The three of us housemates were chatting about emotions, love, life in general in the living room last night. It had been a long day for all of us, and it seemed like a good time for a pow-wow and some light philosophy.
The subject of self-deprecation and negative self-talk came up. J had been dealing with it with another friend of hers, and in speaking with him, had shared that I used to do quite a bit of that myself – the constant apologies, self-insults, etc, until Skyspook had launched upon an extremely effective behavior modification program.
Essentially, he kept a running count of each infraction, and then at intervals would administer punishment in the form of clothespins to my tongue, something I despised at the time. An occurrence was equivalent to 30 seconds with 1 clothespin to be administered in a variety of forms – so for example, if I had 4 infractions, I could have 2 minutes with one clothespin or 30 seconds of 4 clothespins on my tongue. My punishments would be greatly diminished if I did it in front of others, like at a party, etc, as it was a great deal more distressing to me to have others know I’d screwed up.
Through this practice, I became much more mindful of the things I was saying about myself. The words stopped. I worked with my therapist to tackle the underlying feelings so I could truly shake these behaviors, attacking the underlying roots. But I did feel better and more positive simply by not speaking the words.
This experience with behavior modification (which occurred back before Skyspook and I had a formal D/s dynamic and when he still identified as a switch, and the two of us were more or less switching, still figuring one another out) was my first big hint that I had more of a slave orientation than a general submissive or bottom mindset. I loved that level of control, of guidance coming from Skyspook. I trusted him to help me, and when he did, delivering a result that exceeded my expectations, it was very rewarding.
His support, even in the form of punishment, galvanized me, made me stronger, more powerful.
I’ve realized lately that power exchange is not unlike sharing finances, i.e., money exchange – within a couple. Sure, you have more or less control over what is spent at any given moment, but together you have much more resources and stability than you would have alone. Together, sharing our power (with a give and take – slaves have power too; it’s just different power), we are exponentially more powerful than either of us would be alone.
A hallmark of our relationship and our dynamic together is that we consent enthusiastically to improving one another.