There is no way that I am going to work towards my goals in life right now, and my goals as a slave, without some serious, professional assistance. Of course, on this platform, most of the topic seems to be if not kink-related, certainly about personal slavery. But the truth is far more mundane—there are so many things going on in life, and in periods of great transition, it is helpful to have guidance without burdening those with whom we seek emotional connection.
I had to let go of my previous talk therapist, mainly because I do not think a professional therapist should be sharing details of her own life, and her trauma, in such a way as to belittle my own trauma. I knew already after our first session that it couldn’t last for that reason, but she was also immensely talented in other ways and quite interesting, so in that sense, it was still a positive experience. I have advocated in all walks of life that we all become willing to pull the plug when we know someone is going to be a drain [written about here]. I was at that point with her, and once the bond of trust is broken with a therapist, or anyone for that matter, it is okay to turn and walk away.
Therapy is serious business. It has literally saved my life. [I have written about how therapy has been so helpful, here, here and here]. I have also written about how some therapy does not help—mainly when we don’t want to go, or don’t know why we are there, what we need. [Written here].
The first time I sat down with Mistress, little enlightened but ever so earnest, I knew already that the path which lay ahead was going to require serious work on my part. And on one level, this puzzles me, as I think that most people turn to a Domme for play. But this at least feels different. It is possible to coast through life, and to have a wonderful life, one without care or worry. It is also possible to regard a path to enlightenment as one which requires effort, conscious effort. Maybe some people are born enlightened. I was not one. I am a simple, loving human, filled with contradictions and complexities who has dared to dream of something bigger, something special, something supremely precious.
My SO regards therapy as an exercise in “navel gazing” and suggests that the European attitude (v. the American) is healthier, “we don’t do this stuff.” She might be right. But that feels a bit like being a somnambulist through the important passages of life, and right now, more than ever, I want to be awake, eyes wide.
Incidentally, I checked the stats, and the truth is that on balance the US and European countries are about the same level of happiness. What is doubly curious is that this has held steady even as income inequality has increased—particularly in the US. Clearly the booming trade in self-help is working.
My SO can be smug if she wishes, but in order for me to expect the most of me, I know that I need help. I have no desire to ask for that kind of help from Mistress (or my SO). Please don’t misunderstand. Thus far, every time I have stumbled, misunderstood, metaphorically “skinned my knee” or struggled on this path, I have said something, and she has come back to get me, to explain, to reassure, to take my hand. And as she does this, I have felt enveloped and protected by her aura, and have grown in strength.
It was nerve-wracking to cut loose a therapist who in many ways was excellent. And I certainly didn’t wish to suggest an absence of seriousness on my part. And yes, I am serious. To have the strength to follow and to lose oneself in the folds of someone else’s dreams and desires and to see your own life reshaped as a result—well, that takes courage, trust, faith, but also a willingness to work. Any therapist I choose must respect this, must respect the hierarchy.
What is submission?
Speaking personally, submission is to let go of the ego, and to allow someone else’s ego to take over governance of the self. True submission is to erase the satisfaction of one’s own needs and desires in favour of those of someone else. We can all do this in small ways, and indeed, I often regard a willingness to do this, one of the critical reasons for the success of my somewhat unconventional marriage union.
We say that submission is a gift, and I have previously argued that this is not true [written about here], but now I am beginning to see that in ways, it is. And maybe this changing view is that I am beginning to understand both just how hard submission is, but also how valuable it can be in the hands of the right person.
I am also acutely aware that Dominance is a gift. It is also an extraordinary responsibility. To become the ego of another, to decide for them, well, that is something truly special. A Dom friend of mine described one of his Domme friends as someone who is just naturally like this. She is a high-flying jet-set executive, but she is also the “owner” of a few slaves, and as he describes it, she just runs their lives. The life choices I have made make this kind of relationship an impossibility for me, but I am intrigued about whether it can be replicated within the confines of the relative safety of a professional relationship.
Being a sub, and a good one, is to be genuinely useful. And I am not talking about maid service. This I am sure can be fun, and I have no doubt that I could be quite good at it, as I am rather fastidious at keeping house. But I also guess from the online chatter, that most subs who go out for maid service are really in it for themselves, for the kinky aspects of dress up and really they just want to prance and play with a feather duster. Okay, sounds fun. And there is nothing wrong with fun. Not at all.
But submission is about life. Mistress asked me what skills I had at one point fairly early in our relationship. And here I am racking my brains about this, looking at the things she needs at least in the superficial ways that I could see her…and I found myself curiously lacking in obvious skills.
