Thursday, 26 June 2014

revisiting "shame"

I wrote about 'shame' earlier this year here. It was stimulated from comments to a post about humiliation. In the comments two subs, Missus Whore and ara, wrote about how they got off on shame as part of the D/s dynamic. It was seen as being almost a positive feeling, state or experience that they worked through.

In comments to a more recent post, Ana H. and Lea also wrote about shame. However their thoughts about shame were more related to shame about themselves or about themselves as a submissive.

This seemed very different. There seems to be a contrast between shame as part of submission rather than being shameful about one's submission. The former seemed to have the potential to be a positive fulfilling part of play whereas the latter seemed to have an inherent negative character.

For myself I would prefer if shame had no part in the dynamic. I would love D/s to be a positive and life affirming activity for all who engage in it. I am though too idealistic and realise that many people's lives and personalities are far more complex than that. Perhaps because of my own desire that I want my sub to be shameless I find it hard to get my head around the nuances here. Have I got it right? Is there a positive as well as a negative aspect of humiliation that can come to the fore in D/a play? Can a Dom understand these distinctions and help alleviate negative aspects of shame yet emphasise positive ones?


 Ana has beat me to it in a comment this morning to the previous post here.

I will copy her thoughts into a new comment to this post to help continuity and perhaps inspire further discussion.

- P

Thursday, 19 June 2014

can D/s help support those with a desire to self-harm?

Ana wrote two very interesting comments about self-harm here and here.
"In my case, I crave the pain. I dream of it, I write of it... but I am in a strictly vanilla relationship. I will never get what it is that I really want, so I find other ways. I can only imagine the high one must feel when one combines the joy of pain with the ecstasy of an orgasm. Submission is intriguing to me in a literary way but it doesn't please me as much as it does some of my friends. We all have different needs. I'm curious as to how a dom has handled a sub who wants to self-harm and needs the pain? "


"The challenge I see is that one self-harms for a number of reasons. For me, it is an escape from reality, but at the same time a reconnection. Odd, I know. The escape is from the overwhelming emotions I feel. The reconnection is to stop feeling numb and start feeling pain. It is an incredible release but at the same time I know how wrong it is. I've often wondered if a Dom had a Sub who felt this way, how he would control it, would he even try to? Would he replace it with pain that he delivers? If a Dom is supposed to know and take care of all of a Sub's needs, I'd think that taking care of her self-harm urges would be part of that. I'm also curious that if a Sub was destructive in a mild way - not sleeping, not eating well, self-harming, small elements of self-abuse - how would a Dom deal with that? Punishment would only please the Sub who felt that way, as one of the reasons she would act out would be to be punished. I realize that there is a bevy of punishments that are not painful, but when one self-harms, it's not *just* about the pain. It's also about the failure, the punishment, and the redemption. It's an interesting grey area, one that could be dangerous if not handled well. In that way, the Sub could not be trusted, if she could not even take care of herself at a base level. Late night musings from someone who should know better yet doesn't. Kindly, Ana "

I do see a difference between this and self harm. I have discussed it a few times on the blog. I have found such posts here, here and here.

 It is a very difficult area and I think the points Ana makes are very apposite.

I am interested too in finding answers to the questions she asks as I know I certainly do not have them all. I would be very interested to find the views of others who may have direct experience.

Ana seems to be hoping that a D/s relationship might help her meet her desire to self harm but in a more constructive way? Is this a realistic expectation? Have others found it worked for them?

Thursday, 12 June 2014

slave or submissive?

On  previous post here Ana wrote an interesting comment about terminology.
"Pygar - as a long time lurker, I look forward to your next post. One thing I'd like to ask is are there Doms/Subs who don't like the Master/Slave title/role? For me, there is something very demeaning about the slave title or role, not criticizing those who thrive in it, but I can't imagine it for me. My exposure comes mostly from stories and porn, both of which are notoriously inaccurate. Still I wonder are there people out there who see a D/S relationship as more than just a Master/Slave? Perhaps it is just titles, but slave to me implies leaving everything behind, including my intellect and desires. Being completely out of control. Whereas Submissive means I give my control to my Dom - freely and happily, not as a slut (again, apologies to those who like the term, I don't) but as a highly intelligent, educated, skilled woman who wants to give her Dom the greatest gift she can. Perhaps it is all just terminology? Ana "

I think of my relationships as Dom/sub rather than Master/slave. I have written about slavery before here.  I also found a draft post that I never finished which described how I felt almost captivated and possessed by the beauty and submission of someone I was very close to at the time. Then I found another draft post about ownership. I tend to promote self-ownership rather than the kind of ownership by another that can lead to damage or harm.

The slave/sub debate may, as Ana suggests, just be terminology, However language is important and using different words can represent real differences in attitude, commitment and behaviour.

I think that Ana's descriptions of the differences between slave and sub are very perceptive and to my mind pretty accurate. It would be interesting to know the views of others - particularly perhaps those who would describe themselves as 'slave' rather than 'sub'.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

being open about our needs

There was an interesting response recently to two posts about physical and also psychological and emotional aspects of bdsm - here and here. In comments to the first post there was unanimity in emphasising the importance of the psychological and emotional aspects - that they somehow made the physical possible. In the second post though there was a strong admission of the power of the physical aspect. However, some suggested that they sometimes found "owning up" to their physical needs quite hard.

All this got me thinking about whether there is something in all of us that makes it hard to be open about our deepest needs. Might we in some way feel ashamed or guilty about them? Do we need the excuse of being made to do it or perhaps we are frightened to just open up and admit it.

Are some needs and desires just too dark or deeply hidden in our psyche for us to be open about them?

Do you have needs and desires you have never dared share? If so, why not?

Have you needs and desired you are even frightened to own up to yourself about?

Do tell. We would love to know!

(PS Pleased do also look at and contribute to the very interesting discussion about controlling or being controlled here.)

Sunday, 1 June 2014

controlling or being controlled ...

Lauren posted a question here to an earlier post about submission, pain and masochism. I have published it on Uncle Agony here in the hope that readers may have some thoughts.