Thursday, January 30, 2014


For the past twenty or so years, my husband and I have shared working space, in the sense that although he has an office in the city he much prefers to work from his study at home. There reached a point some years ago when I found that situation overwhelming. There seemed no peace from his deep (read: loud and penetrating) voice issuing instructions over the phone and the sanctity of the home seemed, to me, invaded.

That's when he got the city office, actually. I remember my brother-in-law asking me if I was enjoying the peace and I replied that it was a 'God send'. He laughed, but I think he understood. It is not lost on him that his younger brother is intense. There were four children here at the time and a husband who worked from home day and night. It wasn't easy for a girl who is perfectly happy in her own company and who thrives in a sense of calm!

Anyways, it didn't last all that long because he likes it here at home much, much more than he does training it into the city and he goes in there as little as possible. I continue to work on holding onto a sense of peace, order and productivity amongst all the ups and downs of his days that relate to issues completely outside of my control and jurisdiction. Some days are better than others in terms of my ability to do that, let me tell you.

Now, out of the blue a new challenge has arisen. We were at the holiday house early in the month when for a day or two he didn't shave. He mentioned the obvious and enjoying the fact that he seemed so relaxed I said that it didn't matter. There was no need to shave down here if he didn't want to. He didn't shave and that was fine. He looked rugged, but so what? It was just for a few days and I wasn't worried.

We returned to the city and I remember registering surprise when the next day he didn't shave. The whiskers were getting really long now and I neither liked the feel nor the look. I suggested he shave. He said he wasn't ready. I suggested he trim it and he said he wanted to grow it. I was privately shocked. Was he really serious??

A few more days went by and the beard was getting long. It made him look much older. He's a man who all his adult life has managed to look 10 years younger than his age. Not any more. The beard is predominately grey!

I had no choice. I told him I hated it with a passion. He told me he wasn't ready to let it go. Truly, I couldn't believe my ears.  Over the next week I reiterated several times my opinion. If he wanted to trim it right down, fine, but as a longer beard, I truly, absolutely and most definitely found it not to my liking. He said he was keeping it; that he'd probably be done with it by the end of February. I repeat: the end of February. That happens to be four weeks away. And, we are talking about the same man who put up a portable table to use as a desk to do his tax 18 years ago. I begged him not to do it. Please, I said, let's go out and buy a lovely new antique desk for the room. He deserved it. He assured me the horrible portable piece of junk would be gone within 6 weeks. I repeat, that's 18 years ago and he's still using it as his desk!!

If I were to no longer put highlights in my hair, or if I were to have my acrylic fingernails cut off, or if I were to sit around and eat chocolate cake and become overweight, he'd complain. He'd make it very clear he didn't approve and I'd listen to that. I'd respond. Is this just another example of the challenges one faces when married to a stubborn man and under the circumstances what is one supposed to do?

My boss, the boss I had when I was a Personal Assistant, once went through a rough patch in business and was faced with a series of debacles affecting the organization, through no fault of his own. He rode it through and came out the other side with a strong, growing organization in good financial shape. A journalist interviewed him about the situation he'd been through and asked if he felt it was character building, a phrase he'd often use himself in times of adversity. So, it was interesting to hear his response; that he felt he had enough character now. Me too. I have enough character now. You can give the challenges a little bit of a rest.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pleasing the dominant

Those of us with a creative soul need to alter and adjust people and places to suit ourselves; to give birth to something in our own image. The talented hairdresser wishes to transform a woman into someone with self confidence and flair. The fashion stylist wishes to make the woman more beautiful and alluring when she wears his or her creations. Interior designers wish to create beautiful, comfortable rooms in which people can live happily and calmly; an oasis from the busy world outside. Novelists want to create a world which the reader will find so absorbing it will be difficult to put down the book. Musicians long for those evenings when the sound they create is sublime; never mind that it is just for an hour or so. They strive for perfection. They long to play better than they ever played before.

In the world of power exchange, the dominant can wish to transform a woman's mind. In order to get there he's likely to also want to transform her body. 'Owner tags', for example, are a permanent reminder that the person is 'owned'; that her body and her mind - her whole sense of happiness and fulfillment really - are at the behest of, and under the control of, the dominant member of the relationship.

