28 Mar 2013

shame



We all know the story of the Emperors New Clothes. The emperor hides his shame in the story and walks fully naked back to his palace with the laughter of all who see him passing by naked after the little boy finally had revealed his nakedness by shouting it out loud. He is keeping up appearances. Keeping up appearances is a worthwhile tool in life. You can use it to hide your feelings when necessary. But keeping up appearances should never be a way to hide your vulnerability. I bet this emperor was truly and deeply ashamed if his ignorance. He was hiding his vulnerability. After the discussion of vulnerability I did a discussion about shame, here I share what came out of that discussion and I thank all who participated. So what is shame and how do we deal with it?

(Shame is a followup on vulnerability, a post I have written previous to this one.)


The essence of shame

It is a dream a lot of people have, standing naked in front of people, and than you wake feeling awful and realizing it is a nightmare. It is the anxiety of failing, being scared you will fail. And in the dream we stand naked, the most vulnerable state a person usually can have in front of people who are not expecting you to be naked. We didn't have the choice in our dream, we didn't undress voluntarily we are in our dream, put in front of that group of people suddenly out of the blue. Shame is something that is involuntarily put upon you. Shame is devastating.  I will explain more but let me go into vulnerability again first.

Vulnerablity

We are vulnerable. Vulnerability is not a weakness, it is courage. You are courages when you show your vulnerability because there are a few things happening:
  • you take emotional risk
  • you are exposed
  • you are uncertain 
You have to leap forward without exactly knowing how all will go. You have to take a chance to change in life. If we want change in our lives we have to be vulnerable and courages to do so. Vulnerability is the accurate measure of courage.
Submitting is a courages thing to do. But in the same balance so is Domination, you hold the welfare of the other in your hands and you have to be prepared, and that counts for both that unexpected things can happen. You are reduced to"nothing". You are loving the power exchange. You change power, you go for change with a high level of uncertainty. Even sometimes wen all is extremely well prepared we still at times have to deal with the unexpected. We cannot hide or deny our vulnerability.

So what has shame got to do with this?

There is only one thing that can hold us back, can stop all and that is shame. SHame is telling us we are not good enough. We are not good enough to show ourselves naked as we think our body is not pretty enough. We will not stand or speak in front of an audience as we think that our comment will not add any value, or we think that we are not good enough to speak at all.
Shame is wanting to hide, not putting yourself into the limelight because you are not enough to do so. Shame can make you want to hide completely from others form yourself. Shame can make you stop progressing because you think you do not deserve to progress. 


Shame is not the same as guilt. Some mistake guilt for shame. Although guilt can become shame. There is difference between guilt and shame:

Guilt = Sorry I made a mistake (behaviour)
Shame = Sorry I am a mistake (negative self)


The worst thing about shame is that it is put upon us. We never asked for it. Nobody asked to be bullied at school, nobody asked to be humiliated or put down by their parents, nobody asked to be sexually abused. Nobody asked to be belittled, abused or laughed at.
Shame is devastating it is connected with eatings disorders, addiction depression, violence, aggression, suicide etc.


Shame needs 3 things to grow, secrecy, silence and judgment. Would anyone be prepared to be open about being sexually abused as a child. It makes us feel as Jerzy Kosinski's book titled: "the painted bird". We do not want to be an outcast we try to assimilate. We hide our hurt, we hide the shame we feel about it.

I think some of us here in this BDSM realm, start out with shame. Not daring to admit to all that comes with BDSM, power exchange, humiliation, pain etc. We are ashamed. I felt ashamed and odd with my feelings that weren't within the vanilla perspective of sexuality. Some of us are so ashamed we do not even dare to discuss with our spouse RL, not a close friend, not even a best friend RL.Of course that comes with how society perceives BDSM. We are these nutcases who want pain and to have slut written on our forehead.

The best thing against shame is empathy. Empathy is the antidote for shame.Empathy for your self, for that child, that person that got hurt along the way, empathy for the people around you and telling your self you have a right to be. It needs a leap into the darkness to try, fail and try again. You might need help along the way. Seek that help. Seek professional if you need it. But give your self the empathy to slip out of this "false safety" zone you are in. 


Why is shame such a powerful "tool" in BDSM


And please let me be clear here, that touching on shame is touching someone's core. You can only touch it when you have empathy and have learned the skills to deal with it. 

