Thursday, July 5, 2018

Objectification, again

There's a lot of material on this blog about objectification and much of it is positive. It's positive because in so many of my experiences where I am a 'doll' or a 'bimbo' or an 'object' or just 'it', it is so incredibly freeing. I love having my mind vacated and my body responds so enthusiastically to that sort of play.

For quite some time, many times, there was a feeling of being deeply connected to another person, a wonderful feeling of being intertwined in the play, because of the play. Trust is such an integral part of the play where objectification is involved and if the trust is there, that's very connecting, and soul sharing.

If my body wasn't responding to the play, just the mind, though I don't think that's technically possible, it would almost be enough. At its best, the sense of joy that floods the mind is its own reward. The facts are that the play was/is deeply arousing to the body, and much of the 'feel good' sensations come from that too. It's such a mind/body experience that it is hard to separate them into categories.

To be clear, for me it's about the Top wanting me to have that connecting and pleasurable experience as much as he wants to feel the sexual turn on and the connection himself. I operated on this understanding of the play for some time, in an intuitive sense, without spelling it out, even for myself.

I used to wonder a long time ago if I had a 'slave' soul. But, I don't. I don't have a slave soul, not at all. I've noticed for some time now, though I didn't have the words I have today to express the awareness, that if I am in fact treated like an object or a fuck toy, and it becomes very clear to me that my feelings and my pleasure have nothing to do with the event, I am thrown into a pit of despair that I don't crawl out of for some time.

Oh, I can camouflage those feelings of emptiness and disconnection. I can go about my life such that you won't notice much, or any, difference in my words, my tone, my behavior or my pleasure in life. I've become so able to live in the moment, to categorize the confusion and upset in a particular place where the day is hardly effected and the relationship is not affected in a veneer sense. Even if the sex wasn't right for me, harmful to me, I can find a sense of gratitude in many other moments in my life.

However, I become skittish, you see, about wanting to interact in a sexual way any time soon. It's such a dark place I go internally when I feel that I have been used as an object purely for the other's gratification, or pleasure or sense of power, or whatever the heck it is that motivates this behavior, that I will just about walk over broken glass to avoid any such similar interaction. It absolutely does not work for me if I don't feel a sense of generosity.

It is said that those with narcissistic behaviors aren't so good at thinking about the 'we' in sex; that they can view their partners as objects that satisfy their needs. In fact, rather than more sex bringing the two partners together in the case of sex with a narcissistic bent, it can cause further separation. When I read this research finding, it made complete sense to me.

What I think is important if the kink tends towards objectification play is that both people understand what lies behind the motivation for such play. Kink is kink and person specific, but in kinky play the motivation should be for greater connection for both players. If it isn't achieving that outcome, then it's just not working as it should. No kinky play is probably a much better outcome than doing it in a way where one partner causes emotional harm and disconnection. Whether that makes sense to a person who does not see sex in the 'we' sense, is the debatable question.

I want to add that I am not just talking about kinky play here. Any lover who is inclined to take his pleasure rather often without concern for the partner's feelings and body state will cause disconnection in the partnership. Those who are divorced may well be able to speak to this.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

How things go

It is said that it can go either way when a child's basic needs have not been met - you  can turn out an empath or you could turn out a narcissist. There are detailed arguments about why one person goes one way and one person goes the other. The more I simply observe people the more I think that narcissistic behavior is often the province of the empath who doesn't feel loved.

It is a stretch, this thought of mine. Put it this way. You can try heaping love on a narcissist and if he or she responds positively to that, you might be onto something; a way to improve the reactions and interactions.

If that doesn't work - and it might not be love that is needed so much as approval or respect, according to the relationship - then I think it's fair to say that there is narcissism involved and it may be unchangeable. It may be necessary to accept the 'isness' of that.

My brother and I had an interesting conversation yesterday. Our mother is demonstrating odd behaviors; different odd behaviors to before. We've been trying to tease out quirkiness, egocentric/selfish behavior, and behavior that could suggest a form of illness. We've had to look closely at her behaviors and do a lot of talking to sort that out.