It won't matter how much interaction I have with dominants. Their words cannot suffice to explain their head space such that I can explain it in my own words. I can only imagine what they might mean; what they might want. For a long time, I saw the exchange, at its most heady, as one person giving herself over to the other. By doing this, the submissive member of the exchange was giving her trust, and her love, to the other. He might want more than she wanted, more than she ever imagined she wanted, but over time his desires would naturally - by various means of persuasion - become her desires. Together, they'd experience unimaginably erotic highs.

He'd luxuriate in her ability to 'let go' and let him lead; to experience such divine eroticism. He would have created, and transformed, an average woman into a slutti, mindless, sex craved fucktoy. They'd both be unbelievably aroused and connected in the experience; the ultimate in sexual libido at its highest and pleasure in the extreme. He could wallow in her acceptance of his appetite. In the state she is hardly in a position to challenge or berate his behavior. She's just as bad; just as naughty.  Her appetite is just as voracious. Look in the mirror. Take note of the photograph. Evidence. A slut is born. This is really as far as my mind went.

I now think I see something that I had overlooked before. Some dominants cannot and will not be satiated. That is to say, enough will never be enough. An owner's tag can be heavier. A heavier ring through the nipples can hold a heavier bell or weight. A woman can be locked away, should he choose. There are chastity belts, a constant reminder of the 'owned' state. He can lock her pussy cunt; attached rings in her pussy cunt and padlock them together. He can 'request' a tattoo marking his possession, or he might want to see her in a corset, restraining her such that her waist is adorably small.

Some dominants want full control over the submissive's hair style and color, her wardrobe, her weight, her exercise regime. Other dominants might lead a woman to a new way of life; a different course of undertaking her days. 'Dom with Pen', a perfectly sane individual as far as I can tell, doesn't shy away from the fact that he wishes his girl were a housewife and not in the teaching profession.

What I am getting at is that the dominant position isn't necessarily one whereby it is about leading a woman to express and live out her own personal, unfulfilled and perhaps unexpressed desires. He wants waaaaaaaaay more than that. He wants her to do 'it' - whatever the 'it' is this time. He wants her to do  'it' because it would be pleasing to him.

I referred a few posts ago to the fact that the dominant may not accept 'no' as an acceptable answer. It's not the sort of arrangement where she can say - "I tried. I just can't." He's not going to accept that, this dominant. She needs to try harder. She needs to train more regularly. He's not whistling dixie here. He means it. He has decreed it and she will do it.

There is a persuasion of a similar kind that goes on with vanilla folk, I think. He wants the job in London and he means to have it, whether they have to uproot and she leaves behind all that she loves, or not. He wants to grow a beard and she has no choice but to accept his decision even though she much prefers him clean shaved. For some men, their will must be done. They mean to have their way - not in a selfish way, necessarily. There is a good chance that the decision is right for both of them, ultimately. But, his will will be done.

In power exchange terms, I suppose you would say that between the couple, there are no real limits and there certainly is no safe word she intends to ever use. He controls. She does his bidding. Now, not for a minute would I suggest that this situation is intended to harm or be in any way negative. In a healthy 'all or nothing' power exchange the dominant is so incredibly responsible for the submissive that he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. He is the 'all mighty' ruler and as such he understands he bears responsibility if something goes wrong. He needs constant and open communication with her in order to function. He'll always listen. But, he, ultimately will decide and she, ultimately, must concede to him. Never mind that these ideas are new; radical; outside of her knowledge banks, desires and wants. His wants are, inevitably, her wants. She, at the end of the day, if not before, will be enriched; praised; adored. Enticed?

Saturday, January 25, 2014

On being different

I had lunch recently with a group of women on the occasion of one woman's birthday. It's an odd friendship group and I sit on the periphery of it. One woman in the friendship group is my oldest friend and that sort of dragged me into the group for some of life's festivities. So, I'm invited, sometimes, to these get-togethers to celebrate their birthdays and I contribute to the group gift, naturally. It's an odd sort of experience for me because it has never occurred to any of them in all these years that it must be uncomfortable for me to never have a get together organized for my birthday and to never be given a gift in return, but that's the way it goes and nothing is going to change.

