When someone says they have a mentor and that they are learning so much from them I'm happy for them. That is until they start saying that they are having sex with their mentor, or that they play intensely with them. It goes against everything I ever learned about mentors and rubs me wrong and I'll be telling you why in a moment. But first let's go back to school, no really, think about your high school and college days. The mentors we were most exposed to were our teachers. We learned a lot from them, from academics to life scenarios. They became friends, confidants and advisors. It was not acceptable to even think about being romantically involved with them. They were our more experienced peers and leaders. We learned that it violated a societal code to go beyond handshakes and even today teachers walk a fine line touching their students at all.
Now, with that in place, I hope you can see where I'm headed. A mentor in the lifestyle should be treated the same as those in our school days were. Respect, admiration, honor are all terms that I place with a good mentor. I look up to a lot of senior submissives and slaves and consider them all my mentors. I even have a few Dominants that I look up to as well but in a more reserved manner. These people in my life are not treated in the same way as I've been introduced to online by people all over the internet. Which is the rub.
Just the other day I got an email from someone asking me about how they should be a better submissive with their Dominant mentor. They told me that their relationship was sexual in nature and that they were learning so much from their mentor. The submissive was beginning to understand their submission and was learning protocol and mannerisms that the mentor liked. Their mentor was preparing them for finding a Dominant. My immediate response was that they had already found a Dominant.
A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
Many online Dominants that aren't looking for a relationship but just some fun with a submissive, perhaps teach them a thing or two are going out there under the guise that they are mentors to novice submissives. These novice submissives are more vulnerable to their charms and the lure of learning to be a better submissive than those that have been around for awhile (although not completely untouchable). The internet has made this more prevalent but it exists in real life too.
These mentor Dominants are not always bad and can't be automatically considered predators. Especially because many, like I said, are just looking for casual relationships with no strings. They may like the intellectual discourse and the play is definitely a bonus. When they are done with their charges they set them free 'to look for a Dominant of their own.'
They are generally harmless but can lead to some confusion with the submissive when they start to fall for the mentor Dominant and those feelings are not returned or handled appropriately.
Another very important belief with my position on mentors is that they should be a person that you are not likely to partner with. So if this means you are a heterosexual submissive you should find a mentor of the same sex. I realize this is more of a challenge for bisexual submissives but this is more of a conscious choice to pick someone you are not going to be attracted to sexually. The reason for this is obvious. You are less likely to consider sexual relations with someone you are not gender attracted to and it helps keep the relationship platonic or learning-centered.
Also, whenever possible, I prefer to see mentors that are the same role as well. So if I were to identify as a babygirl in a Daddy/girl relationship I'd want a mentor that is also female, identifies as a babygirl and has more experience than I do so that I can learn off of them and from them. Compatibility this way is more challenging but if you can find someone that at least agrees on some base tenants then you are more likely to be successful in your relationship with them.
Teach Me How?
A good mentor will not have to play with you to teach you what you want to know. They should be available to answer your questions, help you find resources and aide you in your personal growth. None of this says you must know how it feels to take a flogger or submissively give a blow job. These things are NOT part of your personal development but rather activities you do with your partner. One of the best mentors I've had would ask for my thoughts on a topic and I had to really think hard about how it played out in my head and what I felt about it. We'd talk about my connection to submission, what I expected from all sorts of situations and definitely deflated my fantasy balloon around D/s that I had developed from too much BDSM fiction.
If a Dominant approaches you and offers to be your mentor, make sure you clarify with them what you expect from them and for your own sake, keep it platonic. Your personal growth will be much improved and when that perfect Dominant comes along you'll be ready. And if you don't think you can keep the physical out of your relationship then go look for a Dominant and skip the mentor. You'll still have a chance to make friends and learn from the more experienced around you.
After all, that's the best advice I can give. Watch and learn from those who have been where you are. Let their knowledge feed your mind and open it up to questions about your own submission. They are the best mentors.
- Mentoring on Wikipedia
- Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering(1997)
- Mentors and Mentoring
Thoughts to Ponder
- Do you agree with what I have said? Why or why not?
- Have you considered finding a mentor? What would you want to learn from a mentor?
- Do you prefer to have a mentor of the similar role or one of the opposite role? Why?