At Master’s request, i have been reading Life, Leather, and the Pursuit of Happiness .
i highly recommend this to folks who are trying to ‘understand’ the leather life without the bullshit of 50 shades.
i am nearing the end of the book and i came across a section that i journaled about in my daily log… and i wish to share it and then some with the universe – for whatever reason.
While i do NOT like the idea of BDSM being viewed as a pathology OR as a playground only for wounded humans trying to work through issues, i did find this section meaningful: “For some of us who have been through situations where life went totally beyond our control (a few examples: rape, childhood or domestic abuse, major illness, alcoholism or other addictions), BDSM can be a way of both becoming comfortable with our powerlessness and paradoxically reclaiming our own personal power.” (From: Bottoming to God in Life & Leather)
i cannot say with certainty that i ‘use’ BDSM on a regular basis in this way but i can say for certain that i HAVE. On more than one occasion i have purposefully created a scene to relive – to push past – to emerge UNSCATHED (for the most part) from something that used to harm me or terrify me.
When S graciously agreed to the photo scene in which she ripped off my conservative clothes and simulated my beating and subsequent murder, that was a gift. i knew what i was asking. i wanted to relive – dressed in the confining ‘church clothes’ of my youth – what it was to be beaten, to lay on the floor defeated. i wanted to see photographic evidence of my death – and so i did. i lived for years with the near certainty of that kind of death – i feared it – i imagined what the police would find and what my mother would want to cover up, what the mortician might have to fix – to make me look like myself again as my friends and family paid their respects. i was able to make those fears manifest and to have a sweet friend document them on film and i can see that and recall it and realize that it is not real. i am not dead. i live.
So, yes, for me the BDSM is partially a way of living in the world i was born into and the past i survived. It is a way of reaching into my chest cavity and ripping out the ugliest of me and my life and proudly bringing it into the light and it is often healing and nurturing.
But i also like the pain – i like how it makes me feel – simultaneously powerless and powerful and i suppose that is why people throughout the ages of used pain rituals in their religious life. Pain gives me a way of cutting through all the bullshit of life and getting to the sharp edges of fear and the smooth edges of love. It is quite impossible to worry about the superficial bullshit when a single-tail whip reaches your back.
While i was into pain and bondage prior to the birth of my daughter, i think my new life (of bringing that out of the shadows) also helps me process her pain and the anguish that brings me. Those who know me well (or who’ve read the blog much) might realize that my daughter has cystic fibrosis. And that crashed in on me today as i read in Life&Leather because that section reminded me of Bob Flanagan. A freakishly wonderful man with CF who engaged in some fairly extreme stuff. It is hard for people to wrap their minds around someone with that level of pain in their “regular” life being “into BDSM” but when i think of Bob, i think of his “WHY” monologue.
And so, no music today… instead i share Bob: