Is Everything Okay? — An Open Letter to those who feel burdened

Sometimes – when we’ve got questions to ask, when we’re feeling low and afraid and alone, we don’t look to anyone, we bottle it inside. Maybe that’s what we’re taught, maybe we think it’s a sign of weakness or maybe you just don’t want to bug that person.

With running my blog and leaving my door open for anyone to approach me should they want to, I unfortunately see a lot of this scared behaviour – which is to really say that I see myself – the anxious individual that doesn’t want to talk out of fear of burdening others, that doesn’t want to ask questions about their own fantasies even if it scares them terribly and they can’t eat or sleep or dream.

For those newcomers or sufferers of anxiety and depression, I hope you know that you aren’t truly alone, even if you feel like it. The people around you, your network of family and friends – they all, truly, care more than you know. I can tell you this because I’m my own worst enemy and I felt the lie before I realised the truth. My family do care. My friends DO CARE. It was me that was twisting truth, with my poisoned mind.

And hey, if you’re like me and don’t have a lot of friends, I’m more than happy to talk with you, regardless of what you have to say. Sometimes it helps running our own bullshit past fresh ears.

But if it’s a simple case of a fantasy guilting you – and this does happen more then you know. Hell, realise that I still shift uncomfortably at my own darker impulses. But if it’s a case of guilt at your own sexuality, or identification, I’ve been wandering the lifestyle myself. I’m here to talk and will never feel burdened or weirded out by what you have to get off your chest. Trust me.

I guess what I’m trying to say is — I’ve had readers of my blog who write in, expressing problems — and then they vanish. They’re from opposites sides of the world so I don’t know if they’re busy – sometimes, occasionally, they will return after they’re mended, sometimes not at all. And while I realise it’s not my place to play mediator or meddle – and I can’t help everyone – it still hurts to know that someone is suffering and they feel they have to be quiet when all they want to do is unload or scream.

Remember – you’re not alone. Anxiety is a twisted delusion. You’ll be okay. One day at a time. And —- I’m always a text or an email away, even in time zones.

Life As A Dominant with an Anxiety Disorder

There’s a lot I want to say about this, so you should know – this might be a bit all over the place.

In 2013, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder – specifically Panic Disorder, in which worry and panic tend to live alongside me each and every day.

This makes me think of something a little amusing to me – the people who haven’t read my blog, who haven’t touched the deeper parts of my psyche, shall we say? – never guess that I am a Dominant, that I identify with dark, sadistic sexual urges on a daily basis.

And sometimes the readers, who grace my blog daily or whenever, are surprised when they read or hear that I struggle with anxiety a lot.

In person I am rather withdrawn. I’m quiet, actually referred to as a man of few words. I’m introverted – until you get to know me or I get to know you and feel at ease. Even then, I’m socially awkward – I don’t have much of a filter and dark, dry, goofy, perverted humour slips through. So I understand completely how people can be miss entirely that I am a Dominant with a streak of sadism.

That doesn’t come through on the blog though. While I am generally my awkward self in the digital world, there’s more time to think and create a response, rather than waste real time with a person not knowing what to say. I am myself, and you are getting truthful, honest-to-goodness responses, because there’s less a degree of worry involved.

Most days of my life, I have a handle on my anxiety. On these days it’s nothing more than a nervous disposition about something – work, health, the future. It’s worrying but between what psychologists have taught me and what I’ve read, I have a grip on it.

I guess you could say anxiety has stages. On a good day, it’s just mild worry. If there’s a problem, a fight with a friend or I get myself into a spiral of depression, I will spend the whole day obsessing over every tiny detail till I am mentally exhausted.

In this mild-worry-stage, when it comes to dominance and D/s and all that entails, there is a part of me that is usually self-critical towards my actions, my demeanour and my ideas for tasks and scenes and protocols.

There was a moment, one time, where I walked into our bedroom and she’s wearing my favourite lingerie – and I just froze with doubt and anxiety, ruining the moment and mood. Kitten could read my face and we talked about it right there and then before the moment continued – but I will say, in the beginning, my anxiety and my inability to express my anxiety caused self-doubt in her own mind.

Self-doubt that was alleviated thanks to our many in-depth discussions about my weird personality quirks when it comes to shyness or anxiety or what have you.

I WILL SAY – time and practice has helped me to be less critical about my own voice and ideas. There’s always this frightful idea that I’m an idiot, just bubbling away beneath the surface, but I have been getting better in telling it to be quiet so I can be who I want.

On the really bad days, I’m not me. I live in a constant panic that everything – my life, my world, my relationship – will come crashing down because in that moment, I have no idea how long the panic will last – will it be a week? Another month again? I don’t eat, sleep is interrupted, and our D/s relationship is put on hold. The things I love to do – write, read, game – are the last thing I want to do. I don’t enjoy anything that I love.

