Currently there is lots of talk in therapy circles about mindfulness. Mindfulness is the name given to a technique where you focus on the here and now and experience the world, and your thoughts and reactions to it, through your senses. It is something that can be practised and in many cases it can significantly help to improve mental and emotional well-being. I am guilty of not always noticing the world around me or the way that my body is feeling. I am guilty of living in my head, caught up in my thoughts and trapped in the way that they affect my feelings and my behaviour. I try to stop myself, to focus on my senses and slow down, but it is hard.
Prior to D/s, I slipped into a place where I didn’t really use my senses for sex. I slipped into a place even deeper in my head, and allowed my fantasies to take me past the jumble of thoughts that kept my attention, to a place where I could connect with my desire. This was effective in achieving orgasm, but not effective in providing a connection to the other person. They were part of it, but not as big a part of it as my brain. I was in control. I selected the thoughts which would get a reaction and therefore owned the response when it happened. Nice to get the cuddle afterwards if it came, but it was never like anything extraordinary had passed between us.
Of course, sometimes when a relationship was new and exciting, I was right there in the moment and my senses gathered everything: his touch, the way he looked at me, the sound of his voice, the smell of him and the way he tasted. I was not only right there, I was overwhelmed. I absorbed it and translated it into emotion which I then gave back. It was returned through the offering of my body, the desperation and need to have him in me, on top of me, bearing down on me. It connected me to him and left me craving him afterwards and brought about a neediness that was like an itch I couldn’t scratch.
Those were the times but they never lasted. They would slowly fade and my senses would be less engaged, I would be less aroused, and I would venture back into my head again, processing my thoughts and feelings and living in my own little world until something triggered the desire to feel pleasure of that sort again. Back into my fantasies I would go and it became a bit of a pattern really. For me, D/s has been the answer. It provides a structure and a mental state where I experience things much more through my senses and am less dragged down by my thoughts. I become drawn in by my sensory responses and let go of conscious thought.
The reflection I have done since beginning my journey has allowed me to become more aware of the stream of thoughts and feelings that takes place in my head and to realise that sometimes I can become entangled in it in a way that isn’t helpful. I am getting better at managing this but the dynamic definitely helps. Another voice, his voice, is so important. Not one that I can shut out but one that I listen to. Triggers, both mental and physical which can be used to pull me from inside of myself onto the surface where I can respond and engage with what is happening, have also been key.
It is hard to break what is a natural default but when the effect of doing so is as huge as it is, it is worth it. I do feel that I need the power exchange to be free of my thoughts. The more the Dominance and control, the bigger the response and connection for me. I stop doing what I want to do or what I have chosen to do, and accept that it has been chosen for me. This allows me to live much more in the moment as I never know what is coming next. This pattern of tight control from him and elicited responses from me leads me to be focussed on what is happening, the sensations I am experiencing and to ignore the thought trains which ride past. The subsequent emotion which comes from the sensation becomes directed towards him in a giving way, which roots it more firmly in my experience.
I have written about one of our Sensory Scenes where I explain more about how this works. Essentially my senses become heightened to everything that he does. It all begins to consume me and as my body gives itself to him, so my mind becomes full of him. As he uses pain, pleasure, sensation to play with me and tease me, I slowly become his, body and mind. In the end I don’t really know who or what I am because I exist just for him. I am confused and disorientated, hyper sensitive to him and oblivious to everything else around me, including a sense of space or time. Everything becomes defined by him and that is where the connection comes from.
During this type of play we will also use Sensory Deprivation, as the removal of one of the senses not only heightens the others, but also increases the sense of vulnerability and acts as a trigger for me to access my submissive mental space more easily. As soon as I am unable to see, or unable to hear, or unable to move, my mind becomes more focussed on the world around about me. There is a level of anxiety I suppose but it is also a clear indicator that control is gone and my natural response is to become more present in the moment. From here he is able to use my senses to keep me with him instead of my mind pulling me away, so my body pushes me deeper into him and further into the place that he is taking me to.
Our senses help us to understand the world and the things that we experience as part of it, but I do think that sometimes we inhibit them based on our previous experience. It is hard to disengage your brain so that you feel not think but it is very freeing when you can. I know that I need help as I am a person whose stream of internal thoughts and feelings exist as more of a raging river than a bubbling brook. I know that we are not all the same as this and HisLordship finds it much easier to live in the moment and experience what is happening in the here and now than I do. I would like to be less engaged by my thoughts than I am but it does lead to productivity in other ways.
Let’s face it, if I didn’t overthink, I wouldn’t be writing here on this blog, so I am okay with it in some areas. It also helps me to be solution focussed and allows me to analyse and improve so it’s not all bad. Finding a way to be free has been huge for me though and it has meant that our relationship can move to a place it never would have been able to without it. I use the term free as that is how it feels. Although I see the value in what I can achieve in my head, experiencing life though my senses gives a whole different perspective in terms of quality. Life is not about the things that we do, but the way we feel them and I am so grateful that I am able to feel and enjoy as I do.