I missed a post but after the maximum strength core-dump of the moview review, I think everybody can spot me a post. I haven’t updated my arts blog either. I’ll be at Dark Odyssey http://darkodyssey.com/ over the weekend, in case anyone who reads this blog happens to be there. I mean who isn’t going with me.
So, first, a few answers to questions. Almost everybody reading this blog knows who I am. The names on it are real. I don’t have my last name dangling out here because while I probably couldn’t be fired for this blog, I feel some compunction to show a little discretion.
Likewise, I’ve been using “James” instead of “Gordon” in the BDSM world. That’s just my first name, and I grew up, like many southerners, going by a middle name that happens to be my mother’s maiden name. I like my first name fine, but my parents never wanted me to be “Jim,” and I don’t much care for it either. It’s actually nothing new. For whatever reason, very early on, a couple of submissives just felt “natural” calling me James in scene, so that’s kind of where it went.
For a couple of folks who wanted to find me on facebook, try Gordon (no James) O-D (my last name), spelled out. If you actually don’t know my last name, drop me an e-mail through the firstname.lastname@example.org addy on this blog, and I’ll put you in contact. And…as a side note. I don’t get upset if people spam me with apps, but I don’t usually have a lot of time to deal with stuff like that so…YMMV.
Telling people about this Blog
Finally, about the blog itself. A couple of people have asked me about mentioning it to friends, and a few people already have *chuckle.* It is better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission, d? Anyway, all I’d ask is…use discretion. I’ve gone to some effort not to put this in the face of friends who aren’t comfortable dealing with sexual issues. I’d rather not have it circulated as a sensation, and I’ve gone out of my way to make it a bad source to get gossip about my relationships. But that said, if you want to pass it along, I don’t mind. I’m not going to badmouth anyone here, and I’m not worried about people reading me. I go out of my way to protect the privacy of my partners, but I don’t personally have much of anything to hide.
So a couple of Dark Odyssey notes…
They finally got a class schedule posted. I’m actually trying to suck in education these days. Let’s face it I have a lot to learn. There’s a workshop on kicking and punching an unresisting partner I definitely want to see. One of the hottest scenes I saw in a public setting this year fell into that category. Not that I haven’t done it before, but I’ve typically pulled pretty substantially because my training is stage, not BDSM. I’m up for learning more. I’ve no will to seriously injure a partner.
So funny thing about Dark Odyssey. I know some of the people who organized it/worked on it the first year. It was billed as a big breakthrough event, merge the pagan community and the BDSM community, was going to be BDSM but with a heavy spirituality theme. I kind of yawned. Now I tend to take my spirituality where I find it, and don’t really obsess much on it. “I’ll have years of old age when I’m too old to fuck to worry about spirituality.” Anyway, they came back from the first year, and somebody said “well they made Tristan the primary guest, and the whole thing was really about assfucking and sex and we were really disappointed that there wasn’t a big spirituality track.” And I said “hmm….sounds like I might have liked it after all…”
What can I say. I’m irreverent. To each their own. There are people who get a lot of spiritual depth out of BDSM, and I’m supportive of that. I get…emotional…depth…passion…out of it. But I don’t tend to see that in spiritual terms.
So the first news is that the literature review is going stunningly. I’ve found a resource that is 80% of what I wanted. A lot of what is in it are things I already do (which makes me pleased and probably slightly smug). But there are a lot of new things, a better coherent pattern, and generally a lot of good terminology. Review coming up in the next few weeks. Otherwise a few interesting things, but the same basic issues. Basic, and problems with tone.
I’ve been re-reading (or having someone read) Guy Baldwin’s Slavecraft. Baldwin serves as the editor/interlocutor for “a grateful slave” in a series of essays many of which were originally published in Leather magazines before being bound into a book.
I’d read most of these before, but I’ve been more impressed in returning to them. Maybe I’m just more able to accept the emotional content now. Most authors who have written high-flown spiritualistic prose about BDSM have been imitating Slavecraft, so it is at least the original thing.
In the coming weeks, I’m going to try to go through the essays a little more in depth. I already covered “Transparency.” The Second Essay is particularly meaningful to me. It concerns the inability of Dominants to really “get” submissives, and suggests that few of us are really able to help our submissives with their growth. Really it’s a substantial critique of Dominants, and I think you have to be able to read it and accept that much of it is true…and is true of you, not just Dominants in general…if you even want to try to be a good Dominant.
