objectified

(A journal entry from June 11th, edited for publication.)

Well.

It turns out being constantly stimmed on my back makes me a catty bitch liable to meltdown frequently. This morning things got too much and I started being unreasonable at Isabelle, and yet managed to keep enough presence of mind to tell her that her taking control of the situation could remedy things quickly.

One of the objects of my unreasonableness was the kettle (and its not being filled up), and, in view of my having just filled it up — it’s like a 3 or 4 litre urn-type deal — she ordered me to go into the kitchen and watch it until it boiled.

The kettle has the decency to show the current temperature of its contents and a minute-granularity estimate of how long it’ll take until it’s boiled. Seeing that “14” on the display as I entered the room really added something to the experience.

It did the trick more perfectly than I could’ve anticipated.

emotively

There is something about this life — submitting to someone every day, putting myself out there (here and in communities), having my thoughts turned to my emotional state so often — which leads to a kind of emotional sensitivity where I just have so. many. feelings. So often, for so many.

Which is not to say I’m not prone to that already. I am. There are a few different labels that have been applied to me, in a few different ways: diagnostically, coercively, helpfully, abusively.

But timing suggests it is this life that brings out that side of me and plays to its strengths. Yesterday I found myself very thankful for Bluetooth. Today, the thought of hugging someone I’m only just starting to get to know found me whimpering quietly. Feelings feel so hard it almost hurts; but, the good hurt. The beautiful ache of emotive being.

I’m living my best life.

collared

(A journal entry from March 15th, edited for publication. I’ve since regained my sex drive, and well, I am collared now. I have been so busy moving, so unfortunately haven’t had time to write anything new. Soon, I promise!)

I dreamt a dream that has left me unsettled all day.

backstory Ⅰ

Since I first had any kind of sexual inkling whatsoever — which is to say, since I was 12 when I’d hang around on an 18+ BDSM-themed furry MUCK and began RPing — I only ever had any inclination to be in a submissive position. When I found randoms to RP with, it was Tacit, the small pink bunny girl, wanting to have anything and everything done to her, especially if consent lines got blurry.

Even then I had to power-bottom a little bit. One rando I recall was only into the most vanilla dynamics, whereas I kept wanting to up the ante. (Tie me up! Get creative with things! Don’t just fuck me, for christ’s sake.) I got bored.

I also kinda.. baited an IRL friend who was a little too obsessed with me into joining me on the server, and then kept trying to “suggest” him into doing stuff to me. (I’m not especially proud of it, but like. I was 12, he was 13, everything at home was completely fucked up, he was super into me and could match my intelligence to boot, so.. now that we got furry MUCK-married, couldn’t we furry MUCK-do-other-stuff too please?)

This positioning of myself carried pretty strong for a while. There is probably a (bidirectional) link between that and trans feels. It’s funny how predictably some things go; I was ostensibly into girls, not boys (never mind the actual physicality that existed between me and aforementioned IRL friend for a while), but then I became a trans girl, and so liking other trans girls is only natural, and then you stop seeing “dick” as a possibly unsettling thing ‘boys’ have (and you’re not sure about your own) but a hot thing girls have too, and then you look at boys and you’re like, hm. You sure could overpower me.

backstory Ⅱ

Despite this, in relationships since I have often ended up being the one with power. Perhaps stemming from the same instinct that led to power-bottoming before, I’d much rather we get anywhere than nowhere, and I have a kind of.. exuberant personality that tends to draw in others who prefer to follow. I am naturally extremely protective, quite opinionated, have mom-vibes, and until recently have been a people-pleaser to a fault. Not knowing myself how to separate these qualities from those of a ~dominant~ has lead to me getting into places I’ve later not known how to deal with.

This mainly became a thing in two relationships, collectively spanning seven years, or a majority of my post-transition life so far.

In the first case I had a handle on life in many ways she did not yet (she was quite a bit younger than me), and so I provided everything I could; housing, a stable life away from sometimes violent parents, support for her relationships and hobbies outside me, and later when I could afford it, university education.

