Woman in Repose

Woman with arched back lying on a dark bed

Woman in Repose by Steve Harris

The past few months have been challenging. A series of difficult things destabilized what had been a very stable foundation. It was a bit like playing Jenga. Each thing that happened removed a pin from my tower, until I was leaning and listing everywhere – nowhere near falling, but structurally unsound.

As a result, it’s  fair to say that I haven’t been myself. The people in my life have had to deal with me being unusually emotional and term bound while I struggled with a limited sense of perspective. I’ve been anxious, reactionary and far more taxed (and taxing) than I ever want to be. It’s a state of mind that made me want to unzip my skin and divorce my body from my brain until I got a handle on things. And that’s essentially, what I did. The result was a general disinterest in sex and, to a greater degree, D/s.

There are labels I use for myself, and others that I don’t even though they could superficially apply. The primary example of this is “Domme”. I never refer to myself as a Domme even though I am sexually dominant. (To be honest, I’m dominant in general though I try to keep that checked. I’d rather be accessible than in control…unless there’s a reason to be in control).

I make the distinction between dominant and Domme because, while I enjoy playing with power, I can just as easily not and be very satisfied. The label “Domme” comes with implications that I feel don’t quite apply because my dominance isn’t formalized, nor do I want it to be. My recent situational reticence with D/s underscored that distinction for me in a very concrete way.

Side note: Drawing this distinction deserves its own post, so forgive the broad brush I’m using now.

While I love playing games, I’m equally happy to meet my partners without a power dynamic in play. What keeps me from being even remotely switchy is the fact that I won’t submit sexually to anyone. Ever. My aversion to sexual submission is serious enough that I couldn’t do it for love or money. There are reasons for this, but I’m going to save those for a separate post.

I’d be lying if I said that I don’t enjoy gentle cruelties or imposing my will on consenting partners. I’d be lying if I said that there isn’t a carnivorous part of me that gets off on taking control. But I’d also be lying if I said that that particular kind of assertion is an integral part of who I am. It’s something that I do, not something that I am (unlike my resistance to submission, which is a fundamental part of my personality). That’s why I love sex with an equally dominant partner just as much (and often even more) as D/s play. 

The result of dealing with what I’ve been dealing with is that I haven’t really wanted to play in a D/s sense. I haven’t wanted to control, create or weave scenarios. So much of my energy was going to keeping myself under control, that the idea of taking external control in a play context was exhausting. Unfortunately, I didn’t consciously realize any of this at the time, though I wish I had. I was pushing myself in ways that I shouldn’t have.

In hindsight, I can see that what I needed was something else – good sex, balanced dynamics and, perhaps most lowering, a sense of safety so that I could get out of my head and back into my body. I’ve been sexually reticent and, though not passive (because I’m almost never passive), I’ve definitely been more cautious and reserved – what a friend of mine would call a woman in repose.

While I was in London, Exhibit A and I went for a short run. Afterwards we talked about how, after you’ve been injured, you tend to go more carefully and not push yourself as hard. It’s an understandable thing but, at a certain point, that self-protective instinct can get in your way. Then again, sometimes it’s what you need, even if only for a short time…the hope is always that you’ll return to running at speed.

To circle back to where I started, certain facets of my sexuality and personality have been feeling fairly injured of late – facets that are tied to my relationship with sexual dominance. In a sense, I needed to rest those muscles – the ones I use in D/s – because D/s is not my home base. Sex is. I needed to get re-grounded in sex while those other parts of me rested. I needed to feel, not think or plan. I needed to be spontaneous and basic, so I didn’t go out on available limbs or explore interesting possibilities. I played it safe because, as with running after an injury, I needed to respect my boundaries and get the lay of my land again.

I didn’t realize it until I wrote this, but sex was, and is, the key to that for me. Good, connected, uninhibited, back-to-basics sex with someone I trust.  And now, on the tail end of what turned out to be a pretty difficult patch, I’m happy to say that I’m in better shape than I thought I was. The muscles that needed resting are stretching and waking up. I’m feeling like myself again, and it feels awfully good. I really am happiest on my feet.


  1. This is really interesting to read. I relate to what you’ve been going through. In the last few months I’ve been watching my reaction and desires towards those who are in my life. (Lover, subs) My writing as of late has shown some of the inner path I’ve been exploring. I have come to understand that what runs deep in me is the uninhibited desires of what is raw and primal as far as my sexuality. Also for me was the confusing fact that the thought of sexually submitting to someone is foreign to me. And not desirable. Yet with the right lover I desire to absolutely abandon myself to their lust and hunger as matched by mine for them. Casting aside all roles and just becoming lost.

    I’ve understood within my own heart that my letting go doesn’t equate to submission on my part to them, but my submitting to the inner needs of my own psyche being expressed through my own body. I’m still steering the train…

    It’s good to read I’m not alone in this shifting and fine tuning. I’m more grounded and still evolving.

    Thank you for sharing!

    ~ Vista

  2. I am so very glad that you are more grounded again. It can be hard to find what you need when all your energy is going into the control needed to keep things going. That run and everything with it seems to have unlocked things for you again. I hope it all feels more you again now. As always, your post has provoked many thoughts about who I am but it will take some reflection to make sense of them.

    “The muscles that needed resting are stretching and waking up. I’m feeling like myself again, and it feels awfully good. I really am happiest on my feet.” This makes me think of your primal cat-like energy again.


    1. Oooh! I love that – primal cat-like energy. To extend the metaphor, it did feel a bit like being stuck up in a tree. I’m happy that I was able to get myself down in the end. It’s amazing what a relief getting re-grounded in yourself can be after you’ve been untethered for some length of time. It makes me grateful for the process, though perhaps not as grateful as I am that I’m finally cycling through this bout.. Xxx

  3. Sometimes, the worst thing about being in a difficult space is knowing how to move yourself out of it. To others, looking in, it can seem like the path to remedy is very clear but when you’re floundering and your confidence has taken a knock or the things you thought were absolute aren’t, it can be extremely hard to find.

    So glad things are on the up for you – and if you ever need an ear, I have one going, free of charge.


    1. That’s exactly right – knowing that it’s time to move forward but not knowing how is one of the hardest parts for me. That floundering is a whole separate challenge. And thank you for the offer of an ear – I may take you up on that next time (though hopefully next time will be a long time in coming!)

Leave a Reply