This week's video is about definitions of a lifestyler and a player.
I received the following question via email the other day and thought I would cover it here in a video post.
I'm in a D/s relationship where we tend to do most of our activities behind closed doors. Outside we are a normal equal couple. Someone called me a player the other day in response to my description of who I am and I was confused. I thought I was a lifstyler. What is the difference between a lifestyler and a player?
There are all sorts of labels that people can wear in this lifestyle. Many of these have definitions that fluctuate and change depending on the situation. These are submissive, slave, real, true, Dominant, Master, and the list goes on. No one can agree on what these labels mean for the community.
This is also a case for the terms Lifestyler and Player. Let's cover the definitions first.
- A player is someone who is a BDSM practitioner. This means they participate in the activities that make up the acronym. They could be rope bondage enthusiasts, sadists, and masochists. They could be sensual players or people who just like kinky sex. I personally prefer the term practitioner, but I hear player an awful lot in the online and real groups I frequent. This term also lends itself to those who pretend or seduce others as well. We won't be covering that area today.
- A lifestyler is someone who participates in the D/s aspect outside the bedroom/dungeon as well as may be a proficient BDSM practitioner as well. Just as people may choose to live a green lifestyle or a poly lifestyle the BDSM lifestyler makes the parts of BDSM and D/s that enrich their lives a part of their every day in some capacity.
A player is just as qualified to converse about things related to BDSM as a lifestyler. The distinction is based solely on the relationship dynamic status and depth of lifestyle change.
The two definitions are no more or less qualified to be a part of BDSM. As skylerpet will discuss later this month, the two areas can be separate or conjoined. In this aspect, I feel that they are joined by a common purpose but separate in action and perception.
Why are the two so hotly debated as to who is real and who is not leads me to my next point. Just as we will never agree what the difference is between a submissive and a slave we can not agree with who is a lifestyler and who is a BDSM practitioner. Sometimes they are the same, other times they are not. I'd like to reach out to you and ask you why do these terms have to be so different and why can't we agree to have an open mind about someone else?
The reality of who we are as individuals is the terms and definitions we apply to ourselves, not the labels other people give us. That's why I try to always express what my opinion is in an open minded way. I can't judge or object to anyone else's labels based purely on what I think they mean. They need to be based on what that person thinks they mean.
So if I say that I'm a lifestyler it means to me that I practice some form of BDSM and D/s in my everyday life. For others, it could mean that they are a Gorean Lifestyle practitioner. Players have a wider variety of definitions and none of them seem to be the same, but they have meaning for those that use them to define what it is they do.
In conclusion, no matter what term is used, we should remain aware that for every person there is a different definition and the difference between them is dependent on those definitions agreeing. You may be a player, you may be a lifestyler but what's important is how you define those words and yourself.