I’m a person who just wants to give, and as I’ve discovered lately in therapy, one who doesn’t believe, strictly speaking, that I actually deserve nice things. (I’m working on it!) Accordingly, giving nice things to other is a very sure route to getting a similar sense of happiness, effectively, even if it does ultimately mean I don’t get what I truly want, and ends up being unsustainable. She didn’t want many responsibilities of life and liked the sound of a more formal and continuous D/s relationship, so I agreed to give it my best. Our relationship did not last the dissolution of the D/s layer of it (among many other issues, but this came to represent a lot about it).

In the second case, she was a few years older than me, but with a heart of absolute gold who had been mistreated a lot, both historically and more immediately. She nurtured a rare kindness and trust despite all that and I felt so much like I wanted to safeguard that. As our relationship quickly deepened she wanted to know if I would be her “protector”, and I assented immediately. (And I still do. <3) Then in natural order, more D/s-style parameters followed, and I put my all into it as well. It just seemed to make sense, and I had already so much of the “technique” down that the lack of deep-felt enthusiasm for the role seemed of secondary concern for a time, or not even—completely masked. I couldn’t feel that I didn’t have my heart in it, only that I wanted to make her happy.

Once you get used to ignoring what you want for a long time, you lose touch with it entirely. It took a massive reconfiguration of our relationship to accommodate removing this part of it — it had been in place from not even a month after we started dating, and there we were some year and a half later trying to imagine “us” without that. It was the best, most correct decision, but I still wish I’d figured this all out long ago and spared her the hurt.

There was one relationship in the past where I was explicitly the s to someone else’s D, but we lacked harmony regarding what each of us wanted out of a D/s relationship, and I found myself pushing for more than she wanted to give (or, well, take). It was fun being a rope bunny, though.

backstory Ⅲ

What triggered the reconfiguration was my own realisation of my asexuality. I’d been slowly putting the pieces together for a while, and then one well-timed acid trip and I just kind of blurted it out, at once feeling the surge of unverifiable truth. As I experienced a moment of serenity, my partner a sense of loss of what was. The relief of no longer feeling beholden to the allo norms of sex-having then prompted the follow-up question of whether I still wanted to be her dominant. The writing had been on the wall for a while, but it was then that the jig was finally up and I seized the chance to say “no”, as painful as it was. Pretending to be something I was not was behind me.

Living a mostly sexless life has been so much better for me. I just don’t have interest in being sexual with another, and just barely more interest in being sexual by myself. Still, it was in my own fantasies that my sexuality originated, so it’s not too surprising that it does live on there a little.

Last year I saw an endocrinologist for the first time since starting transition (which seems super dumb in retrospect but what can you do, trans healthcare is a mess), and we discovered that both my E and T levels were way too low. My E was below the very conservative range put forth by the Australian medical establishment (and well below what Americans would consider normal), and T levels at almost absolute zero. Even in natal women, T is in a clear non-zero range, and completely lacking it could explain a lack of libido, which certainly described me, as well as lack of energy in general.

So I set to correcting my E levels, then T levels. I’m now on ~3% of the anti-androgen dose that I used to be on and my T levels have just slightly inclined upward. They are still below the low watermark for “normal female levels”, but at least I get a reading.

I still don’t have any interest in being sexual with others, even though I’ve had an inkling of a sex drive for a little while again now, so it doesn’t look like the asexual descriptor was particularly linked to my hormones, but I’m increasingly feeling a need to have some kind of a sexual relationship with myself again.

the point

Last night I dreamt a dream — many, actually, with complicated interconnections, people I didn’t recognise, other people who seem like maybe they’re stand-ins for real people, a variety of settings, some drama unrelated to all this.

But there was one “segment” of it that left an indelible impression, because it seemed like my unconscious needed to make a point.

