A very good friend of mine wrote an excellent post on FetLife. It is a bit more about how to do things more formally when we practice what it is that we do. I think the traditions we have had, and formality in generally can be very good things. So, read on.
I have read many posts on fetlife in this group and others where people are seeking mentors. My question is what ever happened to the old method of finding a mentor? What has worked for many is that a person, dominant or submissive, decides they would benefit from having a mentor; then set about identifying someone that would best serve as their mentor and petition this person.
The first thing you need to do is to identify what you want from a mentor. Are you seeking a mentor for a specific thing or for an on-going education in the lifestyle? Seeking a mentor for short term specific training is much easier. Things like training in a specific skill set are relatively easy to achieve. Looking for a mentor that will guide you through your journey is more involved.
How does one identify the best person to become a mentor? This process takes time and work. You should first become involved with your local group and begin networking with others. Get to know people, observe those around and listen to the things they are saying. Become familiar with people outside your immediate local area by attending presentations and workshops and learning about the presenters. As you begin to consider various people as potential mentors, learn as much as you can about them. Read any material they have written, check for blogs, posts they have done on any of the lifestyle web sites, ask others that know them for opinions. If possible, talk to the person yourself and get to know them first hand.
Once you have identified someone that you think would be a good mentor, how do you approach them? It could be very informal and as simple as talking to them and asking if they will help you. However, most will appreciate a formal approach with a written petition.
The written petition could include much the same information you would have on a resume. This will describe where you are in your journey and where you hope to be. You could include a “Leather Resume”, a listing of any accomplishments you have had in the BDSM community such as working with groups, presentations you have done, recognitions you have received, etc.
The petition should also include a statement of what you seek to get from a mentor, the time you are willing to commit to such a relationship, and any other information you think will be helpful. Keep in mind that this is the beginning of negotiations, there will be some further communications to fine tune how the relationship will ultimately develop. The person you are asking may also have some questions and requirements that you will have to consider.
As to whether to have a dominant or a submissive be your mentor, in My opinion, is not as important as the qualifications and willingness of the person to mentor. I have learned much from both dominants and submissives in My journey. Select a person that is able and willing to teach you the things you want to learn.
Keep in mind that you can learn much from informal mentoring, just getting to know people and learning as you observe them, asking questions as things come up and watching how they handle themselves in various circumstances. However, if you seek the formal mentoring, taking the time to follow traditions will help you get off to a better start.
copyright 2008 NCMaster
Some very good food for thought.