I need to thrash at this concept until I get it into an essay, I think, but I'm making a note of the seeds of it so I don't lose it entire.oneironaut
and I were talking about power exchange relationships and related stuff, and responses to the possession of power, power and ma'at. Or what arawen
sometimes refers to as "If I don't take good care of my toys, I don't get to play with them anymore."
There's something heady about having someone else in a position of vulnerability, by whatever means. It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things whether it's kink, whether it's economic power, whether it's social power, physical capacity, spiritual knowledge, anything else: the mere fact of the capacity to do
is a drug. And it's not a drug everyone has the skill to handle well. (And the toxicity of the drug depends, I think, somewhat, on whether or not the vulnerability is more chosen than coerced.)
Is the response to an exposed vulnerability to raise up, to work it synergistically, to hold that position to keep access to the drug? Any exposed vulnerability is an intimacy -- this is heavy currency in d/s, but it's also one of those flows of political stress that comes of being an oppressed minority, forced to be constantly more exposed, more intimate, to more people, with less consent, less freedom to say "I don't want to be naked here." Is that intimacy cherished, loved, protected, or is it played for personal advantage? Is it an intimacy that people can refuse to have if they don't want to be exposed, or don't want to be a party to someone else's exposure? (And that goes off into questions of [fitb] privilege rather handily -- not only the confidence of being able to lay a hand on a shirt, but the ability to not notice when other people are stripped, to step away from the whole question.)
My experience of d/s situations is that they make these reactions, the responses to power and exposure, all very immediate and present. oneironaut
and I exchanged "You know who you really are when" comments about it -- the whole question of whether or not the jump when granted intense, extensive power over another person is towards ma'at or away. It's always, always, always going to be a drug, but there are good trips and bad trips, and good ways of dealing with the chemistry and bad ones.
I come around to my tendency towards fealty models, exchange of powers, interdependent obligations.
And I come around to, sometimes, choosing to be naked beneath everything, because I show myself who I really am.
(Words aren't coming out quite right. Oh well.)
: This is partly related to discussion linked from takingsteps