They are a mixed group, mainly leading privileged and indulgent lives and I realized recently that my discomfort level with the situation has risen markedly. I was sitting there at a lovely restaurant earlier in the week with them listening to the details of their various holiday destinations and so on. I put on a brave face, of course. I ask questions and offer snippets and I do my best to enjoy the experience. All of them, one on one, are nice people but together they can seem, to me at least, bitchy, so I am guarded and careful in what I say. There is toxicity there from which I try to insulate myself. Perhaps the main point of difference between us is that they are 'girls' whereas I am a 'submissive girl', a girl whose most important journey has been inward rather than exploring the world.  Neither outlook is necessarily right or wrong, but different. I'm different and people who are different can be bullied. I'm conscious of that and that increases my independence, which probably bothers them.

It's been different these past two weeks for me. There is a point that is being made. There is a finite end to the process and so I'm not overly upset about it. It's akin to a school girl who has been 'grounded' but in a kinky sort of way. This is a process, for sure, and in the past few days I've been acutely aware of the 'freedoms'; anxious to return to a contained state; well aware of my 'needs'. Of course, there can be no better definition perhaps of a 'submissive girl' as opposed to the girls I know; someone who wants to return to her 'place'; who would happily travel the world like my 'friends' but only in a contained state; in the certainty of who I am and what works for me. 'Freedom' for me isn't what 'freedom' is for them. I need to feel a very deep connection. I need to know where the power lies; who runs the show. I need to feel the containment; to be answerable to a higher authority; to ask 'permission' for things; to know my place and purpose.

It's these sort of thoughts and needs that I must never, ever, dare share with my 'friends'. They'd turn on me, talk about me; ridicule me. The discomfort I feel in the group now would be a fraction of the intolerable abashment if they knew the real me. Perhaps it is why I remain on the fringes of the group, never really accepted into it, because they sense this in me and they can't relate; don't approve. I find it a more comfortable thing to surround myself with those people who I feel instinctively accept me; perhaps who are closer to my personality type. I think it is one of the reasons this little web journal continues to be so very important in my life.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dancing with the Dominant

When the submissive is smart, there's a tendency to think that she can see the Dominant coming; that she can outwit him perhaps or get by him. The behavior of the submissive has become a little complacent, but he's been sucking it up. There's no particular reason for her to think that today is any different. Or, is there?

I've had sufficient chats with enough Dominant friends over the years to know that a common strategy, when the submissive is starting to demonstrate a lack of focus (ambivalence, indifference, a lack of self-discipline or just plain laziness) is to contain her even tighter; watch her closer; supervise her more.

There is another strategy a Dominant may use with a submissive who is failing to achieve the set goals. He can give her a 'vacation'. She might protest. She doesn't want a vacation. Possibly, there will be banter back and forth about it not being fair; about a lack of warning. She might fail to see why it should be now; why it should be at all. 

He'll explain his decision somewhat, I would expect. He'll point out to her all those moments of poor decision making leading up to this moment. The submissive will, on some level, get the point, but she might give it one more 'ole college try before he closes the door.

"The decision has been made. There will be no further discussion on the matter," he says, or words to that effect.

It's time to throw in the towel. Dominants never retreat from this position, not if they value their role and holding onto it. No submissive would ultimately be happy about it really if they did.

Hence, the submissive must accept, possibly not before she experiences some regret or anger; possibly not before she makes an attempt to punish the Dominant. Think submissives don't do that? Think again.

If he holds his nerve and if she settles to the pronouncement,  chances are you'll see the submissive recommitting to the goals set for her all on her own. The thing about a well trained submissive is that she very much wants to succeed; to please; to impress. She very much wants the "vacation" to end.

What sort of words strike at the heart of a submissive - words like "for two weeks, there is no need for you to obey." Whaaaat? That's where she gets her jubes. That's what turns her on; satisfies, completes and fulfills her.

Without a single further word of instruction, the Dominant could very well find, over the next week or so, the submissive taking enormous strides of progress forward in her development. What a surprise. So unexpected.

What's really exciting about the Dominant who plans and schemes, who has a bag of tricks, is that he keeps the submissive on her toes. Long may they dance.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

They will be done

For some dominants there is simply no negotiation. They determine what they want the submissive to achieve and there is no alternative but to bunker down and accept the situation. Of course, these situations are rarely easy; designed with struggle in mind; never achieved without intense challenge and commitment.

The dominant is inclined to cajole; a version of the carrot and stick approach; plenty of applause when there is improvement and progress but expressed disappointment and upset when the challenge is not embraced and accepted; when there is a lack of success.

The complacent submissive needs a correction. Complacency is not acceptable; most of all because the dominant can feel that he has failed the submissive in guiding her towards the success of the situation. No dominant wants to feel that sense of failure - if she fails then so does he - and hence drastic measures must finally be undertaken, because failure is just not on.

Realistically, day by day, people say, "I'm sorry. I just couldn't do it" and the other says, "That's okay. I know you tried." But, this is not the power exchange I know. What I know is that the dominant will simply go to more extreme measures to achieve satisfactory outcomes. The goal has been orchestrated and determined and not without careful thought; that's that.

The submissive has few alternatives available to him or her. Once a dominant says the way thing are going to be, in my experience, there's no reprieve. Sure, they'll discuss it somewhat but only to ultimately say that there will be no discussion about this, that the matter has been decided - a version of the argument 'I'm happy to discuss it and then we'll do it my way'.

The submissive isn't happy. She feels that the determination is harsh. She bristles at being corrected. She knows the next period of time is going to be filled with angst, sorrow, anger, frustration; feeling hardly done by; regret; change and transformation. Yet, she recognizes his responsibility to her; the fact that she should have done better; could have done better. He isn't inclined to relent. If she knows anything by now, she knows that. Success will happen.

What she had has been removed for a time; time for her to recommit to his insistence that his will is done; her inner understanding that this is what works for her; his control; his non-negotiating will; that she can do this; that their dynamic is such that she will do this and that there is no alternative but to succeed; not to "fail". The bottom line is this: thy will be done. Seriously, she respects this. She wouldn't want it any other way.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Readers and writers

There have been several scientific studies done lately on literature over time and one such study reported that "the use of words with emotional content in books has steadily decreased throughout the last century". So, if one looks at such key emotional words as anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness and surprise, it appears that "the emotional content of word usage in published English has been decreasing, with the exception of words associated with fear". This surprised me because it seems to be at odds with the notion that we are more interested in expressing ourselves and our thoughts now, for example, via Twitter.

The research study also showed that since the 1960s American English and British English literature have been diverging such that there is more emotion to be found in American literature. Is it possible that emotionalism is a luxury of economic growth, they wonder. And, is it possible that authors are more interested in expressing their fears than any other emotional state? This reminds me a bit of research about health and food, with one research study counteracting the other research study and all of us wondering what we are supposed to eat and how we are supposed to remain healthy. Intuitively we really know exactly what to do, but we don't necessarily follow that intuition that tells us to lay off the cake and get out and run.

What makes all of this scientific study about literature so interesting, I think, is that at the end of the day we can't be at all sure what to make of the findings. The authors of this study are open about that.

"While the trends found in this
study are very clear, their interpretation is still open. A remaining question, the authors say, is whether word usage represents real behavior in a population, or possibly an absence of that behavior which is increasingly played out via literary fiction. Books may not reflect the real population any more than catwalk models reflect the average body."

In line with this, I do wonder about the popularity of '50 Shades of Grey' and whether we can draw any conclusions at all as to changes in Western society regarding BDSM practices or power exchange relationships. Did people read the book because they wanted to experience BDSM or to enter a power exchange? Or, are they reading about something that fascinates them because it is NOT in their lives and most likely never will be? If given the chance, would they enter freely or sprint in the other direction?

I understand that there has been an increase in the purchases of some play paraphernalia (e.g. handcuffs) and maybe more people want to play a little in the bedroom, giving up and taking control. However, I am not at all sure that this phenomenon really tells us anything about what is going on in our societies. 

There has been a big call for fantasy in the past few years and perhaps '50 Shades of Grey' fulfilled a desire to read about something intense without ever having to actually go there. As someone who is obsessed with experiencing power exchange authentically I want to read about the thought processes of someone who wants what I want and a man who instinctively can give a girl like me what she wants. One study I read about today mentioned that the most successful books favor verbs that describe thought-processing and that's definitely the sort of book that appeals to me. I want to get inside the characters’ heads and find out what makes them tick.

