If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’ve been dabbling a little in uncovering sexual repression and understanding the psychological nature of certain kinks. Bondage specifically, as well as age play, power dynamics, and pain/punishment. I have to say I admire the kink community so much for their willingness to not be ashamed of their bodies and desires. It’s absolutely revolutionary. I know there are a lot of high-vibrating empaths in the community, and there are also people who have been broken by life’s injustices. I don’t know how many of them are using kink to further their evolution, self expression, relationships, communication skills, and healing processes, but I imagine a good deal of them are. Thank you kinky people!
I also want to talk about Transparency. Transparency is a principle as well as a process. The process of living by the principle, involves polishing what is opaque until it becomes clear and shiny, psychologically speaking. It is the grand work of shadow transformation/alchemy, and my favorite topic. I dedicated myself to entering full transparency this year, no matter the ruts in the road. This means, there must be an unmasking. Nothing to hide, nor to hide from. There are subtle nuances and mastery practices to hone of course. For example, a person who lives in transparency does not simply speak the truth regardless of outcome. Transparency is see-through, and can see through. It is intuition-perception. It can see how the truth will be received. Being an aspect of light, it allows others to be where they are. It does not create more karma, but it clears the road, so everything in its path can come up to be dealt with, reconciled, healed. Transparency is the acceleration of frequency.
There is an entire book on this topic by Penney Peirce. It is called Transparency. I highly recommend it. Here are a few quotes she collected for her book:
A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used. - Oliver Wendell Holmes
The man who never avoids what he actually is will soon change and elevate whatever he is. - Vernon Howard
The largest part of what we call “personality” is determined by how we’ve opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness. - Alain de Botton
Keep your heart clear and transparent, and you will never be bound. A single disturbed thought creates ten thousand distractions. - Ryokan
Now, part of my path toward full transparency (not just occilating from opacity to transparency and back again), involved shoveling through a bunch of shit. If I had to look at it as a linear process, I might say the first layers were denial and avoidance. Then repressed anger (I’m not as nice as I thought), then shame under that. Shame is always buried in the deepest parts of the basement. That shame for me revealed a lot of sexual repression, self-doubt, etc.
When I have anxiety about something, especially regarding a relationship I don’t want to lose, my process is to sit with it. It might say (fear) ‘I’m afraid of ruining this thing’. Then (anger) ‘I’m so tired of being unseen or unheard’. Then (shame) ‘What is wrong with me?’ Then (transparency) ‘I am facing something that has been hidden and repressed because of many generations of social conditioning. My ancestors repressed this thing for survival purposes, and I now reject myself.’ (As example, expressing one’s emotions may lead to rejection, ridicule, etc.). My society rejects this thing for reasons I’d rather not unpack now.
But here’s the thing about this revelation. I need to acknowledge who I am and what I am. I know that my emotional life is of primary importance to me. I have a poet’s heart, am highly sensitive, and am an emotional generator. I am a fountain of emotional abundance. This is not the same for everyone, but it is for many of us. For that, if I live in a society that shames emotional authenticity, I must face that reality at some point and how it affects my self-worth. The generations of programming and repression and fear. If emotions are not acceptable, then I am not acceptable. This is the shame.
To bring this to transparency requires COURAGE, passion.. It requires a big fat self-pep talk on an as-needed basis. And then to find clarity and skill in communication. Most of all it requires radical self-love. This is a mastery path that is extremely under-appreciated in society, outside of psychotherapy settings. So, this path feels awfully lonesome sometimes. Nevertheless we move forward.
Moving on to bondage. Well, the shame aspects of sexuality, self-doubt, all the stuff that is opaque, the perversion of the raw creative human potential, all that stuff is not just going to disappear just because it has finally been acknowledged. It takes some workshopping. Sexual expression is a powerful workshop option because, it connects the psyche, the emotions, the mind, brain, the need for human connection and relationship, and very importantly the body. What else can do that?
Side note: I know that a lot of western folks are super into tantra. It’s strictly spiritual I guess? I don’t know much about it. I have contacts in India who have told me tantra in India is considered very dark, and its practices are very dark. Something about graveyards and fecal matter? Don’t ask, I really don’t know. But the western take on it seems pretty spiritually oriented, love and light. That’s fine and all, but what does tantra say about bondage, flagellation, etc? Do all sexual aspects fit into that path?
Kink is cool because it lets you be raw and dirty. There are no airs about being holy. It’s a complete 180 from the puritanical environment that got us into this shame in the first place. So here’s my latest understanding of the bondage dynamic in my psyche.
Naturally, I am going to look at the inner child(ren), because those are the parts of us that feel the weight of separation and abandonment the most. The core wound many of us have. That child is like wtf, why have I been ignored and abandoned, what is wrong with me? I must be bad. I’m ashamed of myself now, for I have done something to be undeserving of total love, safety, affection, and emotional responsiveness. I suppose I’ll just be a good little girl/boy/person and hope someone loves me how I want them to, or, maybe I'll just be a little unruly and wreak havoc in my anger. Either way...