I’m a mess. I’ll hate myself for being weak, for ruining kitten’s week. I tell her to leave me, she’s better off. I’ll sob uncontrollably, I’ll come up with anxiety-fuelled thoughts that make no sense, and I’ll want to run and keep running and never, ever look back. The last thing I’ll ever want to do is be Dominant and lead.

Being panicked and spiralling can last anywhere between a week to a month. In that time, I don’t eat properly, I’m constantly assessing my own reality, how I feel, things that are said. Even my taste is out of order.

And then….slowly everything will come back to me – my taste, my enjoyment of the things I love. Dominance. I’m me – properly me. All of my systems and it’s many files reboot and for the next week, I’m installing updates and getting back to my regular life of love, work and D/s.

Usually, with my returning state of normalcy, my sex drive will be out of the roof. I can’t say why, maybe it’s just pure joy from feeling like me again and not being riddled with thoughts conjured up by anxiety. But there you are.

I have been blessed though, to have someone who will stand by me through the storm – who will shelter me from the torrential downpour with her own body, even if it means being pelted with rain.

She doesn’t let me buy into my own anxious bullshit. She will hold me, hear my paranoia, reaffirm truth and reaffirm her love and that she is not going anywhere and will be here until I feel better. That….that ability – to have that unwavering patience, is so beautiful and special that it brings tears to my eyes as I write this. It’s something I could never FULLY repay, no matter how much I return the favour when she’s feeling out of her element. It never seems to be enough.

Beyond the spikes, anxiety is manageable. I realised, early on, that I couldn’t get rid of it, I just had to find a way to live with it – and I have. Most days I am fine, I am me. Panic attacks might still hit me in my sleep or randomly while in the cinema but I am getting better at alleviating it via nude meditation before it infects the rest of my mind.

Lastly, I will say this – man or woman, teenager or adult, dominant or submissive, if you ever find yourself in a downward spiral and you want to talk or need a distraction, you are always welcome to email me directly – no one deserves to be alone in that time. Sometimes you just need an anxiety buddy.

 

 

A Note For Anyone Too Hesitant To Write To Me

Okay, so – one thing I generally like to do on this blog (and probably do too much to the point I seem predatory) is encourage readers or lurkers to, if they want, write in – if they have feedback or a question they want a stance on or whatever the case may be.

The thing is – I’ve actually neglected one tremendously important aspect that can manifest in readers and still their mind from contacting. Recently a reader wrote in to me and, amongst other details, mentioned their hesitance in asking any questions out of fear of being too bold when – and here’s the kicker – they believe I give too much when they have very little to offer in return.

To anyone out there, adult or teenager, man or woman, I will say this – if you are on a similar thought path, thinking that you can’t take up my time because you have nothing to give back – that’s simply not true.

Firstly, don’t ever undersell yourself. Your presence or your words or even your company are all gifts in their own way. Don’t ever forget that.

I find meeting new people one of the great joys of running this blog. It’s a pleasure when anyone writes in because I’m grateful for the company and their trust in me.

As for me, I welcome bold questions. Some readers have challenged my perspectives and helped me grow through, others have given me feedback I can explore through the blog and I’m generally open about my sexuality and tastes and life – and if a line of questioning becomes too personal, I’ll tell you up front and honestly.

You may think I’m doing too much or being too selfless, but I don’t feel that. I just feel like an ordinary joe just doing what I can because it soothes a restless part of my soul.

So please never think you have nothing to give – you have everything to give, all that you are, all that you want to talk of, all that you’re passionate about. Don’t misinterpret that worth – and never worry you can’t approach me. I care not about inexperience or boldness or age or weirdness.

End Of Year Q/A! AMA!

After two seperate encounters this week, one in which a reader wrote in mentioning they wanted to write to me but wasn’t sure how to – and the other, talking to a new submissive about the very meaning of rules and protocol in a D/s relationship, I realise just how hard it is for someone – young or old – to sort out their feelings and to understand just what it is they’ve been trying to describe.

So since I didn’t do a November Q/A or AMA and there have been a few new followers from Tumblr since it’s purging of adult content (Welcome!), I thought I’d create this space for newcomers or people who have questions to ask them here or if they choose, at my email at darkanddominant@hotmail.com

Let me be honest – I’m writing this now for two reasons – the first because I will get a message in which the author apologises profusely for bugging me or taking up my time or for writing at length – and it doesn’t bother me at all. Not one iota. So reading that I can understand, but it certainly still breaks my heart.

The second because it occurred to me (as it does at several intervals in the year) how easy it can be to get lost inside your own head in a D/s relationship, especially if you’re young and new to the lifestyle – or just don’t know who to talk to.

It can be easy to take for granted what I know – but I forget – it doesn’t come easily to someone new.

