Gorgone est l’une des modèles françaises les plus connues et elle donne une forte énergie à la communauté. Je partage ici un de ses écrits qui, outre le retour de mes modèles et mes expériences diverses et variées, me permet d’avancer sur ma propre recherche.(Préparation d’un texte „Kinbaku et violence“)
Gorgone est une jeune femme extra-ordinaire (en dehors de l’ordinaire s’il en est) qui est aussi une excellente attacheuse. Je vous invite à découvrir son engagement dans notre passion commune, les cordes et l’être humain.
Son site : gorgone-kinbaku.com
To be clear : It’s about pain and submission, surrender and ceding control; the idea of the writing is to present my “ideal” of pain processing and submission in play, which, of course doesn’t happen with just anyone or any time. I want to speak about the means to and feeling of surrender as it may exist in healthy relationships and connections. By this I mean, that the center and beginning of such a connection is you, and you are the one gaging the health and stability of these connections. In our case, how pain and masochism, how expectations and goals, and giving up expectations and goals can shape and influence our pain processing.
Some philosophers, such as Spinoza and Descartes, have hypothesized that the feeling of pain and pleasure are part of a continuum.
Apparently there is strong evidence of biological connections between the neurochemical pathways used for the perception of both pain and pleasure, as well as other psychological reward mechanisms, involving many of the same areas of the brain.
Some defend the theory, other don’t, some have even put up evolutionary hypotheses about it..
Anyway, in an S&M oriented point of view, we look for the experience of giving or receiving an intense sensation -because pain ain’t more than that; neural signals carried to the brain when activated by an unusually intense sensation. « Intense » being a very personal and subjective concept!
What pain is (physiologically and chemically) doesn’t really matter to me, what interests me is what we do with it and how we handle it.
To be clear, what I mean by “pain” is a controlled and pleasant situation that we willingly indulge. I am not talking about a stroke of misfortune, disease, chronic pain, etc.
I also want to emphasize the « receiving » side more than the « giving » one. The experience of sadism is very new to me (but definitely enjoyable!), so all I can say about it for now is that I find the idea of playing with someone’s limits and reactions based only on a guess very interesting. Indeed it is of course impossible to feel someone else’s sensations, and it would be silly to take our own limits/relationship/expectations regarding pain as a standard for everyone.
So we guess, and we assume, we give and receive trying not to hit the « too much » or « not enough » zones. Though I find it enjoyable, it doesn’t thrill me as bottoming does…
A) Pain as a goal VS pain as a means
I think I never met anyone indulging in pain related play just for the sake of pain. I much more believe that we use it as a means.
A way to simply get off, or to reach a different state of consciousness (subspace for example, or even dissociation -I’ll get back to it later), or to test and/or challenge our limits (I guess in that case the expected feeling is pride, satisfaction, approval?), and so many reasons,…
I personally don’t get off on pain, I don’t really look for a challenge and it doesn’t make me space out just by itself (unlike constriction or discipline). Why then do I look for it? What is « my masochism »?
Once we realize that pain isn’t the goal, I think it is an interesting question to ask ourselves what then is the intention, the goal, that the experience of pain serves.
B) Goal VS intention
Here, I’d like to emphasize the difference between « goal » and « intention ».
A goal presupposes a mental representation of the final result, a more or less precise map to follow and an ideal to reach. Having a goal creates a tension (emotional, mental, even physical) toward the outside in order to achieve that expected result. It may eventually remove any space for creativity, spontaneity or surprise. But above all, the danger of having a goal is the risk of denying the reality of « now » and trying to « bend » it towards the idea, that is the ideal.
Intention goes toward the unknown, it is an impulse but not a map. Intention is pure « desire » (in the very large sense of the word), it creates a movement, shapes a direction for many possibilities but no path. It is a tension toward the inside, in order to create a result out of the immediate reality.
