“People don’t lie on the Internet!”
-Dept. Raineesha Williams, Reno 911!
I recntly read a Fetlife discussion of the old CastleRealm BDSM website and what was and wasn’t true about its operators, Lord Colm and slade jade (including whether jade actually existed). One of the posters linked to the preserved text of the CastleRealm site.
Thanks to the miracle that is the Wayback Machine, we can examine old websites, and trace the history of ideas and memes. This page (scraped from November 2000 but copyrighted 1998) presents the “ancient houses” idea with a completely straight face.
Houses: A common term for the families or small communities that have evolved from adhering to certain social activities, social values and morals associated with the Dominant/submissive lifestyle. Each “clan” developed their own special standards, style and customs and there are wide variations as to what is acceptable within a “house.” We find two distinctly different styles between the two main groups found within the term:
* The Oriental Society: The lifestyle developed in the Oriental countries, mainly Japan. This group of “houses” or “families” focuses mainly on the psychological and artistic aspects of Dominance and submission. Physical punishment and pain play little part in their world and great attention is given to the surrender and control of the mind and emotions. The beauty and artistic appeal of their method is easily seen in Japanese rope bondage.
* The European Council: Developed in Europe, mainly Germany, Belgium and France, this group is heavy into the more physical aspects of the lifestyle and incorporates the bulk of the BDSM practices we find today. The German houses gave birth to the PonyGirl/Boy and many of the other fetishes found in the power exchange. Within the European houses we find most of the Dominatrixes and male submissives, along with the practices associated with them, such as CBT.
Are these “houses” real or only a fantasy created by some fiction book?
These houses are very real as are the people who are involved in them. The history available dates their existence as far back as 2000 years and they most likely existed before then in a less structured manner. It is a common practice for people with similar ideals and interests to join together to share their experiences and needs, so the existence of these groups should not come as any great surprise to those who are aware of human behavioral sciences. You may not see a sign hanging over the doorway of the little white house on the corner of 3rd and Maple Street that says “Joe’s D/s House and Grill,” but they are there, hidden from view and doing very nicely in our everyday society.
One of the things that has undermined the existence of these houses is the current fad D/s is undergoing. It seems that every Tom, Dick and Harry has jumped on the band wagon and proclaimed themselves to be members of this or that house and boast of having their Masters degree in BDSM or D/s. The truth is that most of them are charlatans who have found a way to give credence to their misuse of power and pitiful knowledge. Their unfounded claims have planted more misunderstanding in this lifestyle than almost any other factor. Be wise and have doubts about anyone who solicits you for enrollment in a “house” especially on the Internet or at scene clubs. Most people who truly have roots in the old families are not about to proclaim it to the world.
Why are these houses so secretive?
Like any group that goes against the mainstream beliefs of the society within which it exits, there are carefully guarded standards about their establishment and being. Five hundred years ago, such things were only considered bizarre and extreme but not criminal. Today, with laws and concerns for human rights, such organizations fall into the jurisdiction of illegal activities or criminal acts. It doesn’t take an active imagination to consider the consequences for a group or individual discovered to be living a D/s lifestyle or to be practicing some of it’s activities. Remember that in many states it is still a crime to engage in oral or anal sex with your spouse. Just think of what a group who advocates the practices found in BDSM would be facing. Not a lovely thought, heh? Then is it any wonder that you don’t see billboards pointing out the way to “Joe’s D/s House and Grill?”