I happened to say that I had done an experiment in relation to my mother when I returned from holiday last month. Instead of kissing her and hugging her when I next saw her in a cafe, a few days after my return, I stood by the door, watched her come in, said 'hello' and waited. She said 'hello', of course, but that's it. She made no effort whatsoever to touch me in any way. Nor did I. I told her I had a table reserved and escorted her to it. We sat down.

On the various occasions I have seen her since, it's been the same thing. Oh, I've dressed her in the hospital after a test, and held her arm as we walked and so forth, but there has been no greeting with touch. She seems absolutely fine with that.

My brother revealed that he had made the same experiment a few years back and since then there is no greeting, even when months have gone by since they saw one another. He tells me it relates to the fact that he used to kiss her on the cheek and then when he went to hug her he could feel the sentiment, 'Oh God, do we have to do this again?' from her. She made it quick, with her body well away from his.

I told my brother that I have scanned my memory banks for any touch from my mother at any time in my life, perhaps one of comfort, and I can't. I have also scanned my memory banks for memories of touch from my father and I located one memory, where he came up behind me; hugged from behind. It was in the kitchen of a hotel they owned.

There are no memories of my mother's grandmother or grandfather hugging me, and not my father's father either. My father visited his father religiously on a Sunday morning and we two children tagged along to play in the garden. But, there was no hug hello, or goodbye. He seemed a lovely man to me but I was more or less invisible to him.

I shared a long ago memory with my brother. My mother and I were in the laundry of another Hotel, a time period later in my life when I was in my mid to late teens. I think my mother must have been complaining about my attachment to Maria, an Italian woman who was with us for many years. My mother must have really angered me because I was a very quiet child who kept her feelings to herself.

'I talk to Maria,' I said to her, 'because she acts more like a mother than you do.'

It was a confession. I didn't expect my brother to necessarily support the outburst. He said to me, 'If  Maria hadn't been in my life I am sure I would be a drug addict.'

The mind is crazy. We get hurt somehow and then the mind compensates in various ways. My mother had very little education and so her business and being a business woman meant far more to her than being a mother on the ground with us. She would deny this but it is the honest to goodness truth. If she developed narcissistic traits it relates to problems in her own childhood. Nothing comes from nothing.

In my own case, I became a giver. There was no determination about this, it just happened that way. Perhaps it felt comfortable since I had been doing it all my childhood; considering the other person's feelings ahead of my own. My husband can be sexually selfish; negligent; absorbed in what interests him. I notice. I am aware. But, as good a time as we can have, people return to their default position. It is just the way it is. I can't change this.

I've been leading a meditation group and I love creating a sacred space where I can afford other people peace and quiet. I encourage effortlessness; to just Be; to just be the dark screen or the blue sky that always sits behind the most cloudy day; that essence of life that is the natural self; ease.

I take refuge from the damage that was done to me at an early age, from selfishness, in goodness, kindness; an understanding for the suffering of all mankind and an appreciation for all the many brave attempts to counteract that which is not right.

This is just the way I turned out.

Monday, June 18, 2018

My definition of Intimacy

Since our most recent holiday in the States I've been ruminating about intimacy and what a feeling of intimacy might really be like, and be about.

I have no idea how other people feel about intimacy but for me it isn't necessarily about being sexual. I have, in moments, experienced deep intimacy through sex. I remember them distinctly because they are not at all everyday experiences.

Don't get me wrong. Many sexual experiences are wonderful, and some are even liberating, but not necessarily intimate. That is to say, they don't raise me up to a dimension that is in the upper hemisphere of experiences.

If you were to ask me, well, which sexual experiences have raised you up to another dimension, my honest answer would be those where a deep, soulful need of mine was fulfilled, even if just for seconds. Those seconds stay in my mind, and can be recalled immediately at any time, on any day.