A Dominant might have to overcome the fear of administering pain. Violence is not is not accepted in the average Western society. You do not hit someone. You have to overcome that deep rooted internal shame to do so. Or even admit that also you feel he pleasure of giving pain.
BDSM offers a code in  SSC (Safe Sound and Consensual), or in RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink). To play with shame in this context asks for communication and empathy. Both are essential to deal with this. 
It doesn't mean that all are abused and need healing. It also not to say that BDSM is there to heal. But it can touch things that need a lot of empathy as it pushes someone past his or her shame. Admit when things went wrong, own up to your mistake when things went wrong makes it all worthwhile and talk commincate.

Someone said it beautifully in the discussion: ..."Shame is often written as a conflict or violation of societies values, society may have taught us that modesty is expected, but i would say that shame is a consequence of not adhering to that value, as Ara said you don't need to be shameful to have modesty, its a learned behavior. I would liken guilt to a a need of self, i feel guilty when i have not upheld my internal values and expectations. I don't attribute guilt or shame to play or any D/s activity in the negative sense. Humiliation in a scene neither, it would suggest it is wrongful and if its consensual and has been discussed and done with caring, then it is not wrong in my eyes."....


Overcoming shame

To overcome shame we need to be courages. To be courages we have to be daring to ourselves to step into life and face it. And we can only do that if we have empathy for ourselves and others. To dare to be vulnerable and take that leap of faith of wanting to live free of shame.
If shame might have prevent you to step up and take a leap to try new things. You have to be courages and be out there. You have to dare to fail and learn. You have to go past your not good enough.

To end with a wonderful quote by Theodore Roosevelt: "The Man in the Arena"
Excerpt from the speech "Citizenship In A Republic", delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910

..."It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
 The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."...

Any comments or question are more than welcome as I might have missed something while writing it.
After all I am here to learn.

For this post I have used a lecture of Brene Brown on shame



25 Mar 2013

vulnerability

So spring is in the air and soon that first green will appear, that fragile green that dresses spring in all its glorie. The tulips and other flowers peeking out in the garden but here the cold is making them grow slow, waiting for the time to come to blossom. It made me think about vulnerability. I recently did a discussion and I will share my thoughts and the input of all the wonderful people who were there with me.






Vulnerable

We all feel vulnerable. Most of us accept more or less we do and others do not like to feel vulnerable. Perhaps our upbringing told us to be strong. Or we have been so hurt in the past that we try to protect ourselves thinking that showing vulnerability will in the end hurt us more.
When do we feel vulnerable? Or better when do I feel vulnerable, after all this is my post. I do not always choose to be vulnerable. It is my choice to show others when I am vulnerable. To be vulnerable connects me to others. I need to connect. I used to think that strength, being cheerful was the best way to connect. I failed so many times, I was scared to really connect. Why? I hardly shared any of my vulnerabilities with others.


So what makes us feel vulnerable?


It could be in everyday life. The feel when you have to give a speech in public, to be exposed in front of all.  Flying in a plane and being fully in the hands of the pilots is hard. You might have to wait for that phone call of the doctor. Asking for help, initiating sex, being turned down or feeling not part of the group. All of these can make people feel vulnerable.
But if taken in the right way it might make you feel sad, or momentarily vulnerable but usually it is not the end of the world and most of us know how to get back on our feet again. But, there are those who are scared for their vulnerability.


Excruciating Vulnerability


You suffer form this when you are scared to show your vulnerability, when you want to fight or are even trying to avoid being vulnerable. If that is what you do, it is most likely that you suffer from low self worthiness and of belonging. When you constantly wonder if you are good enough. The most difficult thing of connecting to others is the fear that we are not worthy of connection. But how can you learn to make that connection? How can we change? The best way to change is to learn from those who do it.


Wholehearted people.

