🎉 I am writing these notes at Brick, a magical mystery no-bullshit publishing platform. Turns out writing goes much faster when I don't have to hit “Publish” or do
You can use it too — check it out at Brick.do.
In the sketch below, David finds a stick and Robert goes “oh no, not again”. David throws the stick, Robert runs after it and brings it back in his teeth — and seems happy.
I watched it and thought “okay, I’d like to bring someone a stick in my teeth”. Then I thought “why?”.
And then I realized it’s actually more like “why not”.
I like running and I like having things in my mouth. As an experiment, I just put a towel corner into my mouth — and I liked that it felt different. I like nibbling on pens. I like biting my lips. I don’t need a justification to like pretty much anything interesting that happens to my body.
I think it mostly doesn’t even make sense to divide activities into “submission” and “dominance”. They have a layer — doing something interesting with my body — that feels good no matter what category you put it into. I think I could enjoy pretty much anything.
If I don’t enjoy something, it’s either because it’s painful, or because it comes with a bunch of worrying attached to it. Like, “would I want my feet to be licked?” — of course I would. But I know that in the process I would feel a bunch of worries:
This worrying makes it impossible to enjoy a new interaction.
Another example: “I want to watch her have sex with another girl, but what does it say about me that at the moment I’d rather do it instead of having sex with her myself?”. 4chan rears its head.
The answer is — it's unquestionable that watching people have sex is interesting. The only thing that would stop me from enjoying it is the mental baggage I have.
Pretty much anything can be fun. To change gears from submissiveness to domination for a moment: being a predator is fun. Case in point: paintball.
The only thing that stops it from being fun is either “would the other person feel bad” or “does it mean something about me that I enjoy it”. Yes, it means something! It means that you’re a diverse human being, just like humans are supposed to be.
Same can be applied to pain as well. I remember how at a Vipassana retreat I was told that “if you actually look at the pain you’re feeling in your legs right now, and you figure out all the pieces it consists of, you’ll find out there is nothing bad about it”. And it seemed true.
Another experiment: I just tried standing on my fours and saying “please put your feet on my back”. Like I was a chair or a footstool. And I found that I could enjoy it — not some kind of a “feeling of being used”, but the situation in general. Feeling the cold floor. Feeling exactly how my wrists are positioned.
It's not any more “bad” than cold water is bad because it's not warm. Pfffft.
And then there is a feeling of being used, sure.
It's a rare feeling. I like looking at rare feelings inside myself. I don't get a chance to experience them in the right conditions often. It's enjoyable. If you want to say “how can being used be enjoyable?”, think about how helping somebody can be enjoyable.
What are the right conditions? No resentment. Usually being used comes with resentment.
If I have to go out in the rain, but I don't want to go and I’d rather be warm at the moment, I’ll resent not feeling warm. But if I didn’t have anything better to do anyway, and I’m out and it suddenly starts raining and I don’t have to worry about my clothes or my phone, I’ll enjoy the rain.
I didn't need special convincing to notice that I could enjoy rain. I just realized it as a kid, and that was it. Similarly, I didn't need special convincing to notice that I could enjoy submission, but I did need to overcome the roadblocks needed to start exploring it.
You might need a pointer, something to tell you “hey, this thing here is something you could enjoy if you paid attention to it”. I don't know how to find the pointer, but I know that finding even a small thing that you could enjoy might lead to discovering dozens more.
My feelings about submission and domination affect each other. If I dominate, somebody else submits, and vice-versa. This means that the fear of dominating, for instance, can come from not letting yourself enjoy submitting. Working on one of them makes the other easier.
Try an experiment. Wait until you are alone, not horny, etc. Until you can say that you are most “yourself”. Imagine being very dominant, or very submissive. Does it feel like you are suddenly not you? Then you haven't integrated this part of yourself.
I already wrote about the shadow, and enjoying the feeling of dominating someone — but it's just as possible to feel like the feeing of wanting to submit is “not you”. Explore it until you can comfortably admit that it is you.
A good way to explore it is to tell somebody exactly what you want and why. Or write it down. No drama, no internal conflicts, just soberly write: I want X. I would enjoy Y. For me, this was pretty much all it took.