I could speak to you of the time I was bound and spanked well beyond my limits. That he did not stop as he saw me pulling and pushing at the ropes around my wrists and ankles made that for me, both in the moment and long after in my mind, one of the most intimate experiences of my life.

Such experiences fulfill needs for me over which I have no control. I could go without, of course. Doesn't someone imprisoned in  a situation go without? They don't necessarily wither and die when their needs are not fulfilled. Then again, they don't flourish either. The need for human intimacy, for love and fellowship, remains. The need to be known and understood sits there under the surface.

It was on this past holiday (vacation) that I realized that I also have a need of intimacy in a non-sexual way. It happened one other time for me, that that need was fulfilled, and maybe that time sat in my deep memory banks willing me forward. I am not sure.

It was quite simple really. My husband suggested a hike to a waterfall that would be a challenge for me since I was suffering a bit of altitude sickness and my fitness isn't at his fitness level. I immediately agreed to the challenge and the next morning we set off.

It wasn't long into the hike that I realized this was a significant challenge. It was one of those hikes where you walk upwards, turn a corner and find you have to walk up an even steeper rocky path. Multiple this hundreds of times and you might see why at a particular moment, maybe half an hour from the waterfall, I found myself wording, 'I don't know what to say'.

My husband assured me we didn't need to keep going, that we could turn around and go back. But, once I had taken several breaths the thought of failing, of giving up, became a repugnant thought to me. I do wonder, if in that moment, I was chasing a feeling of intimacy that I hoped might ensue if I finished the hike. I had no way of knowing how I would feel at journey's end but I just knew I had to find out.

When I caught site of the waterfall, all I felt was relief. I just didn't know where to put myself. I suspect he had the same thought and he had me follow him closer to the waterfall. With a final burst of effort I climbed up a rock with him, very close now to the waterfall; so close that we had the spray of the waterfall on our faces.

Finally, I had arrived. I could sit and soak it in. I was very quiet. I watched the water thundering down the rocks, listened to it, and I felt cool, but warm inside. I felt so happy to be here and to be having this experience.

'Turn around,' my husband whispered. 'Look back at the town. You walked all this way.'

If you looked way back, as far as the eye could see, in the very far distance was a square of green , in the center of my vision. On either side were majestic, rugged rock and tall trees. And, then I turned around again, to see the cool water at the other end. I was sitting in what I think is referred to as a 'box canyon', but at that moment, and maybe any moment, the canyon could be quite simply referred to as 'Paradise'. It was so beautiful, so pristine; so wild.

That's when it happened. I reached for my husband, hugged him, climbed up behind him so that my legs were around, and I hugged him tight around the waist. My heart pulsated with eternal feelings of love for him, always there but not always available to me.  He hugged me back. I could feel his sense of love for me coming back at me, into me. In these moments, we were 'one'.

There are simply no words to explain the welling of emotion in my being in those moments, perhaps like bubbles that rise up in a champagne bottle when uncorked. I overflowed with gratitude for the experience, for being alive on this day in a canyon in Colorado, far away from civilization.

What I loved about the whole experience was his tenderness towards me to make this possible. He knew, without me saying a word, that I wanted to make the distance. He knew it would be hard, but he facilitated this for me. When I needed to stop, he stopped. When I needed water, he got out the water bottle. When I needed to voice my doubts, just that once, he offered to go back, but more out of the fact that he knew that's all I needed, to say it, and then buckle down.

He praised me. He held my hand. And, sometimes, when I said that I felt more motivated when he walked ahead of me, he did that. He was patient. He was kind. He facilitated my success.

When I think about moments of intimacy in a power exchange, a BDSM situation, it's just the same. Well, not quite the same. If you suggested to me that the spanking or some other sensation could stop, I'd be too bamboozled by that. Maybe not. It might be the same, ensure I buckle down for the ride. I do so hate being giving options in such moments. But, you know what I mean; it's the same approach, facilitating success, by whatever means, tapping into my need to succeed, to stay the course. That's incredibly intimate to me.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Anxiety

Life has been very good to me lately which is why a burst of anxiety came as a bit of a surprise. I was particularly tired going to bed last night. Since returning from overseas I've been running around like the Everready Bunny and tiredness befell me hard. I slept for a little over four hours and then I was wide awake. Not just wide awake in the usual way, I was experiencing that feeling I get from time to time where it feels like something is under my skin agitating me.