Do you know them? They wander trough life so easily. They smiles, make you feel welcome. They are not haughty or show any improper pride they are simply authentic in how they behave and what they do. Wholehearted people are those who find they deserve love and belonging. Why do they deserve that? Simply because  they have a few assets that helps them to cope with life. They do have the same difficulties as others. Still they are better off because they can cope better in life. They cope better with the ups and downs of life.
I honestly hated them, I thought them strangely enough not genuine in their interest for me. I couldn't even belief their interest was authentic and real. If they offered help I would not really accept it or I would fail after some time to truly accept it. I personally would rather walk away form it. They didn't push me away! I was very able in pushing myself out of the picture. I had a whole defense mechanism that worked perfectly to keep all out of my life. Have I fully healed form this? No! I can still at times when I am very vulnerable have this deep desire to retreat instead of seeking help or face what I find difficult. But I also realized that the feeling of deserving, the need to open up is necessary to be a Wholehearted person.


How to deal with vulnerability

What do they have in their package to deal with vulnerability? They have courage, compassion, connection and worst of all they even embrace the dreaded vulnerability. So lets look at those:


  • You need "courage" to be imperfect. 
  • You need "compassion" to be kinder to yourself than to others, because you cannot be kind to others if you are not kind for your self.
  • You have connection as a result of "authenticity"
  • You "embrace vulnerability", so their vulnerability makes them beautiful

All 4 of them are very important within D/s. Strangely enough, how can we connect, be compassionate and have courage if we do not share our vulnerabilities? How on earth can we be authentic if we are not authentic to ourselves? How can we achieve full trust, intimacy and the connection needed within D/s? We have to admit to our anxieties, our fears. Not only the one tied to the rack is vulnerable, the one who is tying the other to the rack is as well. Because when you fail, you have to have the courage to own up to it. You have to have the courage to speak up, not only the submissive but also the Dominant. If you are hiding your feelings it will end up in disaster.


Different ways to hide your vulnerabilities.

Some hide their vulnerability by being "perfect"  Trying to behave, act talk and do always perfect. Trying to look perfect is actually thinking you are otherwise not good enough. You have to be your best always. It is also a way to keep other people at bay and on a distance. It is hard to connect with a person who is perfect.

Another thing people do is "numbing" vulnerability. How do we numb vulnerability? For example a girls thing, like shopping, some by excessive eating or playing in SL. But we cannot numb the emotions that comes with vulnerability, like grief, shame, disappointment and fear. So as soon as they return we will feel vulnerable again and do our feel good things again, shopping eating etc.

Some make the "uncertain certain", so they do not have to show their vulnerabilities.
This one is usually more a trait of the Dominants. The, I am so darn right and you are so fucking wrong, attitude. The more afraid we are, the more vulnerable we are so we do not accept discourse or conversation, we only accuse and blame. It might feel easier to hide in blame and not try to see the perspective of others. 

"Pretending" is a good way to hide vulnerability. For example you can pretend nothing happened, or something is not a big deal at all. But in that case we also pretend that our reactions do not hurt or has no effect on the other. It means you don't have to say sorry, but you also hardly react or talk when another says sorry to you.


How we can deal with vulnerablitly

It as simple as it is difficult. Simply be vulnerable, show your vulnerability when necessary do not hide it at all. You do not have to be an extrovert. Introverts are usually very good in one on one conversations. Love wholeheartedly, even when there is no guarantee. Practice gratitude and joy. Stop thinking of what might happen, but be grateful for the moment you have. And feeling vulnerable is feeling alive. When we are kinder and gentler to the people around us it will ultimately mean that we are kinder and gentler to ourselves.
The most important thing you can do is to think of and say to yourself:"I AM ENOUGH."



15 Mar 2013

release








Release within D/s is hard to deal with. Usually like in any relationship you have grown into a life together with all the small little rituals and daily routines. Most of all when you are in a relation you are not alone. Release and a break up are similar, however there are differences. When suddenly released or after a bad release people are lost and deeply sad. But most of all they are lost in because of the routines and rituals that suddenly stop.
A bad release feels like the following poem I once wrote




decay

the day
starts dark
acid rain
kills trees
once beautifull
statues
dissolve
giant
turds
on a
pedestal

skies are
grey
salty rain
in wounds
the house
needed repair
but is
demolished
nothing
but
rubble

people
pass by
kiss
my cheek
as I stand
with my
trunk
on the
sidewalk
I lost the
map




So why is a release in D/s so devastating?

Starting a D/s relation means training, it is not simply love and adjusting to the others lifestyle. Like living with the fact he doesn't put the top of the toothpaste back on. It is one that keeps control and putting all he time and effort in and the other giving up control and putting all her effort and time in making sure she does according to the others wishes and demands.

