I've read from place to place with a sense of detached interest. I'd say that He and I ventured into that territory for a period of time. I don't think we ever described what we did in those terms, but we've engaged in the kind of sadomasochistic interaction where the line that delineates "self" from "everything else" vanishes -- for us both. Full disclosure -- we've eschewed that territory in the last couple of years. Our path to health and healing and relational wholeness has led through other experiences. We've sought out other kinds of learning and awareness. It might be that we'll visit those realms again in time, but that is not clear just now.
And so, my point of view is "other" than most on this topic. Inevitably, I am reading and thinking about this from the context of my own life, and our interactions with one another. I've held back, reluctant to comment on this topic, wondering if there was anything for me to say that could possibly have any validity ... but, of course, once my head latches onto something, the chatter just keeps getting more and more insistent. So, in the interest of quieting the voice in my head, here's what I have to offer. You have been fairly warned :-)
I am reminded, thinking about this, of a similar convergence in our conversational flow around the practice of "orgasm denial" or "orgasm control." That discussion came bubbling up, perversely enough, about a year after I'd been forced into my own personal sexual desert following the surgical removal of my reproductive organs. There were, in those days, what seemed to me an almost endless number of posts extolling the wonders of power play around controlled orgasms, and every gushing, soaring, ebullient blog post on the subject made me just a little bit crazier than the one before it. Finally, in a metaphorical sense, I put on my grandmother glasses, and my sensible orthopedic shoes, and my matronly old lady underwear -- and waded into the fray. I stomped up and down and offered the ever unpopular unasked for advice: "Do not waste the riches granted to you by virtue of youth. Find some other arena in which to dabble with power and control. Fuck as much as ever you can until the unstoppable march of time enforces permanent 'orgasm denial.' Do not be foolish!"
So, this will not be the first time that I will offer a perspective that boils down to this: "There really are some things that may not be worth the risk." I understand the rush that comes from flirting with the razor edge, and I know that it is common in the context of power exchange relationships to continually up the ante, looking for the next horizon -- it is just "HOT." Hot is a good thing. Sexy is a very good thing. Entering into the realm of psychological darkness with a trusted partner, being laid bare, making the BDSM equivalent of a vision quest -- this is intriguing and tempting stuff. I understand. Really. But, I am going to stand in the same place with this that I do with "orgasm denial," and be the bearer of bad news: Life will break you. It is the nature of living and breathing in a human body. Because we think, because we dream, because we love -- life will grab us, tumble us head over heals, and throw us, battered and torn, gasping onto the rocky shore of whatever lies ahead. We cannot see that future, but we ought not to pretend it does not exist. If, in fact, there is something in us that longs for that place where we are emptied out, stripped bare, washed clean of every shred of self, we ought to rest easy and know that we'll be given over to that in due time...
“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”