Thursday, February 5, 2009

FLR: Control Versus Satisfaction

I was enjoying Lady Julia's posting while I arrived at some conclusions that I wish to share. I have been involved with FLR long enough to be able to separate my wishes and needs from MW’s wishes and needs so that I can truly address what she needs and wants. Not that I am that good at giving her what she wants. I am willing mostly, just that it comes back to subtlety that she tries to impart to my dull mind. I don’t work in subtlety. I work in clear and concise directions.

But that is not really the theme of this post. I read people’s comments on blogs, and realize that we are inefficient in communication. I understand what they want or what they are trying to express, but we are not always together on the definitions.

FLR is a complex subject, and there is not a simple way to evaluate it. Without getting into serious analysis I will define two ways of measure: control and satisfaction from two points of view. Note: that is already four different points of view. I did say that FLR is complex.

Control is a way to make sure that one is satisfied. Satisfaction comes from getting what one wants. If satisfaction is not achieved, control is not working. That, in turn, brings up two questions: “Who is in control, and who is satisfied?”

When I say, “Our FLR is total, she makes the rules, I follow,” you all have some mental picture of it. You each have a different one, and none likely to be true. Does she tell me exactly what to do to the smallest detail so that I make no decisions? Am I allowed to have a choice in anything? Am I satisfied with that? Is she happy with being in such intricate control of a supposedly intelligent being?

I know, this is hypothetical; so don’t make much of it. The thing is, we need to sort out who does what to whom, why, and to what extent. If we don’t we are sending the wrong signals in all directions.

The hypothetical case above gives no hint of either control or satisfaction. It is stating a generality. Not only that, but it is stated from one person’s point of view. The same relationship described by the woman would not necessarily be “Our FLR is total, I make the rules, and he follows.” It could be assumed, but would be extremely unlikely. So how do we ever get together on an FLR, and have any kind of satisfaction? I will tell you: occasionally and accidentally.

There are at least two ways to measure FLR based on the above: control and satisfaction. There are nuances that we can impose, but I am happy with just these two for now. Control is the amount that she or he imposes versus what he or she can handle. Satisfaction is more esoteric and dependent on circumstances.

To take an extreme case, she controls 100 percent. That means he has not a single original thought in his mind to execute. He is merely a tool. This brings up questions: Does she really want to use a person whose mind mimics a tool that is equivalent to a shovel? Would not she rather use a tool that can make some decisions, like maybe a computer? Is he really satisfied with being manipulated as if he were a shovel? Does he not really want to make at least some decisions, such as urinating when the urge arises? And really, who is making the rules for all this? If she is controlling him to that extent, is it because she wants to do so, or is it to satisfy his needs?

Do you see that we have the yin and the yang of FLR: control versus satisfaction. Her needs versus his needs all intertwined.

There is a reason for the yin/yang symbol shown within a circle. My interpretation is that when you go far in one direction, you come around to your starting point. The more you control, the less control you have, since you end up having to do everything. The more you give up control, the more control you have, since you don’t have to do anything. You can’t have control without satisfaction, yet you can’t have satisfaction without control.

In a benign FLR you do what you want to do. If it works, it works for you, but only for the moment. Later? Think escalation.

For the rest of us it is something else. We can still share our problems, joys, discoveries, our thoughts. We are curious of how others fare. We like to get ideas and elaborate on them. But each FLR is unique. There is only one rule: “There are no rules.”

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