To date, I’ve never been collared by someone else in an impactful way. The tangible, real sense that you belonged to someone else now — even if time-limited or otherwise scoped. The understanding that it was not yours to put on, or yours to remove, even if it was very much your collar. I have (attempted) to provide that experience for others, when in reality it was what I wanted myself. I’ve “self-collared” a bit here and there.

In one distinct dream, I was collared. I was strongly aware I was collared, and moreover, I physically couldn’t remove it even if I wanted to. It was locked. It wasn’t up to me, and I just had to deal.

It felt really, really good. There was a sense that people might notice it, that they might point it out to each other, and that I was literally powerless to do anything about it. If I wanted to go about my day, I just had to accept that this was my lot.

I’ve never felt that before—that powerlessness. Yet it’s what I’ve wanted all along.

The dream then offered a counterpoint.

Later, somehow, the key came into my possession. The dream didn’t describe the actual supposed holder of the key, but the narrative seemed to be that whoever had collared me needed me to hold onto the key now, too. I wanted to be sure not to lose it, so I put it on a necklace.

The feeling was radically altered. Having the means of unlocking it on my person at all times meant it just became jewellery. It was no longer an aspect of control over me, just some ring with a finnicky clasp. Being out in public and being seen wearing it wasn’t a demonstration of someone else’s power over me, just my own determination—perhaps because the actual collar-er wasn’t identified, and so the physical aspect was all that was left. Frankly, as a trans person, somedays being seen in public at all can require a fair bit of that. This feeling barely registered, the same lack of impact that self-collaring has. I can always just take it off.

I want to feel that first one again.

kept

(A journal entry from May 4th, edited for publication.)

I’ve always wanted to be kept.

For as long as I can recall. My very first long-form creative writing endeavour (age 7) was an obvious self-insert; an anthropomorphic rabbit, kept. Collared in all but name; a wrist cuff, unable to be removed. In a cell, somewhere far away.

Fantasies of being like Mewtwo in the first Pokémon movie, kept in a lab somewhere, never let out. Actually trying to roleplay that out at a friend’s once (age 9ish). He thought I was weird. I guess he was right. We stopped hanging out.

There was the time I had a different, much closer friend literally tie me to his bed (age 13; what we had on hand to effect this purpose was, uh, socks). Cue EXTREME scrambling to cover this up somehow when his mother well-intendingly burst in at the late hour that it was. I should ask him what he made of my asking to do that at the time.

Hell, it’s not a stretch to see it in the way I’d given myself to romantic relationships up until a few years back. Total abnegation of the self. The subconscious rebels, though, because what I want to give is not even what the most possessive of my partners wanted to take. Not that I really had a clue about myself then, either; it was all these strange, wordless longings, and they’d seem to contradict themselves in ways I couldn’t grasp.

The most frustrating thing was always myself, in the end.

This quest for self-knowledge in earnest has been apace for more than 18 months, now, and I think we’re approaching the last crescendo before the home stretch. Not to suggest I’ll be ever truly finished with it, by any means, but once I’ve found it — once I’ve locked eyes with my soul and listened — I suspect that same, once-eternal dread of facing up to what I’ve made for myself will no longer feature.

And maybe I’ll find myself a keeper or two.

protector

(A journal entry from May 7th, edited for publication.)

I was away, in my own head.

In the imaginal, I was yours. You’d given me to Yvonne for a night, who in turn used me very, very roughly, late into the night. The next morning, she met with you for coffee, slave girl in tow — who’d been very good, she assured — and you received me back.

In the real — just minutes later — you addressed my subconscious, asking me to let you protect me in my dreams.

And in a funny way, you just had. As Shae has written before me:

I can’t not be submissive, whether owned or unowned, whether actively dominated or not, whether bound or free. My constant inclination is to submit to any other person around me, which apart from a slave master or mistress, is dangerous and leaves me susceptible. For me and others like me, there is a saving grace in being owned by another, for then I am protected from my own submissive vulnerability.

