Penelope Connor — ink girl poet
of your gaze
in a dark room.
of a single
sacred flame in
The clink of a collar
at my throat.
Energy and light
spilling from my core.
Your hand reaching
for mine. Surrender.
Blinking up at you
through silent tears.
your voice in
a quiet mind.
of the wind.
Gasps and shudders.
Music that made
I’ve touched on my kink before, in the post titled “Come Out and Tell it (Twisted) Slant”, when I revealed that I am a sex-positive, kink-positive, open-minded girl. Within the realm of kinky, twisted sexual and relational preferences, I enjoy a wide variety of sensations, with a decidedly submissive-to-a-male-dominant-strength flavor. For instance, I like to be tied up, or down… I like to be dominated psychologically, but not shamed, or humiliated. I like serving in small ways, that earn me praise. I like mild stinging sensations, and heavy impact play. But I’m not much on costumes and role-play. I enjoy bites, growls, and very primal sexual encounters. I enjoy a spectrum of physical interaction, from very mild forms of sensation play, to extremely intense pain.
The pain aspect of this type of interaction is probably the thing people have the most negative reaction to. I understand that there are all sorts of triggers that go along with bruises and marks, and words like submission and dominance, power exchange, surrender and control. I know that when you factor in any discussion of a man hitting a woman, or a woman allowing herself to be hit. Things get very uncomfortable for some.
I am tempted to discuss a bit about the history of pain as pleasure, and the transition in the medical and psychology fields into understanding that one need not be “fifty shades of fucked up” broken, to have these kinds of tastes… but that is not the direction I want this post to take. Instead, I will simply mention this starting point, if the concept interests you: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/en/pain/microsite/culture1.html.
In addition I will tell you that before you decide that a dominant man who would hit a woman, and gain pleasure thereby is worthy of contempt or disapproval, you should understand that there are many different kinds of dominants. I’ve been lucky enough to be intimately acquainted with a handful of them, and I can tell you that they have been the right kind… loving, caring, protective, honorable.
The dominant men in my life have always built relationships with me based on equality, intelligence and strength. As we negotiate the exchange of power, they are attentive to my desires, my needs, my limits and my comfort level with the entire process. They as a whole have expressed the understanding that my submission is a gift, one that I can take back at any time, with just a word. They have each been fully invested in seeing me fulfilled, happy, strengthened, loved and satisfied.
Do they get pleasure from causing me pain? Yes. But that pleasure is rooted in the mutual pleasure we share, the excitement, the arousal, and the sensations we create in the complex ballet of power exchange. We have negotiated down to the smallest detail, and I have never felt unsafe or disrespected in any way… my feminism wouldn’t stand for it!
So, what I’d like to do is share with you a peek into one of the very intense, deeply private kinds of scenes I crave in dominant/submissive relationships. It’s something that’s lately been uppermost in my mind, and though there are many other types of kink that appeal to me, this one is probably the most vulnerable in my book.
When I first began exploring the psychological / spiritual side of kink, I read a blog back in the early 2000s called Poppy’s Submissions (poppystvincent.com). The blog is now defunct, but you can read about it here: http://voiceinthecorner.com/2011/02/10/blog-of-the-week/. Poppy was specifically a spanko. You can read more about this fetish on the same blog: voiceinthecorner.com.
I miss Poppy St. Vincent terribly, because she gave hope to the little girl in me, the one that was very much both girl and full grown, red-blooded woman. She helped me sort out why I had spanking fantasies — among others — and what kind of emotional, psychological links there were for me between pain and catharsis, peace, centering, balance. She was one of the first voices that helped me see my kinky side as a part of the whole me, to be celebrated, nourished and loved.
If I were to give you the keys to my mind, so that you could understand my thoughts and ideas on spanking, the ones tucked away in the farthest corner where I keep my masochistic kinky truths, you would have to make your way past the photos on the walls… beautiful-souled men and women, in various poses of submission, collared, tied, wrapped in leather, kneeling, bending, arching , stretched out on a st. Andrews cross… in counterpoint, photos of strong confident men and women in various poses of unmovable and yet gentle, loving dominance.
