Saturday, April 5, 2008

Escaping the Binary

I had a funny moment during my vacation, when a bunch of us who had just gone on a jungle expedition together were talking about what's on Reality TV. Someone mentioned that Red Sonja actress who had been married to Sylvestor Stallone and we were all trying to think of her last name. "It's Bridget something," someone said.

I blurted out "Oh you mean Bridgette Kerkove!" I totally thought I was right.

A half second pause as people pondered this answer than someone said "No, it's not that" and the conversation moved on.

A few seconds later, I realized I had shouted out the name of a hardcore anal pornstar. I was cracking up on the inside, just a tinge anxious at the thought that someone might recognize my slip-up.

One of the men at the table had just been talking about how he had been a prosecutor, then switched over to the defense side. His wife had quipped, in droll good humor, "Yeah, you used to get off the hookers."

It was a bit surreal. Playing it straight with these strangers, wondering what they would think if they knew some of my best friends were involved in the world's oldest profession.


One of the challenges I face in life is trying not to be too binary in my thinking. I have a tendency to swing the pendulum, so that if something doesn't work out my automatic reaction is to completely reject it. Like I was pretty involved in my personal spiritual journey for a couple of years there, meditating, practicing yoga religiously, going on a vision quest, pursuing the healing arts and reading lots of books that you find in the self-help section.

I learned a lot from those explorations. Yet towards the end, an accumulation of negative experiences turned me against the whole venture. The most major thing that happened was I injured my arms overtraining in bodywork. I had sought out schooling in the healing arts to expand my knowledge and understanding, never thinking that I could end up compromising one of my most precious creative outlets - my ability to write! At one point, both my arms were constantly burning and it hurt to use a pen or keyboard.

Thankfully, a great physical therapist has taught me a lot about body mechanics and trusting my own intuition to really listen to my body so I can give it what it needs at any particular moment, be it treatment with ice, a little stretching, or some strengthening exercises.

But at the time, I felt resentful that an endeavor that was supposed to help me develop as a person caused me so much anguish. What made it worse was feeling manipulated by a teacher at the school I attended, a charismatic and good-looking practitioner who flirted with me relentlessly.

Definitely a theme that played out during this period of spiritual exploration was meeting people who claimed to be enlightened on one level or another, then finding myself disappointed. I think I opened up my heart too much, and let go of my judgment because I somehow thought that people on this path were different.

As I was going through this, I was blogging about it here and crafting my former session site to reflect my spiritual leanings. That drew a new type of seeker to Mistress, and unfortunately some of these were also wolves in sheeps clothing.

I encountered an individual who thought me more tantrika than domina, making a crude and overtly sexual overture to me after our last session. Then there was the lover-of-all-things-Asian; a well-to-do life coach who tortured me over the phone a few times with his unbelievable sense of entitlement. Both of these men talked the talk - of energy, centeredness and balance, yet it seemed to have been a substitute for rather than a signal of real understanding and connectedness. Alas, I grew disillusioned.

I found refuge in a countering philosophy, which allowed me to retrench by pulling away from an overly generous approach in my interpersonal connections, and hold my head up high again with unapologetic pride in all that I am. I needed to move away from that enforced sense of humility and the overexposed vulnerability, and this was the perfect antidote. I will likely write more about this later, as it merits its own entry.

Since then, I have realized that my wholesale denunciation of spiritual development went too far. I have begun enjoying the benefits of meditation and yoga once again, this time with a more watchful eye rather than pure, receptivity.

So, now that I have eased out of professional domination, I am on the lookout in this arena as well. I don't want to be one of those people who, upon moving on from a pursuit, feel the need to denounce it. Granted, there is some venting to be done. In the beginning, I used to marvel at my ability to even do this work, as sensitive as I am. As I wind down, I am starting to feel the blowback. Nothing permanent or ghastly, just some of the less pleasant aspects re-surfacing. I feel it is to be expected and I welcome it for the introspection it has engendered.

Now that I am free from commercial pressures, you will likely see a more uncensored side of me come out on this blog. I suspect it will be a perspective more immediately relatable to my peers, as evidenced by a recent email from an esteemed domina who let me know my recent post "Perceptions, in the Eye of the Beholder" moved her to tears. I am honored when my words can inspire other women, and aspire to include more in my audience of readers.

So, you may hear me give my take on the more hidden, inner workings of the pro domme world, such as the review system, the spectrum of erotic work, and the nature of professional versus amateur play, as well as the psychological underpinnings involved. The sociology is fascinating, indeed!