Do we read to experience something we don't know about, do we desire to relate to the characters in some way, or is it all far more complex than that? If I think about scenes in novels that turned me on, pages that I dog-eared and read over and over again, it related to the authentic nature of an experience - a daughter that was called into her father's study for a spanking, for example.

I always need to know the back story of such a happening. It's not the action itself that matters to me but how the girl came to be in this situation and why she sees this person as her authority figure; how that makes her feel; why she doesn't run for the hills when he produces a cane or a strap. Yet, there are other people who are happy to read about a spanking in space, on some make believe planet; some fantasy situation that is impossible to believe. It's the fantasy aspect of it that turns them on.

Frankly, all I took away from the studies for sure is that an author must be true to him or herself. Maybe there are readers and maybe there are not for what one writes, but trying to write via scientific research only leads to confusion.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Thoughts on the word 'constancy'

Another 'daily writing task' wherein I attempt to allow the words to flow through me - whatever comes (that is, no changes or corrections; my 'stream of writing' consciousness typed.):
'Life is a bit like being a forest. When one is in the forest it is hard to see any sort of shape or pattern; a beginning or an end. Things happen,things change. We don't necessarily know why that is so or when things will change again. It is only when we get to walk out of the forest - to take time to pause and think - that we begin to see what it was all about. There was a flow to events; change happened to us as naturally as the river bends and twists as it goes along. Life rarely runs in a straight line. There is little constancy.
Yet, in an uncertain and dynamic landscape such as encountered on Earth we can crave constancy. We want a continuity and commitment to love. We strive to feel safe; loved. We seek devotion; commitment;  a constancy of purpose in both ourselves and those around us.
For those people who are passionate about achieving their goals, no matter how difficult they may be, there is a certain level of constancy required. It's truly a fine line between being obsessively compulsively driven (disordered?) and being passionately driven to achieving a goal. How does a person get their movie made, become a top tennis player, write and publish a novel, build a house, transform a life, transform someone else's life without some constancy of purpose; without being driven to succeed?
I think you may have to dream it first. I think you have conjure up what you want and in doing so those positive mental images will aid you to make something happen. Somehow, we have to have the drive and courage to take it out of the realm of daydream and turn it into reality.
Life wasn't meant to be easy. So said Malcolm Fraser, a statement for which he is still famous. Life needs to be balanced of course but there must be purpose. We have to prove ourselves to ourselves. There must be challenge and there must be constancy of purpose. Life doesn't stay the same but some things must.'

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My love affair

This is an exercise I have begun - a daily writing exercise wherein I don't try to be clever or profound, just allow the words to come through me - whatever comes, comes. This is what came today. It interested me to read it over because I do often feel that my writing life is a illicit love affair - that I steal whatever time I can to be by myself with the page. They are supportive, for sure, but not entirely comfortable with this continuous caller. So, I take my chances where I can and try not to have them offended by the blank page that I find so intoxicating. I love them all, but the blank page calls and I am off dancing again.

'The world as I see it is lives in my fingertips. No matter how close I feel to people around me, how interested I am in what is going on about me, I need to experience the world through my fingertips. The thoughts, feelings and impressions that resonate through my mind and body need to find expression by being transplanted onto a page.

I have a special relationship with the blank page. It craves to be filled just as I crave to be emptied and freed from those thoughts. Those thoughts and impressions need a home, away from me; separate to me.

It is too crowded, my head. If the thoughts aren’t transferred to the page they rummage about in my brain, never quite taking any particular shape. The page gives them some shape, not necessarily a final destination, but the page is a holding place until my brain reads the words and determines what to do with them – eliminate them, ignore them, transform them; tease and manipulate them until they form an acceptable shape; until some patterns emerge.

I remain unconvinced that this relationship I have with the page is understood. There is a certain jealousy felt; a sense of competition raids the air; a need to disrupt and influence the meeting as if it were the enemy. The very notion that the page matters most must be dispelled and only evidence such as me not spending quiet, uninterrupted time with the page is good enough.

I comply. I endeavor to stay away from the page and to be able to live this way – in the moment, surrounded by other people’s words. For a time it is enough, until the page demands my attention; insists that it be filled with my thoughts and words.