Being given was protection, for in that world I was yours to give; the comfort of being given — that of knowing one’s place to begin with.

occlusion

(Two journal entries from April 1st and April 27th, edited together for publication.)

I was contemplating (intentional/endogenous) plural identity formation, and it occurred to me how much in common the mindstates before and after have with trans identity formation.

When I think back to who I was before I’d really accepted myself as being trans, I had all the usual hangups: what if I’m faking it, what if it’s not actually better, what if it’s grass-is-greener, what will my family/friends think, etc. etc. There was something basically obscuring it, and yet — while many aspects of my material reality have surely shifted in the decade since — internally the changes are not huge. The most prominent one is simply identification; a willingness to see the self through a given lens, followed by the confirmatory euphoria of knowing truth.

There’s nothing fundamentally different about questioning-me and knowing-me, just a change in what I’m willing to accept about myself.

It was much the same with plurality. It had long made sense as a means of better understanding my self, but before you cross the gap (which really takes place in lots of little ways, rather than one leap, but some of the little ways are bigger than others), doubt fills your mind and occludes those moments of recognisance. Even though it “made sense” even stronger was the sense that it was generally thought to be a faked phenomenon (sound familiar?), one with no real value other than to seek attention.

I wonder just how many possibly useful lenses are hidden this way; in general, and for my selves specifically. What, if accepted, would let me go even further in my quest for self-knowledge?


I suspect the answer is “submission”, “submissiveness”, or even “being a submissive”—not just an occasional partaker of, but as core.

What am I if not someone that earnestly desires?

Fuck. Those words formed themselves without my input. There we were, not long ago at all, contending with the issue of having no contact with our desires, of not knowing at all. There’s embers smouldering under wraps, and I think it is f i n a l l y time to fan those flames fully.

What, if accepted, would let me go even further in my quest for self-knowledge?

I’m inclined to believe that all my identity labels can be bound up in one another; that each can be a lens unto the others. If it’s not obvious, it probably just means there’s a surprising takeaway to be found. I don’t mean to be dogmatic about it, but let’s run with it and see? Quoting our homepage:

  • Trans. Well, this one’s kind of obvious. (You have to admit some gender essentialism, but this kind of ~lens work~ necessarily admits essentialism on every axis it looks at. I think that’s unavoidable.) tl;dr: gender, with all of its norms, ascribes submissive, obedient behaviour to one of its two main categories. Doesn’t take much thinking to realise which. If I were born cis, I don’t think I’d be trans. (Which is a funny way of validating my transition choices, really. I didn’t always feel this way.)
  • Plural. Developing plurality gave my identity the flexibility and leeway it needed to lean into new spheres. A lot of our internal work has been developing an internal sense of obedience; of testing out and playing with the idea of one of us (Tacit) being subservient to the other (Anaïs). Wherein Anaïs has been acting as the frontrunner of our identity, this inner-play has been one way of promoting behaviour in the main front, Tacit; the identity we desire to embrace is that of a submissive, and so we provide space within for Tacit to submit. Anaïs’ dominance isn’t fake, but it’s also not the goal here; it’s a scaffold. Frontrunning is complex; here it’s closer to shaping.
  • Poly. This basically indexes “non-traditional relationship style”. I think the Venn diagram of relationship escalators and compatibility with the depths of my submissiveness are two completely separate circles.
  • Furry. I’m a fucking bunny. This identifier alone got us into our only actual correctly-oriented D/s relationship so far—”so, the bunny thing written on your AD account… is that like, a kink, rope-bunny thing? or a furry thing?” “well.. I only really meant the latter when I wrote it, but the former too now that I think about it?” nek minit I’m tied up on her living room floor.
  • Asexual. This has taken quite some time to resolve completely, but exploring it in depth has provided clues, maybe even answers. Asexual as in “doesn’t experience sexual attraction”, yes. But even a hint of dominance, of assertion, of even just presuming that part of me might be yours to take, and I am suddenly extremely, intensely needy. As with almost every part of my self that I’ve come to embrace, “subsexual” is the kind of term I would have scoffed at even just months ago. Now I think it’s probably the closest thing to a ‘sexual orientation’ I might possess. I get turned on by submission, by obedience, by enforced compliance; by boundaries disregarded in a wider context of consent. By accepting what I am; by being brought to that acceptance.

