being a woman of elegance

My therapist Jillian (I now have permission to use her real name) is a licensed counselor who lives in BDSM and D/s lifestyles. She is a switch, experienced both as a dom and a sub, though she plays most often as a sub. I think of Jillian as a cross between a motivational speaker and “sub-whisperer,” and she talks about “empowering the submissive.” Which sounds like a contradiction in terms, but in a way that’s her point and her passion.

Since she and I have gotten back into sessions again, she’s been talking to me about some new things. This is a paraphrase of what I remember her saying in a phone call earlier this week. It is incomplete and probably slightly misstated in some places, so any quibble with her statements here are probably my error in translating them.

“Any dominant over you, Shae — Master K or Master Michael or Mistress Amanda or some other — derives pleasure from doing things to you that rob you of dignity and your self-image as a woman. That’s not a criticism. That’s what they are supposed to do as doms. It’s how they are wired. And that’s what we, as submissives, want them to do to us. There’s something in dominance and possession which we subs respond to and need.”

Jillian said she didn’t need to, with me, go into all the back psychology of that. “You already know a lot of it, Shae.” Her point with me was that I need to see my life as a repeated process of degradation. “You are constantly sexualized and subjugated, and you need to deal with the impact of that on yourself.”

“The issue,” she said, “is not how to avoid the humiliations of submission. That’s what we love and need and get pleasure from. The issue is how, repeatedly, to recover from it and rebuild a sense of worth and value.”

“How do I do that?” I asked. So we talked about a variety of strategies. She said my writing online was really important to this. For any sub, she said, any artistic expression — writing, painting, music — is a primary way a submissive processes what she experiences.

She believes more social connection is important. She said she knew it was hard to find persons outside the lifestyle to be understanding of us in the lifestyle. But ideally, someon like that. (I really am trying to build some social connections and outside relationships.)

Jillian talks about a spiritual process — and by that she means meditational — a regular time I can be present with myself, with no other distractions, to think about who I am as a human being, and as a woman of dignity.

She says this is most of all a mindset — how I think about myself. “If your life goal is to be a slave,” she says, “then you will limit yourself and your life to that. If your goal is to be a woman of elegance who lives as a slave, then you aspire to be a person of dignity and value.

I am realizing that for Jillian the phrase “a woman of elegance” encompasses a lot of things. It isn’t for her about the outward appearance or some false image of beauty. It is an inner elegance that comes from confidence that comes from a core of self-value.

She says, “The secret is that doms get much more pleasure from a woman who is confident, who has dignity, and who conveys elegance than one who is self-doubting, depressed, and conveys her own sense of unworthiness. They would much rather dominate a woman of inner strength than dominate a woman who is already broken.”

I have much to think about.

the humiliation of doing

I’m a little dangerous when I have time to write, as I have today. My doms are away today and this is allows slavegirl time to explore the nature of submissive humiliation. I have spent a lot of time in my sub life thinking about this. It’s an intricate topic, not to mention experience, and it’s impossible to fully grasp it or describe it. That’s why I keep trying to arrticulate it. Today has provided for my latest attempts.

I want to follow my previous post with this post on the humiliation of doing.

The temptation is, of course, to list those humiliating things I have done or might be told to do, and address them one by one. I know some would love for me to do that, and I accept that, the watchers who want to see me through my words do the unimaginable.

But I’m afraid I’ll disappoint you. The thing is, I have found that becomes an endless and rather meaningless exercise. There is, in fact, a writing prompt list of some thirty-three different acts of various levels of degradation (I’m sure there are many such lists, but I possess one). And, I find that strangely, the list gets a little boring. The thing is, in themselves, acts of daring are rather meaningless. And kind of beside the point.

I think this was one of my realizations in my brief previous life (before slavery) dabbling in BDSM. I found the exercise of role play in clubs with a partner and the progressive “thrill” of added dares was ultimately, for me, empty. That’s not to say such things were easy for me or beneath my level — no, most things on the kink list I have never done. And I say this not meaning at all to judge anyone in BDSM. It’s just that for me it all got a bit tedious. Why? Because my need is about total submission and submersion in a sub life to a person, in relation to another, not in specific acts themselves.

