A Session With No Map
One day I asked a video director I admire what kind of work he enjoyed the most? He said: “I like when someone contacts me wanting to present a challenging idea, something so hard to put into words that it seems almost impossible to convey on video. That’s when I know I’m the right person to do it.” The answer surprised me at first – why would someone deliberately put oneself in a challenging situation instead of taking things easy with tasks less complicated and risky?
As I reflected on my own work, however, I saw that it’s the same for me. It was only as a beginner Domme that I wanted to meet easy and direct people, the “I’d like to be spanked for half an hour” kind of clients. These days, I won’t even bother seeing someone with such a request. I like ideas that are challenging, intriguing, abstract and risky. At the same time, I am looking for purity in someone’s intention – whatever the idea, it must come from a deep level of the psyche, not from some superficial and shallow desire.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I had a client with an interesting request, he wanted deep shadow work. “I’m really intrigued by your Shibari Experience” he said, “I feel repressed emotionally and sexually. I’ve never been able to open myself up fully, to fall to pieces, to have my socially-constructed identity shattered. I wonder if you could help me to go through a similar experience.” He was referring to my radical journey into my own darkness, where I met repressed emotions, deep fears and core beliefs. I found it profoundly therapeutic and insightful. Just like BASE jumping, it’s not for everyone, it takes a radical soul to request something like this. Of course, similar experiences do happen in my BDSM sessions spontaneously, but he was one of the few who asked directly for such a dark and intense journey into the core of his being.
We talked about safe words and he expressed that he trusts my ability to read his body, my experience and intuition, and would rather surrender without any safe words. In my experience, safe words are helpful for many submissives, yet the most radical form of surrender demands absolutely no control and ultimate trust. I respected his decision and admired his readiness to endure various discomforts not for the sake of masochistic high but for search of a deeper journey.
“In order to stay truly alive we need to choose courage over comfort so that we keep growing, climbing and challenging ourselves” Emotional agility – Susan David
After discussing his request and intention, I asked him to undress in a changing room while I lit incenses and candles in my dungeon space. I chose slow, somewhat psychedelic, trance-inducing music to help us tune in. I experienced conflicting emotions, fear and excitement. There was nervousness, because this was a session with no map and a very sublime intention. Imagine you have to achieve something epic but have no plan of how to do so! So the little human in me was paranoid – WTF did you just sign up for, you have no idea what to do, why can’t you just give over the knee spankings to all those who have a specific request for it? The voice sounded familiar, and I recognized it as my own inner vulnerability, a shadow, a deep and profound well of “I’m not good enough,” deeply conditioned by my upbringing. It’s not the time to give attention to this one, I decided.
In more scientific language, when such inhibitions arise, they originate in the part of the brain that is so highly developed in humans – the neocortex. The ability to reduce neocortical activity in order to access the primal brain and enter an altered state of consciousness is a very important skill when it comes to taking my submissive on a deep journey. But before my client gets a chance to ultimately surrender, I’m the one who has to. The only thing left was to feel the present moment and ask a higher power for guidance, for intuitive direction…. I do so as I breathe in and I breath out. I accept, I detach, I surrender. Let’s see what happens!
He walks in, and the flow takes me. I know exactly what’s needed to be done at this very moment. All doubts left behind, I’m absolutely confident in my actions. I start softly with a relaxation ritual, but quickly become rough with him. I make sure he is wearing a leather mask, is blindfolded and unable to move. I use tight restraints to reinforce his sense of being trapped. He has no choice but to let go and accept his fate is in my hands. I squeeze his balls slowly with my leather glove, he is forced to acquiesce and yield. He is tensing up and resisting. There is anger and aggression in the air. He is shaking. I give him a moment to calm down, and then I hurt him by powerfully pulling his nipples. I secure nipples clamps so I can now focus on other parts of his body. He is agitated, screaming. I take my flogger to start whipping him. I realize that I lose myself in my “topspace” as I start treating him as a soulless object, and I trust that this is exactly what he needs to receive at this moment.
I use him, I violate him. I torture his most vulnerable parts. All of a sudden I feel a profound sadness. I sense he is crying without seeing anything underneath the leather mask that covers his face. I slow down, give him a gentle touch to make sure he is feeling contained and takes time to integrate what just happened. He is rock hard throughout this whole time which is a a confirmation of my being on the right track – his subconscious agrees with these actions. I tease him for a brief moment. I continue restraining and hurting him in different positions, until he ends up in a leather body bag.
He is fully mummified and has no way out. He is masked and blindfolded, moving and shaking inside the body bag. I close it even tighter to make sure there is no room for movement left, I abandon him for a few minutes to give him an opportunity to feel his helplessness on his own. When I come back, I remove the blindfold, I open the zipper in the middle to access his manhood and step on it with my stiletto shoe very slowly. I look right into his eyes. Time stops. He is quietly breathing and I read in his eyes that he gave it up entirely. I feel him fully dissolved, like there is nothing left of him, completely disintegrated. There is a sense of deep surrender in his eyes, he is neither scared of pain nor desiring of pleasure. And that’s when we slow down.