To that end, please PLEASE feel free to write as much or as little as you’d like. No email is too long, no comment is too meandering. I don’t judge on naivety or inexperience and I certainly don’t shame or think people silly for their thoughts.

I can also use any questions in a forthcoming post so that it can be informative for anyone that has an interest in that line of questioning.

On My Religion, Sexuality and Love

If you’re a long time reader, chances are you’ve read me touch on my catholic upbringing as a child and into my teens and how that affected my sexuality. Talking or writing about it at length, though, is something I haven’t done here – and for no real reason, I just haven’t felt it was an interesting topic to anyone but me.

I want to address that. However I will ask you to bear with me, it might get messy.

My father and mother were devout Catholics and raised me as such. I did the whole nine yards – reconciliation, monthly confessions, communion, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday’s, Stations of the cross, Sunday Mass – the whole shebang.

We were a conservative Catholic household and lived a conservative Catholic life. Even the sheer sight of me shirtless around the house would cause outcry. Playful or not, I cannot say, but I just wanted to raise this point.

When I was 12, I started to catch on about sex. My dad, when confronted with the notion, told me flatly ‘Yeah, we did!’. As an adult, my mum would tell me it was my dad’s job to address it as she did to my sisters. As an adult, my dad would tell me he never did enough for me. I wonder if he remembers that conversation.

As a 12 year old though, I was weird sexually. I’m taking masturbation in the weirdest places, I’m talking being excited that I’d have the house myself so I can be naked, I’m talking the primal masturbating in the mud in a frenzy – weird.

Thing was, I was making sense of myself. I found the pulse within myself that reacted against my catholic teachings to be naked, to be primal, to fight back against the feelings of shame – which I very well have now writing this, even though I understand how implausible those feelings are.

This reactionary behaviour paved the way for me to explore myself sexually as a teenager, which led to writing erotica and eventually to the wide world of BDSM and kink.

Looking back as I write this, sex – for me – is a battle between two minds. There’s the part of me who is relaxed and in control and vibrant and flourishing and then —- there’s the insecure part of me, questioning – constantly questioning, telling me that what I want, what I’ve always wanted, won’t be accepted. Somehow I know this to be a product of what I was taught, teaching me that to be naked, to want degradation, humiliation, is all wrong. Disgusting.

These days I have good control over the other part of my brain, though it does exist during my most intimate moments. However, during my twenties, that wasn’t the case.

I can distinctly remember feeling the rush of being in the moment, sexually and as a dominant, and then coming down from that high terrifies, not knowing what that meant, guilty because of my actions – my need to command, to dress, to be sadistic.

I thought I was in the wrong for years, with every kinky discovery bringing with it a wave of shame and a terrifying feeling that, after so long of living my life, I would have to reboot EVERYTHING I knew. This feeling, this scary realisation, led me to suppress it, at this point strengthened by the fact that I was in a relationship with a woman I loved but had zero interest in kink, D/s or BDSM.

Hell, I don’t even know now, years later, if my depression and anxiety is merely hereditary or a manifestation of my upbringing as a conservative Catholic. I can only guess and say it’s hereditary plus the upbringing PLUS my social experiences as a teenager. I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was shy. I was quiet. I still am.

What helped me, what still does – is trying to remember that my own development is important, that my happiness is important and that people like you, my dear readers, or kitten will accept me and my kinks and that it doesn’t mean I’m insane or sick or mentally ill.

These days, I’m not a practicing religious person – but I am spiritual. I live by a set of rules – to be kind to people, to love openly and accept everyone. I pray for my loves and my life and my animals but I consider my relationship between myself and God something entirely different to what’s prescribed in the bible. If that makes me agnostic or something, so be it, but I’d like to think that love is all you need and that if God exists, He – or she – would want me to be happy to my fullest extent. Outside of that, I try to be as kinky as I want 24/7. True to myself, in other words.

So was religion / being religious the catalyst for my feelings during sex? My anxiety? My development as a man? I’m not sure. I cannot say. I’m only a writer, half naked, musing to himself on a cool Monday morning.

Just Write

So. I just got an email from a reader of my blog and it struck me as sad and it’s for these reasons that I want to write this piece.

If you’re going to write in to me, if you want to write in to me, there’s a couple things I, personally, want you to know and understand.

I’m not as busy as you think. I’m not running around like a headless chook, know that while I may work, I also definitely check my email daily and respond in full as soon as I can.

I don’t respond to emails to be polite to you, to what a reader described as ‘a self proclaimed fangirl’ – I respond because I want to. You must understand, I started this blog not just to share my fantasies and satisfy a part of me, I did it in case it could inspire someone as awkward as I was when I started off.

So I love hearing from people – young, old, male, female, Australian, American, Norwegian – the more the merrier. Language barriers be damned! I love conversing with people and I love talking BDSM and it’s lifestyles.

