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The online diary of an ethical pervert.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Concilatory consolations

Sometimes I start an entry with a title in mind, I'll admit that. This one is about how kink can operate as a panacea for particularly difficult emotional states. I've often considered D/s practice to be a pretty poor substitute for actual therapy, so that's not what I'm talking about, it's more about how the body (and mind) can be soothed or made more comfortable by certain types of play. Think of the catharsis after crying, really crying, sobbing your heart out over something, the pleasant tired-emptiness of relief, as if pain has been expunged. The feeling of being held tight when you are scared, how the wrapping around of arms appears to cushion the sensation of fear, pressing it down. Comforting you.

There are times when only a particular activity will do, when that is what must happen. If I'm wound up, tense and on edge then there needs to be pain, something to give a red hot physical anger to match all those feelings coiling inside. If it makes me cry, so much the better, as if with each tear than pours down my cheek those tensions lessen, like air escaping from a valve. If I'm under pressure, if there's too much going on, then it must be bondage, tight and enveloping, mummification for preference. Nothing can get to me inside my plastic cocoon, I'm away from the world and floating into space. I can't be touched: there's no skin to skin contact, nothing to tie me to having to think or move or speak. I can just relax. There are no demands that can be put upon me, because there is very little I can actually do.

Other times it is less about the physical, more about the way my mood needs to be channelled into a stronger, harder, mental sensation. There are two ways of tackling this, one is about crushing the mood entirely by opposition, the other is by stoking the fires and letting it burn out. Take anxiety as an example, I can get panicky sometimes and there are ways in which a D/s relationship can seriously assist with these sensations. Looking at the first process, opposing the anxiety, it's easy to see how power exchange, in either direction, can help with this. In a submissive position the sense of obligation, of having to do something is removed, the anxiety is taken away because it no longer belongs to me, I've got nothing to be anxious about except pleasing my partner and they will tell me exactly how to do that and support me in doing it. In a Dominant position (performance anxiety aside, which is a different crate of kit entirely) you have someone at your feet desperate to please you, to make you feel better, however you want, they are there entirely for you and all your attentions can focus down onto them, to hell with the rest of the world. The second process can be more difficult, but it's one that I can often find very rewarding - a little like roleplay, the anxiety can be inserted into a power-play and used as a catalyst, allowing "real" emotions to be ridden to their illogical extremes in a safe environment. There's obviously potential for danger here, which is why this is about D/s and day-to-day feelings not genuine psychological conditions, but with the right person and with thought, it can be an amazing release, for both parties.

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