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.