Friday, September 30, 2011

Bodies in Motion

Quite possibly the most difficult and constant struggle throughout my life has been my body issues (BDD), which, as Wikipedia says, has lead to social anxiety, major depression, suicidal ideation, and intense self-loathing. I try not to think about it, I avoid looking at photos and video of myself, and I try to stay under a certain weight; all of these help me keep the negativity in check, but it is a constant battle because I am convinced that I am unattractive, my body hideously so, and I can't imagine how anyone would not agree, much less actually want me or find me hot.

As a result, I am always incredibly, painfully shy and self-conscious when getting naked in front of someone. This can fade over time, particularly if it's a sex partner or, as I'm discovering, in the case of BDSM, where they've seen me naked repeatedly and with positive reinforcement.

With Mistress, originally, it was weird and awkward for me and I didn't love it. I did enjoy being told to undress (while she remained clothed, of course), but then I would be incredibly nervous and uncomfortable, at least until the session got into full swing. As an aside, one thing I love about playing with her is that, for a time, I almost completely forget I even have a body, if that makes any sense. I just become a mass of sensations and I'm not thinking about how I look, which is a marvelous relief.

Now that we've been playing for a few months, my body issues are no longer that present, at least with her, and I feel much more used to being naked in her presence. It's become normal and as time goes on, more and more comfortable.  In the beginning, being asked to do things while naked, like fetching something or moving furniture or pampering her feet, it felt kind of bizarre, actually. I was recently marveling at that fact, that it felt so odd once, but now it feels pretty normal and comfortable.

But what does nudity in her presence do for me? I'm already starting to get into especially-submissive headspace as soon as I arrive at the house, but when the door to the room we're playing in closes and she tells me to undress... yes, it definitely deepens my feeling of submission. I'd say we always have the power exchange going, but that command really tips things into action. It also increases my feeling vulnerable, which is part of what makes things so hot for me, because I don't often trust or allow myself to be bare in most of my life.

In some ways, my exploration of these waters has been incredibly good for me. I have noted an increase in my self-esteem and more comfort with myself and my body. I don't expect BDSM to be a panacea, but I do owe a lot to Mistress for being so kind, gentle, and encouraging.  It's at least a start.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Drought

19 months.

It has been 19 months.. 19 long.. dry.. and very sad months. That is almost two years, people. Like a desert, I lie dry and dusty, awaiting even the barest sprinkle of rain. All life and hope shriveling in the absence of clouds, not a single drop to slake my deep thirst.

Okay, yes, I'm being intentionally dramatic here. However, for someone as sexual as I am, 19 months is painful torture.  Don't get me wrong, I am pretty patient and I can go months without. It's far from my preference, but I can manage.  It's at about the six month mark where I start to squirm a bit.

Oh-ho, the six month mark has come and gone.. three times.

My sex life, much like my romantic life, appears to be the universe's idea of a joke. Here, have this enormous sex drive, but not be able to do anything about it! Haha!  Through much trial-and-error, I've discovered that it makes no difference whatsoever if I am proactive or if I am passive. It is 100% dependent on luck and, apparently, on whatever is meant to happen at any given time.

I'm pretty sure this is the longest I have ever gone without sex and, frankly, it's very much starting to wear on me.  To my credit, I have tried to deal and to not take it personally. I have been patient and trying to send out the right energy to attract what I'm looking for.  It's just, apparently, not meant to be...

I'm starting to feel a bit bitter about it, frankly. There's really only so much masturbation a person can do, you know?  It's not at all a substitute for what I want, which is the slow and sensual touch of another person. Making love, kissing, savoring another person's body. Fucking. Mouths, tongues, skin, the taste and scent of a woman's nexus. Being penetrated by someone else, feeling them, the weight, the wholeness of both our bodies connecting, on top of me. I want to run my fingers over someone's skin for hours, to lick and bite their neck, to make them squirm, and to hear their breathing and soft moans in my ear.

On the humorous side, I'm actually a bit anxious about it having been so long because I'm pretty sure whoever gets me next is going to have something akin to a teenage boy on their hands. Like... the barest anything will likely set me off into ridiculous, overblown paroxysms. On one hand, that might be fun, but on the other, it might be kind of embarrassing.

Anyway.. I'll be the one over here in the corner praying for rain and contemplating doing a rain dance. Wish me luck...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Food for Thought

BDSM’s Dirty Secret – The Real Risk of Kinky Sex
By: Midori 
Published: August 15, 2011

As kinky folks, most of us have heard of the risks associated with certain activities we like: rope cuts off circulation, bruises invite suspicion and speculation, infected wounds or bites just plain suck and breath play can flat out be deadly... but there's more.