We’ve a lot to contemplate.

sequencer

(A journal entry from May 10th, edited for publication.)

I’m finding, more and more, that I discover things about myself in the process of serialising my consciousness into words.

Those words formed themselves without my input

and

Huh. Who knew.

It seems to me that, as long as I keep writing, keep the channel of my being open, keep making myself vulnerable (unto what? the world itself?), discovery will continue.

(And so it happens here; the first line originally came out as “[…] that I discover things about them […]”, and I am not fully sure how to understand it, other than to accept that, while in many ways a merging of identities is at play in this acceptance of my submissive, slave-ish self, my reflexive knowledge still very much applies the lens of a third party.)

reminder

I’m going to a kink event solo tomorrow; as part of it, I’ll be paired with someone at random. It’s a little nerve-wracking, but I’ve been looking forward to it for months and the anticipation is so much.

When I mentioned my nerves to Isabelle, she listened, asked about my specific feelings, and then paused briefly.

“I won’t be taking your collar off for tomorrow.”

I murred quietly. “I didn’t think so, Miss. I’d hoped not, a little.”

“And,” she continued, “if anyone asks, you should tell them that I put it on you. And that you’re my sub, and I’m your Domme. And that you belong to me.”

So that’s how that will go.

detachment

(A journal entry from May 18th, edited for publication.)

There’s a curious detachment that arises out of this experience.

I noticed it first when I wore almost nothing to the queer rave, though at the time I ascribed it to the natural high—of being out for the first time in years, of trying something a bit daring, of submitting in a public place. (And what a high it was, make no mistake.)

Yesterday I wore what could only be called a servant’s uniform, or perhaps even a seneschal‘s; it was absolutely not vanilla. And we went out at lunch time, to the post office, to get lunch, to take care of some medical appointments. This is a full-body uniform—in no way titillating, or anything like that, but nonetheless very conspicuous—and I had no feelings about it. I chose to wear it as part of my submission for the day, and then we were heading out, so I wore it out. I don’t even know if I attracted any glances or looks for wearing it; it wasn’t on my mind.

If someone looked at me, they weren’t really looking at me, just a presentation of me. While I dress to communicate certain things, this.. hardening of my exterior, as I learn to give up my ego, means that what people say or make of those things don’t say anything about me. It’s strange.

Similarly, the behavioural modification inherent in referring to someone previously close-and-same as “Miss” in deference, habitually, instinctively, might have once made me feel.. I don’t know, self-conscious? Or something? But when it comes as part of submission, it’s just another part of how I choose to yield, and thus doesn’t feel like a hit to me.

I feel like I need to take some care here not to detach so completely that my submission doesn’t arise from my own core. I don’t think that’s what’s happening — I think instead I am perhaps learning some humility? But it’s clear, writing this out, that there is a risk that I could shear away from this and wind up fragmented. Need to concentrate my selves.

vision

Today’s been hard. My autistic tendencies have flared up — perhaps from overworking myself these past few days — and made communication with Miss I. difficult.

We cleared up heavy matters in the afternoon, but this evening I started to find myself talking in loops again, until Isabelle finally interrupted me.

Putting one hand on my knee and looking straight at me, she got my attention and said plainly: “I ban you from speaking.”

For the next ten minutes, I felt my mind slowly unspool.

Later it occurred to me that I had never felt that sense before; that another person might know what’s better for me than I do. Even typing it out now, it feels strange to feel myself believing that, even a little.

I’m so headstrong that’s normally unthinkable, but I realise that she doesn’t need to know me better than I know myself for this to be true, but rather know us better than I do; know how to manage our relationship more effectively than I can. Isn’t that what leading in a relationship is?

I can believe that.