In release you have to deal with all the feelings that come with breaking up a relationship and with dealing with giving up control, trying to grasp that power back and dealing with your self on a daily basis is usually very hard to do.

Within a D/s Relationship the Dominant choses usually to find ways to help you coping with life. He researches tries and finds out what fits you best. And within that dynamic rules and regulations are made. Within the power exchange he maintains those rules. For both it is hard with a release to let go. For Him to stop ruling for her not to seek them. They are usually the basic, the balance of the D/s. It is the backbone. For a submissive it feels as if that backbone is gone. The dominant has to step back for his control. Both is very hard to deal with. Some Dominants have ways to keep on pulling the leash so to speak. It is very hard for a submissive to cope with. As it entangles her feelings. As for the Dominant to cope without controlling.

Within the D/s dynamic we feed on powerexchange. That gives safety, for both. A dominant give structure and gets unconditional obedience in return. The Dominant needs the submissive as much as the other way around. He care as much as she cares. So that dynamic gets lost for both. And whatever release, good or bad, has to deal with that.


Empathy

The most important thing in release is empathy, understanding both that it hurts that there is some time needed to cool down. There are ways to do that and recently I read something on the blog of Uncle Agony about 'release' and how a dominant was doing this:

....'She said that she and her Mistress had broken up. It was at her Mistresses instigation. However her Mistress was insisting on a six week period of after care.The Mistress had to "repair" the submissive so that the sub would not be "dysfunctional". This involved a whole series of rituals as well as vanilla meetings. The submissive is going through with this even though she finds it a sadistic torture. She is doing it because she feels that her ex-Mistress needs it."...
(more and the comments you can read on the wonderful insightful blog of uncle agony)

So this dominant is realizing she has to let the power exchange go. Although I do think the way she goes about it is quite rigid and I do wonder about the empathy, even though it seems very empathetic it worried me as for me it felt as if she was no longer considering the feelings someone goes through during a break up, which is of course part of the dynamic as well. The dominant had decided to stop, which hurts and perhaps the help in this case is not so much wanted.



Ritual

I truly belief that if you release with a ritual it helps the dynamic. Because most of us started with negotiating and some had a ritual of collaring or any other way. I once found this beautiful way to describe it:

..."Release must never happen without the ritual of letting go during which a submissive or slave kneels and gives up the collar willingly. All the emotions that have driven the relationship to this point must be shared and talked about at this point. Dominants, be kind to the submissive, even if it is a transgression that has caused this to happen. Be patient and teach instead of judging. Submissives, respect the decision of the dominant. You gave this man or woman the control and need to accept this decision as part of their responsibility to ensure that steps are taken to ensure that the best interests of both parties are taken into account."...



Break up

Because within release there is also a part of a break up and with breaking up we go to a series of feelings like; denial, anger, hurt etc. This is until the stage where we accept that it is over and done with and that the relation is fully over.

If we look at breaking up there are a few things we can do and those things will help within the D/s dynamic as well.

* Avoid each other for a while. It will give both the chance to adjust to the new way of living. If you look at D/s you can think of a way to talk about what had been the rules and how to let go. But a dominant should stop interfering once that is settled.

* Use close friends to talk about your feelings. And do know that those feelings are valid and that you need to go through them. Support be your own "team" is important for you and only for you.

* Crying is a very healthy thing to do. Cry if you need to it releases you of anxieties, pain, anger, sadness and is cleansing. To cry is also to let go, actually anger is a way of holding on.

To have your own team to help, those who know of the D/s dynamic will understand where you go through and will give you the time, space and love you need to get back on your feet again. You need support but also to reflect yourself and hear how the others look at how things were.
What helps also is that a release after a while gives you the knowledge about what you need and want. How you want it, because you always want to get back in the saddle after falling of the horse. We all need to rebalance to have the resilience to start all over again.







14 Mar 2013

mist



I wade through
my misty mind
Hearing
somewhere
in the distance
questions asked
and I obediently
answer them
Your voice
like a far away
mist horn
guiding me
back to shore



8 Mar 2013

women's day

It is women's day



A day to think of all of those women who have fought for a good cause, taking risks. Praise them they fully deserve it.

Most recent
Malala: Young girl fighting for her right for education in Pakistan.

Most women can only vote after the 1900's. 