Kink and Sadomasochism come with a load of risks. The list is long enough to make your eyes glaze over. But, I'm not here to trot out the usual suspects. Yes, they're real and no, you shouldn't ignore them, but there's another set of dangers that often go unmentioned. They are intrinsic to kink and yet so potentially threatening to some that they do everything within their power, subconsciously, to avoid them.

That danger inherent in SM is….

(Cue horror movie soundtrack….)

Intimacy and human connection.

Yes, intimacy.

Because, at some level, SM demands participants to be true to their desires and hungers, vulnerabilities and savagery. Fully engaged kink insists on full presence without pretense and willingness to connect the raw humanity to another’s raw humanity. The elegant defenses and social rules of appropriate behavior are built up by civilization and maintained in culture to insulate ourselves from that dangerous primal state. SM, along with some sports, is one of the few remaining semi-sanctioned arenas where the raw emotions and connections are permitted and even celebrated. To engage in this behavior may lead to a flood of emotions, elation and even risk failure to achieve connection, with the added danger of feeling genuine loneliness. It takes guts, skill and personal risk to fly high with another person.

This is a mighty scary proposition to some people.

But there’s a solution for people who can’t bear intimacy or potential failure. Highly technical scenes with clear standards of tangible procedural success can minimize the risk of messy emotional authenticity.

Over the years of I’ve been to more than a few dungeon parties – big and small, public and underground, posh and sleazy. Usually the scenes I see make me hot, but a few would leave me troubled, cold or deeply sad. Were they too shocking or taboo for me? No. Were they technically incompetent? No.

Instead, they were highly technical, well-executed and fascinating to watch. Multiple floggers fly and spin, wowing the crowd, in a spectacular choreography of Florentine flogging. Single tails and bull whips snap and dance stunningly on the skin delivering subtle strokes and deep cuts. Ropes wrap around limbs suspending flesh in complicated mid-air acrobatic poses. We gather around for these and other skill intensive scenes to ooh and ahh. But eventually I’d walk away, wondering why I was suddenly overcome by sadness. As I step away, people get in line to be the next to bottom, as the top processes yet another through an exquisite set of maneuvers.

I can’t shake the feeling that I’m not watching two people sharing an experience, but rather two strangers having separate thrills over one activity. The top feels satisfaction in displaying competence in a set of measurable standards (The ropes go on. The person goes up. They come down and they’re still in one piece), while the bottom gets to have a self-contained experience delivered by a competent technician. The human factor of the other person seems irrelevant in either case.

When I see this, it feels like SM is reduced to an amusement park ride, and people choose if they’re the rider or ride operator. Or maybe it’s the bungee jump. When I’ve gone bungee jumping, I looked for a service provider with qualifications and a good reputation. I certainly didn’t expect, nor want, any raw human connection with the dude strapping me in. I wanted him out of my head and heart. I wanted a thrill and to be able to talk about it to my friends. Maybe that’s what some people are seeking in their SM.

Recently someone came to talk to me about the suspension he did. Breathless with excitement, he talked to me about the thrill of doing it. Never once did he mention the other person he tied up. There was that sinking feeling in my heart again.

The more difficult the technique is, the harder it is to establish that human connection. But the more technical the play is, the easier it is to visibly ascertain a level of success and external validation. Emotional and mental states are, by nature, nebulous and not easy to determine success. There can always be doubts if the other person flew as high as you did, or if they flew at all. “Was it good for you?”

The greater the technical demand, the further at bay you keep the risk of intimacy, vulnerability and disappointments. To experience emotional connection in highly technical scenes is truly challenging. I’ve seen it done and it’s hot, but their biggest expertise went well beyond the complicated ties or whips. It was their willingness to be naked to the soul with the other person. Sadly, the intangible emotional scene success seems rarely celebrated as we’re distracted by flashy and tangible skill standards.

Firmly establishing a set rules for play where disconnect is the norm in, effect lowers the bar, guarantees and redefines success. Super difficult techniques can protect the players from biggest risk of all in SM – intimacy.

But if you play hard with nothing more than the most distilled, simple techniques, with teeth bared, sweaty, breathy and entwined with your partner as you expose your darkest desires to them, leaving you exhausted and elated in one another’s arms, congratulations – you are truly a pleasure artist.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

'What is it about service?'

I borrowed this from a thread on FetLife, where the original poster, a dominant, inquired, "I would really like to hear other people's take on what makes receiving domestic service so fucking hot."  


I liked the following answer from another dominant so much that I wanted to put it here.

It is, for me, this undeniable feeling of dedication to the one being served. Our distractions are stripped away.

Ego is absent.

It is the depth of our discipline to that that is able to remove these distractions. What remains is the sole focus of carrying out a complete and selfless act of dedication to that one's needs, wants -- to its completion. This act may be simple, but its simple gesture is likened to one paying homage.

