Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Breaking through the Surface

Surface, surface, surface. It's amazing how one can just live on the surface of life, only caring about the window dressing. I have seen how it is to live like that, sucked in as we all get from time to time, the pull of the bad romance. The irony of the materially-enriched yet internally impoverished existence. Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive in most cases. Yet we are forever hiding behind the shell of things. Some have ignored the depths for so long, they no longer recognize that anything is missing. They think the actions and the objects are the same thing as the feelings and the inner growth.

I once had a lover who would describe dreams and aspirations only in terms of how it would look, how we would be dressed and how we would act, as if we were playing parts in a movie. Creative visualization but without a soul, no ghost in the machine. All the pretty things and all the pretty people in the world cannot fill up that emptiness, my dear. In the end, there is no running away from the truth.

Even in the dungeon, some just go through the motions. Admittedly, here it is more complicated. For instance, my critique about the over-emphasis on objects and actions may fall on deaf ears to the fetishist. It is incredibly subtle, the distinction I am trying to make. In my mind, relationships are not really about actions and objects. Though I know many, if not most, see them this way - as if the relationship were a spreadsheet where the rituals of reciprocation and regard are tracked and scored. Yes, consideration matters, but not just the face of it, when it is done by route, and most especially not when there is an expectation that there will be winners and losers. How can we truly see one another when that's all there is?

For those of us who crave the real, the dungeon can be a place where we break through the surface. Through the tools of control and submission, we tease out the impermanent from the everlasting. But you have to be fully present to it. If I simply stay skating on the surface, musing to myself about what an amazing domme I am, how good I look, how desired I am or other self-indulgent tripe, will I notice when my submissive has had too much? If I am not right there with him, inside his head, I cannot possibly know where to to take us and how to get back. Not for anything other than a fill-in-the-blank experience. We both have to be willing, for that journey into truth. As in all worthy endeavors, it takes courage, strength, humility and honesty to know the way and keep on the path.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Little Help From Our Friends

We sit in the workshop classroom as the instructor, a Freudian analyst, tells us that the "hows" and "whys" of therapy are a mystery. That we don't really understand how it works when it does, or what went wrong when it doesn't. The young and eager attendees shift in uncomfortable silence. We want answers. We want certainty. Empirically-based evidence that we are heading in the right direction. We want the validity of science, not just the beauty of art. I think that is why so many in the new generation like the CBT model - no, not cock and ball torture! Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It is concrete and measurable. As such, it reassures us. Ambiguity, that sense of groundlessness - that can be so unnerving. We keep trying to stay in control. Again and again, it comes back to balance. Holding the reins lightly but not letting go. Neither one extreme or the other. Neither all-out anarchy nor dictatorship. It requires true mindfulness to stay in the middle.

Since I came back from a dive trip to the Asian Pacific, I have been delightfully deluged with the servitude of my dear submissives. I am blessed to know so many bright, positive, and genuinely nice people. With a little help from my submissive friends, I have eased my way back into the dungeon and stoked my passion for D/s play.

While I am still entertaining applications from those I do not know, I continue to refine my screening process to best meet my need for compatibility. I am a very sensitive person and there is a definite emotional investment in the process of seeing someone new in the dungeon. I cannot do this craft in any other way but to put my heart and soul into it. As such, when there are disappointments, they inevitably have an effect on me. I strive to protect myself from energy-draining experiences, yet it is quite natural that these will occasionally intrude upon my life. I take them as opportunities to learn, providing valuable feedback which allows me to hone both the messages I convey and the parameters of my assessment.

I was speaking with another domina about how, with the advent of the internet, the craft of professional domination has become more service provider-oriented. There is no doubt in my mind that I have benefited from the information age, with my fondness for visual technology and my ease with online communication. Yet this illustrates a newfound subtlety for me - namely, weeding out those who are ultimately looking for a service provider experience. Sometimes this distinction, intangible as it is, is not consciously known by the seeker. Sadly, it may be due to the fact that he has never encountered any other kind of experience. Whatever the case may be, I am happy to find my skills at discrimination to be progressing.

With our Mother Earth bleeding oil and disasters a regular news item these days, sometimes it feels so trifling to play the Mistress. Yet because of these outside stressors, the time we set aside to get away from it all can be vital. For me, it is not about forgetting reality, but about acknowledging it, grieving our losses, and celebrating the spirit which soothes and strengthens us all.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Lessons often seem simple after the fact. But that is because we must live them to learn them. We cannot just be told and then somehow absorb that wisdom. That's why all the fortune cookie sayings in the world cannot change you. You must change yourself. Or be willing to surrender to it.

The realization that I have had of late concerns the exercising of choice. Many dominas claim to be selective. But how many actually are? I think the happy ones must be. Those foundation years at The Gates, I wanted so badly to believe that my craft was one and the same as my independent sisters. In doing so, I deluded myself on the one key difference: the freedom to truly choose who would serve me.

In retrospect, the thing that wore on me during my twilight days at the house was not being a Mistress in and of itself. On the contrary, each time I come back to it, it feels more right. It was the burden of accommodation. The sloppy compatability, the disregard for the importance of good fit.

Even when I left, burnt out from the poorly mannered and crude who could never fully appreciate all that I am, I still denied myself the power in my own hands. Entering independence that time, I was still in the mindset of a service provider. I thought I had to see everyone who wanted to see me, so long as they sought my listed activities and did not overtly offend with requests for sex or the like.

And yet, in my personal life I have long been very particular about the company I choose to keep. My social circles are peopled with sophisticated jet-setters, cultured aficionados of artful aesthetics, ambitious thinkers and fun-loving metaphysical explorers. So why the dissonance? I think this craft of session-based domination, with its necessity of a double life, led to a compartmentalization of all that I experienced therein.

So like many things, my search for bliss as a Mistress has been a progression towards integration - of "Xia" with the rest of my life. And this has involved, first and foremost, an application of the high standards which I expect of myself and others in my personal life to the dungeon. The valuing of health, prosperity, intelligence, humor, humility, creativity, intuition, positivity and overall balance. . . as well as giving myself permission to say no. These things have made my return all the sweeter.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Catching Up

The outpouring of support has been tremendous. After cultivating many wonderful D/s relationships over the years, it would seem that catching up with those who have served me in the past is all I need for the moment. With my busy schedule, I only have time to session 2 to 3 times a week - and actually, that suits me just fine! A sprinkling of kink to spice up the vanilla in the rest of my week. And having already established trust and goodwill between us, there will be no end to the devious hijinks!

I will likely lock in a few of my favorite submissives, masochists, and strap-on sluts into a regular schedule, then fill in any extra time I may have on an as-needed basis with my out-of-towners. I find the vetting process for new applicants to be quite time-consuming, a bit stressful, and unfortunately often leading to disappointment. So for the time being, I will be focused on re-connecting with old friends and exploring new paths together.

I am playing exclusively out of the City and have 3 sumptuous playspaces at my disposal: an historic chamber in the inner Mission, an extremely well-equipped loft in SOMA, and a sleek North Beach dungeon.

All the best from Mistress Xia