I’ll say it plain. Bondage feels to me like the part of the inner child that wants to belong, is having the experience of being literally tied up, nailed down, and bonded to someone they love on a very visceral, physical, and dense level. It’s not just some ethereal soul-bond. It’s a raw physical expression of belonging, and one that can bring the body, brain and psyche into alignment with that sense of belonging. This means the unmet need of that aspect of the soul and inner child can finally be met. At least in a workshop type of way. (This may not seem like much of a revelation but it's a far cry from shame, repression, and self-loathing!)
So, the paradox of bondage is... that it has the power to SET FREE subconscious material that has been bound up in opacity. Shame, self-doubt, fear, and self-love deficiencies can come to be acknowledged and played with. And what a nice way to have fun and connect with a lover too, no? Share your thoughts please! Xo
Disclaimer: bondage, like rock climbing, can be dangerous. You have to know about arteries, the nervous system, consent culture and practices, and communication. Please take some classes before engaging!
For a long time I've wondered, "why are there kinks?" Why do people like sex that employs uneven power dynamics? What's the deal with dom/sub stuff, BDSM, and this thing that I've recently acknowledged has kept me in a state of repression for the shame of it? I'm into sovereignty so how could I have a repressed kink about not-sovereignty? The idea of being owned, punished, etc. has been so shameful to me that I've had to deal with dreams of tigers full of milk, stalking me, dreams of velociraptors asleep in my bed. How scary. After all, I've spent my life trying to figure out how to be free, how to not be dominated, to not be controlled by another human being, entity, or system of oppression in general. To me these kinks seemed as bad as having to pay the government to kill people. Why is my shadow so persistent about it! Just let me enjoy vanilla and keep my dignity!
Well after acknowledging it as real for me, I started researching the BDSM community and practices, and how people have used it for healing, specifically. (I'm certainly not about to start up a new addiction). Many abuse and assault survivors, often those who suffered horribly as children even, have come to the BDSM world to work out their kinks. It seems to work when the emphasis within the community and within the relationship is on strict communication guidelines, negotiations, and trust. Expressing ones needs explicitly, and exploring the boundaries of pain in a controlled environment with someone you trust can heal major wounds. Why?
The masculine/feminine dynamic is interesting. There is a strong aspect of the feminine that wants to trust. She wants to surrender herself completely within the safety and security of an unwavering masculine protection. The masculine in high form is confident enough to be 100% accountable for his actions. He is trustworthy. He is safe. He is accountable. And a proper dom will be accountable and in control of his actions, to give to the sub whatever they desire, while the sub's power is in having complete control over the situation. They express what they want, what their boundaries are, and what their safe word will be should they choose to stop the interaction. The dom cannot fulfill this role without being a rock solid person, right? They are essentially givers, while the sub receives. But still, why does anyone want to be punished in role-play?
My conclusion about it is this: humans have a tendency to want to shirk responsibility sometimes. We project our blame and shame onto other people when we aren't self-aware. And when we are children, if we didn't have caretakers who were always responsible for us in the ways we needed, before our limbic system was attached to the frontal lobes, something there, a little kink forms. Why might I want someone to punish me? Because I haven't taken proper care of myself and I want someone else to hold me accountable for myself by punishing me. It means someone else is there to take care of me so I don't have to. The dom needs to be in full accountability because that is what the sub needs. This does exemplify a lack of self-love, which is a lack of self-accountability. Accountability is why we put expectations on others or boundaries around ourselves. The expectations and boundaries (or lack thereof) always reflect our level of inner accountability and inner love for ourselves. Sexuality is the perfect vehicle for exploring these unhealed aspects, isn't it?
Essentially my point is that in craving punishment, we are asking someone else to show us what it means to be accountable for loving ourselves. It came to me while I was screaming in a car with the windows rolled up.
I had recently had a marriage for my inner masculine and my inner feminine. I realized I had never connected with my inner masculine. Not ever. He was divorced from me. When I went to unite these parts of myself, I found that he was always there, perfect, devoted, amazing. He was truly fulfilling to my inner feminine, who had been so angry about his betrayal, which wasn't real. Anyway, I thought I would understand more about my sexuality after this union. And that I would be a better parent to my inner children as well. I still had kinks though, and I still don't necessarily trust another mortal enough to go down that road at this point. A friend of mine suggested I find my inner dom, and explore it on my own. So I'm screaming in a car, getting rid of some poison that was projected onto me as shame and resentment which wasn't mine. Primal scream therapy is still one of my favorite methods of release. So I'm accessing all this pain and screaming it out, and it's tiring, and out of nowhere this inner dom came into my consciousness. It's associated with the pain I was releasing, because the reason I had gotten involved with that pain in the first place was that I was not being accountable to myself. I didn't have proper boundaries or trust structures, I didn't find what I was looking for in another person. I found the opposite. Again. And here now I wanted to be punished for it. WHACK! "Now do you know your worth?" WHAM! "Now do you know what you deserve?"
Yes. Yes I do.
Eden is a quantum and shamanic practitioner and herbalist who enjoys exploring interdimensional realms, earth-based spirits and practices, planetary gridpoints, shadow integration, and Inkan medicine ways of Q'ero lineage. She identifies as empath, high-sensitive, and starseed. Eden works in service to spiritual evolution through love, and the reclamation of spiritual sovereignty.