“Near Enemy” in the world of BDSM is not just to spice up the plot but as a vehicle of exploration to help us understand human relationships and their dual nature. BDSM scenes allow participants to paint a picture of how harmful habits can often disguise themselves as good ones – a concept known as the ‘near enemy.’ This idea offers a fresh perspective on understanding our relationships and, in turn, ourselves and those around us.
The BDSM dynamic, with its well-defined limits, agreed power roles, and open communication, reflects this ‘near enemy’ idea. It shows us the thin line separating love from unhealthy attachment, genuine compassion from pity, true joy from over-indulgence, and balanced calmness from indifference. The ‘near enemy’ concept prompts us to recognize these subtle differences; play allows us to explore and know these behaviors on a deep level.
The concept of “near enemies” applies to various personality types, including those who may identify as submissive. Here are some examples:
In BDSM, we often run into the near enemy of connection in the negotiating process and get derailed before a scene even begins. Consent and trust are paramount. In BDSM, vulnerability might appear as a submissive partner willingly giving control to a dominant partner. The near enemy here could be coercion or manipulation, where one partner pressures the other into participating in acts they’re uncomfortable with. It might look like vulnerability because the submissive is giving up control, but it’s actually a violation of trust and consent.
An example of a dominant manipulating a submissive: “If you truly trusted me, you wouldn’t have a problem with this,” in an attempt to get the sub to participate in acts that she previously expressed discomfort with. This is a clear example of manipulation, as it involves twisting the concept of trust to pressure the sub into agreeing to something she’s uncomfortable with. A dominant pushing boundaries after a scene has begun, or using their power to get their way is a clear intimacy killer.
On the other hand, a submissive manipulating a dominant can also occur. For instance, a submissive may use guilt to influence his dominant partner to move beyond agreed limits. John might say, “If you really cared about me and my satisfaction, you wouldn’t mind doing this for me,” attempting to use emotional manipulation to get the Dominant to feel obligated to engage in acts that she isn’t comfortable with. Again, this is a violation of trust and consent in the relationship. Topping from the bottom is a common example of “near enemy”.
Similarly, courage in BDSM might be trying a new scene or activity. The near enemy could be recklessness or disregard for safety. It might seem like courage because it involves taking risks, but it lacks the careful negotiation and risk awareness that responsible BDSM practices require.
Brené Brown’s concept of near enemies helps us to discern between authentic expressions of vulnerability, courage, empathy and their deceptive counterparts. In any relationship, including those involving BDSM, recognizing these near enemies can help ensure that all parties feel safe, respected, and valued.
In healthy BDSM relationships and roles, it is crucial to exercise care and mindfulness to avoid the near enemy. This entails purposefully exploring these themes within the boundaries of pre-negotiated scenes, where we engage in role-play to gain a deeper understanding of these behaviors and our personal shadow desires to act them out. By doing so, we create a safe and consensual space to delve into these aspects of our sexuality and psychology, fostering growth and self-awareness. So, let us continue to explore and embrace the complexities of our desires and emotions responsibly and ethically through BDSM. Overall, by recognizing and understanding near enemies, we can foster healthier and more fulfilling relationships both within and outside of BDSM dynamics.
Brené Brown, a world-renowned researcher and storyteller, introduced the concept of “near enemies” in her work. It’s a Buddhist concept that refers to states of mind that appear similar to certain virtues or positive qualities but are subtly different and can lead to self-deception or misunderstanding and, ultimately, a lack of intimacy and connection.
In the context of Brené Brown’s work, she often talks about near enemies in relation to vulnerability, courage, and empathy. For example, the near enemy of vulnerability might be oversharing or emotional dumping, where one person unloads their emotions onto another without consideration for the other person’s boundaries. This can seem like vulnerability because it involves revealing personal information, but it lacks the mutual trust and respect that true vulnerability requires.
Engaging in a playful exploration of the concept of “Near Enemy” can involve creating scenes where individuals assume shadow roles, allowing them to act out and experience desires that resemble the near enemy. Through this process, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their emotions and behaviors, empowering them to exercise greater control over their actions in their daily lives.
After boundaries and roles are clearly negotiated, these examples of scenes show how BDSM allows players to gain a deeper understanding of the near enemy:
Both of these scenes are examples of role-playing subtle near-enemy behaviors.