“All too rare are the masters for whom “training” means something more than giving orders and correcting compliance. A sadly small percentage of the Masters I know savors the often delicately balanced orchestrations by which a slave does truly develop a deeper level of surrender under Their direction. These Masters delight in devising subtle situations and conversations that challenge and guide us. They watch us to see how we wrestle with our inner struggles with surrender, and then determine the best way to coax, tease, kiss, lure, argue, reason, support, reinforce, hurt, or love us onward past our sticking points and into doing or accepting exactly what They want from us…and, making us love Them for it!”
Something to aspire to. Yet…
“Masters can tell us to obey, but they are usually at a loss to explain to us where we are to reach down inside and find it in ourselves to do so. Even more so whenever those orders bump up against any internal slave obstacles, encounter internal reluctance, or lack of experience.
And how often is that really true. Can I say that I really understand the submissive urge in my partners. I am fascinated by it. I spend hours on it. But do I understand it, can I make it happen, can I teach them all they need to know.
No I cannot. I fail as often as not.
In the first essay, there is an elegant summary of the process of giving over to submission which reminds us why it is important to try. I want to note that the one place I strongly depart from Baldwin is the assertion of the real primacy of submission. He very quickly disposes of anyone who is not so deeply called to it as to be moved to it for life. Even though his submissive narrator takes breaks, plays conditionally with Masters and is obviously in many cases a “sub” not a “slave.” I think there is validity in the experience, even if one balances it with other aspects of life. I don’t think it has to be an all consuming urge.
In the final analysis, the issue is whether one will or will not honor his passion. To back away from the passionate call of deep and ongoing submission and slavery, one risks his integrity and self-respect. Turning away means building into one’s awareness the knowledge that he is hiding from something important inside himself. The consequences are eventually the same as when a gay person denies their gayness. A war within the self inevitably ensues. These sorts of wars create friction within one’s psychology and act as a drag on one’s creativity and spontaneity. Such internal wars and the fallout from them are the enemies of anyone’s serenity and happiness.
Most often, the thing that is responsible for not honoring one’s passion for submission is Fear. Some who hear and feel the call of submission fear that it might mean the loss of, or destruction of, one’s Self: “Who will i be if i surrender absolutely?” Others fear that no one will want to Master them. “What if no one wants me?” We may fear that if we explore submission too deeply, we won’t ever enjoy any other kinds of sexuality. “If i go too far, maybe i won’t ever be able to be anything other than a slave. “
But in life, the pursuit of great reward often means taking great risk. Those who launched for the Moon knew they were risking their lives, and others who have launched for space have paid that price. Even changing from a good job to a better job carries with it the risk that the new situation won’t work out. Entering a doctoral program does not guarantee a position upon graduation. Getting married does not necessarily mean “til death us do part.” Choosing to beget a child does not guarantee that it will be born healthy and will not become a serial murderer.
Know this: slavery requires bravery.
If you’re not courageous enough to make yourself take the risks, then i suggest that you go out and insert yourself into programs designed to help you find your own bravery within yourself. If you are too frightened to proceed toward the realization of your slave passion, then the acquisition of this courage must be the first part of your preparation for the journey into submission.
There is no shame in being fearful. It is only a shame to remain so. And this shame is esteem-killing and destroys integrity and self-respect. Who can afford that? Besides, what worthwhile Master wants to try things with a slave wannabe who is paralyzed by his fears and has no self-respect? It is not that you must do away with all fear. It is that you must find enough courage within yourself to prevent your fears from paralyzing you to the point where you will be unable to submit enough to actively seek your bliss in surrender.
It is here that I think a Dominant can do the best work. Even without fully understanding they can try to guide past the fear and provide a safe place to explore from. Also I don’t think there are a whole lot of programs that give you bravery. But trust in a partner can. Baldwin also suggests…
It is my opinion that, for most Masters, what understanding about deep submission They do have will usually be an intellectual one at best anyway. It is very useful for Masters to develop a clear understanding of a slave’s individual personality so that Masters can provide us with the opportunities to manifest our slave destiny in the context of service and, with skilled supported development, gradually reposition our limits to suit Their appetites.
I have a sort of horror of the idea of working with someone without exploring their individual personality. It is something I may get too deeply involved in. But beyond that, I think the point there is that even when we don’t fully understand we can provide a safe place, a center, where the submissive can explore without fear…
El Pregonero, published by the Archdiocese of Washington is not only DC’s largest Spanish-Speaking Pregnancy Fetish magazine, but in fact the largest Pregnancy Fetish publication in the Baltimore-Washington area.