Monday, July 25, 2016

D/s, Emotional Calm, and Empowerment

I have generally felt that my draw to D/s and why I flow naturally within it was due to my emotional damage.  E.g. Earning love, proving my love by jumping through the required hoops and so on.  This provides me a sense of order in what would otherwise be a  life full of chaos.

A comment exchange with another blogger last night allowed me to peel back another layer and understand a deeper factor involved in it all.  Much of my depression and issues with self-worth stem heavily from feeling helpless.  The best way to describe this is that much of the time, life feels out of control.  It doesn't matter how good of a person you are, how capable you are, and so on.  Much of life is random and chaotic; a game with ever-changing rules that is won by dumb luck or knowing how to use and exploit those rules.

The rules are constantly in flux.  The game changes constantly.  Image trumps substance.  Exploitation trumps talent.  Posturing trumps insight.  It feels out of control.  "Winning" involves playing the short-run.  It is a game I do not wish to play.  I inevitably lose.  It feels helpless... senseless... and false. 

There are many aspects of the game I could never win.  I'm not pretty enough.  I don't project a strong enough false bravado.  I don't like to use other as stepping stones.  I don't like to tell anyone anything that isn't true.  I hate to play because it is out of my control... there are too many parts that I simply cannot win and others that will not win because I refuse to compromise my values.  It feels like chaos.  It feels helpless. 
D/s is the game I thrive in.  The rules are agreed upon at the start.  I play the game within them.  Winning and losing are under my control.  Reward and punishment are earned.  The game is logical, rational, and more importantly, I feel like I am in control of my own destiny.  I feel empowered.  I am not helpless.  I will be judged upon my merits.  This is a game I can win. 

I believe this is why I find D/s so calming to my soul.  It is strange that I feel most empowered when I submit to another.


  1. Oh you have started posting interesting thoughts!

    1. Thank you, Giles. Haven't I posted interesting thoughts before? :)

  2. For me, my life isn’t chaos well not really, not for the most part, I can keep things in balance and control most of the time, partly due to random factors of intelligence (maybe) and education (certainly.) My life is most often at risk of chaos when I wander too close to consensual-non-consensual power exchanges.

    But even though my life isn’t chaos, and I am okay and I am safe as much as any one is and more than most, inside I don’t feel okay about myself. I don’t feel whole. I feel there is something “less” inside of me.

    It doesn’t matter how much people tell me I’m much more than adequate, inside I just feel I’m not. I can put on a great show, but I don’t ultimately believe it.

    D/s fits me because I have to earn every grace and am sometimes denied even that. So it fits me; it makes me feel who I really am or really think I am. And when I earn grace within F/m it is the only time I truly believe it.

    In addition as non PC as it is, I think women are better, certainly better in the psychological, integrated and emotional areas that I value most. So then serving also fits and allows me to feel genuine.

    For me it is the genuineness of finally being allowed to be myself; of believing I am really ok because She says so that brings me emotional calm.

    1. Thank you, Watson.

      I've had some time to let this stew... as it was a different take on all of this when it popped into my head. I have written similar things but I don't think I have ever thought about it in terms of feeling empowered or in control... even if that is only an illusion.

      I probably should have been more clear in my use of chaos... I was thinking about it more in regards to the physics terminology than dictionary terminology. e.g. random outcomes dictated by factors beyond our control. I definitely feel like too much of life is out of my control... but I do not have trouble with keeping my life organized.

      I toyed with this thought a bit but your feelings echo mine and I know this is something we have corresponded about before. I definitely have a part of myself that feels missing as well.

  3. Well, fur, you've lost me here: "D/s is the game I thrive in. The rules are agreed upon at the start. I play the game within them. Winning and losing are under my control. Reward and punishment are earned. The game is logical, rational, and more importantly, I feel like I am in control of my own destiny. I feel empowered. I am not helpless. I will be judged upon my merits. This is a game I can win."

    You must be playing a different D/s game than I am. As my sub, you would NOT be in control. The rules can change at MY whim. You would not be empowered. You would not control your own destiny, and winning and losing would certainly not be in your hands. Etc, etc. I really don't understand how you can even make such a statement considering your own past. Is this simply wishful thinking on your part, some sort of fantasy about how you'd want things to be in D/s?

    The title of my blog is "Woman in Control". That's also the title of my life. Do you really believe that the lines you wrote (the ones I've quoted) would fit into such a scheme of things for any woman in the position of control in a D/s lifestyle? Or even that they should? Am I missing something here? Please clarify.

    1. Thank you, Lady Grey. I realize now that I didn't convey things very clearly with this post. The feelings of control/empowerment may only be an illusion, but they take away the feelings of outcomes being completely random.

      I will use your most recent posts as examples to try and illustrate. You gave Karl the task of composing a themed poem for you. He could compose and recite the poem and receive the good outcome or fail to compose or recite the poem and receive the bad outcome. When you instructed him not to yell and drop the panties when you removed the clothes pins, the good and bad outcomes were within his control. It ended with the task of thoroughly licking the salt and sand off of your body, if done well he would get the good outcome, if done poorly he would get the bad outcome. I do not imply that every "good" outcome has to be actually good... just less bad than the alternative.

