Redefining "Switch": Orientation-Fluidity

One of the first things you’re asked to identify is whether you’re a domme, sub or switch, in BDSM

I decided upon entering BDSM professionally that I was a domme. I wanted to let go of disempowering scripts and conditioning that tells women they need to be submissive and docile, and that dominance is a turn-off. I wanted to grow in my dominance and learn to call the shots. Some women who are dommes are purely dommes, meaning, in no circumstances do they switch or sub. I however, wanted to be more flexible and sometimes switched, subbed at the beginning of my career. After being in this profession for many years, it starts to leak into your identity in all other spaces. It becomes either an outlet, or a lived truth that coaxes out who you really are.

Still, for years, I had no idea what my “orientation” was outside of BDSM professionally. There was a period in which I identified with my “domme-only” peers and would never, ever put myself in any situation that required me being less than a domme. Because for some reason, there was a negative slant they ascribed to the sub position- of inferiority. I started to grow out of that as I began paving my own way in BDSM. They’re both just orientations that need each other to make a scene. I saw them as neutral. I also began craving a safe space to be submissive in my personal life, and began experimenting in that regard here and there. I knew that to be an even better domme, it was important to understand the headspace of the submissive too.

What I then came to discover was how complex, yet simple, this all is. I’m never strictly one or the other- there are times in life when my energy and body language may be communicating dominance, yet my speech and conscious behavior may be dictating submission. There are times when the opposite is true. Still, I was happy and relieved to have found clear outputs of behavior- when I was domming, I was in control. I had the power. I feel that when we don’t grant ourselves outlets to express all sides of our personality, we can oftentimes hinder our development and these traits leak out in strange, shadow-like ways. For instance, if you continually play the submissive role in life, then you may become controlling, manipulative, codependent, aggressive in covert ways.

The healthiest approach is embodying duality and understanding that not all circumstances are the same. I could respond to someone’s energy and demeanor in a certain way, but I won’t know what (dominance, submission) they bring out in me unless I’m present with them and engage with what they’re communicating on all levels. Sometimes gender roles can come into play here, but what I used to think were power dynamics that were strictly associated with gendered roles in vanilla contexts and BDSM role reversals, aren’t that related afterall. Especially after you play for a while, or you begin to strip away a lot of the gender expectations from your own life and allow yourself the room to breathe. I identify as a woman, but that doesn’t mean I have to act like how women are conditioned to be, to be one.

So that’s why I think it’s a good idea to reconsider the idea of switch. Switch to me lays out a binary- Submissive and dominant, and I switch from one to the other. Yes it grants more fluidity than the other roles that are locked in one way of associating with power and control, but I don’t believe that it needs to be a one or the other, an established binary. I prefer to look at it as a whole- a totality of traits that can be expressed simultaneously or one at a time. I’m not a switch. But I’m not just a domme either. I’m a dominant in work, in some ways dominant in life but, I can be many things at once and so can everyone.

The Networking Mentality

There's a thought most industries seem to carry- that we must collect people, build networks because our social power and mobility rests on this ability alone. We won't move up if we don't have a network to rely on- expand, maximize, socialize.

Let's break this down. Where does this operate from? FEAR. Fear that we don't know enough people. Fear that we won't get where we want on our own. Fear that we need to be known or else we are nothing. 

What would your life look like if you didn't have this need drilled in by your industry? What would you really be? Would you appreciate that night out more than a quiet night at home?

It's fine if your personality still appreciates that night out more than a night at home- but there's a subtle nuance I'm pointing out- that one operates out of fear and FORCE instead of true sociability- that is networking. It's probably true in 90% of cases that the people you are networking with and having meaningless small talk with you could do without. Even if you are naturally extroverted and love getting to know strangers- haven't you felt that the random conversation in the subway or at the deli seemed to mean more than that chat with a potential client? There is always an ulterior motive at play that is a form of covert FORCE. What did I say before? Force depletes life-force. Flow builds.

I understand that a lot of this you may already recognize in your mind- I'm here to serve as a reminder- I know that most of what you do operates out of necessity, of functionality- you thus far have been a functioning, participatory member of normative society and must remain so- I agree. There will be a time that this will no longer be required, and you will be set free. For now I am telling you for survival's sake, put up a barrier between your true self and these learned behaviors. Know that this is not you. So that the fear and force does not deplete you.

See, when we move up spiritually one of the most important lessons and hardest ones is learning to let go.

I was someone who held on to people who I no longer had anything in common with. Our relationships were circumstantial- a study abroad, a job- that was surface level. But I valued friendship and held on (unconsciously I realized it was because I lost my close friends each time I moved as a child- this was in reaction). I was always the last remaining, the one who was willing to put up with shit from a person who lost all his/her friends otherwise. The one who remained compassionate and rationalized someone's awful behavior. The last one who was still connected to people most others lost touch with. I held on because I feared being lonely. I prefer being alone, but lonely is different. As a natural introvert, I was taught all my life that this was not a desired trait, therefore it was better to have a lot of friends, even ones who didn't grow with you.

What I didn't realize was the energetic. Whenever we establish contact with someone and continue to invest in the relationship, we create a stronger energy chord. These are chords extending from your solar plexus to the other person and they either are conduits for uneven energy or balanced energy exchange. When people no longer serve you, it is by nature imbalanced. My chords were draining me of life force.

EVERY SINGLE PERSON you even SLIGHTLY nurture a relationship with has placed a chord on you. This can be used against you, as sometimes those with strong chords will send you ill will through jealousy, negative thoughts or blatant backstabbing- that is why sometimes suddenly you feel drained for no apparent reason.

When we learn to let go, to un-cord, we get some of that energy BACK. You would be surprised how much is taken from you every day. Sometimes you can be the drainer- then I feel sorry for the people who are feeding you unknowingly, and I warn you that once they figure it out and uncord you, you are in for a major surprise.

My Reiki teacher told me the most extreme situation was when she helped a girl uncord from a toxic relationship with her boss- the next day, the boss ended up in the hospital. She was feeding off the girl energetically.

Hoarding people is worse than hoarding things- things don't drain you. You will never look at linked-in the same way. When you spiritually awaken, you naturally become more introverted, appreciating stillness, silence, and self-understanding. Let's be honest- many of these people you don't give a shit about but they serve a valuable distraction from your own shit.