Several years ago, I was reading a book. In the book, one of the characters had a tattoo that read “quod nutrit me destruit me”. After reading a bit further, the translation of the quote was given, “that which nourishes me also destroys me”. Long after finishing the book, I was unable to forget that quote. It spoke volumes to me when I first read it and even to this day, it still does.

The reason why the quote spoke so loudly to me is because it applies to everyone and everyday life. Food is a perfect example of this. One needs to eat to survive, but if not careful, one can be consumed by food and start eating in excess and that’s when food starts destroying you. Besides food, certain medications can also be seen in this light as well as modern technology. But above all of these things mentioned above, the quote spoke so loudly to me because of my participation in the BDSM lifestyle and the good and the bad that comes along with that.

Master, Nourish Me

One way that this quote applies to those of us who are slaves and submissives is that we need our Masters and Dominants to nourish us. We turn ourselves wholly to our owners with the understanding that they are going to be there for us as much as they possibly can. We need their nourishment so we can flourish and grow and learn how to better serve them. If they don’t give us the structure and discipline most of us crave and desire, as well as the play time, we will slowly be destroyed by this. It’s not solely up to our owners to nourish us. There’s only so much that they can do for us, and the rest of the nourishment we need to strive to be our best has to come from us, from within us and also that which surrounds us. I turn to meditation and journaling as a way to nourish myself from within. During these activities, I am able to quiet my busy mind and focus on what’s important for me, what I need to keep myself going. Ways that I find the needed nourishment from outside sources by reading articles online and chatting with other submissives and littles to help find new tips and tricks that they may use to help them get through a difficult time and also possible to learn a new skill or recipe. I also love talking with others in the lifestyle and sharing my knowledge and stories in the hopes of being able to help someone else out.

Care For Them

The same ideology applies to the way that slaves and submissives care for their Masters and Dominants. If at any time a slave or sub doesn’t take the time or energy to care for their owners, slowly but surely, they will be destroyed the same way we would. Even though we may not always think about things like this, the owners need just as much nourishment from those that they own. I know it’s hard to picture someone who’s in an authoritative position to need nourishment from those below them, but just because they’re the ones in charge doesn’t mean that they don’t have the same needs as us. I know sometimes that’s hard to remember. I’m sure I’m not the only one who's put their owner on a pedestal and forget that He’s human. Besides keeping the apartment clean and having a delicious hot meal waiting for Daddy when He comes home, I give Him space to play whatever current computer game He’s obsessed with, and sometimes I even join Him, knowing that is something He likes sharing with me. I also enjoy giving Him massages or do whatever else I can do to help Him relax. I know that if He doesn’t get this nourishment from me, He will slowly fall apart from being overworked and overstressed. If Daddy is slowly being destroyed from the inside, He can’t be there for me when I need Him. Same as if I’m falling apart, I can’t be there for Him when Daddy needs that from me. It’s very much a symbiotic relationship between the owner and slave.

Support and Acceptance

Another way that the lifestyle can both nourish and destroy us is with other people. It is very much a wonderful thing to find people who are like-minded in the kink area and to be able to share ideas and stories. Munches and other such get-togethers are great for this. It can give each member the support and acceptance that most members are unable to find in their average day to day life. Also, the internet has proved to be most helpful in this as well by connecting people in the privacy of their own homes and across the world. But, this has a downside as well. There are those who are involved in the lifestyle who thrive on causing drama and starting trouble. Not only that, but there are also people even within the lifestyle who tend to judge others just because their kinks are different. People like that, tend to cause alienation and much-unwanted drama within these groups. And let’s not forget our vanilla friends and family. They can very much be a quick path to destruction. Family members and friends being quick to judge and disowning people due to living a life different to their own is never an easy thing to deal with. Losing friends, even though they don’t accept you for the way you are, is never easy or painless. I know in the end that I’m better off having them out of my life, but it’s still not an easy loss to cope with and is even harder to deal with losing family members over this.

Joy in Play

One of the most obvious things is play. This can be both a good and a bad thing for all of those involved. For me, I use scening as a release and as a way to bond with Daddy. Before I got into the lifestyle, I used to cut. Cutting was how I dealt with all the emotional pain inside. Once I was introduced to scening, the cutting stopped as I had found a better way, a safer, more controlled way to deal with the emotional pain I was feeling inside. At the beginning, I was allowing the pain to destroy me more than nourish me. I would allow a scene to go on way longer than what my body could physically handle because I felt I was a bad person and deserved to hurt. Yes, I did feel better after a good beating, but was it really a good beating if I was allowing myself to be beaten until I passed out? After finding some amazing mentors in the lifestyle, I was able to slowly fix my self-esteem and learn that I wasn’t a bad person and I did deserve to hurt but to hurt in a way that felt good. By that time, not only was scening a way for me to find a release from stress, but I was also able to enjoy the pain in a sexual way as well. I am sure many other slaves and submissives feel the same way about scening as I do. Scening with the right person and in the proper mindset can have very amazing and refreshing results. Mindset and the partner you’re playing with is a big factor in how a scene turns out and if something in the scene goes wrong and causes the sub to crash, this is one of the ways how scening can be destructive. Sub drop is a very serious side-effect of a bad scene and can last for several hours to several days after a scene and can be very detrimental to a sub’s physical and mental well-being. Another way that scening is destructive is the physical damage that is done to one’s body. Even though all the bruises and welts are most welcomed by most and even badges of honor, it’s still damage that’s being done to the body which can cause serious long-term damage. Also, if things get too carried away, there can be some not so much fun pain caused, which is why it’s always important to scene with a safeword in place.

Just like anything else in life, the lifestyle has its ups and downs for anyone who participates, regardless of what they may call themselves. Like anything else, one has to learn to go with the flow and take the highs with the lows. I hope that any beginners and even those who are well experienced will continue the sometimes rocky journey despite the aspects of the lifestyle that can destroy and fully embrace the aspects of the lifestyle that can nourish it.