You’d have to bypass the chests and cabinets filled with implements… Floggers, paddles, nerf bats, canes, knives, rope, riding crops, whips, chains, tens-units, violet wands, Hitachi wands, clamps, duct tape, needles, Whartenburg wheels, spreader bars, bungees, thread…and more. You’d have to find the corner, in the dark closet, where the little girl in me hides.
She would tell you that she has learned to be very strong, very smart, but that she longs for a strength that makes her feel small. She longs to push against a man who is a wall that does not move. She longs to be laid across a bed, with her bare backside trembling in anticipation as that man takes his time, lays out his implements, hairbrush, thick wooden spoon, paddle, cane… then rolls up his sleeve, and goes to work sorting her out.
She aches for the spanking that will warm her flesh until it sings with pain, and quiet her soul… silence the voices in her head… she needs the pain that will push her to the breaking point, leave her sobbing, trembling with tears coursing down her cheeks, curled into a ball against his shoulder… until she cries out all of the injustices that have piled up inside her while she was being strong.
She needs to come back to earth breathing quietly next to him, hear his beating heart set the rhythm for her own, feel his strength seep into her bones and muscles, until she is at peace and her spirit is centered. This is what being spanked by a loving dominant with whom I have a negotiated D/s relationship gives to me.
This morning, I set up my tray, teacup, saucer, spoon… I turned on the kettle, and selected a teabag from the tin. I stood pondering, smiling, waking, feeling gratitude, as the water began to boil. I poured, and the tea leaves steeped, while I breathed, turning memories over in my thankful hands. I stirred a teaspoon of honey into the amber liquid, and cradled the warm cup in my fingers, lifting it to let the steam bathe my face.
I love this routine; it is quiet, introspective, filled with peace.
I have a plain, somewhat tattered, composition journal, where I do my morning pages. A minimum of three, hand-scribbled, they are filled with what Natalie Goldberg called “monkey mind” — the random, disjointed musings of an early morning brain — that I spill across the paper in smudges and lines of ink, so I can clear away the debris, and write or create from the clear, pure place beneath. I open the notebook, smooth the page, select a pen, and light a candle, simply because it seems right to do so, makes this a sacred space, a spiritual action that feeds my soul. I follow my pen, and trust the process.
My soul craves ritual, it’s the breathing in and out, of life, of listening, of stilling the world and meeting myself in the space it creates.
I crave ritual in relationships, too, particularly in power dynamics. I mentioned before that I am not a vanilla girl. A relationship, or relationships, that involve power exchange are an important part of my make-up, and what adds pleasure to my life. In a relationship with a strong, confident, gentle, dominant male, I seek ritual, to quiet my restlessness, to turn my thoughts inward, and to find peace in the connection of that shared bond.
There is a man in my world who offers me part of what I seek in a relationship of this type. We do not meet in person, our interactions are limited to email, text messages, phone calls and online journal entries. He’s older, with decades of experience, and sense of integrity that appeals to me. He knows my journey has been difficult, and he speaks truth to me. He encourages and celebrates my ethical sluthood, respects my limits, and feeds my heart. He has given me ritual that works.
At the same time every day, my phone sounds an alarm, and I smile. My eyes close, and I can hear his reassuring voice. I remind myself that we are connected, and that the energy we share is a gift. When my day is hectic, and filled with distraction, I close my eyes, breathe, and kneel (sometimes mentally, emotionally, sometimes physically). I often send him a quick text like the following:
*kneels at your feet, and closes my eyes, breathing deeply*
Sometimes he responds to welcome me, sometimes he is busy with his work day, and does not. But the connection is still there, and I find a few moments of peace and strength, to continue with my day. This sort of practical ritual can make a big difference in my mind and heart. It’s a centering much like meditation, it’s a reminder, much like a spoken affirmation. These things appeal to me, and provide me with a mirror.
That girl, in the reflection, with the happy smile… she is me finding peace… and I like what I see.