Homage is very intimate.

This act builds the dynamic. It is an opportunity to display, with grace, what has been practiced, whether it be in boot blacking, formal tea, food service, or holding grace through stance and postures.

Why is this so important? Why the dedication and small rituals when presenting service? Partly it separates us from simple acts one would receive as courtesy (say, from a family restaurant or the grocery kid at the supermarket), partly because in our vanilla lives we don't often get that opportunity to be in a space to fill that empty vessel.

We are starved and for those moments, the act of service and receiving it restores that balance. We are kings, we are gentlemen and ladies, courtesans, cicisbeos, and chevaliers. whatever part of the spectrum we play in, we are cherished and valued.

We are fed.

Handing someone a cup of coffee is just handing over a cup of coffee, but present that with genuine grace, structure, poise and you separate yourself from a whole group of others. This is the difference. This is what makes genuine service, service.

I am afforded the opportunity to sit back and breathe in, to anticipate the service, to really receive it, as I witness it. I am able to see distinct motion and see that what is expected or shown, has been displayed correctly.

Receiving a feeling of genuine care from service, displaying it in a flawless manner, having needs be the focus, stripping away one's vulnerabilities and distractions and seeing that person thrive from their act, this is the reward for me.
 -- TheDisciple

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Vulnerability

My goal at the start of this year was to work on caring less about what others think and, to that end, I have made great strides. Still a work in progress, to be sure, but I'm pretty pleased with myself. Recently, a new theme has presented itself in my life and will take over my personal growth focus: vulnerability.

I could write a book on myself and how I defend from displaying even the barest hint of vulnerability. How I find being vulnerable to be unbearable, terrifying, and excruciating, so I avoid it at all costs.  The result is that I live in my own personal kind of hell, with everything locked in tight, to be dealt with quietly, alone, in the dark recesses of my own personal fortress.

I had a dream the other night, about running into JC, which brought up all of those related emotions and which has given me food for thought over the past few days.  She and I were together for two and a half years; by far the healthiest relationship I've had to date.  Our break up was devastating to me, then I healed, then I saw her again and the wounds were ripped open, then I spent an embarrassingly long amount of time trying to re-heal and trying to stop pining and wanting something that never really existed in the first place.

I did succeed and I did get over her again. That is why this dream took me by surprise, but it was very interesting. In the dream, we flirted while we caught up, but there was no desire, really, to be with her in a romantic way. There was, however, a real desire to be with her sexually. That, I feel, will never go away entirely.

JC and I will always have a deep and caring friendship to fall back on. Our split was highly amicable, just both of us admitting that as romantic partners, we weren't a good fit. One of her chief complaints about me is my inability to be emotionally intimate, especially in a verbal fashion. She has a PhD in psychology, so talking about feelings is obviously huge for her.

I just... as much as I trusted her and loved her.. I could not bare myself like that. I would draw a blank in discussions and have no idea what to say.  In some ways, it's very frustrating because the feelings are there, but I can't manage to get them out in words or in ways that most people expect. Not to mention, I have a legitimate personality quirk (alexithymia) that makes it difficult for me to find the words to match what I'm feeling, so that combined with the person sitting there, staring at me, waiting with bated breath for what's to come out of my mouth next... it's terribly nerve-wracking, full of pressure, and not at all conducive to my opening up and sharing the most tender and sensitive parts of myself.

On the other hand, what made our sex life so hot, was due greatly in part to the fact that the only time I was able to be completely bare, open, and vulnerable with her was in bed.  We had loads of mind-blowing sex and I was over-the-moon delighted to discover what a dirty, experimental, and sexual creature she was. I think about all the various moments we had together and the biggest thing to stand out was how open, giving of myself, and completely vulnerable I was. And, subsequently, how fucking HOT that made things.

My feeling that comfortable to be so bare with her is absolutely why it was the hottest sex either one of us had had to date. JC is still my benchmark for 'hottest sex ever' and while I did have one experience after JC that surprised me by coming close, the lack of vulnerability, love, and caring was what kept that experience from being as good.

I had hoped, in a small part of my heart, that my vulnerability during sexual intimacy would be enough. That she would see that I was completely open and giving her everything that I had. That she would be able to see how deeply I felt and cared and wanted her, and that that would be enough.  Obviously, though, sexual intimacy is generally not enough to fuel a real, healthy, adult relationship.

A lot goes on in my head and most of it I keep to myself. I'm going to be working on courage, which is living with my heart. Vulnerability is one of the keys to happiness.






(If you are on a mobile device, you probably can't see the video above, but you should come back and watch it. It's a superb and funny TED talk on the subject of vulnerability.)