparent to the best of their ability in all communication to their partner on the left side of the slash. Those in authority must do whatever they can to encourage and train their partners to be so. How else can the Dominant or Master make the best decisions?
But those on the left, to do their best work, to bring out the best in their partners, are not required to expose the reasons behind their behavior to those on the right. To do their job, to intelligently take on the responsibility of the relationship, to assist in the growth of that relationship and those within it, a Dominant or Master must often do sly and sneaky things. If he is able, he must, at times, trick his partner into insights. He must eloquently finagle.
However, to ACCEPT that finagling, to be able to willingly give that authority, to say, “I may not understand, but I accept” requires Trust, and that is the second leg.