      Even if the rules are made (or changed) to be unreasonable... unwinnable... the good outcome impossible (or nearly impossible) to attain, in a deep subspace it feels like my own fault if I cannot complete my task within the rules. Being punished for failing feels like it is earned.

      By contrast, in vanilla life there are many times where the good and bad outcome feels completely outside of our control. If a boss/manager is in a bad mood at work and decides to lash out at employees for no reason other than to vent their own stress/frustration with something unrelated, the bad outcome is unavoidable and happens no matter what.

      In my life I have experienced a significant number of situations that felt completely helpless... where I had no control at all over the good/bad outcomes. I have had too many times where the outcomes felt completely random no matter what I did. There was no logic to how my parents treated me. There was no logic behind why my (pre-D/s) relationships failed. There were too many guessing games that left me feeling severely screwed up.

      As a sub, the feeling of control may only be an illusion, but our ability to determine the good/bad outcome within the rules makes that illusion very important. I do understand that it is the Dominant that holds the actual power. By saying that I can "win the game," it is that I believe I can endure and do my best to meet her expectations and the resulting rewards or punishments have been earned. Deep down I also know that I do not mind losing if the rules of that game make it unwinnable. This is often the gateway to a deeper realm of subspace.

      To be honest, I'm not sure if this makes any sense. My head is a mess and this was a new concept inspired by another blogger that I wanted to explore. If I still seem way off base, please let me know.

      Take care.

    2. Thank you, fur. I think I have a better understanding of what you were trying to say, but I can't help comparing your current thoughts to your past history. A history that is replete with disappointments and serious emotional damage brought on by the very Dominants you've chosen to serve, unfortunately.

      As to control or empowerment, I think the points you make are more valid in the sense of specifics than in a general sense. Your Karl illustration would be a specific case, but in a general sense, he is only in control to the extent that I am willing to allow. His choices were dictated by me as a whole, and it's only within that general dictation that he had choices to make. Drop the panties or not? Yes, that's his choice, but only because I dictated the options. Thus, the very fact that he had a choice was at my behest. It does not fit the idea of "empowerment" or "control" on his part.

      However, I get it when you say "As a sub, the feeling of control may only be an illusion, but our ability to determine the good/bad outcome within the rules makes that illusion very important. I do understand that it is the Dominant that holds the actual power. By saying that I can "win the game," it is that I believe I can endure and do my best to meet her expectations and the resulting rewards or punishments have been earned. Deep down I also know that I do not mind losing if the rules of that game make it unwinnable. This is often the gateway to a deeper realm of subspace". If the illusion works for you, than I say bravo for the illusion.

    3. Thank you, Lady Grey. I guess some of these feelings come from the fact that I feel more confident within the confines of submission than at any other time... kind of like in each specific instance I know if I do my best that things will probably turn out okay. Very little else has felt that way in my life.

      I do believe you are correct. I am likely attempting to place labels and terms where they do not belong. Feeling confident/competent vs. empowered/in control are very different things and the lines between them blurred for me for a little while I considered this new idea.

      I know that my mind has been slipping into a bad space lately. I do appreciate your willingness to kick my butt when my posts end up like this. I know it isn't the first time that you have done this for me.

      I do find it interesting that you see emotional damage in my D/s experiences. I would have to wonder if it was in reference to events outside of them ending badly or deteriorating. If so, I have to wonder if I am blind to it since I feel like I gave permission for it to happen.

      Thank you again, Lady Grey. Your comments are always so helpful to me.

    4. The emotional damage I'm talking about (mostly, as I seem to recall other examples in your past) is the state of depression that comes over you as a result of the harsh words that emanate fairly frequently from T. You've been referring to these episodes lately, and it's clear that you're being badly affected by them, and that your dark moods seem to be related to the things she says and does. I don't get the impression that T is saying or doing these things in relation to your D/s life as much as to your "outside" life in general, but it's difficult, if not impossible, to separate the two.

      I gather that you're trying to mentally distinguish the two lives(D/s vs. outside D/s) in re the emotional damage that's resulting, and putting the onus on outside events, but it's hard not to see the intertwining of the two. Or am I wrong about this?

    5. Thank you, Lady Grey. You are correct that I try to distinguish the two. The first time they happened about two years in that the dynamics started to erode. Ever since then we have really had defined times where dynamics were on or off. It is the harshness during dynamics off times that unsettle me deeply.

      When I am in subspace I can roll fairly well with just about amything thrown at my by life or by T. Later in the relationship we would use this and step up play and dynamics to keep me in a focused state (it would keep depression away as well).

      I have become very well-versed in how my depression cycles. Unfortunately in the past 2+ months T has been the one that destroyed my solid footing which led to the slow emotional downslide towards a bad mental space. Writing from a self-induced subspace kept it under control until the 2nd and 3rd attacks managed to block me from that.

      I could be mistaken but I tend to view the emotional damage as coming more from the absence of D/s than its presence. It is very likely I am choosing to compartmentalize this as a coping mechanism. I do agree it is emotionally damaging to me.

      Even with how things are I still lile to write about and envision an idealized state of D/s where this doesn't happen :)

      Thank you again, Lady Grey.