”One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.” ~ Carl Jung~
When I wrote “New Direction” a year ago I spoke about how exhausted I was by my old style of domination, which felt like a form of escapism for my clients. I felt that there is potentially so much more to it and decided to try something different. The topic of tantric BDSM emerged as an answer to a question that I’d had in the back of my mind for a while and the year 2016 signified a major turning point in my career.
When I started this new path, I wasn’t sure exactly how I’m going to achieve it and precisely where it was going to lead me, but it felt authentic and therefore inevitable. After more than a year of following this calling, I’m ready to share how this transformation happened and the philosophy I operate from. Here are some insights that I hope you’ll find intriguing.
It all started with intention
The intention to find more depth and honesty in my practice for both me and my clients was enough to bring about a transformation in my sessions. Intention has incredible power. As soon as I made it, reality followed suite. I started seeing only like-minded clients. In my sessions I began to allow myself to rely more heavily on intuition which I’d access through presence and spontaneity. I changed my slogan to “The Power of Ultimate Surrender” and began to build a client base of those who seek to give up control completely – to have a more genuine submissive experience.
I still love seeing fetishists who are interested in milder, pleasure-oriented sessions, as long as they’re nice people. It’s fun to have my feet worshipped or my shoes licked, or play with a good sub. But, my major focus—where the real work is and where the real magic happens—is on Ultimate Surrender play. It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it, it’s sexy as hell to tap into a person’s deep self.
All this did not just come out of nowhere. My career as a dominatrix came naturally to meet my spiritual practices. I suppose this was inevitable, as I take both of these things very seriously. I am passionate about my work and, as many of you know by now, I am also deeply passionate about spirituality, tantra, self-inquiry and meditation.
For the past year I took this new direction on faith, not knowing precisely what the interweaving of these two paths would ultimately look like. I did know that I no longer wanted sessions that remained on the surface or, worse yet, encouraged a mere addiction to pleasure. And I had an important question I wanted answered: how do I give to my clients something deeper, more mutually revealing that leads to true freedom? This year has brought me closer and closer to an answer.
The answer is: a tantric approach to BDSM. Mainstream stereotypes about tantra imagine blissful sex and hour-long orgasms. As I have studied the tantric approach to spirituality and sexuality for a while now, I want to share with you that tantra is way, way more than that.
Tantra is a Sanskrit word that means ‘woven together.’ It uses the sexual union as a metaphor for the weaving together of the physical and the spiritual – weaving man to woman and humanity to the divine. Many religions separate the (sinful, unrefined, evil) material world from the (pure, refined, and good) spiritual world. Tantra, however, assumes that everything is already divine and that we don’t have to escape the material world in order to discover our true divine nature.
In tantra we delve deeper into our desires through asking self-inquiry questions. For example, a closer look at our desire for human connection might reveal that it is really a desire for connection with something greater, a higher power. Tantra is actually not about sex. Yes, it can be practiced within the sexual context, but at its core it’s about brining awareness and richness into our all our activities, including BDSM.
Bringing Tantra to the BDSM world
I have always deeply honored my clients’ fantasies, no matter how strange they might sound. Attractions that strike a deep inner chord do so because of a mysterious and complex inner resonance, and therefore should be honored. Being brave enough to look into denied aspects and to find safe outlets for them lets people integrate their suppressed parts. I truly enjoy taking BDSM past the boundaries of pleasure-seeking and towards expanded consciousness. Here are a few key points on how this is done, useful for both dominant and submissive participants to know.
- Trusting yourself. Few of us have been taught that we can be trusted in the erotic realm – quite the opposite. When we were little, we were encouraged by a variety of subtle and explicit messages to be on guard of our eroticism even as it was developing. Understandably, as adults we often feel uncomfortable about examining the content and meaning of our turn-ons. But this attitude very much restricts your vision. It gives much better results if you acknowledge your feelings but stay patient with yourself. Discomfort with one’s sexuality can take years to build up and can’t be expected to change overnight. You might discover that it doesn’t need to be changed at all, or that it can be transformed into something amazing. But for this to happen, brutal honesty with oneself is an important prerequisite. So make a commitment to keep digging deeper in this direction and trust your fantasies.
- Intention for the session. We all know about self-fulfilling prophecies. Well, they work here too. The intention you set will determine what you get out of your session. For instance, coming in with the thought “I’d like get as much pleasure as my money can buy” puts you on a route to neediness and addiction, and to sessions that stay very much on the surface. Whereas, take the thought ”I’d like to expand my ability to let go of control, experience how safe it is to be vulnerable and to see if it can bring me a more fulfilling experience.” Much deeper, isn’t it? Other examples of simple but refined intentions are: “I’d like to use my passion for kink in order to access deeper levels of relaxation and release” or “I’d like to learn how to be intuitive and trust my play partner.” Creating a more refined intention facilitates deeper levels of surrender and growth.
- Awareness and emptying out. “You have to be totally empty in order to experience things the way they are, otherwise it’s only your opinion of things.” ~Mooji~ In order to tune out from the busy world out there, I find it helpful to state my wish to leave the past, the future, self-identifications, and the drama of the world outside of the session room. Afterwards, I like to breathe a bit louder in order to easily focus on the breath, which is a great portal into a present-moment awareness. This awareness makes it possible to truly feel my submissive intuitively. I often like to start a session with this little ritual, it’s very fruitful when my sub and I both do it together. As long as I’m deeply tuned into the present moment and keep my submissive there, we can access much deeper realms of reality, so-called altered states of consciousness, which bring deeper relaxation, insights and even a very healing space beyond pleasure and pain.
- Surrender. For both dominant and submissive. My submissive surrenders to me and allows anything to happen, while I surrender to the Great Unknown. We have to be willing to screw things up a little. Otherwise we can’t truly stay present and let the session unfold spontaneously. Instead of chasing some bliss or another, we leave our perfectionism and planning outside the room and create a space for safe surrender. Real surrender is a state of vulnerability. And a vulnerable space is far more conducive to growth and pleasure than a well-protected one.
Challenges for the submissive
“People will do anything, no matter how absurd, to avoid facing their own souls.” ~ Carl Jung ~
It all sounds like like fun, doesn’t it? However, the tantric path has its own challenges, and it’s better if I mention a few to have you come prepared.
- Getting our of your comfort zone and meeting yourself. Together with bliss and insights, be prepared to see everything that you’ve repressed, such as emotions, fantasies, or traumatic experiences. It’s obvious that one has to face all the skeletons in the closet in order to become free from them. Be prepared to become even more vulnerable than you planned to be. Many find it challenging to fall to pieces and to act out all the emotions, but it always turns out to be a very healing experience for those who do.
- Getting lost in pleasure. Some experiences of altered states of consciousness can be so blissful that it’s easy to lose sight of things. Some people lose sight of the greater goal of self-liberation and start “chasing the high” in an expectant or manipulative way. Others try to replace all their other everyday pleasures with it. This addictive behavior is a major trap. Nothing takes you further away from experiencing bliss than a blind attachment to bliss.
- Having this resonate in life outside of kink. Expanding consciousness has a way of changing things – ultimately, I believe, for the better, but often not before shaking everything up. Deep, honest self-discovery through play can affect your entire person. Which will in turn affect the way you see many aspects of your life and your role in them. While awesome and satisfying, this isn’t necessarily easy.
The path less traveled
The erotic manifestations of our “shadow” hold the key to the whole self, as opposed to the limited self to which most of us have become accustomed. As our sessions deepen, there are new possibilities for ecstasy and discovery. The fact that we can use our kinky play to create something beautiful and meaningful is immensely inspiring to me. Through this new direction in my work, I feel more intimately connected with my clients which allows me to take them on a journey that is far more authentic and rewarding for both of us.