I’ve been thinking a lot recently about headspace and bdsm and how it can make me feel. One thing I’ve realised is that although I love playing in the space where I’m riding the pain, there’s lots of banter and I’m quite ‘high’ sometimes I want something different. I want to be less than ‘me’. It’s odd but when I’m playing like that, not really feeling it when it hurts, minimising my reactions, giving the top a lot of lip that’s closest to whom I am in vanilla life.
I was bought up to give as good as I got – mentally and physically. Not to mention spending a significant part of my formative years in a martial arts dojo where ‘sucking it up’ was the done thing – if someone hit you and it hurt hit them back, if you fell badly or missed a block and got hurt make a joke and accept that it was your fault. Tears were certainly not acceptable, grimaces during training sure to attract extra attention from a fairly sadistic instructor. Retrospectively it’s no coincidence that I loved it and flourished from a scared looking chubby girl to fight full contact, instruct and take no shit from the inner city lads who thought they’d try it on because I was a girl. Fast track a few years to university and I was boxing with the boys before swapping to rowing and ultimately captaining the squad. The learned behaviour not to hurt, not to let anyone see me cry and to focus on succeeding in competition have served me well in many respects. They complicate things somewhat as a submissive.
When I first came onto the scene I wanted to resist, to be taken advantage of, gave tops a lot of lip and mostly played in quite a ‘high’ headspace. I think that came from needing time to become comfortable with the idea of giving someone else control, and also from playing more with people I’d just met and wanting to keep the barriers up. I still enjoy playing like that – it tends to leave me on an endorphin high, which is awesome.
Sometimes I want to go deeper into myself though and let myself be less than ‘me’. I want to open myself up fully to what’s happening and let myself feel things fully. To be vulnerable in a way I can’t in a life that demands me to constantly stand my ground with work and things. If something hurts I want to let myself whimper, I want to feel scared, to wriggle, to fuss a bit. It fuels a feeling of being slightly pathetic, which is humiliating in itself – the little voice in your head berating you for being such a weak, pathetic girl and making such a voice. The inner confusion that comes from acting in a way that makes me less than what I normally am, delving beneath all the conditioning. Doing as I’m told, being a ‘good girl’, being small and broken.
It’s interesting how in the two different headspaces I process pain differently. When I’m ‘high’ you won’t get much of a reaction for a while but when I do it’s because I’ve begun to have had enough and am really feeling it. When I’m less than me I fuss a lot more quickly because I’m not riding the pain, I’m sinking into it but ultimately I can take as much if not more; there just may be tears before bedtime.
What I find very interesting is I tend to drop into one headspace or the other depending on what’s going on – who I’m playing with, how I’m feeling, what the environment’s like but that it’s very rare I move between them once I start playing. Because in my feistier headspace I don’t want to yield an inch and in my ‘good girl’ headspace I don’t want to fight the Dom – it just feels like the wrong thing to do. I have had one or two very powerful scenes that have taken me from one place to the other but it’s not a common thing.
When I first started going deeper into myself I think it confused people a bit – a couple of playmates commented that I was so well behaved that it was difficult to find reasons to hurt me. I guess that’s the thing – there doesn’t need to be a reason when you’re in that space – you’re a sub and they’re a Dom and they don’t need a reason. Try that with me in a feistier mood and I’ll be proclaiming how unfair it is (whilst still loving it). It’s a funny old world.
Wanting to play like that can be unsettling – to be hurting, scared and confused but it also has a form of freedom just to let go. To be less than the expectations you and others set-upon yourself. To submit and trust in someone else, to stop fighting.