And that is a laugh. I am the stereotypical senior executive, and what good is all of that to a Mistress? Perhaps it depends in part on her ambition. And perhaps, little by little, we will discover that to have become a senior executive, the skills I developed along the way are indeed valuable—especially those related to the accumulation and preservation of wealth. I was born with certain advantages—I am white, I am ostensibly male, and my family believed in education. I also possessed significant disadvantages: broken family, unhealthy internal family dynamics, we had no money. Having lived in my car on more than one occasion, I developed a keen sense of how fragile the safety net is, and the true value of hard work. More than anything, we make our own success; we are responsible for our own lives.
Think of that in relation to submission and Dominance. The extraordinary trust, devotion, and selflessness that one must cultivate and feel flows both ways. I know that BDSM is laced with sex and sexuality, and that part is surely fun, but it isn’t the bread, it isn’t the filling, it isn’t the sandwich—it is just a condiment…the sandwich itself, the whole meal, well, that’s life. And so, when I look towards Mistress, I look towards life, and its full potential, and ask myself, how great can I become because I serve someone whom I trust to drive me in ways that are better than I can drive myself? And by the same token, how can I do the same for Her, both spurring her own growth and development as a person, but also supporting her in the growth of her ambition and her own life.
Therapy and Transition
Our lives happen in phases. We all go through a series of development steps, and some of us just coast right on through, some we manage better than others, and some we muck up hopelessly…they might broadly be thought to include:
- Birth: born into warmth and light
- Babyhood: attaching and attuning—learning to trust, giving birth to faith, understanding unconditional love
- Childhood: learning to play, to dream, and to master the self
- Adolescence: finding comfort in our bodies and with gender, learning the vital skill of critical thinking
- Early adulthood: spreading our wings and becoming independent and self-sustaining
- Coupling: attaching to and establishing joint projects and life plans with someone who is “other”, committing
- Parenting: fulfilling our biological destiny, and our social responsibility
- Works: being a functional member of society, producing wealth to sustain family, goals, dreams. Setting up oneself and one’s dependents for security
- Wisdom: living and leading by example, contributing to community, spreading good values
Each of these stages presents unique challenges. Mastering them to move on with gusto is beneficial to the self and those around. I struggled with many of the early ones for various reasons. You can’t go back, but it is never too late to heal. Therapy helps with that, so that we don’t get stuck in a rut. But therapy can also be a tool to anticipate. I am on the last two bullet points. I am tired of taking for myself and being an extractive member of society. I want to give back. Charity. Exactly what form that takes, how, and where, is something that I will gradually discover, but it is the most important act so far. And I believe fundamentally that my “need” for D/s is a measure of how important this transition phase is, how important the outcome is…and by giving back, I certainly don’t mean to the Domme. But the Domme is the guide towards fulfilment.
I don’t know why I knew already the first time I sat down with Mistress that what I was approaching her about was a kind of journey…and already then I said to her that I had no expectation that she be a therapist of any kind, but that I recognised that there may be therapeutic affects to our interaction…and committed to Her that I would not ask that of her. So, when I fired my therapist, I was a little nervous of the message it might send. Finding a replacement has been a top priority, and I am pleased to say that I am on it.
The discovery of Telehealth—therapy by Zoom, made possible by COVID, has been an eye opener. I got everything I had previously gotten in physical session, except in some ways it is easier to talk to someone who is on video. That means that geography does not constrain me in the selection process. It has opened up the landscape enormously.
Over the last two weeks I have reviewed the profiles of roughly 100 therapists across the Eastern seaboard of the US. I have whittled down my list to 12 people I wish to approach. They are all supremely qualified, with many years of experience. There are some common threads in the ones that I have selected:
- They are all somatic therapists—ie. they believe that body-work is an important part of therapy…so although they are “talk” therapists, they are looking to help find the mind-body connection in where we have processed and stored pain.
- They are all gender-issue sensitive, LGBTQIA+–I don’t want to sit there and not be able to talk.
- And after my “Walk on the wild side” with the therapist I had to cut loose from, they are a little more buttoned down in their demeanour
It is also important to me that they understand and accept my personal dynamic in D/s, that there is a Mistress, and that slavery is an important goal, and one which I regard as the key to unlocking everything else.
Over the coming weeks I will have introductory chats with all of them. I look forward to finding someone that will help me do the heavy lifting so that I can remain sweetness and light for the people around me.