I've noticed in times like this I have taken a rational outlook and look for reasons why I might be experiencing this physiological response. It is as if my mind won't accept it and so I need to find the reason why this is happening.

I did manage to get to sleep again finally but when I woke up the feeling of agitation was there again, even louder and more insistent that I pay attention to it. It makes me want to move and to move away from all human contact. It makes me want to seek out my own company, so that I can settle the anxious response down.

For the first time ever I googled this experience to learn what I already instinctively knew - this was a physical response to anxiety. In a way, this calmed me. I was assured that it didn't last, and that's right. It doesn't last too long, if you can just breathe through it.

Importantly, I have learned that these anxious moments, not necessarily resulting from any particular experience or emotion, simply come. There is no need for self-flagellation, or to involve anyone else, but simply to acknowledge that I am someone who experiences these unpleasant sensations from time to time. It's not a flaw of character, or even something that I need trouble myself about. It is simply my reality. Experiencing this sort of response to an unspecified anxiety is part of being me.

Just as my experience began without warning so too did it end mid morning of its own accord. I kept to myself for my own self care purposes but also to not involve anyone else in my distress. I went about my morning quietly, knowing that to do simple physical tasks calms the experience. I soothed myself by telling myself many times that I would be all right soon, that the crawling feeling under my skin, the dark mood, would soon lift, as it did.

People who are anxious don't ask for the anxiety, don't enjoy the anxiety and only make matters worse by being hard on themselves. I've made enormous inroads on my anxious disposition, enjoy a happy and full life and consider myself a fortunate person in all the important ways.

Still, the anxiety waltzes into my life without an invitation from time to time. It's unsettling and uncomfortable ,but it's my reality and I have no quarrel with it. As best I can I give it room. I've accepted it, happy to wave it goodbye rather than kicking it out the door.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Sensibilities, again

Every era has changes such that older people bemoan the behavior of younger folk around them. In many ways my generation is the first for a long time to see such fundamental change in the culture. It's hard to grasp when, and why, the rule book was flung out to sea, leaving people quite directionless.

I'm not talking about matters such as same sex marriage legislation, or multicultural societies. I think sensible older people, in the main, are fair enough about 'the other' to applaud such changes.

What I refer to is sensibilities. I loathe how so many people have no sense of occasion in how they dress now; how going to the theater, to the city or to the beach, seem to suggest to them to wear the same few pieces of apparel. Who ever decided that was okay?

If musicians can spend a bomb on their instruments, invest in expensive loans for multiple music degrees, and then devote hundreds of hours learning precisely a beautiful repertoire for our listening pleasure, isn't it fair for us, the public, to dress up a little and make a celebratory occasion of it?

My husband and I were walking along a street in New York City recently quite unaware that our Airbnb host had recognized us on the street. He told us this when he met us for the first time as we were leaving the apartment.

'Did we really stand out that much?' my husband asked him.

He just smiled and looked down.

Yep. We stood out that much.

I think the South American countries still have strong sensibilities, which is very much to my taste. Recently, one son's girlfriend's mother arrived from Brazil and she brought with her gifts not just for her daughter and my son but for me and my daughter, which was so thoughtful. She had chosen for me a beautiful turquoise beaded necklace and earrings. Naturally, I made an enormous fuss and thanked her profusely.

Her daughter translated her words for me. 'I picked them out as if I was buying them for myself.'

Of course, I then perused the stores to find her some perfect Australian gifts to take back to Brazil, because that's what people should do; reciprocate feelings of deep affection in an appropriate way.

