“Think outside the box.”
“You don’t want to open that Pandora’s Box.”
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.”
“We’ve got him boxed in.”
“She’s an odd one. She doesn’t really fit into any particular box.”
“Eat my box.”
We as a species seem to be fascinated by boxes. They’ve been around longer than the wheel (I have no idea if that’s true, I just made it up. But it sounds good).
We like boxes. We like when things fit neatly in those boxes – both literally and figuratively. It’s surprising how much the idea of boxes figures into our culture.
Even to the point that a poorly-worded Google search during your lunch break turns an innocent attempt to find cheap packing materials into a massive list of NSFW images, that of course your boss sees, and of course he assumes you have a porn-addiction problem, and since he tries to be super-hip, takes every opportunity to share his own porn interests with you, and seriously, why wouldn’t a work computer have filters to prevent that kind of thing? I mean really, that’s just irresponsible.
What was I talking about?
So boxes. It’s human nature. Our brains hate chaos and disorder. It is impossible for us to truly randomize anything. Our brain subconsciously creates patterns, compartments, and categories to organize all thoughts and stimuli it experiences throughout the day.
So it’s natural to do the same thing to people. And people get so irritated by it. Everyone’s always crying about not wanting to be labeled, not wanting to be put in those boxes.
And I get it. I do. But until we overcome human psychology, it’s going to happen. And it’s not always a bad thing. It’s easy for us to use labels. It helps with communication. It helps with the sharing of ideas and information. It helps us differentiate between things.
And let’s not forget that sometimes, people do fit perfectly into those little boxes. I know I fit perfectly into the “Dominant box.” I don’t have a switchy or submissive bone in my body. I know people who fit perfectly into either the “Straight box” or the “Gay box,” or even the “Bisexual box.”
I don’t really fit neatly into any of those. I’m not completely straight, but I wouldn’t say I’m completely bi, either (unless with a very specific physical appearance and type of woman. Then I’m all-out bi, and may potentially even slide a little bit closer to gay than straight).
I treat female submissives differently, as well. I’m a different kind of Domme with a woman. A female sub inspires different things in me, and brings out different traits. It’s not any kind of conscious decision on my part. It just happens.
So boxes don’t have to be bad.
The problem comes when we cling to those boxes. The worst was when a friend of mine used a box analogy to describe why she wasn’t comfortable with polyamory. She said that her heart was like a box, and why wouldn’t she give all her love to her husband, rather than just half?
First of all, there’s no such thing as “all your love.” It doesn’t exist. It just doesn’t. It’s not real. Like unicorns and honest politicians.
Your heart is not a box that can be filled up. You don’t have a finite amount of love.
So what, you love your first kid less when you have a second kid, because you have to use up some of your allotted amount of “kid-love”for the second one? Or if your spouse dies and you remarry, you stop loving your deceased spouse when you fall in love with your new one?
No dear, it doesn’t work that way. You can love your spouse with your whole heart, and simultaneously love each of your kids with your whole heart, and you can love your pet with your whole heart, and your best friend, and your parents, and all of that. There’s no limit.
But another problem that I’ve experienced, as I’m sure other people with less-than-popular lifestyle choices have as well, is that people don’t like it when you don’t quite fit in to their little boxes. And this is all kinds of people. I see it a lot with the conservative parents at the parks and playdates, sure. But I also see it just as much with people in the D/s community. Which I find hilariously ironic, but it is what it is. People aren’t hugely fond of what they don’t understand.
The problem with boxes is that we love those boxes too much. And I’m guilty of it, too. So I think I’m going to start working on that.