To use a recent example from my life, being on a leash in public Is not about being on a leash in public. In other words, I don’t “get off” on it, not that in itself. What I respond to is being presented as my mistress’s slave in front of others. I respond to the fulfillment of her dominance by making me do that. I see in her eyes her pleasure in my exposure and public humiliation.

Hypothetically, I could sometime take a walk in the foothills on my own. I could wear a collar and leash dragging on the ground. I could, at some point along the path take off my shirt and go topless. I could walk through a trail intersection on my own and encounter a couple of wide-eyed college fratboys. And in that experience I would have no personal, submissive, or sexual response, other than feeling silly that I was caught without my top on.

But when Mistress Amanda walked me on a leash along that same path, I felt bathed in submissive anticipation, desire, and also apprehension — all because my Mistress was controlling me and I didn’t know what she was going to have me do next. My submissive response came from my relationship to her. And when we encountered the two college boys, I was truly humiliated as they ogled my breasts and as Amanda engaged them in conversation. Why? Because they could see that she controlled me and that I obeyed. My humiliation exists in her domination of me and my obedience to that. Yes, I have to learn to keep my eyes up; I have to allow myself to see their perceptions of me and let them see my shame. I’ll do better another time. But why do I need to do that? Because it is in the relational exchange where the real experience of dominance and submission occurs.

I know this discussion often goes to considering acts of service that are especially degrading. Again, we seem to get back to lists. What gets lost in such things is the particular intimacy between a dominant and slave that especially degrading acts create.

Mistress Amanda has now used me during her time of the month to replace her tampon — to remove one and insert another. It is a degrading task, of course, but it is not the task that so matters. It is the subjugation and intimacy that goes with it — how she uses me to take care of her menstrual need. It is a statement that even her own bodily functions are not her own to do, but the province of her slave’s duties. But it’s even more than that. While it was in fact an act she ordered me to do, it was also a sharing of herself with her slave in one of a her most private bodily functions. And after performing this task, after attending to her body in this most personal way, we became closer to each other thereafter. It’s resulted in an added measure of closeness, as if the literal physical closeness has equally become an emotional closeness.

Likewise, as I wrote about my claiming, Master K that night used my mouth as his toilet. He filled my mouth with his urine. Now I do not get off on urine play or watersports per se. And it is damn humiliating to write about that. But again, within the bigger experience of my master using me for a night in his claiming of me, this was part of my developing relationship to him. And although he might not ever talk about it this way, when I felt his piss warm and wet and bitter in my mouth, it was one of the more intimate times I’ve had with him. He shared that private and forbidden part of himself with me. And I gave myself to his degrading use of me.

But I think what goes unsung in this discussion of acts of humiliation are the more simple, common acts of everyday slavery. Assuming a slave position at Master’s feet as he reads the newspaper. Dressing for Mistress in clothes she likes me to wear that she knows I don’t like. Serving coffee from a waist tray wrapped around my waist and held up by a chain to my collar. Curtsying for Master, as he wishes me to when I leave his presence. These acts of doing, though not extreme, are humiliating as common practices of my slave life.

Today, even with Master and Mistress away, I have worn high heels. It’s very faux fashion — me in a denim circle skirt and white cotton top, but then these anachronistic tall white heels. (Very Mayberry, except for the heels. Andy Griffith’s squeeze, Ellie Walker, would never wear tall heels. Well, too, she’d be in a shirt dress. Nevermind.) But I’ve worn these heels today, all day, despite the way they make my ankles ache, as an act of submission to Master and Mistress, even in their absence. Master will never know, or notice. Although Mistress Amanda, when they get home, will totally notice. She will see and nod and smile, Wearing bad fashion and painful heels are my own self-imposed act of humiliation. Quiet and subtle, my humiliation of doing.

But I don’t do it because I get off on the pain of wearing heels. I do it for Amanda’s smile.