I believe it is very useful input, especially for a bottom, to give up on a goal, which is just an expectation of what is going to happen. Because the expectation itself is a control strategy.
C) « Power over » VS « power to »
Having a goal, is a symptom of the desire for omnipotence.
A goal, an idea, expectations: Omnipotence aspires to get « power over »: we seek through control strategies a way to neutralize what we can’t understand or reach in a feeling – which in fact expresses a real impotence: that of being unable to welcome and meet this feeling.
The « power to » is rather the ability to accept and transform this gap into an unconditional union. To reach this « meeting point » we have to abandon the fantasy of omnipotence.
The true self-knowledge requires abandoning everything we think to know about ourselves and allow us to be surprised. Necessarily cause of frustration, and threatening creativity, I really believe that no matter what role of the game we play the desire of omnipotence must sometimes be replaced by the power of humility.
II- Pain and Stoicism
So, back to the primary question, what is « my masochism »? Well, I look for the experience of transformation. The process of accepting, transforming and transcending pain fascinates me and that is what I seek.
My masochism is actually a kind of BDSM oriented interpretation of the Stoic school!!
Behind the extreme complexity of our mental activity hides a simple logic: that of relief. Everything starts from a tension, a discomfort, grief, pain – even the simple intensity of living, that we sometime refuse.
Stoicism can be resumed with two tenets: « Amor fati » (love your destiny), but also « bear and forbear. »
According to Stoicism we must accept one principle: our destiny is everything that doesn’t depend on us. What then depends on us? Simply to love. Or not to love. Saying « yes » or saying « no ». What depends on us and is the core of our freedom is the relationship we have with what happens to us. Are we able to welcome unconditionally what is given to us? Amor fati.
The Stoic school teaches us that it isn’t first about changing, but mainly to learn how to welcome and accept. Our freedom stands there. In all things, in every moment « bear and forbear ».
If you hear it as an precept of inaction (the belief fertility only comes with direct action is to me a very western condition) it means you only know the action based on a refusal. But fair and fruitful action may only come from a Yes.
« Bear and forbear » in fact means: never act if it is to relieve you. Never act in reaction to any suffering that you refuse to live.
Stoicism therefore teaches us to say « yes »: yes to the present situation as it is, and yes then to the desire to change it, to transform it, without questioning the reality of it.
From here, it is very easy to make a connection to BDSM:
Be it physical or emotional: live your own suffering.
Regardless of whether it comes from another; because it is yours, only you can live it, only you can transform it.
In agreeing to live your suffering, without seeking relief that would only postpone it, you may transform it.
Here stands the cornerstone of my passion, the fascination with and will to experience pain, constriction and humiliation. Enhancing this ability to accept and welcome, unconditionally, is one of the ways of reaching a very deep feeling of what I call presence.
III- Union & reconciliation : presence
At another time, I will write about presence, because it is a whole fascinating topic by itself.
For now I want to simply clarify the pain processing aspect of it…
What my experiences with rope -and BDSM in general- has taught me, is that there is a range of inner contradictions in each of us. Contradictions we need to discover, embrace and reconcile in order to be fully present and therefore to be able to transcend pain. Not only taking it, or enjoying it, but transcending it.
The very thin line between dissociation and abandonment might be the most delicate issue. With « dissociation » I mean letting go so completely that it reaches the point of « switching off the brain ». Having reached this state often in rope, I’ve come to the conclusion that, even though it is a very efficient way of dealing with pain, it doesn’t allow me to be present anymore.
I do not want to give my partner the keys to an empty space, even if it takes effort I want to fill it with beautiful things and be there for the whole visit!
Are we experiencing, giving or sharing anything if we aren’t present? Even with a very deep feeling of abandonment, I truly believe, that we can be fully present.
Then why is it so hard? Because being both present and ceding control is being utterly vulnerable.
And this is the contradiction: being dominated is seeking this vulnerability; but our fears and insecurities might keep us from ultimately being able to accept it…
…to be continued…