I become more fluid and gentle, allowing him to rest in this refined state. I blindfold him again, allowing him to spend some more time in the leather body bag, this time creating the intention to create a safe cocoon out of it. I lie down next to him and hold him closely, feeling his heartbeat slowing down as his body feels soft and relaxed inside the body bag. I continue holding the space for some time, gently touching his chest and head to help him feel contained. While entrapped in bondage now, he is finally free. That is, free to focus on the moment and his psychological and physical responses and experiences. He is free to float off into the space of infinite awareness and relaxation.
After some time, I slowly unzip the body bag and let him out. As I stand above him, he reaches for my ankle, looks into my eye for non-verbal permission to kiss it. I don’t mind as I see nothing but the sincere appreciation in his eyes. I make sure to give him enough time to come back to earth. I offer him water, snacks and a shower. He is still not ready to talk and that’s ok.
I also notice my personality is returning, active and curious to hear the report of his journey. However I know there is a common problem of communication in these reports: many of my submissives have been reluctant to relate these experiences that seem to defy any verbal description. When we finally start chatting, I thank him for trusting me and allowing me to be his guide, and encourage him to take more time in getting back into his daily routine – “just don’t grab your phone right away!”.
The intensity of what my submissive may go through with powerfully executed sessions on my part is comparable to what is generally described as a “peak experience.” The combination of fear and bodily threat elicits a variety of hormonal and biochemical responses. Extreme pain and extreme pleasure are associated with a high level of endorphins and any intense emotion implies a reduction of mental control, allowing him to access the “subspace”. I find it deeply gratifying to be present with the submissive in his vulnerability and inward journey. After a session like this, it feels as if there is an atmosphere of light in the shadows of my dungeon.
I love to share these deep moments with my submissive, moments that are free from the rules of social conditioning. While helping him to tune himself out of a busy mind, I further master my own skills of meditation, surrender and intuitive action.
“Vulnerability is not weakness. It’s the most accurate measurement of courage. Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change” – Dr. Brene Brown
*Read his review of the session (Derek – Therapy, May 30, 2018) here
“Death is one of God’s best ideas because it so terrifies the beings that it compels them to search for that which is imperishable.” – Mooji
I have always been fascinated by the idea of dying before dying. That is, of getting the experience of death before the physical death of the body. I suppose I felt that it would allow me to put things into perspective, which is so helpful, as I (and I am probably not alone in this) tend to take so much for granted and worry about all kinds of nonsense. To me, it’s the best way I know that lets me stop the anxiety over some imagined problems and to cut through the rat race for worldly success.
That’s where skydiving came up as my first antidepressant followed by other extreme sports. Soon, I realized that there was no need to actually face physical death: there are alternatives to exploring my fears, vulnerability and limitations. BDSM is handy as a transformational experience of surrender in front of a trusted someone. Silent retreats are also a great ways to experience a monastic life with the temporary suspension of certain abilities, such as interacting with others, or speaking, or entertaining oneself. Vipassana is even more challenging, where participants are not only silent, but are also asked to refrain from moving (not even moving a finger!) for certain periods of time.
I was creative with my experiments, finding variety of tools such as a sensory deprivation chamber where all senses are suspended, substances that turn off my rational mind or create an out-of-body experience, and freediving where the ability to breathe is put on hold. And sometimes I didn’t have to search for it, “little deaths” found me through challenges such as breakups, betrayals, loss of jobs.
Right now I’m on my sixths day of detox fasting and I am staying mostly alone exploring my feelings and cravings. Eating is yet another action that I have been taking for granted and I was surprised to find that even a temporary fast shakes my world so powerfully. All of these experiences provide a way for me to die before dying, to see what’s beyond my body and mind, what’s really important in life, find out who I am.
“You never really live until you almost die” is written on my BASE jumping T-shirt and I absolutely agree, and definitely don’t doubt my chosen way of life. What I am finding within it is a process of falling apart at the seams which is a great catharsis that throws me back inside myself, serves as a mirror to reflect the truth of who I Am. After each insight, the world looks much fresher and kinder, I no longer pass so much judgement but rather feel gratitude
Now that I’ve become a professional at what I do, people often wonder what it is that I
like most about my work? After all I have been practicing in the field for close to a decade now and the question comes up: what keeps me there? Don’t I get tired? Bored perhaps? Would I rather do something else, now or some day in the future? I asked myself these questions at various points in my career as well. And, while the answers are many and varied and have changed from one time period to another, there is one truth that keeps coming up as undeniable: I truly enjoy meeting people in a different, more sincere way than most life situations allow.
We tend to get to know other people in various social situations and the way we interact will depend on how and where we meet. If we meet someone in school, that’s one form of interaction, and it will be vary depending on whether it’s a fellow student or a teacher. If we meet at work that’s another, and it will vary depending on whether someone is an employee, a colleague or a superior. Even in our family life, social rules tend to be important – a family aims to be a stable environment where members, despite their closeness and openness, still have to play a certain role, husband, wife, head of household, and so on.
