tagReviews & EssaysFreedom By Another Name: Bondage

Freedom By Another Name: Bondage

bysdbnnc©

"Rivers belong where they can ramble;
eagles belong where they can fly . . .
I'm not a river or a giant bird that soars to the sea,
and if I'm never tied to anything, I'll never be free . . . "

             -"Corner of the Sky" from the Musical Pippin

There are rafts of quotations out there about freedom; the importance of feeling free is uncontroverted. However, freedom, as we are reminded, isn't free. Perhaps the price for emotional freedom is as high as that for living in a free society. Americans can enjoy the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution, secure in the knowledge that most of us will not be directly touched by the ultimate price paid for freedom -- the blood, sweat, and tears of our military forces under fire in distant lands. But the cost of emotional freedom cannot be borne by anyone other than oneself, and that fact can make the cost of that freedom seem very steep indeed.

A truly submissive person may believe she has emotional freedom, but the "emotional freedom" before submissive service will, by that service, be revealed to be a sham. Once a submissive finds the Dominant to whom her submissive self responds freely and openly, the contradictions between the familiar, but illusory, freedom and her BDSM experiences can seem overwhelming. Feeling most free and most unencumbered when strapped into leather cuffs and collar, and/or chained to the end of the Dominant's bed can be confusing. Learning to associate a complete lack of control -- even over the most basic of bodily functions -- with freedom can seem strange, until the submissive realizes that no control means no choices, no plans, and no agendas. Relinquishing all control to a trusted Dominant frees the submissive's mind and spirit to turn inward and focus on clearing out the cobwebs and shadows that clutter up her emotions and thoughts so often. Even when restraints are just the prelude to a discipline session under the Dominant's whip, crop, or other disciplinary instrument, both the restraints and the acceptance of strokes from the Dominant function as first steps toward letting go of everything. Pain that is chosen can be a path to untold freedom, allowing the submissive to escape even the prison of her flesh to journey through sub space, finding, expanding, and pushing past the submissive's current limits.

With the guidance and control exerted by the Dominant, the submissive's mind can function as the body's safety net. As the physical pain increases, and as the submissive gains full knowledge of her vulnerability to even greater pain, her mind can step in to distance the submissive from the physical pain. While the degree of physical pain that can be tolerated will increase as the submissive's body becomes accustomed to strokes, the ability of the mind to buffer the spirit from the physical pain adjusts, but never is overcome. Once the mind intervenes, as the physical pain continues, the mind reaches out, far beyond any physical or intellectual limits. The mind gathers up the submissive's spirit, separating the essence of the self from the physical reality that is enduring pain and suffering. As the distance between who the submissive appears to be (the body) and who the submissive really is (the spirit) increases, the spirit can view the body from a distance that allows objective notice of the stripes, the welts, or the sound made by the belt, the crop, the whip moving through the air for another stroke, and the sexual juices slowly oozing from the submissive's cunt down the thighs, shimmering in the light, generated by the physical pain and the emotional satisfaction of enduring the pain and demonstrating the trust and respect she has for the Dominant by that endurance.

When the submissive's ultimate response to being tied up, blindfolded, gagged, and/or chained is relaxation and peaceful acceptance, the submissive nature is undeniable. Restraints are part of the submissive's path to self-realization and true freedom, but those restraints would encumber and frustrate others who are Dominant or who deny their submissive natures. This submissive now knows that being tied up, being physically limited, in service to the Dominant this submissive serves not only gives her freedom from choice, but offers a visible manifestation of the foundation of submissive service. The Dominant served by this submissive provides control that, when accepted emotionally, mentally, physically, and submissively, fulfills her submissive needs. When those submissive needs are fulfilled, the fruit of that fulfillment not only is better and more acceptable submissive service to the Dominant, but greater and deeper self knowledge.

The most extreme example of restraint that this submissive has experienced is what the Dominant this submissive serves calls "sensory deprivation." Because sensory deprivation builds on the normal activities and behaviors of daily submissive service, the special equipment primarily used only for sensory deprivation is in addition to the stainless steel barbells with rings on each end that are worn every day in this submissive's nipple piercing that were made by the Dominant she serves. Circular, stainless steel nipple shields also are worn daily. In addition, this submissive begins sensory deprivation wearing the standard uniform designated by the Dominant she serves: jet black pantyhose (sheer from toes to waist band, cotton crotch removed) on the lower half of her body. Another pair of the same type pantyhose (crotch removed to permit the submissive's' head through the crotch area) covers the upper half of the submissive's body, with her hands in the feet of the pantyhose. A pair of 4-5" heels, either black or red, completes this submissive's standard uniform.

Thus attired, this submissive kneels, outfitted in a leather collar on neck and leather cuffs on ankles, knees, and wrists. The wrist cuffs are clipped on either side of the collar. The mouth is gagged; the eyes are covered with a padded blindfold; and the ears plugged and covered with ear muffs. This submissive assumes sensory deprivation not only because of her need to submit to the instructions of the Dominant this submissive serves, but out of a desire to grow as a submissive. Staying in position, cut off from everything but this submissive's own feelings, thoughts, and body, creates a safe place to confront and to try to understand problems in this submissive's personality, behavior, and submissive service. For only with full understanding and analysis of those problems can there be progress in resolving those problems, and moving on to better submissive service.

Being able to bring a pinpoint focus to this submissive's particular issues illuminates them, breaks them down into their component parts, and allows time and means to understand and diffuse those barriers to better submissive service. In the past, prior to beginning submissive service, years of failed attempts to practice medication were very frustration to this submissive. Yet, almost from this submissive's first exposure to sensory deprivation, that time away from all outside influences has given access to the planes of revelation that meditation promised, but never delivered.

Undoubtedly, the lyrics above aren't meant to summon images of being bound with leather cuffs and chains to the foot of the Dominant's bed overnight or of being left, hog-tied and blindfolded, to work on inner development. But, because this submissive has found those experiences opened doors for her to freedom previously unknown, those words are heard with a deeper appreciation and understanding than many who are caught up only in the plot of the musical or the beat of the music itself.

Submission is freedom from the poor choices, the failure to plan, and the disregard of the impact of this submissive's actions on others that occurred in the past. Submission also is freedom to explore and know this submissive's submissive nature, to find the true self in accepting and acting on the Dominant's instructions and expectations. This submissive is free because submission provides a venue in which it is not only safe, but expected, that this submissive will be wholly and truly herself, the self that most people could not understand or accept. Submission is the freedom from artifice and distrust, and the freedom to rely fully on the Dominant to protect, nurture, and value that self. Through this freedom, this submissive is learning to appreciate and value -- and to forgive and understand -- the true self, and that is the greatest freedom of all.

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