Why on earth is a sense of liberation coming to me through an exploration of submission and personal slavery?
Admittedly, “slavery” for me is voluntary, no matter how intensely I feel it. And yes, part of the quest of feeling it, is to gradually strip away anything that prevents it from just coming naturally, from just being. To make it a natural state.
And of course, there are no parallels between this kind of slavery and human trafficking, forced labour, or indentured servitude, all scourges of modern society. So, my question is this: is slavery even the right word?
In the world of BDSM we begin with submission…and I have to say I am not yet so good with the terminology: bottom/Top, slave/Master, submissive/Dominant. All mean different things. My journey began as an exploration of submission and of submissive feelings. Wise Mistress introduced the word “slave” into our discourse and it lay, pulsing and alive on the table before us until I realised that the word “slave” resonated with me. My understanding is that the difference between a submissive and a slave is in part a question of degrees, but it is also a reflection of the nature of the dynamic. A slave relinquishes more will, looks to the Master figure for more structure and guidance. This is not to say that a slave is more passive—not at all—a good slave anticipates. I am reminded of butler training. A good butler is one who anticipates but does so in a way that is not overbearing, but gives the sense to the Master of effortlessness in their own lives. For what is the purpose of a slave? To make Mistress’s life easier, better, smoother.
Figuring out small and big ways of how to do that is an incredible and somewhat strange delight. And while doing something to get something is all wrong [blogged about here], I cannot deny the shiver of joy that ripples through me when I have done something good, done it well, and get a “good boy,” from Mistress or some other compliment. I understand psychologically where this comes from. It comes from a “broken” or never happened attachment process with my mother, who to her own deficit, was never happy with what she had or with any of us. [Blogged about here]. There was always “better”. So, on a very deep emotional level, serving Mistress and being acknowledged for that service, has a powerful healing element to it.
This is also why the core expertise of my new therapist is attachment and attunement. I know what’s broken, and what needs to be worked on. And in session with her, this is where we went most recently. She creates and “holds” the space for me to find mothering and attachment within the context of therapy. In her case, this is a mixture of talk and body work—”where in the body do you feel it when we talk about it,” what is known as Somatic Therapy.
And I talked to her about how Mistress works in the same arena with me. That for the first time in my life I am learning to be present, and Mistress has a divine skill in keeping me with her. [Written about here]. And there is a deep parallel between what a baby does with its mother through the eyes, finding recognition and the warmth of unconditional love, and what Mistress does with me in holding my attention, and doing so in a certain way.
For the first time since I have known Mistress, we ventured into “little space” together a week or so ago. We had hesitated to go there out of concern of its potential for triggering feelings of shame, and I guess things happen when they are meant to. It was a sublime experience. I don’t think I have ever been as aroused by something in my entire life before. But more importantly, going there and feeling safe and protected, has produced a lingering sense of euphoria that is totally, and utterly liberating.
My therapist is very pleased that she can work with me within the therapeutic context, and that I have an opportunity to work with such an enlightened Mistress in this erotic, emotional, spiritual context that allows for playing within the attachment and attunement dynamic in a direct way. And the best part about it for me is the feeling that we can move at pace. That I needn’t be afraid of getting “stuck”, of needing to revisit and relive the same trauma over and over again. What we did, what we do, is proving to be extraordinarily healing. And as I heal, I feel my strength grow.
I had a beautiful second visit with the Reiki Master. [I wrote about the first time here]. I will write about it soon. It was a very different experience, and very challenging—in a good way. She is a gift. She said some things to me that lodged in deep, mainly because it felt like recognition—and isn’t that what all of us are after? We just want people to see us as we are and to accept us. While the Reiki Master is one of the most spiritual people I have ever come across. Reiki is truly her life calling. And I discovered, not having known in after seeing her twice, that she is practically blind in the physical realm—(I left something at her studio and had to go back for it, and although she knew I was there, she couldn’t seem until I was just a few feet from her, and up until that point, when in her studio, I had the impression that she could see everything). What she said to me is that I give off a very powerful energy of innocence, which is why she likes working with me. This past time a session that was supposed to be an hour lasted three, and as she said at the time, I could work with you all night! She sees it when she is travelling with me, as an intense white light.
When I saw my Spirit Guide, the Pegasus, he was intensely white, shimmering, the white of the full visual spectrum, but electrifying and bright, like a bolt of lightning. And when Mistress recently gave me a cherished gift which involved a colour choice, she chose white, because “somehow white just fits”. And for those of you who know the transgender flag, pink for female, blue for male, there is also white, for non-binary. And I like the metaphorical interconnections. White is innocence. Being non-binary is innocence. When I think about how I approach sex and sexuality, it is the erotic landscape of innocence…to give without expectation of return, to simply love.
We are what we put out.
With every passing day, I feel a little bit lighter. It is as if I am letting go of these weights I have been carrying all my life. Mostly this is just a sense that I don’t have as much baggage today as I did six months ago. But there are also times that I feel something more concrete, that I did just let go of something that was weighing me down. And the main facilitator of this growing lightness is the learning and feeling I am exploring with Mistress. It’s funny in a way. She is young enough to be my daughter. She is also from another generation. But as I alluded to in my last post [you can see that here], worldviews change with generations, and her generation is taking power now, and that is shaping society on a profound level.
The level of discourse about gender issues, for example, is so much more sophisticated today than it was when I was growing up. This idea of “fluidity”, indeed the very concept of non-binary, is fresh and new and liberating. And when you grow up steeped in a different worldview, it becomes a part of who you are…and in this case, it is wisdom. She possesses a wisdom that comes from life that I simply was not exposed to. And that is one of the reasons that she has much to teach me, and why it is natural.
More importantly, the things I am learning, the loss of burden, shedding weight carried since childhood, is liberation—the opposite of slavery. Is it not ironic that by being slave I am being set free? This is not a twist on the Orwellian “Freedom is Slavery” meme. The idea that an excess of choice enslaves us. And boy, is that view a chillingly accurate reflection of the modern condition. And yes, there is absolutely truth in the idea that “Slavery is Freedom” in the sense that when someone else makes decisions for you, it can be very freeing. And no Domme that is serious about what she does, does not acknowledge the awesome responsibility that she takes in the care of her charges—for their emotional and physical well-being in session is the bare minimum.
But it does feel kind of weirdly wonderful that the process of discovering what it means to accept oneself as a slave, to explore what it would take to become a true slave, and to do it without agenda other than service, should be such a liberating feeling. And not just while it’s happening, but also the rest of the time, like when I am living the other 98% of my life. Isn’t that perverse? That slavery should be a path to freedom? Is it simply a question of finding oneself? That the essence of freedom lies in discovering and being who we are? And more importantly, accepting who and what we are once we find it?
Mistress, my therapist, my Reiki Master all tell me that everything I need is already inside of me. That I do not need to look outside, to someone else, for validation or completeness. And yet, this is the nature of my “trauma”. And I can feel myself healing, feel myself growing stronger, and do so with the knowledge that becoming a slave is what is spurring this on. But what happens if and when I heal? May I stay slave?
How does it work? Once a slave always a slave? Some slaves become Masters (I don’t want that). Some slaves become switches (I don’t think I want that either). What do I want? For everything to just be natural, and not require any more thinking. Now that is what I call freedom.