When someone comes to see a Domme, all of this is different. The nature of the environment and subsequent interaction is, for lack of a better word, raw. The relationship between the client and me is, oddly enough, real, because it cuts to the core of the client, to his (or her) very essence, immediately. This is what they are there for. It is a relationship that’s free from social connections and their consequences, express or implied. That said, I should qualify this assertion by specifying that, of course, I do not claim or believe that our kinky alter ego is some kind of “ultimate truth” or boiled down essence of who we truly are: human beings are nothing if not extremely and wonderfully complex. And yet, what does make a major difference in the level of honesty is that our kinky role is not chosen by social norms or conventions. In fact, it defies them which is why it’s called ‘kink.’
This rather obvious revelation, however, begs the question: why would someone feel so strongly inclined to play a socially unacceptable role that has no obvious use for our survival? It’s a mystery. A mystery rooted in psychology, personal history, proclivities that make each person unique, and of which he might not himself be aware. All of which contains some kernel or kernels of truth that are so very interesting to get at, to dance around, to touch upon.
And that’s what sets apart mystery from logic. Logical, directional, practical thinking has the purpose of helping us to survive in the most productive, successful way. Mystery is there for seemingly no practical purpose…other than to make our souls smile. Which, of course, can also be regarded as practical indeed! Just think of a world which is absolutely logical, rational, mathematical, with each person confined to their socially-determined or personally-selected roles, how monotonous it would be. There would be no possibility of poetry, there would be no possibility of spirituality, there would be no possibility of kink either. For if to practice spirituality is to enter into a mystery, then to practice kink is to knock at the same door in a different way.
For me, mystery, spirituality and kink are almost synonymous. The erotic impulse originates in the deepest level of our psyche and it, in turn, seems to be a never-ending rabbit hole. It will never become routine, it definitely won’t grow boring, I will never solve this puzzle. Therefore I have been absolutely delighted with my decision to abandon my then-promising corporate career in favor of my current one. When I worked in finance, I would meet very similar people to those I meet now, but from a very different angle – a “politically correct” one, logical and rational. These days I meet these corporate folks in a new way – unmasked, vulnerable, emotional, raw. I feel truly privileged for this opportunity and can’t help but feel amazed about how many layers of mystery are hidden beneath each person’s socially-acceptable, traditional sexuality.
In all these years that I’ve been a Domme, I often found myself wondering: why is there such a great variety of FemDoms and yet such a comparatively tiny pool of skillful Dominant males to choose from? I can hear my readers protesting already but, darlings, your offers to tie us up and spank us couldn’t be farther from what I am talking about.
I have met men who told me that they were dominant. Over the years, I have learned that what they really meant to tell me was: they were bitter and bitchy because of challenging relationships with women, they were cheesy and shallow and so would be my experience, they were looking for an easy way to feel empowered (we all know about easy ways and how those work out), they were searching for an outlet for their pent-up anger, or all of the above. These things, of course, are decidedly not what BDSM is about and, no less importantly, there was no chance I would get anything emotionally or sexually worthwhile out of these interactions. And yet, I did crave to be dominated – by someone who genuinely understood what this meant.
Just as I offer my clients a conscientious experience, I knew that I too wanted someone who had already matured in his intentions. I was looking for a shaman who would offer me a moving experience of surrender and transformation – someone led not by his superficial personality issues but by some forces that are far beyond…. I wanted him to be caring, wise, skillful, experienced, intuitive. Just as I value myself highly as a Domme, I wanted to meet someone with the same high standards, someone I could learn from. Otherwise I would find it impossible to trust him, relax, and surrender.
I believe that my path as a Domme is one-sided and incomplete if I always remain a top, without ever giving myself an opportunity to surrender. Fortunately, I get to surrender often while practicing extreme sports – it’s an amazing experience of feeling and trusting the natural forces. Nature is so wise, whereas humans are complicated, and it is definitely more challenging to find a suitable person to submit to. I knew that finding a person capable of taking me on a journey of surrender was best left to luck, and I was hoping that one day luck will find me. Thanks to the magic of Phangan land, it did.
As soon as I saw Bodhi in his online video, I knew that I wanted to try his shamanic shibari suspension experience and that there was something there for me to be learned from it as a professional Domme. I came to see him for our initial consultation and he impressed me even more: I felt understood and I resonated well with his description of a shamanic “descent” journey. The experience he offered had a clear goal – to descend to my underworld, to meet all of my demons, fears and negative emotions, and to finally meet the one behind them. “This is an initiation into empowered vulnerability and surrender to your depths,” he said, “this five-hour session is NOT for the faint of heart but for radical souls who want to land fully and manifest their soul’s purpose by diving into the shadow and integrating their dark eros and animal/dragon power to become whole and alive beings.” I felt a strong inner “Yes” response and signed up for this journey, already feeling extremely blessed to have met him.
