Another question from March Question Month comes from Coco:
I am curious about what your thoughts on those who admit to participating underage are?
I have been referred to as “vanilla” for being uncomfortable with those who identify/have identified as submissives and slaves at/from a very young age. I can understand experimenting at a young age with the idea of a BDSM relationship, but for those who participate and openly admit to it, it sends up red flags for me. Especially from people who say they have known since middle school (when they are technically still children in the eyes of law). I know I have been into service forever, but I don’t mean that I have always been a submissive because of that.
Since I started Submissive Guide, I have to be honest and say that I've had young women ask me for advice. Because of this, I have had to decide exactly how I feel about legally underage people exploring and identifying as submissive. I'll do my best to share my views about it.
First, let me cover my thoughts sexual exploration and experimentation with BDSM as a teenager. I understand that teens will do whatever they want and if sexual experimentation is one of the things they get into then I can't stop them from it. But what I can do is emphasize safety; both in sexual barriers and in awareness in the activities that they may try. But I believe I do this for all novice submissives, young and old.
I believe that your sexual preferences are ingrained in you and if you lean towards the kinky pleasures then that is just who you are. So, if a teenager is already learning and experimenting with their sexual desires and finds that they like kink; it's not going to change their thinking if I believe they shouldn't be having casual sex or are adamant that they should wait to try kinky things until later in life. The desire can be too strong.
As my goal is to educate people I do not refrain from giving them solid safety advice about what they are participating in and what they need to watch out for. If I don't provide the information they are asking for two things could happen. They could go elsewhere to get information and hopefully, it's good information or they will experiment without the help and potentially get hurt.
I'm here to prevent that if possible.
Now, as far as teenagers identifying as submissive in a relationship I have a couple hesitations. I don't believe that teenagers have the maturity to have an intense D/s style relationship where they could identify as submissive. I also don't believe they have the same style of relationships as what adults are used to. So, it could hinder any of my perceptions of how teenagers feel when they identify as submissive. Does that mean they are intensely submissive and they just learned early on what many of us wish we had? Or are they playing submissive because it's fun and enjoyable and their boyfriend/girlfriend likes it?
Since I believe that submissive is in the identification of who you are I'm certain that you can identify as submissive as early in life as you can identify it and recognize it. How far you take that in life is up to you.
Being underage is a label that society has slapped on what is commonly agreed to be still a child. But anyone with children can say that children sometimes are far more mature than their age. Does this mean they can't know they are submissive because of the society's age rules? I don't think so. Childhood is actually a modern invention. Children were treated as adults from a young age, even dressed as small adults. Having a defined childhood didn't exist. I don't believe that childhood is the same duration for everyone. I refuse to judge someone based on age, no matter how young society says they are.
So, hopefully, this has helped you understand where I am coming from as far as young people and their decision to identify and experiment with D/s and BDSM. Please feel free to ask me more questions!