"I could do a thousand things blindfolded that I could never do otherwise" A comment from The Photographer a while back has been going around my mind a little, coupled with a conversation with Knight of Wands on whether female submission could be viewed as a release from societal prejudices against women enjoying sex. I don't necessarily subscribe to the latter argument, at least not on a personal level, although I can certainly see how it might operate, but the power of "freedom from" rather than "freedom to" is one I think particularly applies to sensory deprivation. It's emancipation, in a way.
As a masked body, head shrouded, access to my emotions and personality is stopped and I in return can only perceive my place in the room through physical means, hands on shoulders, fingers in mouth, cunt, on my breasts. By removing the face, that part of me that signifies "me" - home to the major sense and communication centres of my being I am objectified, de-humanised. This is not just an outward perception, of me recognising what others must be seeing, but also something that comes from within, I feel more like an object and thus am free to act as an object. It's not the "feminine anxiety" trappings of being worried about people thinking I'm a slut or something similar, it's divesting myself of my humanity, whatever my gender, I am able to stop being a person and start being a thing. I am freed from my obligations as a thinking, feeling person.
Within the hood, my world is limited, more so if I'm gagged and bound (yes, please). Not only am I physically constrained, but I am being created and held as such by someone else, to whom I have given this control over my body. It is a physical sign of my mental submission. But it is also more than that. Like blinkers keep a traffic-shy horse from kicking at the traces when in the midst of cars, the blindfold prevents me from being distracted by the dailiness of life and also by the potential stress of what I am about to go through. Whilst my mind might work through the possible torments that might be inflicted on me, I am actually helpless, unable to do or to say anything or to be given that little glimpse of what's to come. Having all choice removed is actually very calming, and this sensation allows me to feel deeply and instinctively submissive. Safe in someone else's hands.
The blindfold in this case is a gift, a treat more so than a punishment, it allows me to slip happily into my own mind and drift away on a stream of sensation. But it is not always the case. To be prepared, blinded and bound for use as an object that is treasured and desired is one thing. To be muted and hooded because you are worthless and do not deserve the privilege is another. Around the bindings of rope, leather and latex is another one of words, of intent. To know the context of an action is to understand it's meaning more fully. That terrible vague concept of "mood" can be invoked here, and it is vital to creating a scene - just like once upon a time let's us know it's story hour, so the odd phrase here and there allows us to know the heart of our intent. Freedom from or freedom to, once again: is the top taking or giving away when they put the blindfold on?