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The O&P website and blog, forums, and wiki are where most of my new writing on M/s appears. The IE website will stay online indefinitely to host the IE Essays and lili's writings. lili and I pursued our M/s relationship from 2000 to 2008, and lili has kindly given her permission for these essays and posts to remain here, in the hope that submissives and slaves will continue to be helped and inspired by them.

The Spirituality of Sado-Masochism (Excerpt)

Posted by lili on Mon 29 Aug 05, 7:27 AM

Tags: enslavement

As far as Sado-masochism goes I don't mind admitting that I've struggled at times with calling myself a masochist. But then there have also been times when I've struggled with my bisexuality, my submissiveness and indeed, my desire to Top. I think its true to say that about 95% of the pain I enjoy has to be delivered in a D/s context for it to transform into the hedonistic experience I know its capable of becoming. As a consequence I always feel somewhat reluctant about ranking myself a "true" masochist.

Having got all of that said and out in the open, I feel able to go on to talk about my desire for pain because, when i am brutally honest with myself, there are aspects of pain (particularly pain endurance) which I am irresistably drawn to for far more spiritual reasons.

As far as psychology goes I'd say that I'm as well adjusted as a submissive gets. I'm certainly more than cabable of analysing and understanding (occasionally even controlling) my drives and my motivations. I certainly don't consider myself crazy, although i'm sure there would be plenty of people outside of S/M who would disagree. It matters little right now because for this one moment I feel empowered enough to say I am fascinated by the beauty of a needle passing through flesh, by the blood that flows from a freshly made cut and with true conviction I can accept that I find my eyes drawn irresistably to wander along every curve of flesh, every knot and coil of rope that I use to bind another. Without doubt my motivation to Top is rooted firmly in the aesthetics, the sensuality and the spirituality only pain and powerlessness can invoke.

As far as pain and me goes endurance is my biggest motivator. Without doubt it's infliction is something intensley intimate and spiritually cleansing. To me it is a demonstration of strength. Strength of mind and spirit, the willingness to overcome, a rite of passage.

Chris M describes the spirituality of SM when he writes that “the SM community is, to some extent, our church, the place we go for fellowship, recognition and rejuvenation”. He talks of SM opening the door to experiences, the experience of fear, of delight, excitement and shame. To me SM is a reclaiming of our dark side, the taboos that make up our fantasies.

Despite its apparent increasing popularirty, however, many of us remain reluctant to discuss our own desires and motivations to perform SM as ritual, particularly with individuals outside of our own sub-culture. In many ways this leaves us vulnerable not just to the obvious risks to health of poorly performed modification. We also risk turning what should often be a deeply significant and wonderfully spiritual experience into a woefully inadequate, emotionless act or worse still a permanent reminder (through unplanned mutiliation) of our limited choices. So why the shame? Why the rejection? Is what we do really so very different, so very bad?

As Raven Kaldera points out: “People who just don't like pain may see its deliberate infliction as abusive, and the desire for that infliction as sick and codependent.” It may be that in some political circles painful sex and D/s relationships are regarded as potentially or inevitably abusive. This last assertion is never better demonstrated than in the utter rejection experienced by many women practising SM with other women. Where the strength inherent in a D/s relationship is interpreted as a destructive re-enactment of patriachal dominance where the dominant is “abuser” and the submissive is weak, a “doormat”. How can that possibly be something sacred or spiritual?

Well I am more than capable of articulating my thoughts and I am no doormat. I have embraced my submissive feelings and desires without it being at odds with my need to be controlled, does that make me un-intelligent, does that mean I am weak?

I made the conscious decision to seek out a relationship in which my owner would take unilateral decisions for the both of us and it was, undoubtably, the most intelligent, the most empowing, the strongest decision I've ever made. It has brought peace to my life, freedom in my submission, spirituality through my masochism, and acceptance of my bisexuality. It has given me the creativity to be a good Top. Those labels don't stress me out as they once did, when I was foolishly trying hard to come to terms with them on someone else's terms. Finally they just are and I like that they just are. Infact, quite frankly, I wouldn't want to be any other way (and societies "norms" can just get over it!) I am a spiritual woman, an empowered submissive and because of that i've met some pretty amazing people, done some pretty fantastic things and shared some wonderfully enlightening, truly sacred moments.

I've found peace in my spirituality and for the first time in my life have finally found myself living in the present, living inside myself, no longer looking to the future or coveting someone elses life. I don't know if it will last, this peaceful euphoria, but it doesn't matter. I feel honoured to have experienced it, I feel grateful for the peace it has brought and I will be eternally grateful to those who have helped to bring such a wealth of spirit into my life.

I wanted to end with a quote, again from Raven Kaldera, who asks of those who would reject us:

“Look into our eyes. When we return with those bruises, do we walk taller and stronger? When we touch our cuts, are we more serene? When we give up our power, do we grow more sure of ourselves? When we accept power over another, do we learn more compassion? Do we return from the Underworld better for the journey? That's how you know, those of you who are worried, whether we're doing it right”.



Excerpt taken from "Flick Lit" (SMDykes): Non-fiction category winner 2005.

Edited Fri 16 Sep 05, 10:12 PM by lili

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