If you were to rely on television and film as a guide to how BDSM impacts one’s soul, it wouldn’t be a pretty picture. Kink is used as shorthand for moral downfall, and most every kinky character onscreen is either part of some Satanic cult, or is a sadistic serial killer, or a heartless politician, or some other unsavory character. This cultural association of BDSM with spiritual corruption is no doubt born out of shame about our carnal desires. It is also born out of complete ignorance of BDSM and even of spirituality itself. If the spiritual journey is a process of better understanding our true essence as having a cosmic connection to something greater than ourselves, then BDSM and the Dominant/submissive (D/s) relationship is of profound help on the journey, not an impediment.
The meaning of life, or so some believe, is a genuine appraisal of your being-ness and how that self exists within a divine context. We may never fully glean the extent of that truth, but the desire to find or know it is divine in itself. To take that journey with a someone who shares and understands your thirst, and who participates in your spiritual development is the ultimate partnership.
A D/s relationship is a process that slowly unfolds, layer by layer, peeling back the truth of who we truly are. The vulnerability and trust required is unlike any typical romantic relationship. A submissive longs to let go, to release all control and to deliver themselves freely and without reservation to a Master who will satisfy their innate need to give, serve and submit. They trust that their Dominant knows their limits, perceives their weaknesses, understands their fatal flaws and, rather than exploit those delicate cracks, will keep him or her safe, always with their best interest at the heart. The Dominant relies on the submissive to surrender to their control, to worship, show devotion, to obey, to accept correction. This mutual respect for each other is tantamount to a spiritual contract, because it requires that each partner continue to work toward better understanding their own true nature. The emotional, intellectual and physical relationship is interwoven into an honest connection, based on truth and clarity, that has the possibility to rise above all others.
Contrast this to many so-called “equal” relationships which are a constant powerplay for emotional advantage. Using a variety of tactics, couples often manipulate each other using sex, money, power and emotional swordplay for advantage within the relationship. Sex is compartmentalized to a specific time, location or mood. Rarely, if ever, is such a relationship helpful in heightening one’s connection to the divine.
In a D/s relationship, we are set free from the power struggle. Sexuality is not relegated to a time or place, and no one is trying to use sex for an emotional advantage. The emotional/sexual dynamic pervades every aspect of the relationship. One is the Dominant and one is subservient; there is no need to question who does what or is what. Removing all the unnecessary strategizing, the D/s couple is released from a prison of stereotypes and cultural expectations, and free to explore who they are on a wondrous spiritual adventure. The submissive learns to trust in a greater power, a model for embracing a beneficent divine power or creator. A Dominant learns to respect the power in his or her hands by taking responsibility for the submissive trusting themselves to his or her care. Each is forced to dig deeper to reveal their authentic self to the other. Living this spiritual mystery is deeply humbling, yet surprisingly uplifting.
Along the D/s highway, as with all rigorous training, there will be discord which must be confronted with meditation, contemplation, amends, tributes. These difficulties may appear to be obstructions, but they are opportunities that allow us to pause and evaluate our progress. Through those murky times, we cling closer to our partner, and this can reinforce the passage forward. This is when the transcendent moments (subspace, the compassion of aftercare, discovery of new limits) expand our mind and heart. Awe, gratitude, appreciation, inspiration, admiration, and love have the capacity to bond individuals together in ever higher levels of spirituality and connection.
The meaning of life, or so some believe, is a genuine appraisal of your being-ness and how that self exists within a divine context. We may never fully glean the extent of that truth, but the desire to find or know it is divine in itself. To take that journey with a someone who shares and understands your thirst, and who participates in your spiritual development is the ultimate partnership. A D/s relationship allows us to undress the pretense and cut through to the intimate, hidden desires that gnaw at us. It also allows us to fully appreciate that the physical plane we live on, is but a brief, transitory illusion. It is in those transcendent D/s moments that is revealed that we are more than just creatures, we are spiritual beings connected to each other, to the divine, to everything, always.
Mistress Lila is a Domme with more that twenty-five years BDSM experience both professionally and personally. She resides in Central California where she offers workshops on the subject, and counsels lifestyle couples.