The page was my first intense, love affair. It will also be my last. However, only I can know this fact. We meet in the dark, in the early morning, in stolen moments during the day. I’m his muse and he’s my dominant. I do as he says. I am at his beck and call. I do his bidding. Honestly, I simply can’t stay away. I’m besotted. Hooked.'

Sunday, January 5, 2014


I think I have wanted a power exchange relationship my whole adult life. I'm excited by the oddest things - some sort of statement that something is not my decision, a commitment that something is done as told; an 'in your face' declaration that a task is given for "discipline" and to enforce control.

I accept such statements in a two-forked way. First, there is the intellectual sense where the words are challenging to me. Somewhere in the mix, that response is there within my mind. What usurps my responding to that feeling with some sort of expressed rebellion is the fact that these sort of arrogant statements of fact really turn me on. I get off on arrogance. I get off on the reminder that it is my role to do someone else's bidding; that my role is to please and satisfy.

When confronted with a task, day by day, day after day, 99 times out of 100 I do it uncomplainingly because I know I must 'face the music'. If I don't face the music and do it, then ultimately I face the music in another way, because there is no defense for non compliance. Do it. Don't do it. The music must be faced either way. I'm "evaluated". Could there be a more challenging (arousing?) declaration than that?

Still, the intellectual side of my brain, or some might say the willful side of my brain, insists every now and then on trying it on; complaining. I imagine this is to be expected. I imagine it to be not at all difficult as to how to respond. Only one person can be in control.

It's a test of the dominant's will and strength of resolve, but not one that I plan. I don't look for trouble, but trouble sometimes looks for me. My intellectual brain sometimes interferes with my pleasure.

Discipline prevails, as it should. For reasons I may never fully understand the disciplined life works for me supremely well.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Pervert to pervert

The three couples had agreed to meet and when Veronica and her husband arrived the other two couples were ensconced on the veranda of the Club, overlooking the immaculate tennis courts and gardens. It was a beautiful, balmy evening, not in the least crowded, unexpectedly, and there was a sense of privilege in the air. As she walked up the back steps leading to the verandah she heard Marcus's deep, booming voice and knew immediately where her friends were seated. She and her husband walked directly to them.

"Did you bring The Herald?" he asked them, a stab at their being late.

They gave their apologies, as was appropriate, and Marcus offered his acceptance of the excuse by way of a remark.

"Come here, gorgeous, sit by me."

It was evident to her that he was in a playful mood, and she was happy to concur; to feed him.

Conversation ensued; the type of conversation that happens amongst three couples that know one another well, but not well enough to talk on topics other than the superficial. The conversation rambled easily from topic to topic, never staying too long on any one topic; nothing meaty or consequential; as anticipated.

A restaurant was mentioned and Marcus noted that he wouldn't go back. It was okay; the food was fine but the restaurant was too loud, he said.

The irony was too much for her. Whilst the others changed topic, yet again, she turned her body and looked directly into his eyes.

"It was too loud for you?"


"It was too loud for you?"


"As I walked up the stairs just now, I knew exactly where you were seated because I could hear your voice so very clearly above all the other voices, but the restaurant was too loud for you?"

Their eyes met. She was enjoying herself.

"You are very cheeky. You have always been very cheeky."

She started to giggle. Appetizer had arrived. Thank God, for she was starving.

"You're naughty. You're a very naughty girl. I can tell."

She was loving this and she giggled her head off.

"How can you tell?"

"It's that glint in your eye. I know a naughty girl when I see one."

"Ohhhh, really??"

The restraint he was using was palpable to her.

"I have such a strong desire to spank you. I'd love to put you over my knee right here, right now."

"You do?"

She was being provocative. She was loving the threat, but she was also weighing up the slight possibility that he was bolshy enough to do it; praying that his wife's presence would stop him dead.

"I'd love to spank your bottom. I know you'd love it."

"I would?"

"You know you would, you little tart. You don't fool me."

She was a mass of giggles, amazed that they'd shared this dynamic without the slightest clue that the others cared a dolt. Whatever they were talking about, it mattered not to them that the two of them were engrossed in a tete a tete.

That they would engage in a sexual dalliance was completely out of the question. It was never going to happen. That they knew one another's natures and enjoyed this game was something they both understood. To know a pervert you have to be a pervert and they were certainly both that.