So there I was, feeling nervous and excited, as I readied myself to drive my motorbike to Bodhi’s beautifully designed Japanese dojo (his version of a dungeon, I suppose). It was particularly exciting for me as I found myself having many realizations such as “Aha, now I understand how my submissives feel when they go through a similar experience.” I immediately and viscerally felt the importance of my own sub-session with a professional top in helping me to better relate to my submissives.
After a little tea ceremony with philosophical conversations and discussions of boundaries, we performed an entry ritual. Finally I found myself naked and vulnerable with my eyes blindfolded, as the master started to tie his ropes tightly around my body. It wasn’t a gentle process, the ropes felt tight, pinching my skin, and Bodhi was rough, harshly manhandling me into powerlessness, bondage and suspension. It didn’t take long to meet my demons, I instantly felt desperate and raging. I had no idea there was that much hatred, fear, and mistrust in me. I felt like something very primal had been triggered, I felt desperate in my need to survive. I screamed out in pain and rage, begging him to stop, but he continued. I realized I had no control at all, there was no way out, no safeword. Now I’m happy we didn’t have a safeword, as it was the only way to get to this “over the edge” place I needed, where I have no control at all and feel ready to die.
And so, I quickly found myself hanging up in the air, suffocating from pain caused by the ropes, the animal in me roaring with survival aggression. I am usually very self- conscious about the way I look and the sounds I make, but this time the judge was dead. Primal instincts took over, I was roaring and screaming, letting out all my hatred. I had no idea there was so much hatred in me towards others and myself. After passing through aggression, I descended into guilt and shame. I felt pathetic, useless and guilty for everything. Everything was my fault. I felt ashamed of my sexuality, I felt filthy, a complete loser, a failure, a pathetic piece of meat. The many tension points in my body intensified into giant vortexes of pain. I remembered the master’s voice: “The shadow is the board game on which we play our life. Working on understanding and integrating our shadow is one of the essential journeys we must all make on the path to awakening our soul’s purpose.”
Finally, as he put me on the floor tightly mummified with rope, I went through the misery of helplessness and death. Frankly, this is one of my biggest fears – growing old, ill, immobile, in constant pain, seeing death approaching. I’ve always secretly wished that I should die in an extreme sports accident so I could avoid being old and decaying. The idea of a strong, beautiful overachiever like me becoming ill, immobile and suffering on a deathbed has always felt unbearably terrifying. And there I was, feeling trapped in these tight ropes, in constant pain of their pinching my skin, I felt broken, altered, descending even lower in my consciousness, crying of deep sadness, as I saw no sense in living only to end up suffering on a deathbed…. Until there was no deeper to go, and my breathing stopped, without any intention from my side. Everything stopped. There was a blissful pause. I was listening to music – the shamanic instruments that Bodhi played created enchanting sounds that, in combination with Bodhi’s singing, took me even deeper into alternate states of consciousness. I wasn’t breathing for some time, and it didn’t feel like I needed to. It lasted an eternity, it was empty, quiet, like I found my resting place. Finally, I heard him say that with my fresh breath of air I’ll gain access to something significant, deep and long forgotten – my “Dragon power”. And as I took a breath in, I felt it so strongly – like I was just born anew, with the first word that came into my head being “Freedom!” It felt like I was flying.
The gate to some powerful force opened and I was mesmerized by this freshly discovered power. My body felt renewed after having released so many outdated emotions and belief patterns that I wanted to fly. I felt so free even inside these tight ropes, a smile showed up on my face. It wasn’t euphoria, but rather a refined sense of peace, the feeling that something here is eternal and there was nothing to be afraid of. I heard Bodhi continuing to play his shamanic instruments, as I kept flying and flying, feeling like an Avatar hero who just tamed his flying dragon and now was excited to explore the beauty of the world from a whole new dimension. He finally released me from the ropes, put them on top of me and embraced me. I felt deep love, connection and gratitude. My heart felt no longer polluted by old negative states, my sexual energy—both in its light and dark forms—felt alive and celebrated.
Bodhi asked me to leave with these ropes all the qualities I no longer wanted with me, as he prepared to perform a fire ritual to burn everything that could possibly be “absorbed” by them. After we exchanged gratitude, I went home feeling exhausted and spent some time lying down integrating this powerful experience. Bodhi continued to reach out, checking in with me, making sure that I am having an easy recovery, and offering support if needed. I was very impressed with the great combination of sincere care and flawless professionalism that he embodied.
A few days passed and, I must say, I feel transformed. The whole experience was a major initiation into some long-forgotten but powerful dimension together with an intense emotional release. I find it important not only to see my sweet aspects, but also to know my darkness. After shining some light into the dark corners of my psyche, this darkness is no longer as dark. The experience of such deep surrender made me stronger. I’m no longer feeling like a fearful little human guided by inner pains and traumas. I rediscovered deeper levels of freedom and love. I know my life’s greater purpose – I’m here for Freedom. I won’t let anything stop me on my path to Ultimate Freedom.
