I’m of the opinion that there are many slaves who are unowned for one reason: fear of being vulnerable.
The way relationships tend to flow in the vanilla world vulnerability isn't a necessity to maintain the relationship. Usually most are not surrendering to their partners and both tend to rest assured that they are equals with their S/O. There’s also the point that often by the time many make it to the Lifestyle, they've been hurt quite a bit and trust hasn't been handled responsibly. But in our realm of Mastery/Dominance and slavery/submission there’s no expectation of equality in hierarchy but the expectation that trust be handled responsibly. Once we, as slaves, begin the journey of surrender (even before being collared), we are consenting to not being equal to our (eventual) Owners. We acquiesce to follow leader and living under the Owner’s authority in all things. That’s a HUGE shift for most of us to switch to; it’s one that leaves us utterly vulnerable, also.
In December of 2004, I had what I've often refer to as my ‘bathroom epiphany’ (I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one that comes up with brilliant revelations during tranquil time spent in the bathroom, so I won’t feel bad about sharing this detail). In a quiet moment of contemplating what does (will) my freedom look like in the grand scheme of my Lifestyle journey, a flash of an answer came, and even the ‘why’ came with it… And for a moment, it made sense to me – my freedom lies in the path of being a slave. However, let me tell ya, once that moment had passed, I wasn't really ‘feeling’ it much. The major reason I wasn't feeling it was because I just couldn't go that deep. I didn't believe I had enough trust for one. Two, it would mean that there’s one person in the world that I couldn't hide from and baring my soul that much just didn't seem doable for me. I knew of everything I had experienced in my life up to that point, I knew the pain and hurt inside of me for the most part and the deep lack of trust. I also knew that there were parts of me, seemingly very delicate and tender parts of me that I kept hidden, sometimes even from myself (by not allowing them to express even in my alone time – yes I acted like they didn't exist). So, it would take some time and a few interventions for me to truly set my steps on the slave path.
What does it mean to be vulnerable?
I had to ask myself this repeatedly. My initial answers always ended up with, “If I’m vulnerable, I’ll get hurt.” But, the irony is that when I thought that I was being ‘methodical’ and ‘responsible’ while in a relationship (post epiphany), I was still hurt, and not because I was vulnerable, but because I was everything but vulnerable. In hindsight, though there were a few ‘secrets’ I may have shared, I never shared my core, and I never reveled in baby-girl space (probably the most delicate part of me). I was far too busy doing other things to better protect her. If I’m honest with myself (and you) I’ll admit that innately, in those relationships/interactions, I knew it wasn't the fit for me, so I couldn't allow myself to be but so vulnerable, but I went on with the arrangement anyway. But in a strange twist, those experiences were needed to begin the process of ‘stripping down’.
I spent almost two years being at the mercy of forces/events greater than me – experiencing circumstances that led to me dealing with my beef with vulnerability. With the greatest of contempt, I shook my fist –
I don’t like you… In fact, I can’t stand you!!
You only exist to ruin me!
The world will crush me if I show the slightest weakness because people will see me as soft… Fuck you and the horse you rode in on you bastard!!
I was vulnerable before, never again…
Yeah, I had to handle the qualms I had with vulnerability. I had to expand my perception of it and how it applies to me on my walk. Honesty is a must… I will probably always say from this point on that the first step in reconciling issues (even if not all) with vulnerability is allowing ourselves to be exposed to ourselves. What I mean by that is once we give into being honest with ourselves (no longer singing the same song of excuses, blame, and cover ups that we've sang for so long, you know, all the things we think that’s the truth of us), we open ourselves up to internal freedom never experienced before. It’s not a happy-go-lucky type experience, at least not always, but it’s quite necessary if we should ever desire to truly be owned and revel in the light of our Owner.
What amazes me most, even now, is that just when I think I've more completely answered that question (even with the paradigm shift) I find that I still can go further into that bare space that resides in my core. Truthfully, I think I've only scraped the surface, but I actually feel a bit of anticipation of going deeper.
Standing Bare before Another
This is the tricky part! Now that we’ve gotten all naked ‘in the mirror’ and whatnot, eventually we’ll have to stand in that nakedness before another, should we continue on. I don’t know about you, but once I’ve made my mind up on something, it’s a wrap. So, when I was sure the slave path was for me without a shadow of a doubt, I decided to leave myself open to a Master I could be bare before (can’t be owned if that doesn’t happen). While of course, we all want that person to be the one that takes Ownership of us that may or may not be the case. At the very least you build up those ‘standing naked’ muscles with someone who is trustworthy and capable of handling the responsibility of being a confidante and possibly a guide. This alone can prove to be a catalyst for a tremendous growth spurt!
There’s a certain peace in standing bare before another, being seen completely – the fabulous, the ratchet, the wtf, the everything. I’m not saying that it’s not ever uncomfortable, because there are times when hiding feels like the absolute best option; times when it just feels too hard to expose that extra space of your heart/soul/mind; and those times when paranoia may kick in just a little bit (yep, it’s true). In those instances, I remember that I’m safe… I’m safe in my freedom; hiding only means I’m cutting myself off from my freedom and journey. That’s not my desire.
I’d like to note something important – I didn’t (and won’t) go out all willy-nilly accepting anyone that said “I’m a Master!” Nope, no way. I also didn’t go out seeking someone to be vulnerable before. As fate would have it, it simply was a part of my progression – there’s someone that knows me better than my mother or any other person in my life, all because I’m reconciling with vulnerability. Also, this is a progression that truly takes time. The “me vs. vulnerability” battle didn’t suddenly develop in a single day – nope that was a long-term grudge match! It requires reprogramming habitual defense mechanisms and implementing new thought processes – that’s not quick or even light work.
The End – NOT!
The process of stripping down and standing bare, whether alone or with another is unending. There’s always more because there’s always more to discover or a new level of depth to explore. But, I believe with all my being that if we don’t start reconciling ourselves with vulnerability, what we give in regards to service will come more from the surface than the core. Does our surrender include the heart/soul or is it an intellectual exercise only? When we give/serve, do we go into the area of selflessness (which is totally vulnerable and leaves us exposed in so many ways) or do we reserve that type of service in a ‘wait and see’ manner? Do we ever know the depth of our loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness or what we truly offer to another without this level of exposure?
In our world, vulnerability is an unavoidable necessity. It’s not something to be frowned upon or avoided. Without it, we can’t form genuine friendships, community, family, or M/s (D/s) relationships.
Lots of love, blyss
This series is written from the perspective that being single in the Lifestyle affords one the opportunity to do some soul-searching, learning, and defining to be better equipped to transition into a suitable and desirable relationship in due time. Other parts of the series are as follows: