Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ritual

ritual
(rĭch'ū-əl)

1. n.
a) The prescribed order of a religious ceremony.
b) The body of ceremonies or rites used in a place of worship.
c) The prescribed form of conducting a formal secular ceremony: the ritual of an inauguration.
d) The body of ceremonies used by a fraternal organization.

2. A book of rites or ceremonial forms.

3. rituals
a) A ceremonial act or a series of such acts.
b)The performance of such acts.
c) A detailed method of procedure faithfully or regularly followed: My household chores have become a morning ritual.
d) A state or condition characterized by the presence of established procedure or routine: “Prison was a ritual—reenacted daily, year in, year out. Prisoners came and went; generations came and went; and yet the ritual endured” (William H. Hallahan).
adj.Ritual.

How apropos such a description is of the rites and services, the customs and habits intrinsic to ANY relationship – whatever the dynamic. There is a need in most human beings (I believe to be central to the human psyche), which embraces the comfort and sanctity of ritual, finding in the routine habit and convention of habitual practice a level of comfort which allows the mind to calm and provides a form of almost meditative reflection that soothes and balances emotional equilibrium.

After all, why else does the history of mankind evidence ritual in some form or another no matter what era, century or cultural imperative?

Many rituals, for instance, in terms of human interaction occur at what has been called “rites of passage”; from the rituals and ceremonies associated with births, deaths, puberty and marriage to the rituals greeting the change of seasons.

Ritual can be a positive or negative force in an individual’s life – positive in terms of providing a sense of history and meaning and negative if ritual is allowed to become the focus and locum of an existence.

Certainly, many individuals today descry the rigidity of ritual and exclaim their independence from its cloying procedures .. yet, yet … examine each and every one of our lives and I believe you will find evidence of ritual – not always obvious, not always publicly disclaimed or revealed, but nonetheless there … a real and vital part of our daily lives.

Ritual can be something practiced en masse (i.e. religious observances, sports, and similar venues where crowds enact rituals of passage and expectation) or private, from morning routines enacted the same with each sunrise or weekly meetings with friends.

For me, many of my rituals are private – and such an intrinsic part of my psyche, that to do without them, leaves me anxious and forlorn. The feel of him in my mouth satisfies something in me that is so entwined with our dynamic that it is as essential to me as food or water or actually breathing. Oral worship provides to me such a complete and utter underlining of my dynamic to him that its lack can create a rift which we both have to work hard to mend.

Furthermore, its lack is often a physical and emotional signpost that there are issues that need to addressed.

I am fortunate in that I never seem to have had any of the hang-ups or discomfort with oral worship that I see some suffer. To me, long before I recognized who I was, taking him in my mouth, feeling the delicious delicateness of the tender skin, the salty, tart taste, the throbbing deliciousness of that muscle were something I adored.

Every morning and every evening I take him in my mouth, often for an extended period of time. Like a child suckling at the breast, I enter a trancelike state as I suckle at his groin, finding a lubricious and sensual comfort in the feel of him throbbing in my mouth..

There is something so elemental about worshipping at his groin that it seems to completely encompass the true essence of the D/s dynamic. Nor does oral worship have to result, each time, in full orgasm although I admit to being disappointed when he chooses to have me desist before this occurs. Simply the act itself, however, provides an emotional and spiritual connection that allows me reassurance each morning and peace each night before I sleep.

This is a ritual that allows me in the chaotic life which we inhabit to underline and reaffirm the dynamic we have between us.

It came to mind recently when I completed a survey (http://phrg.blogspot.com/) on the noted site; pointless I think as there doesn’t seem to be any movement on that site for some time. However, in filling it out (and I admit to being a survey-whore – marketers LOVE me), it was only after the fact that I began to really muse on how a D/s dynamic can connect and maintain its dominant/submissive dynamic in the reality in which we must live.

Kids, friends, animals, elderly parents, fulltime jobs, sports, part-time jobs,…. those are realities that we cope with on a daily basis. Time is often frantic and in short supply, the ability to connect on a meaningful level restricted through simple physical dynamics.

While actually completing the survey, I could only think of incidentals like having his favourite coffee beans in … half and half for his coffee, ensuring his lunch is made each morning, keeping him apprised of appointments and ensuring his vitamin regime is current.

But then I began to realize that there were so many other facets I hadn’t considered; in fact, because ritual is often repetitive (in a positive way) and becomes almost part of our unconscious behaviour, it is sometimes surprisingly easy to overlook how crucial it is to our daily lives.