I am also now confident that Ultimate Freedom and Ultimate Surrender are synonyms, which makes me feel happy with my chosen path of guiding others into realms of Surrender. The experience of this journey and Bodhi’s qualities of professionalism, wisdom, care and integrity are already influencing my work – I am inspired to continue developing such qualities in myself in order to take my submissives deeper. I am confident that BDSM sessions have a profound depth, giant healing potential and unlimited capacity for self-discovery.
Shibari Master – Bodhi Zapha, for more info visit https://www.shibarihealing.com
“In most cases I’ve found that those who think they rarely or never fantasize are similar to people who don’t remember dreaming. They’re simply not in the habit of paying sufficiently close attention” J. Morin, Erotic Mind.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that my clients’ willingness to reveal what most people prefer to keep hidden has made it possible for me to develop an entirely new way of understanding erotic life as such. As my new vision of eroticism grew deeper, wider and evermore enlightened, my fascination with kink has only deepened and, as with all wonderful and enlightening things one discovers, it is difficult to keep to oneself. I’ve grown more and more inspired to share this knowledge, which I feel is everyone’s birthright, with others.
It’s easy to share it with my submissives, as they already have an inherent attraction to and curiosity towards it. Still, no matter how experienced they are, it seems that I can always guide them towards more richness and depth of play. Win-win. But as I delved deeper into this realm and became increasingly proficient in it, a question emerged from somewhere in the back of my mind – sure my clients can be guided into a richer and deeper version of kink, but…is it possible to understand– and even fall in love with– kink when one has no natural inclination towards it, but only a curiosity at best? Isn’t it like art, which is hard to explain – one looks at it and either likes it or not? Or…can one be taught to appreciate kink the way one can be taught to appreciate a wider variety of art? Hm…
As far as art goes, it has been my experience that it can in fact be explained – not by means of logic, but with analogies. If I felt or experienced something that someone did not, one way of sharing the experience would be by suggesting an analogy. A small similarity of perception or interpretation, once understood, becomes a bridge, which will be like an initiation. A familiar feeling is triggered, and now the newcomer is curious to dive deeper. In a similar way, I wondered whether it’s possible to initiate someone into kink. Of course I am not talking about some superficial “50 Shades of Grey” version of it, you should know me better than that by now, but rather about the deeply meaningful, tantric kink that I am so in love with. There are so many misconceptions about kink in the so-called vanilla world, I figured, why not spread the word about the beauty that I have been lucky to discover?
Shortly afterwards, I was given the opportunity to try this. A submissive man I worked with wanted very much to introduce his reluctant wife to kink, and invited me to assist him. This was a privilege – to be given the chance to work on a couple’s most intimate relationship. It was also my opportunity to try and build this bridge I was thinking about. You see, the man is fond of submission, feminization, lingerie, and has a nylon fetish. It isn’t uncommon by any means, but his wife did not seem to share his passion, which is not uncommon either. Fortunately, however, she was open-minded enough and thus willing to give it a try for the sake of the man she loves and herself. She did not assume that she would grow to like it, but she had it in her heart to want to understand more about it.
So I took the initiative and began to share my vision, with all of my enthusiasm. I began by explaining that kink is healthy: the great psychoanalyst Carl Jung believed that to achieve psychological wholeness and maturity, each person must come to terms with what he called “the shadow” – the least acceptable, socially denied aspects of our selves. Lustful attraction is likely to take a destructive turn when it is banished into a dark corner. Therefore, a healthier alternative is its acceptance and curiosity about it.
“Take a closer look at a peak turn-on and you’ll undoubtedly sense that
something close to the core of your being has been touched.” J. Morin,
And thus, appreciating the mysteries of Eros requires a new point of view. It requires traveling the short distance from labeling to curiosity, from shutting the door to looking through the peephole. Of course going about discarding one’s prejudices alone can be tricky, it’s nice to have help. In this case, my explanation helped this lovely woman to to put all of her “weird pervert” labels aside for a moment, at least long enough to follow our exploration further along. No less importantly, she was able to appreciate and honor the fact that her man trusted her enough to share his secret persona which nobody else had seen.
So here we were, our submissive undressed, exposed, helplessly restrained, and blindfolded. He quickly became extremely excited and began to express his feelings: “I love being helpless and used by you. I can’t see you, and I imagine that you are looking at me examining my body, playing with my nipples and genitals, touching and prodding everywhere, I’m completely at your mercy” he shared. I saw that his wife was perplexed by this fantasy, and so I gently explained: “He enjoys the freedom to experience the dark side of himself. You see, it’s indeed a great relief and liberation to be rendered powerless, to entirely give up, and become contained within our dominant control. We are now the acting subjects while he is the object of all of our attention, experiencing pleasure. He enjoys not having any control, as it contrasts with his everyday life, which is filled with the responsibilities of a high-stress job and fatherhood. Men are usually expected to be dominant in life, and now he has a chance to be coddled, to be the center of attention, only as an enthusiastic bottom, feeling “chosen” and very special.”