It didn't stop there. She insisted on cooking us the most scrumptious seafood dish typical to her region of Brazil, and she was forever doing things for my son and her daughter - ironing shirts and so on. She wanted to play Mother. Of course she did.

I do feel Starbucks has a lot to answer for because that was probably about the time that we went along with the lie that it was okay to drink out of paper cups, and not any paper cup but the most insanely large paper cup possible. If you go to Europe, or Australia or Japan you'll still be served a cup of coffee as if it means something, probably your only cup of coffee for the day. It will be served in a cup with a saucer. Imagine that. It's not a beverage to keep you 'up' during a manic day of frantic activity but a little break in your day. That's why it was called 'morning tea' and 'afternoon tea'. It was, in fact, an important ritual of the day.

We visited some old friends in Connecticut. Granted, I insisted they not go to any big effort on our behalf. But, when the takeway pizza was served on a paper plate, I noticed. And, when the box of store bought cookies for dessert was plonked down in the middle of the table, no side plate to be seen, I noticed. I'm not being prissy here. These were good friends we hadn't seen in 22 years. I didn't require a 5 course dinner but I did think we needed to create some semblance of occasion.

My concern is where does it go from here? Is anything at all going to matter in 25 years time? Are we going to be happy to just melt into the crowd in jeans and sneakers? Will there be much regard for beauty and occasion and the special moments of life?

We all know that dining rooms and fancy dinner sets are a thing of the past but what of having a family meal together where people can leisurely discuss the affairs of the day? If kids don't get a chance to share their thoughts over a meal, then when?

I'm all for a more fluid society but I think we might be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. We do need some customs, and rituals. Dare I say it, I think we need to hold onto some expectations.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Writing less

I was remarking to someone last night who has kept reams of notes over her life, as have I, that there is less of a need for me to create words on the page.

It's an interesting phenomena since the written word has been how I have tried to make sense of things in the main.

For months now I have noticed that words wash over me, and that when particular words sparkle for me, capture my attention, I embody them. There is not the slightest need nor desire to write them down. The rest I can let go, like leaves blowing in the breeze.

To this end, this journal is less used now. I write far less in a nutting out kind of way.

I am hoping this opens the door to write, when the time and space is available, in a more creative and fiction oriented way. I had to let that go as I worked through things in my own mind.

Still, it's not over until the fat lady sings and who knows when I will feel an impulse to record something here.

Life certainly isn't always as I'd like it to be. Yet, my heart and my mind have developed this deep sense of compassion - not worry, but compassion - for others, including myself - that I find myself living in a very quiet space most of the time; calm, relatively relaxed.

For whatever I've gone through, so have we all gone through challenges in our own unique and personal way. It is the human condition.

And yet we rise. We rebuild. We heal. We are all amazing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Having an opinion

In a synergistic relationship such as a power exchange, there can sometimes be a sense that when these two very different people come together they should  think alike. The fact is, however, that couples fight and usually they fight because they have differing views. This needs to be sorted out in some way for the sake of cohesion. Maybe there is compromise, or co-operation, or one defers to the other. Each relationship has its own formula.

I honestly don't see one sort of agreement or arrangement as being better than another. It's about what makes the people involved content and satisfies their personalities. I think  that a close relationship is designed to rub the rough edges off each other anyway; to investigate issues left over from the past and to make accommodations for the strengths and weaknesses of each person. With every challenge in life we learn something, so if we are not challenged much, the downside of that is that there is less chance of learning more about yourself or extending yourself. I don't mean this in terms of external achievements but rather getting closer to yourself and understanding yourself more. I see this as one of life's big undertakings. Content and settled people make an underestimated difference to this world.

Ideally, there is a certain meeting in the middle with relationships. It's unlikely to be a good thing to be too far to the left or the right in your desire for control or your desire to control. It's unlikely to be a good thing if you can't be  alone with yourself or find your own company satisfying. The love for yourself is what you share with the world so loving yourself is no small thing; absolutely vital.