For the reality is that, unlike what I sometimes read on the internet, we do NOT present necessarily as your basic D/s couple. Neither of us, for instance, is out to make a statement to anyone – thus we don’t feel compelled to wear the outward trappings which label unequivocally the status of the individual. Although I wear his collar always – slender, entwined sterling silver strands forming a thick but delicate circlet culminating in an “O” ring – and it is somewhat unusual and to anyone “in the know” unequivocal, it is yet perfectly apropos to wear to work each day. I wear stockings only – NEVER pantyhose – not a fact that anyone other than he would be aware but nonetheless, another reaffirmation of his choice.

Further, neither one of us believes in influencing our children with what is arguably, a very strong statement in terms of the lifestyle we choose to lead. Rather, we have tried (and according to our kids, largely succeeded to date) in allowing them the freedom to make their own choices in life and to take the paths they wish to pursue.

Thus, our ritual of morning and night is crucial and precious to remind us of what our internal souls yearn for. I need – and I think he needs also – that daily reminder of what we mean to each other. His fingers often stray to my neck when we are together, tracing delicately the lines of his collar and running fingers down to entwine in the ring which binds. Oddly, I don’t wear a wedding ring and did so only for a very brief time after we were married, yet I NEVER take off my collar.

A tug on my hair, a hand running down my back to cup my buttocks, a deep kiss, a hand lightning quick between my thighs, squeezing …. these rituals enhance, underline and deepen the sense of our dynamic.

Now that our children are older, we have been able to escape the past few years for three precious days every few months to a remote cottage where we can relax and be who and what we are to each other – fully, completely and with utter freedom. Entering the door of that cottage, I don the leather collar, the warm rich red cuffs and anklets, and for that slice of time, serve as I yearn to serve …it is a stepping out of time, out of the bounds of servitude to the reality of life – yet nonetheless, it is as real and precious as any moment in the chaos of real time.

Thus ritual in our lives – the oral worship, the collar, the tug at my hair .. serve to underline the reality of a dynamic which is not always obvious. Ritual in the form of our escape simply provides a much welcome respite and an opportunity to completely immerse ourselves in the passionate, very real and long-term confirmation that we are what we are to each other and provides such a sense of peace and tranquility that it carries us through to the next weekend escape …

The D/s dynamic is no more complicated nor difficult (or easy) than ANY relationship - and like any relationship - vanilla or otherwise - it takes time, commitment and WILL to maintain and keep it healthy.

Friday, March 28, 2008

LOL

saw this on craigslist and HAD to share ...

Reply to: DELETED
Date: 2008-03-28, 8:14AM EDT

Looking for an Extra Large Dog Crate.
Something big enough for an Extra Large Dog (Bernese Mountain Dog)
Or my wife.
Please message me, I am willing to pay of course.


Location: College and Bathurst Area

the line ...

a recent discussion I've been following on solosubmissive's very readable blog (http://mangledtulip.com/) and this discussion in particular (http://mangledtulip.com/2008/03/19/foolish-girl/) made me think long and hard on some realities that her musings engendered. (Note: I have asked for and received permission to cite elise's blog)


I read the original entry and commented; reading it again, actually several times - I now see facets I didn't recognize before. I think each of us tends to read anything in the context of our own perceptions. In one way, that is self-evident yet I believe most of us tend to internalize our own prejudices and forget that they can colour and distort the reality of thoughts of another individual.


I think I did so here - primarily (and honestly) because of some issues prevalent in my own life and relationship.


I think the primary issue I wanted to clarify in my own mind is that often thin line between consensual s/m and abuse.

The reality is that those for whom a lifestyle of kink doesn't appeal, open don't comprehend the distinction. Hell, one of my biggest issues is there are people who are IN the lifestyle that don't get the difference! I also believe that there is a disproportionate number of people in BDSM who do have baggage from childhood that compels them to seek "safe" abuse later in life. This is not always a bad thing if the individual is fairly stable and aware of their baggage.

BUT, the issue I wish to address here is those of us - and yes, I include myself and from elise's description, she also - who came from happy, stable families with no history of abuse and still seek the dark side as it were.

It happens.

And I think a lot of that is to do with the individual - who they are, their character, their motivations and perceptions. Just as there are leaders and followers, those who act and those who react, we are all to some extent genetically imprinted with certain character traits that ultimately dictate the type of life we lead.

Long before I recognized who and what I was, I was a risk-taker, the one who stood up and was counted, the one who acted in an emergency, who despite being terrified, made the leap ... scared of heights, I went up on a kite behind a boat, when I saw a man hit a woman on the street , I stepped between them (even though he was twice my size), claustrophobic to a great degree, I donned scuba gear and plumbed the depths of the ocean ....

I have concluded I need the edge ... to feel alive, to feel complete, I crave and revel in sensation ... and there is something in my physical makeup, in my emotional complexity that can take what others would find repugnant, painful and frightening, and embrace and find in it my personal salvation.