The man continued, “I enjoy being so helpless…and you are both torturing me, whipping me mercilessly”. I went on commenting: “Things that normally hurt can feel terrific when you’re excited. Through submission and pain, he seeks to rouse this hidden self and feel fully alive”. He went on, “I fantasize that you put sexy lingerie on me, and give me a girl’s name.” Catching her disapproval as she heard it, I went on enthusiastically: “His lingerie and nylons offer him a compelling focal point for his fascination with women and femininity. Fetish objects such as lingerie and nylons, become erotic cues that provide a pinpoint focus for his arousal”. The man continued while looking extremely aroused and ecstatic, “I’m afraid that you might decide to hurt me or push me somewhere I don’t want to go.” And I translated: “Fear intensifies his arousal. Our bodies respond similarly to anxiety and to sexual arousal. When highly aroused, all of his emotions are part of a larger whole in which concepts of “negative” and “positive” become meaningless. Also notice how fluid these emotions are, how rapidly they transmute from fear into excitement, from tears to laughter, from hatred to passionate love. But keep in mind, depending on the situation and the individuals involved, anxiety is either an anti- aphrodisiac or an aphrodisiac, and sometimes even both.”
This lesson was the beginning of this woman’s gradual initiation into the world of kink. Practical steps and technical lessons followed, but I find that attitude, intention, and curiosity to explore are most significant. Once she started to grasp the implications of her husband’s kinky fantasies, she became more enthusiastic to better appreciate the richness and complexity of humans beings’ erotic minds. The fantasies he described were not as straightforward, it turned out, as they had initially appeared. When one looks deeper into such fantasies and shares them with open-minded listeners, not only does it become possible to be deeply understood, but also to inspire others to explore their own fantasies. At the beginning of our interaction the woman was certain that she didn’t have any sexual fantasies. However, the most recent update I got from this couple was her discovery that, once she imagined a certain situation, her arousal would intensify – quite impressive for someone who didn’t fantasize, don’t you think….
Recent interview by Dia Dynasty regarding my kinky lifestyle and occupation
*Published with permission from the subject of this post
Somehow I’m wired to look for best in people, including my submissives. I understand that nobody is perfect, and do my best to focus on good qualities. When it comes to training my submissives, I look for potential. Of course, it seems to be a good idea to become a zero tolerance kind of Domme, the one who only accepts ideal slaves, those ready to surrender 100% and treat me like a Goddess. However in real world I don’t like to dismiss people as “defective”, I like to give them a chance, I like to find understanding, connection, and teach them to be better submissives. Unfortunately, it fails most times.
Here is an example of one terrible submissive whom I recently fired. Let’s call him golfo. I met golfo over a year ago and from our first session it was very clear that he was an entirely ignorant sub. Ignorant in a very pathetic, silly way, which made me laugh a lot during our first times together.
He confessed that he liked watching BDSM porn and listed all the activities that turned him on. And as it usually happens, he couldn’t do 90% of things he listed. I already felt like it’s a red flag – I mean, how smart should one be to figure out that a single tail would be rather painful? Yet he assumed that his pain tolerance is already high and requested a strict, sadistic approach, with single tail being an important tool for discipline. As it was a multiple hour playtime, we tried many things during out first session, and he was resistant towards all of it – he complained that a chastity device was too tight, he couldn’t take any pain, he was getting exhausted and overwhelmed almost instantly. When I sent him to get me some dinner, he begged to pleasure himself. He was very bossy and needy, and couldn’t let go of the pleasure-seeking agenda he had in mind after watching a ton of BDSM porn.
Afterwards I explained to him all the things I wasn’t happy with, but unfortunately it got only worse – he constantly bombarded me with emails, demanding an immediate reply, which felt rather hysterical. He used to write a long description of some ideas he had in mind for a session, have me focus on it to give him a feedback, only to dismiss it and change it into something entirely different.
I was patient till he rescheduled our well-planned multiple-hour appointments twice in a row, and I explained to him that I couldn’t deal with so much crap anymore.
However, at the end of the year he apologized for everything and promised to improve. After a few short and humble emails, together with some nice Christmas gifts, he begged me to teach him the art of submission, so I decided to give him another chance.
I kept on toiling, while feeling like a mother teaching her child not to be naughty. Thank god I’m not actually a mother, as it’s much easier to fire a slave.
I told golfo that in order to be a good sub, he must get over his self-indulgence and stop thinking about things he’d rather do to get the result he wants. This socially conditioned formula never works when it comes to the art of ultimate submission. He believed that by doing this and this (something he saw on internet), you will receive that and that (he’ll be allowed to sleep in my cage overnight), and this particular pleasant result will happen (he’ll have an unforgettable experience). Moreover, he’d be very attached to the result, trying so hard to get it, over and over again. That would make him tense up, and that would make me tense up and annoy me as hell. I would feel as a tool for his limited pleasure addiction, which is clearly not my role.