No matter my kinky nature, that instinctive and natural tendency towards submission and service, even humiliation and shame in a scene, I've always, and I mean always, thought of myself as a separate entity in this world. I really don't need anyone to agree with me for agreement sake. I make up my own mind. Sometimes, I am wrong and I adjust my thinking accordingly. But, I never feel that my husband, my extended family, my friends or anyone else is obliged to agree with me on any matter, because they should. We're all unique, sometimes deeply challenging souls.

I'm not sure it's such a great thing to be too good. I've been good, loyal, faithful and I am happy I am that way, because those things matter to me at the soul level, but every now and then something rises up and I want to shake things up a bit. It's not a good thing, in my opinion, to give someone heaps of control and let them run with it for long stretches without reminding them  that being good, the person they want me to be, isn't always how I am.

I get triggered by things said. I get annoyed. I get frustrated. I can be diplomatic, and go away and process my anger/frustration/annoyance, because I am darn good at that now. Yet, the spirit demands to have the odd conversation where one might say something that provokes, for sure, but is also my truth in the moment.

When you provoke someone who wants control and control over you too, they tend to provoke you back. Funny that! Well, that's just the way it has to be in the odd moment. There is flesh and blood you're dealing with here. There's passion. I'm no wind up doll.

In that space of being a toy, a doll, what have you, there's a chance to empty the mind, which is one of the main reasons I like that space so much. The other reason is just simply that I don't know why I like that space so much. I just do. By and large, there's no reason to think. Someone else is doing that for you, and so these little rebellious moments aren't a shift in psyche at all. I am, in my own way almost saying, 'Just watch it. I'm no pushover.' which is a point my husband has made before, that after an intense scene it can be a dangerous time.

That's a good thing, probably, protecting you both from taking yourselves too seriously. I don't know why I sometimes rock the boat, honestly. It just happens, probably little grudges that I've held onto and in the moment I am triggered again by that unpleasant feeling. You'd have to hone down deeper than I am willing to do right now; no time for that.

I was accused recently of being "uppity" which really got my goat. But, I am wondering now if that might have some little thing to do with  my rather new very close relationship with myself, which may possibly feel alienating in some way. Here's the goal and the outcome: I can easily just be. Not particularly invested in anyone's opinions or ways, nor in expressing my own, there is much more space to hone down to my essence, my soul, or whatever word you can find that defines that part of me that came into the world in the form of a body but that is not my body and certainly not my mind.

It's hard to talk about but I can close my eyes now, in a train or sitting at my desk, or laying in my bed and get in touch with that essence with which I came into the world such that when I open my eyes I say, 'Ah, yes, this is life on Earth. What will the next minutes bring me in way of an experience?' This keeps me interested, enchanted, quite fascinated with life.

Do I worry about this life ending? Of course, I do. I have loved ones here that I'd miss and who would miss me. Endings are not for sissies. Still, I am less troubled by the thought of death, more confident that those I love will find their own way. It's a form of letting go.

I am a little discouraged when I see people so invested in demanding that their views are the right views. Certainly, some information is better than others. Even if you look at something like the value of soy products, there is so much information on both sides, and it's hard for the consumer to get to the truth of the matter. The truth of such matters counts. But, again, one has to quietly make up one's own mind, unless you are someone touting the value of soy products, or on the other side, and then you have a important responsibility to offer the best science out there.

Perhaps this is why I am not inclined to say 'I agree with you', as so many people want you to do, as if my opinion should matter to them, in some way affect how they feel. I am quiet because I am processing. Does that make sense to me? Is that right? I have my own opinions to be sure, and am sometimes gullible, too willing to listen to anything before I discard it probably, but this seems the right thing to do, for me.

Unfortunately, some people are very invested in their partners thinking just how they think, agreeing with them openly and often. But, marriage or even a power exchange relationship should not demand that people think alike. I tend to skate around this. I tend to hold my own counsel even in the midst of nodding or listening quietly. Mostly quiet and self-contained, I can defer most of the time, but remain my own person. There's no changing that.