The last couple of weeks, I’ve written more than I probably have ever done in this blog. After catching up with all the posts from Shibaricon, it was easy to continue writing, because it felt right. One thing which I have not touched upon at all are the recent changes in my personal life, probably because it has been too painful. This is still very much so. Went out dancing the other night, a man looked like him so much I had to go out for some fresh air. This will be a very introspective ‘memememememe’ post, so if you are not up for some egotistical soul-searching, click on another post or just scroll down to read something else. You have been warned.
I don’t think there has been a more difficult time in my life, ever. At some point this Spring, while juggling university, there was a shift, an emotional and rational shift in how I felt about my relationship with J. I had been with him for almost 3 years at this point but was not prepared at all when it started to dawn on me that although I care about him greatly, and am extremely grateful and lucky about the amazing time we had together, I did not feel that I could continue the relationship. It was for me, at least, about being honest, both to myself and to him. During the time this took to realise, it felt like my whole body and mind was in pain. How could I even consider hurting someone like him by ending our relationship? But somehow, I came to the conclusion that it was the only thing I could do, unless there would have been more sadness and more frustration rather than mutual affection, trust and love. I’m not used to this, not used to listen to emotion but I’ll rather rationalise and ‘think things through’. It is probably my one and largest difficulty; to listen and to trust my emotions while still reasoning. But somewhere, through the stress and the pressure of finishing my university degree, there were so many cracks that the emotional reasoning became so loud I could not ignore it. There was something there that needed to come out, to be listened too. Almost like an internal scratching, that did not stop until it was listened too.
I guess it is typical for all things to come crashing down in the same time. There is never a right moment, but somehow, my situation just became the perfect storm; an emotional crisis; finishing my dissertation and three other essays; relationship breakdown; hurting someone whom I cared about greatly; a decision having to be taken in regards to remaining in London; giving up my apartment back home in Sweden, revising for exams; preparing for the presentation at Shibaricon and my first trip ever to the States. And so on and so forth. I guess it became too much in the end, and had it not been for my friends I would probably not have made it through the final weeks in May. I remember being so scared of exactly everything; of myself, of others, of being alone, of being amongst people, of eating, of sleeping (nightmares), of staying awake. It took a phonecall to a friend in Sweden who said to me I had to reach out to someone nearby that made me realise I could not stay sane on my own. Another phonecall later and in no time, two very special people wrapped me up in their care. No bullshitting, no morale speeches, just them reaching out and offering a safe haven. As I stayed with them, the days became bareable; as they gave support, but also space and time. We worked together, ate together, I was reminded of how to relax, could speak to them if there was a need. I was fed copious amounts of meat, watched TV, helped with proof-reading. Dreamt about what we would do when it was finally all over. Went jogging in the morning, cuddled with a dog. Was prodded into writing by being promised to be tied up after 2500 word more. Before moving on to the next chapter, I would like to repeat this; there is no way I would have made it through without you, B & L. Also, Thot who proof-read, cuddled, pep-talked and supported in every single way, with so much patience.
And the deadlines came, and the exams were done, and suddenly, I was boarding the flight to Chicago. There was a strange feeling, arriving to the massive conference hotel on a continent I’ve never visited before, a Lost in Translation moment, when just sitting in my hotel-room on my own. A hotel room is a strange space and as Electronic Doll describes it, also perfect for BDSM. But right now, except for having rope and latex hanging around everywhere, it was not about BDSM, but it was about spending time with myself. The room was big and airy, a strangely silent space, filled with past encounters and guests but still empty. Strangely, I did not panic about being alone, I decided to take some time and spend it with myself, as that was something I had not done for such a long time. That afternoon, night, following morning and day spent in the room became like an existence separate from what ever it was that frightened me so. Spending time with myself and taking the time do so. Eating, relaxing, taking one shower after the other, working on the presentation, unpack, listen to music, iron (!) the clothes, un-coiling and re-coiling the ropes, thinking about classes and the program, where to go next after Chicago. Defeaning silence with music, or turning off the Ipod to look through the huge windows at the rain that came crashing down from a grey sky.
And then: the convention started. Pushed out from the bubble of the room, into something else, something completely different. And loving so much of it. Not only was I first forced to spend time with myself, but after that I had to push myself to the limit socially, I could not hide myself, there was nothing to hide behing because rope does not conceal the self, it reveals every millimeter of your skin, strips you raw. At times it became difficult, especially after I’ve tied so much and felt like I was draining myself. But after a couple of scenes with remarkable riggers the balance was back. And during the week, I started to believe in DS again, on a personal level. It was all the amazing DS, the loving, sadistic, twisted DS that was everywhere. And here something started to dawn upon me. What kind of DS I seek, who I am and a re-start of what kink means in this life that I live.
I am a switch. But it is through the role as a bottom/sub that resonates the strongest. It is not until now that I’ve actually started to understand this. I am a submissive, and I switch; indeed I do, but it is the submission, the focus of my mind and my body that I wish to emphasise, it is through those mindsets I really understand myself, a continous becoming rather than solid being. As I have said before;
This is not about a ‘gift’ of submission, given away to be unwrapped/discovered/fostered and placed on a mantelpiece; but an active, ongoing relational action and reaction of dominance and submission, an act of submission in which the only thing that exist is that focus of knowing the self enough to just let go, knowing the self so well that the self is forgotten except for the action/behavior which is required.
And I stand by those words, except that I very much can understand elements of ‘training’ and a fostering of a DS relationship. And then there is the whole switch-malarkey or switchcraft and how I allow myself to speak of what roles I take. I love the play I do, otherwise I would not do it, and there is certainly a sadist and dominant that is a part of what I do. But fact remains, that if I top/dom more than bottom/submitting a feeling of unbalance and anxiety starts to mount. This is not the case the other way around strangely. So here it is, I am a submissive who switch, a bloody sadomasochist that cannot get enough. There is nothing I regret about this, it is more about me being able to navigate and acknowledge parts of myself that has long been neglected. Furthermore, kink is a central element in my life. It is a large part of how I know and feel myself and others. I don’t want to be a one trick pony or one dimensional obsessive, but it is so integral to my day to day life; thus pretty much non-negotiable. When I started this, all of this kinky shit, I knew what it meant to me. I knew it was a practice that I did, how it affected me, and who I was in relation to it: I am not my practices; I am not submissive, I practice submission. Now, this has been the backbone of my personal politics in relation to kink. But I’m not sure about this anymore, I’m not sure about who I am and that identity in relation to kink. What I do know is that the practices are a part of me, in that they make me find a ground where I feel like I know myself better.
There has also been a resistance from me in identification, because I feel like it comes with assumptions and labels which are not mine. Just the practical thing about putting ‘submissive’ down on a website or internet community such as Fetlife , it is a simple action, but immediately, I feel like I claim something which is not mine, nor ideas and assumptions which does not fit the person whom I am. This resistance is double, in that it is both about me, but also, how often how fucked other people’s appreciation of submission in relationship to dominance is. These are strange politics that are going on both in my own head, but also in the real world of public kink, both off and online. I know, I know, I think too much, newsflash…
The thing is, that there are safe spaces, such as much of the social group I’m lucky enough to be a part of. They know who I am and respect me. So tonight, I’ll be going to a party and stay within the mindset of bottom/submissive. Last time I did this it did not really work out, but that was mainly because I did not plan it or spill it out as well. Today, I know that emails have been sent, people have been spoken to, ‘negotiations’ been made and we are on the same page.
This post has been extremely difficult to write, but thank you for reading. Now, it is time to prep for the evening.