On the contrary, when one is very clear about his desire to surrender and be of service, the flow from his Domme becomes very clear and satisfying. So I explained to him that his desire to surrender, respect, and adore must be clearly seen through in his emails (they must be brief, on point, respectful, with a clear attitude of submission), as well as in his appointment etiquette (must honor my time and business) and of course during play time (trust, surrender, presence, humbleness, obedience and gratitude). It’s very important to let go of expectations for pleasure – I told him that he doesn’t see me to have a brightest ever explosion at the end. In my session, I don’t always allow my submissive to pleasure themselves. In fact, most of the time I don’t – it’s a good test of their integrity as submissives.
“Getting a result is good for your ego, but true giving is good for your heart. It satisfies in a very sweet and real way” B. Martin, Wheel of Consent
Basically, submission is a path of letting go of one’s ego – that’s where true bliss resides, for both dominant and submissive.
So I invested a fair amount of time and emotional labor into this one. We had a couple of fairly successful sessions, which happened when I threatened him with ostracism. I felt optimistic about him – I saw that he was capable of it. I gave him a test at being a personal submissive (he’s been craving to be my personal sub from the very beginning) where he got to try some cleaning assignments and various errands. He really begged for it for a while. You guessed it: he failed magnificently! Imagine you hired someone to do the work for you, but you actually do more work correcting and micromanaging them at every stage! This ends up being more exhausting than just doing the work yourself. For instance, when asked to clean mirrors in my apartment, he cleaned only one mirror, and when asked to buy certain number of certain candles, he’s bring me a different quantity of wrong candles, and he couldn’t even bring me a cup of hot tea: the water was room temperature! And afterwards, as golfo reminded me of the experience as a major favor from him, feeling entitled to some goodies.
Yes, “entitled” is a key word to being a failure at submitting. He constantly felt entitled, and I constantly had to explain to him that he was not the boss. Basically, he ended up repeating some old patterns of bombarding me with too many messages, having too many cancellations due to “emergencies” and even haggling over my rate, as he found himself entitled to a better rate because he did a lot of “selfless service work”. What a cheek! As much as hate the phrase, I had to tell him, “You’re FIRED!”
Here is a story of a major failure which may be useful for many submissives as an example of what it means to be terrible at it. Although I like the idea of connecting to different kinds of submissives who are willing to learn, and not to dismiss anyone as “defective”, these days I realize that unfortunately, some are doomed to fail and are not worthy of my time. Just like many Dommes I look up to, I’d rather spend my time with those who don’t need to learn baby steps, but already did their homework and realize what the true submission is all about.
The good news is, that right after these recent stressful times with golfo I met another submissive, who ended up being an amazing example of the sub I truly wish to see as often as possible, both for sessions and personal services. Stay tuned as my next post will be about him! 🙂
”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.
Last night was my first session with Goddess Renee. It was also my first time in a dungeon. My experience with BDSM was limited to fetish out calls.
I was not enjoying all of that, but gradually, I started feeling something beyond enjoyment. I felt good when she enjoyed.
I was like what??!!! I totally said in my mind that it is an end to a bad session. I will never do that, get dressed and leave immediately, and never see her again.
But.. Without any reason, I didn’t. I started fucking the floor while licking her shoes and being verbally abused, and I actually cum !!!
Recently I’ve been asked by many what I enjoy the most about kink. My answer was that it varies, I enjoy different things at different times with different partners.
However, when I got a chance to spend some time alone while traveling in India, I was able to dig deeper into myself and find a more specific, genuine answer: I search for alternative states of consciousness.
Since I was a teenager, I have hated shallow conversations and small talk. I have always been craving the deepest truth about things, while surface conversations felt like a waste of time. I couldn’t stand American corporate culture during my office years, it was one of the many reasons why I finally quit it.
Once I engaged in kink, I saw it as a great opportunity to engage deeper with people.
There are many reasons to pursue altered states of consciousness: relaxation, hyper-focus on a sensation, reaching sub/top space, feeling emotions fully, having a wild ride, seeking change, personal identity work, healing, embracing our authentic self, trusting our instincts, and so on. How many of us don’t get enough of this in our lives?
So if this topic is of interest to you, let me share some insights on what it takes to create a perfect journey for both of us!
This is where it all starts – building trust.
I believe there are two major components – proper communication, and surrender. Each is challenging in its own way.
Negotiation is a key for safe, satisfactory, and extraordinary experience for everyone involved. For me as a Domme, it is necessary to understand desires and fantasies of my submissives, their mental and emotional state, physical health, hard limits, experience, etc. It is also important that subs do their homework to get to know the same info about me. I don’t like seeing new subs who wanted to see just any Domme, or “that hot chick in a photo”. I want them to read my blog and really choose me.
I like to ask my submissives why they want to do it. The most common answer I hear is “because it’s fun!”. I ask to dig deeper and see what’s there behind this “fun”, and if there is any curiosity to find out.
Not everyone comes to these practices for the same reasons, so for me it’s important to find out the primary motivation in order to establish proper connection with a client.