Oddly, unlike my D. who sometimes struggles with his sadism, I have never had a huge issue accepting who and what I am. But that is true for the way I have always been able to embrace my sexuality without guilt or pricklings of self-regret; accepting and revelling in my masochism is no different for me than accepting that I an intensely sexual person whose complicated psyche and emotional equilibrium needs the intensity engendered by BDSM play to elicit a true state of nirvana ...

Where I quibble, however, is the degree of emotional abuse I can tolerate.

THAT is the area I constantly examine and question, the facet of myself that causes me a great deal of angst and self-destructive behaviour that my rational mind knows is unhealthy.

Complicating the issue is the reality of my very long-term dynamic with D. - so entwined are we, that it is often difficult for either of us to step back and see the growth and direction of our relationship objectively... The reality is that even the healthiest plant needs tending and trimming, it needs nurturing with the proper application of soil, fertilizer and sunlight ... and sometimes, you have to step back and see where the dying stems have to be cut away or the suckers need trimming.

Ultimately, I believe in my soul that D. and I are like the holly bushes ... that to thrive, to reach the apex of emotional, spiritual and physical peak we need each other ... but we also need to realize that trimming away the bad bits is as crucial as life itself.

Certainly, there is something in what elise says - that the intensity generated by the D/s dynamic is unlike anything in the non-kink world and in itself, that offers a powerful, somewhat overwhelming attraction and engenders a need that if not balanced with rational and emotional health, can ultimately be destructive.

Conversely, embracing, revelling and enveloping oneself in that intensity can be an incredible and emotional, physical and spiritual experience that leaves every other experience looking pallid and recollected in shades of grey ...

The trick of course - and this applies equally to whatever choice of lifestyle - is finding the balance

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The nirvana of flagellation


I struggle mightily with meditation ... a state of mind which is focused in the absolute here and now - a concept many don't grasp but conceive of meditation as a concrete reality of altered consciousness - something beyond the physical present.

A yoga buff, albeit not particularly adept, the entire point of yoga IS meditation with body poses and rote being used to focus the mind on the here and now. By taking a pose and creating that pose repetitively and repeatedly, by focusing on how your body is feeling, how each tendon and muscle is reacting, by in short, focusing ONLY on what you are doing and using your breath to focus that attention, then you achieve a state of meditation (ostensibly, at least some do).

For meditation is in many respects, far more simplistic than envisioned by many busy minds.

The early Christians (and remarkably, some Christians in some countries today) used self-flagellation as a form of penitence meant to expiate the sins of men and to avert God's wrath for such transgressions. I actually understand the connection between pain and an altered state of consciousness which, for a vastly different reason, the Christian flagellants aspired to. Their self-flagellation, the repeated and increasingly severe rending of flesh served a dual purpose; first, it focused the mind on what was occurring to the body, thereby allowing consciousness to "detach" and a form of enlightenment to occur, and second, by suffering a fate similar to that apparently suffered by Christ, they honour his pain by repeating it and taking into themselves the pain as a form of submission

I believe that the same state of meditation is achieved whether one reaches there through religious fervour or through the wielding of the rope by a sadistic master. Both, after all, offer an intense, spiritual experience that can be likened to a state of exalted fervour and that brings one beyond the gross reality of the physical world.

A point of which I am uncertain is whether or not one needs to be a masochist in order to experience the full reality of flagellation. Over time, I have come to accept the reality of my masochism and made a conscious decision neither to question nor challenge nor even attempt to change it. I am not, however, what is termed a "pain slut" - and a full blown session with no lead-up or warming up would be intensely abhorrent to me, although, to be honest, should he choose to exert that kind of control, I would accept.

Physically and mentally, I believe I have a trigger in my brain that properly used ensures the release of endorphins that turn what could be a painful (and not in a good way) experience into a positive and immensely physically and mentally satisfying one. Certainly, my pain tolerance is extremely high and I am and have always been stoic in the face of adversity and physical challenges.

What I have discovered through honest self-exploration is that I AM a masochist - and despite the fact it DOES hurt, I DO enjoy it ... and yes, damn it, it IS pain but somehow that pain engenders a pleasure in the my mind and soul that is unreachable through other means.

Probably the most intensely personal result of a session is the immense calmness I experience as I float ... a sense of unity with my body and mind that my normally restless personality seldom achieves.

But, unless I know and am certain that he is garnering satisfaction and pleasure from the wielding of his control, then that peak is unassailable ... for serendipitously, I am unable to enjoy myself if I do not internalize that he is enjoying himself ...and HIS reality is that he finds a deep, personal satisfaction in inflicting pain on me ... in exerting his will and accepting my submission. He is, in short, a sadist - a designation he struggled mightily with .. but will be the subject of another blog.