I have read a lot of posts about respect recently and many of them have rubbed me the wrong way and I haven’t been quite sure why until I thought about writing on the topic.
There seem to be two main schools of thought. (Not exclusively two before some smartass makes a comment)
A. That respect is something we should all have for each other right from the start.
B. That respect must be earned and is not the default.
I have issues with both of these that after a great deal of thinking I decided came down to how you define respect and that maybe there is more than one valid definition. So I will attempt to navigate the tricky waters of words and meanings and we shall find out if I can manage to convey my thoughts in a cogent manner.
As human beings we all deserve the basic levels of respect to start with. To be treated as worthy and useful members of the world and shown courtesy and kindness. Sort of a UBI of respect. Whether we earn more or squander that is up to us.
That the more we show that are learning and growing as contributors in the world that our investment of respect grows.
That seems a reasonable place to start. The basic level of respect that we should strive for and offer each other as fellow travelers through life. This does not of course cover respect granted or earned through knowledge of a subject. I will not offer the same level of respect to a flat earther that I would to a physicist.
The first wants their opinion respected because they simply have an opinion and the second has spent years learning and thinking and testing their ideas. That means that there are different version or aspects of respect, well, at least as far as I can see.
And like anything else the earned version of respect can be lost if not carefully nurtured. I know I have lost respect in the eyes of others. That can be a tough thing when you have lost the respect of people that have admired you. And it can also be tough to lose respect for those who you have admired.
The bottom line for me is that we should all start by being treated with respect just for existing and that whether we keep that respect or lose it is up to the decisions and choices we make. Professional or respect in an area of expertise must be earned and can likewise be lost quicker than it was acquired. I don’t expect people who are not in a D/s relationship with me to offer me any sort of respect just because I am Dom and why the fuck would I? It hasn’t been earned. I only expect my sub to offer me that kind of respect and not some random person in her vicinity who proclaims they are Dom. Sir is a title that I have earned (I hope) from her and not something that is just expected.
When it comes to D/s specifically respect is critical for everyone involved and I know sometimes that can seem counter intuitive. After all, how can you respect your sub while you are calling them a dirty little cumslut? Everyone assumes that the Dom gets respect and that it is the subs job to supply that, but I feel it is dangerous for that to be a one way street. If you don’t respect your partner, make sure that they are strong and capable how can you possibly be sure that you are keeping them safe? Not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. Not to mention that I think that you need to show each other respect as a couple.
Sure you can play with stripping away respect and value and reducing someone to an object, but if you haven’t started from the right place it might not go well and if you are not ready to care for them afterwards then you are going to cause real harm.
Be wary of someone who says that you need to earn their respect just so they can treat you in a decent manner be in online or in person. Likewise be wary of someone who demands respect in an area of specialization that they have not demonstrated expertise. After all you want an actual doctor and not someone who watched House that one time. Btw, it is never Sarcoidosis.
I love and respect the women in my life and more specifically I love and respect Lillith. She has earned the respect that I give to those that have earned it because she is much smarter and more talented than I am. I hope I have earned hers as well.