After the negotiation is over, it’s time to step out of our day-to-day analytical mind and surrender. This demands vulnerability. It is scary, but since one is called to be a sub, there is a great potential to make it happen. If my sub is unwilling to surrender, I have little power to make him vulnerable. My power only extends as far as does my sub’s willingness to be vulnerable. In other words, to let me in, you have to bring your guard down. A sub must be able to come forward naked and ready to obey.
There comes a moment when a submissive finds himself raw, exposed, unguarded, defenseless. Many subs are scared of losing control in this surrender. That, however, is the whole point! Once it happens, one finds that nothing important is lost, but a great sense of relaxation, trust, awareness and profound bliss are found.
Of course, it takes great courage to completely and irrationally trust someone. There is always some fear – fear of journey with no map, fear of no longer having “my way”, fear of not being good enough. It is completely OK to have fear and not to be perfect, and this takes me to the next point.
It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being authentic.
I often explain to my submissives that no judgements/planning/manipulation are allowed during my sessions. The only freedom they have is freedom to express emotions: tears, laughter, screaming, and so on. I explain that emotions are a part of our authenticity, while mental judgements derive from our fears and social conditioning.
Becoming authentic is how the soul shows itself. Embracing our authentic self means trusting our instincts and sharing our feelings. It is removing the clutter, clearing away the debris and knowing ourselves.
I challenge my submissives to look into themselves, their dark places, as well as blissful ones, as all are important.
4. Let go of the agenda.
“Instead of chasing bliss, consider learning to become a vessel for bliss to reside in”
— Lee Harrington, “Sacred Kink”.
If you’re thinking about what might come, most likely it will never show up.
I must admit that for me as a Guide, it took a while to realize the importance of letting go of a direct agenda of what should happen. These days, I like to have all tools available in a room, stay present and let my intuition guide me.
In my experience, I noticed a very common pattern: submissives who once had a profound cathartic experience expect it to happen again the same way, or even better. This is a sure path to disappointment. I had to dismiss a few of my clients because they couldn’t give up their expectations, which wasn’t contributing to a rewarding experience for either of us.
There is no way to know each and every time you engage in a play, that you will have a profound experience. Spiritual moments don’t follow linear logical patterns, but there are skills to develop which will aid to success.
The first one is learning to surrender to the experience without analyzing it while it’s happening. Going back into your analytical brain is one of the quickest ways to stop an altered state.
The next skill is becoming fully committed to receiving, or saying “Yes!” to a journey of joyful surrender.
Sometimes the experience wanted by an active mind of a submissive is not what will serve best in the moment or in the long term.
It is important to remember: just because it wasn’t a profound experience, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good trip. You (or your Domme) did not “do it wrong”. In fact, you may have done it just right, had a fun evening and gained some feedback for next time!
I must confess that I hate seeing my submissives rushing to check their phones and out of the dungeon to work right after an intense inner journey. Unfortunately, that’s often the case as many of my clients are very busy business people, allocating only an hour of their lunchtime for our play.
That’s one of the reasons I prefer longer sessions – this allows time for communication beforehand and unrushed transitions from introduction to session to aftercare.
I find aftercare to be an important transition to a grounded place after engaging in a scene. The needs of individuals, however, vary dramatically. Some need a glass of water, shower, or a hug, others want a deeper processing and talking it out, some prefer spending time alone contemplating. I find it important not to rush out after the scene and have time for assistance coming “back” or getting out of altered states of consciousness. I understand that this work is not a light undertaking for anyone involved and can have effects for days to come or even years. I do my best to be emotionally available after guiding someone into a deep inner journey, and like to follow up the next day.
I can’t force someone into being gentle with oneself after a deep experience. I can just share what years in the scene showed me: the value of the experience diminishes if one rushes into a busy life without allowing some time for relaxation and contemplation.
By breaking the boundaries of ordinary reality through our explorations of kink, we have the power to step out of normal and into the altered, extraordinary. Dungeon culture prioritizes acceptance of all people, feminine power, beauty, safety and pleasure. Kink gives opportunities for different frames of reference, with a potential to having an epiphany about life.
I enjoy my work, there is so much joy in seeing individuals find fragments of themselves in the shadows of my dungeon. There is so much to learn, for myself and for my submissives.
For me, it’s not about the tools I use or fetishes I get to explore, but the intent that is put behind it.
As I shifted the focus of my sessions into conscious exploration of our shadow selves and facilitation of altered states of consciousness, I realized that not everyone is capable to be my submissive. I’ve made it clear that topping from the bottom or any kind of manipulation is not allowed, however many new clients bring along some other socially inherited qualities which are not productive. The common ones are expectation of too much pleasure, inability to leave aside analytical mind or emotional inaccessibility. I like to be honest upfront about clients I like to see.
I enjoy being spontaneous while exploring different archetypes and leading my submissives in a less traveled direction.
My work is ever evolving. In consciously being a Domme, I’m continuously mastering my craft.