Masochism and libido

By being more 'mindful' of what it is happening in the moment it is possible to tap into our subconscious thoughts and to transfer them into our conscious mind. This is important because our subconscious mind tends to hold onto old hurt and negative experiences and to endlessly recycle these experiences. Feelings from our childhood such as feeling controlled, helpless, rejected, unloved, abandoned and so on don't suddenly disappear as we grow older. To put it in other words we can remain attached to these feelings. They are unresolved feelings for us.

Although we may want to feel loved or respected, we haven't come to terms, necessarily, with our feelings of having been disrespected or unloved. So, we fear being disrespected or unloved yet again, remaining attached to that feeling.

It is thought by some psychotherapists  that we can libidinize these feelings - recreate and recycle them as a part of our libido. The negative feelings accord with our sense of injustice and so we must develop "psychological defense systems designed to cover up our emotional attachment to old negative experiences". In this process we may blame others for negative feelings we currently experience, that are really more concerned with covering up these negative feelings from the past that we are playing out over and over again.

In our willingness to recycle these feelings over and over again we are, it is thought, involving ourselves in an "unconscious masochism" which is tapped into when we experience sexual pleasure from various forms of abuse or denigration. Michaelson goes on to discuss sadism as a form of masochism (by identifying with the passivity of the masochist) but let's focus on the masochist's motives and experiences for this post.

What interested me particularly were his comments about the "dark side" - that affinity with negative experiences - and how recycling negative experiences can lead to emotional defensiveness such as apathy, self-pity, self-absorption, cruelty, greed, hatred and violence. By making the dark side conscious, he suggests, we can overcome the negative influences of them.

I know that people who engage in BDSM are inclined to be defensive about their practices, needs and desires. It is upsetting to be looked down on or to be considered perverted for engaging in relationships and experiences that allow us to enjoy our sexual natures.

At the same time, I am not prepared to dismiss Michaelson's comments, even though I'm not completely comfortable with the article for obvious reasons. I don't doubt that I have brought into my adult life some negative feelings and experiences from my childhood. The reality is that I, fundamentally, brought myself up. My parents were very busy and engaged in business life, so whilst I knew that I was loved and that they were proud of me, it was the sort of love that one experiences from a distance. It is true, too, that what I was good at doing wasn't seen as particularly worthy attributes to have, which I didn't find easy, but I may be 'feeling' that to be the case, rather than something that was in their minds. I could be wrong.

I am well aware also that there is a negative and annoying inner voice that often speaks to me saying such cruel things as "why would you bother even doing a writing course when you have no talent?" In my first years of school I think I was made to write with my right hand (I don't have clear memories of what actually happened) until it was considered hopeless and I was allowed to write with my left hand. According to my reports in first and second grades something profound happened in that year and from second grade, and thereafter, I was an A student. Unfortunately, my fourth grade teacher said to my mother, who then told me, that I wouldn't be able to maintain that standard and it put a doubt in my mind that has never gone away. 'Higher Distinctions' recently achieved, evidence one would of thought of some capability, does not make the doubt go. I definitely am recycling some negative feelings and experiences.

But, am I recycling them in the form of masochism? That's the big question. Have I libidinized those old feelings? When I experience sexual pleasure from various forms of "abuse and denigration" am I tapping into previously felt emotional suffering and recycling it yet again? Well, maybe I am. I don't really know. I will continue to dwell on this and see what comes up.

I can say this. It's a very rare day when I feel unloved or disrespected in the power exchange arena of my life. When I live under the dome of understanding that I am to be monitored and when I experience pain/pleasure that releases me from the reality of the moment (a sort of mindfulness of sensation I think), I feel a sense of great happiness. It is not only being done to me but for me. My mind translates these experiences as loving experiences. Perhaps I am working on feelings of having felt unloved or disrespected in the past. It is entirely possible. Yet, I can't see the negativity or harm that comes from doing what I do. I am aware that I am reliant on these experiences for my happiness and to that end I continue to work on a sense of self that enables me to feel whole, no matter what happens. The fact remains that I am elevated by these feelings and experiences and I continue to feel that this must surely be a positive experience. But, as always, I am open to learning more.