Whether you’re a fan or seeking answers or even if you a bone to pick with me about something I wrote. Grill me. I welcome all of it, criticism, friendly chatter, the like.

You’re not bothering me. At all. In all my years of blogging, in responding to the kind people that write in, I can honestly say not one email has bugged me, not one. Even if one person has a laundry list of questions, I’ll sit down and work it out with them until they’re more spent then I am. Seriously. So never ever think that YOU are the person that will be too much for me, because that just won’t be the case. Try me, I dare you!

Do you want to write but don’t know what to say? Do you feel stupid because I can talk so openly and you find it rough to? I’ve had years to process how I feel, to work to rise above my own shyness. I was the same as you in the beginning. We all start somewhere and blossom on our own time.

I will say this though – just write. Don’t worry about grammar or context or anything, just write. I honestly care not for long novel-length texts, I read every word and respond. I’ll even write a long novel-length email of my own.

Start at the beginning. Write how you feel. Find a place to start at, to get the ball rolling, and then just let it go – just write and let it loose. If it feels good, write it. If it doesn’t, write it anyway and send it.

Too many times have I read that someone wanted to write in sooner or deleted several iterations of the email they just sent – and it breaks my heart.

I know I can’t TELL people what to do. I know I can’t get people to talk as frankly as I do, but I’m writing this because I want you to know, anything you have to say, in any way, is perfectly A-OK by me and that you should not feel shame or delete what you write, because I mostly certainly want to read it. Don’t even press that delete button or I’ll slap a crop against your knuckles!

Be yourself. That’s all I ask of you. Everything else, please don’t worry. I’m not as scary as your mind makes me out to be!

TD&D

On Self-Harm, BDSM and Mental Illness

In an earlier 30 Days of Kink post, I talked a lot how I distanced myself from playing with blood as a kink because of my mental state at the time.

A fellow reader asked me to elaborate – and I wasn’t sure how I could, or what I could even say, but I thought I would attempt to talk a bit about it, in case there are those out there, lurking and anonymous.

I can’t really tell you why I began to cut myself when I was a teenager. I’m sure internet articles will tell you the basics about it – it’s a cry for help, it processes feelings, all that. I’m not disputing that, I’m just saying I’m not sure why it happened for me. Maybe I was making sense of the world and processing through my first real break up with a girlfriend – I don’t know. I was just drawn to it, seeing how much pain I could force onto myself.

What I can tell you is a girlfriend and I, a likeminded Kinky individual, began experimenting with knife play, right down to causing bleeding. I can still see her carving asterisks into her thigh as we both got off on it.

The thing was, this wasn’t knife play in a controlled safe environment – our heads weren’t in the right frame of mind. We were both dealing with depression, mine all the more sneakier by me not even realising it. Looking back I suspect I was so adamant to avoid my family’s line of depression that I refused to believe.

So knife play wasn’t a good idea for us because we were taking what should’ve been an isolated pain or pleasure experience and somehow using it to deal with what was bubbling underneath. I mean, I can’t speak for her, I’m just guessing at this point based on experience with her then and experience as an adult now. And, you know, my own personal thoughts.

The final straw came when I stabbed a pair of scissors into my arm. I could actually hear the skin pop as it was torn open. With that, I broke down, angry and ashamed and disgusted at myself. Nothing I can write will convey how torn up I was by this action.

So I stopped and never looked back on doing it again.

Could I engage in knife play? I could – to an extent. There would have to be limitations – no blood, for starters and no actual cutting so I guess it’d be more in line with role play – and I would initially struggle to not picture the moment with the scissors, but I could.

Yet I still struggle with thoughts of suicide. Sometimes I can picture – so vividly in my mind – hanging myself in the garage – but when such times come, I try to think on hope, try to remind myself I have family, I have a life – I have a beautiful lady who I would forever shatter if I did such a thing. And I think how my suicide would make the lives of my dearly loved so empty that my heart hurts and stills my mind.

So. Two things – if you’re like me and knife play has become a fetish, stop and be clear on why you are doing it, think on how healthy it is, think of ways in which you can explore alternative methods of pain and pleasure. Be sure as to how safe and controlled you are.

If you’re anxious and depressed and suicidal, remember you’re not alone. There’s no shame in seeking help, from your local help line, from a friend or family – or if you don’t have anyone, from me. You are never alone, no matter what.

This extends to anyone reading – be you new reader or old, regular lurker or new lurker, someone who has been trying to write the ‘perfect’ email instead of a rambles or if you think you are too old or young or whatever – please – if you want to write, if you need to write, just put it down all at once. You’re writing to a guy with a floordrobe so don’t worry about a mess – i don’t judge.

Be kind to yourselves and remember how important you are to the world.