So I spent part of a work day wasting it by debating how to write this. You see, I'd wanted a blog post for a month-long blogging challenge I'm participating in (the Spanking A toZ challenge) as well as a thoughtful post in which I talked about my church's monthly theme in a non-PG way that I could make into a "note" on Facebook, sharing the link in the monthly theme group so that those not specifically wanting to avoid adult material could do so. I decided in the end to write one post but to put it both places.
Yet again I'm breaking the "keep publishing and your religion" thing separate :D- I'm really not good at it (Considering my "Q is for Questioning/Queer"post that included links to the Unitarian Universalist Association's "Queer 101" identity page.) But here are some more links for the interested... rather than going to a physical church, I attend the Church of the Larger Fellowship, the online UU church. It amazes me to see how Reverend Meg Riley's vision has led us into a church experience as valid as "going to church" in the online format. If you're looking for an open-minded church home, UU might work for you; the link I included sent you to the "questioning, searching spiritually"- minded page for CLF. The next thing I need to share is the link for "Quest," that's our monthlynewsletter with articles, poems, stories related to our monthly theme- we explore one theme deeply over the course of a month. June's theme is "Security and Risk." I admit, I struggled to read the articles. I identify as a UU-atheist with Norse Pagan leanings. So all the Christian biblical stuff in at least 2 of the articles was a stumbling block for me to consider the topic.
Thankfully I was chatting with a friend as I was in service the other night because the question to discuss- something like "who or what gives you security?"- my first and totally inappropriate for a PG church service was "BONDAGE." It's a common trope that "BDSM bondage makes the submissive feel free." I giggled to read that in John Norman's "Chronicles of Gor," but I find I've even had characters wax poetic on it :D. Yes, it sounds totally paradoxical, even to me, on a basic level. Like it shouldn't work, but at least for me it does, and for other people who enjoy it.
It would seem I'm only talking about physical bondage- handcuffs, ties, etc- but it's really so much more than that. That "more" is probably part of why I enjoy spanking/Domestic Discipline fiction, even though my identity as a kinkster is focused on BDSM. Yes, I adore the physical portion of being in a lifestyle BDSM relationship- for those who've come through my sharing of this in the CLF group, that means that BDSM continues "out of the bedroom" for me and affects how I live in my primary romantic relationship- but the physical is only one piece.
Spoken clearly through the title of Constance Masters' book "Leading the Way," which I'm currently reading and loving and which is most definitely an adult link, submissives often enough want to be led somehow, to some level by their dominant. This is certainly true for me and has been the origin of some of my struggles as my Master has struggled with ill health and employment issues since November. While I fight tooth-and-nail against being told what to do- by clergy, by religious texts (maybe the 1st 2 are part of why I'm a UU? :D), by government, by society- when I accept the "collar" of a dominant, I want to some extent to be told by hir what to do. Right now, even though my Master is feeling better physically, He's begun talking about wanting me to ask for things more- for instance, asking Him to come to bed with me- and that makes me feel insecure. I asked Him, "Did You forget that I'm a submissive, Master?" However it could be argued that He is wanting to lead differently, as evidenced by the suggestions of the many of the other kinksters with whom I've discussed this situation.
In the last few days though I've started to think about how obeying my Master in His "just ask" thing is a slight risk in trade for an otherwise secure life. Sure, there seem to be all too many things up in the air (Him finding a new job, waiting for insurance cards from the state, if He still wants me to file for disability), a few privileges help make our lives easier- He's straight, we're both white, if I keep my mouth shut about it, we can pass as a straight married couple (although I was guessed as being 12, "Your sister?" by a cashier the other day who saw Master and I together :D.) That doesn't mean the risk is any less scary- after all, in many ways, it feels like "one change too many" and I've had to make quite a few changes in the last months. The dynamic between my Master and myself has changed/is still changing- I think on "slave contracts" as you can find online, in BDSM "how to" books, and almost wish now that I had one.
Another level of risk and security for me as a Unitarian Universalist and kinkster is represented by the work I do with Leather & Grace UUs for BDSM Awareness. I am grateful that the affinity group exists, even with how frustrating it can be to be working on issues, often engaging in emailing with UU leaders that many others don't necessarily email. Sometimes I wish my interest in BDSM was curable, as some people seem to think being GLBTQI is curable- I don't believe either are curable by the way. I've had people say- largely non-UUs at BDSM munches- comment "If you can't be accepted in a UU church, is there any church where your kink identity won't cause a problem?" It seems we UUs are thought of as more open-minded than we sometimes are in reality. Two sad facts- at the last bricks-and-mortar UU church I attended before beginning at the online CLF, I was "out of the closet" as a kinkster to 10% of the adult membership and out of the 4 ministers who served the congregation during my period of attendance, I only felt comfortable telling 2 of them that I was kinky. At CLF, in service I refer to my Master by His nickname Shaman- the ministerial team is aware of what relationship signified by His nickname means to me, but I feel constrained to avoid talking about my identity in service. Whereas others will talk about spouses, significant others, I'm less likely to mention my Master, even with the device of using Shaman.
While feeling security in bondage- whether metaphorical or physical- may seem paradoxical, it works for me and for other submissives. What right does any person have to tell me that my choice to live my BDSM orientation in the way I do is wrong?