But both in Saudi Arabia and the Vatican women are still not allowed to vote. Both countries and both male dominated countries. Sadly after a hundred years there is still no equality.

I as a submissive am all for equality. We are not there yet, by far not there yet!


7 Mar 2013

today

There is a blog written by mouse and today I read this wonderful post on how things can work when  tension overflows.

when the levee breaks


Today is such a day. But I will have to solve it myself. Today is not my day. But there is always a tomorrow and another day. Nevertheless I have to be so mighty strong today. Today is a day to really, really look after myself. So I will, I have no choice.

But I do know how it works when you feel stuck with something and lost in it. How reluctant you might feel to do what is needed and when you do even feeling reluctant how it pushes you forward again. Out of it again. Now I can't spank myself (unfortunately).

But still that post made me smile, it made me realize I do not need to be jealous or sad that she has a Master understanding her, there is so much beauty in reading it. It made me relaxed. 

Thank you mouse.

6 Mar 2013

slutty













What about respect for the 'slut' in me or as a matter of fact of anyone else's slutty side? 



It is my true belief that women throughout the ages suffered deeply within the morals of religion on how to behave. The manmade morals made us confined in our bodies. It has made us conscious on how to behave it told us that we as women should be chaste, keep our virginity until married or bonded. It has caused us to mutulate our body to not feel any arousal as arousal makes women promiscues. Women can be confined within their own bodies. Within their relgious beliefs and of what society, family expects of them.

Within all these bounderies, I posess as well, I do not give myself easily, I will however let a lot of my boundereis go once I feel safe. If that feeling of safety is challenged is ridiculed I will protect myself and stop. Nevertheless what is slutty? There is variety in being slutty.

Slutty in dress

Slutty in behaviour

Slutty in teasing

Slutty in words

Slutty in exposure


But why would I like to be forced to 'present myself', Why would I like to be paraded around. Why would I like to be walked around on a leash. Why on earth would I like to be controlled. I wonder about that at times. And as I said my upbringing told me these things are degrading, bad, humiliation of women. Being promiscues is making yourself a whore or a slut. These are things pounded in my mind.

Where is the lady within me? I do not want to be paraded around in public streets. But would I want to be paraded around in BDSM clubs or gatherings? Yes, I would. Why, I have no other reason than that it arouses me. But what if the Dominant that posses me doesn't like it? Than it woudl give me no pleasure at all. I would get into conflict with a deep desire of me. Would that be a bad Dominant? No not at all, but he might not be the one for me. But it needs safety. Anything new needs safety, anything that challenges boundaries of good ladylike behavior will challenge me, makes me vulnerable.

But shouldn't be the aim of a submissive to please her Master? Shouldn't be pleasing Him her only goal? Yes, but with any relationship or friendship there are mutual values to share. And it is those mutual things that makes people fit. But even then it sometimes takes time to find out how. The time to let another part of my lady go into a vulnerable state to grow and make me stronger.


2 Mar 2013

BDSM and the japanese tea ceremony


In SL there was an event with Geisha's and a Japanese tea ceremony. It was of course a couple of westerners trying to act something we really have no clue about. The experience itself was a kind of a miracle disguised in the cloak of the ignorance.





Why a miracle?

The Japanese tea-ceremony was imported from China. It is a ceremony of elegance, care, concentration and love. It takes time to learn to do it correctly. It reminded of good service, the concentration and focus on what you are doing for both Dominant and submissive. The peaceful care and the quiet way in doing things. Dominance is lovely when done in a peaceful quiet way. It is a ritual in power-exchange. When I serve, I will remind myself of the beauty of the tea ceremony.


To clear Your mind and focus on what You do. The serenity of the tea-ceremony cannot be compared to what I experience and feel during a scene. But that place of serenity that being all one with myself and the one I am with, perhaps there in lays the beauty for me. Perhaps I am ceremonial BDSM lover. The ceremony of giving my power away? Like giving in to the beauty and care of bondage. 



But ceremony is important to me, it is like some always ache for rituals. I like it. The ritual of being asked to kneel, the ritual of politeness, the quietness when in a scene. So even if we might not have known all, I noticed there was a kind of quiet serenity while we were playing out the teaceremony. An elegance came over us in attitude, sharing poems and the way we conducted ourselves.