This is a rather big topic, so I’m going to be doing a series of posts on it, as I am able to speak about some of this stuff. Obviously I can’t share everything, but I’m going to try and be as frank and honest about this as I can. This is difficult, because it deals with some very sensitive stuff for me. I’m going to ask for your patience as I work this stuff out and try to find the words.
I’m also going to ask that if you are offended by things like BDSM, if it is a trigger for you to read about dominance, submission, pain, or anything else that goes under the heading of BDSM, that you avoid these posts. All will be in the same category of Kink and Spirituality. It will be easy to avoid them.
I will also be talking a bit about abuse. So, trigger warning.
Final note, before I get to the good stuff: this is very difficult for me to express. This blog is one of my safe spaces. If you can’t be respectful of the subject matter of these posts, then don’t comment. There are plenty of vanilla spaces on the web. This is not a space where I’m trying to build bridges with vanilla society; this is a place where I get to tell my story.
I started becoming involved in BDSM with my first real boyfriend. He and I started dating shortly after I’d lost my virginity in a one night stand involving lots of alcohol, weed, and a tent in some dude’s front yard. I never would have had the courage to ask Victor* out had I not lost my virginity beforehand. To this day I have no regrets about the circumstances under which I lost my vcard, but if I could have a do-over, things probably would be different.
Anyway, Victor and I started out as friends-with-benefits. I never intended for us to get serious. Then that stupid organ in my chest interfered, and we started dating. This presented a problem, because I’d already made up my mind to move back to Canada, my home and native land. I was packed. I was ready to go. My flight was bought.
So I went — for two months, and then came back to the States. When I fall in love, I fall hard, and I make really stupid decisions when under the influence of the headiest drug of all (hug me till you drug me, put me in a coma, hug me till you drug me, love’s as good as Soma).
Victor and I were together for two years. In that time I could not make up my mind whether I wanted to be in the States or Canada — I flitted between the two like an indecisive hummingbird. Half of our relationship was long-distance.
From the beginning of our relationship, there was a definite aspect of kink. It started slow — I had never done anything like that, never had consciously thought I may be into that — but gradually we picked up steam. Towards the end we were talking about going full-bore, master/slave, 24/7, official collaring ceremony and everything. And then, you know, he dumped me, so that didn’t happen.
Which is very good. Even though the break-up nearly destroyed me (I cried for 4 days and could not do anything else except occasionally put more fluid in or out of my body) and led me to get into a worse, more destructive relationship on the rebound that I am still rebounding from, two years later**, I learned a lot about myself, myself in relationships, and was finally able to see exactly why my family did not approve of Victor, and why things would have ended even more horribly than they did. (And they didn’t end horribly; I was just a basket-case because that’s what I do.)
The rebound led me into another relationship which ended in 6 months; after that I had to do some healing and learn to be okay being by myself. I actually reached that point last summer.
Then, I met someone. And fell in love.
Mark and I were together officially from November to February. He never loved me. We were clear about this from the start. I was foolish enough to believe that would change.
Instead, he fell for someone else, and now they’re happily together. He and I are still friends, but I confess to murderous, hateful thoughts about his new girlfriend.
Mark is kinky, but not to a level that gives me what I need. (Or he hasn’t gotten there yet; I was his first kinky girlfriend.) He was a very good boyfriend, and helped me through a lot of stuff.
It was when I was with him that I realized that my d/s extended to my religious life, and that Morrigan had collared me.
Morrigan made Herself known to me in 2007. The term is “thwapping”, but I should note that 2007 was not the beginning of my relationship with Her — just the beginning of my knowledge of it. She informed me that She’d chosen me years ago — before my birth, even. I wondered if I may have been having delusions of grandeur, but She quickly disabused me of that notion.
Our relationship has gone in stops and starts in the past three years, because I have been bumbling around, trying to figure myself out. She has been very patient with me on that front. I think I may have finally figured some things out, now.
During my relationship with Mark I joined a local coven, and I’m still a member of it. We’re not strictly traditional, as we’re a group of people interested in forming a new tradition based on the members’ beliefs and respect for local spirits and beliefs. The members of my coven are also all members of the kinky world here (though I don’t think their kink blends with their spirituality the way mine does, but I obviously can’t speak for them), and our rituals or time together often are filled with kinky jokes.
In the past I’ve been clear with them about my stance on collaring. I am a submissive in the kink world (though I publicly identify as a switch), but I refuse to ever be collared by a mortal. My stance is “No, not ever, not under any circumstances.” There are good reasons for that, which I’m not going to go into now, but that is the way it stands still.
During a ritual one night, our HPs couldn’t make it and they unanimously voted me into the position for the night. I asked for their permission to call down the Morrigan instead of our usual goddess, and was met with agreement. I then made a quip about how even though I’d never be collared by a human, I was collared by Her.
And heard a “Yes, you are,” in my head.
It was a strange feeling. I felt dizzy and the room spun for a moment, and then I pushed aside my feelings and did the ritual.
(Quick aside: drawing down the Morrigan is an intense experience, especially if it’s your first experience drawing down a deity, which it was for me. Afterwards the HP had to help me to a chair, where I shakily said, “That wasn’t me.” Anyway.)
When I got home I knew I had to wear something indicative of the new dynamic in O/our relationship (for the record, I hate slashy speak in the BDSM world, but find it appropriate when discussing the dynamics of this particular relationship because She is actually a deity — when it’s used on humans it squicks me out) — some sort of collar that I could always wear.
Well, my leather collar with the metal rings was definitely out — way too conspicuous for the ‘nilla world or the kink world. Besides, that was my “fun” collar — the one I wore for fashion or play. Didn’t want to imbue it with such seriousness.
After searching for about an hour, I found the chainmail wallet chain that a friend of mine had made for me years before. It had a clip like on the end of a dogleash, for easy removal and attachment to a belt loop. It no longer was attached to a wallet, and it was just the right length to go around my neck. Plus — chainmail; collared by a warrior Goddess. Perfect.
I found the red ribbon I’d left out on Imbolc for Brighid to bless and wove it through the chainmail to give it an accent, and so I could always be wearing something for my two Ladies (my relationship with Brighid is not a collared one, but it is also within the realm of d/s — I’ll elaborate on it more in a later post). And I put it on, and haven’t taken it off since (well, I do to shower because I don’t want it to rust, and sometimes I ask Her permission to take it off for the night or so, if my neck is sore, and usually She’ll let me — but otherwise it stays on).
I’m still figuring things out, but I have a few wisps of thought in my brain as to where to go from here. There’s very little material out there for those of us who blend d/s with our religion, so a lot of this is me stumbling in the dark. That’s part of the reason I’m doing these posts — I’m hoping to add to the pool of resources for kinky pagans who like their kink mixed with their paganism.
*Names changed to protect the innocent.**I’m not going to talk about that relationship right now. It’s a bit of a story, and I’m not ready to really talk about it.