Posted by: littlegirlyone | March 19, 2010

Killing the Flame: The Post Mortem

The events in Killing the Flame took place in very early December, 2009. Before the trip, I thought about how hooking up with Alan would be a big deal for me: this would be the first time in three years that I set out to have D/s sex. I anticipated having a lot to write about the time we spent together. In the end, I had lots to write about, but it wasn’t the pretty, sexy story I had imagined. It was confusing. It was messy. I wasn’t proud of some of it. I cried the first time I recounted it to Meg.

And, despite this gray fog of sadness and angst, I wanted to write about it. Because the story was real, and part of my narrative of growth. Because that awkward, painful stuff happened to me, and I’m a confident, intelligent, fairly shameless submissive girl. Because I get tired of reading the two main types of submissive women’s blogs: the ones where the author recounts what she endured in laundry-list detail (he tied me to the cross, and whipped me with a singletail for an hour, and it hurt and I cried…), and the ones where she only talks about the positive things she feels (he told me to get on my knees and suck his cock, and I was happy and fulfilled by being his good girl…). There’s nothing wrong with either, of course, when circumstances call for them. But I don’t often read about the emotional complexity that I experience in D/s. Some things are hot in the moment, and make me feel guilty later. Some things are terrible in the moment, and turn me on later. If I want to read about complex emotionality, I feel a duty to write about it when I have something to share.

But most of all, I wanted to tell this story because of how much I learned about myself.

Human relationships are so complicated. Add sex into the mix, and they’re unlikely to get any more straightforward. I want to capture the good, the bad, the ugly, and the lovely, amazing, triumphant parts of my growth here. If I skip the hard stuff, I feel like I’m handing out a retouched portrait. I crave intimacy and vulnerability in much of my life, and my journal has never been an exception. Although I struggle with perfectionism in other arenas, this has always been a space where I could toss the real, bruised, messy me out on the table and dissect her.

So, just telling Alan I was submissive was a very big deal for me. The last time I had to come out to a partner was nearly 10 years ago with Mark. Since then, I’ve either kept my desires to myself, or bedded dominant men. It’s been a really long time since I had to deal with the fear of rejection of that core piece of me.

I thought Alan would be able to handle it. Indeed, he seemed to handle the idea of me being submissive just fine. He’s pretty sexually adventurous, tries to be non-judgmental in all ares of his life, and wants to be a positive person. I felt like he understood me in our conversations. That’s why I had such high hopes for our time together. He really was able to talk the talk. And he has always been good with feelings. I thought I had found myself a dominant-leaning, emotionally-connected guy that I could hand myself over to for a couple of days. (and I hadn’t physically given myself over since John.) I’m sure that some of the depth of my disappointment came from the height of that hopefulness.

I also take responsibility for the fact that I didn’t read the writing on the wall. I knew Alan didn’t have much D/s experience. He claimed that he would feel confident making all the decisions for the weekend, but I didn’t reassess that when he couldn’t tell me what time to come over, let alone take on as much responsibility as he’d claimed. There were warning signs, and I didn’t heed them. I seem to throw myself into things despite very clear signals that I might end up hurting. I still have work to do in this area.

I want to first address the concern and confusion about the dissociative experience I related in part 5, after Alan fucked my face and then tossed me to the side so he could have a cigarette. I want to clarify that I don’t eroticize or glorify the floaty, dissociative feeling I talked about. I purposely didn’t label it “subspace” because that sounds like someplace submissives should want to go, or work toward. Since this experience, I’ve come to realize that dissociation is a possible outcome when I experience objectification. But, it’s not the outcome I want, or at least, not one I want with the wrong partner.

Dissecting my experience with Alan helped me learn what triggered that dissociation. I realized that my submission is attached to something really emotional; it is anchored by my childhood trauma. When I detach like that, (I think) I’m actually re-experiencing the dissociation I felt as a child. And when I snap out of it, I’m intensely vulnerable. I need more than the average person would ever guess, or know how to give; I need the sort of unconditional reassurance that a terrified child would need.

And I don’t blame Alan for not giving me what I needed in our interaction. I didn’t know what I needed until I didn’t get it. We were like kids playing with an unlabeled bottle of lighter fluid and some matches; an explosion was imminent. But neither of us could see that because we didn’t know what we were playing with. I don’t blame Alan for failing to take care of me, and I also don’t blame myself for ending up there. And now, I’ve labeled that bottle, and I won’t make the same mistake. This is why I love this story, even though it’s not tidy. I love what I learned about myself. And, I wanted to share the insight with the person that lands here and says “I felt that, but I didn’t know what that was.”

There’s this idea in psychology that people compulsively reenact their traumatic experiences. I think this is what I did with Alan (although I wasn’t aware that I was doing it at the time). This is what I know now: when I ask a dominant man to take sexual advantage of me, and he does, we both enjoy it. And, the more he uses me, the more turned on I get. In the few instances when I’ve gone far enough to let go of my identity, and experience myself as an object, I have dissociated.

That feeling, where I disconnect, float away, and (later) become super vulnerable, is what I imagine I felt as a child and this scary, big trauma overwhelmed me. And now I can see that I’ve created these intense objectification situations in my sexual explorations in order to feel that floaty feeling again.

It’s compulsive reenactment (I think) to create this situation over and over again. And, in the right circumstances, I think I could use it to experience some kind of healing or correction of the original trauma. Ideally, I’d feel intensely objectified (which now turns me on instead of scaring me), and I’d get the floaty feeling (which is really rather pleasant and safe-feeling while it’s happening). But most importantly, if I were with the right partner, when I crashed afterward, I would be comforted, loved, and have my vulnerability embraced by a caring partner.

Obviously, that’s not what happened with Alan. I wasn’t aware that my desire to be submissive was also a desire to recreate something traumatic until I sat with, analyzed and talked about the dissociation, and the emotional drop that I experienced. And now, I can see that all of the times when I’ve left sexual encounters feeling blown apart and raw, I was probably unconsciously reenacting my traumatic experience, and then not getting the care I needed So even though I was experiencing control over, and pleasure from, the objectification (one part of the healing), I wasn’t getting that important after-care piece. And that’s what made these experiences painful.

There’s a second piece that I figured out, too. I was recreating my trauma, and unconsciously choosing to do it with an emotionally-unavailable partner. Remember how I didn’t heed those warning signs about Alan? Or all the times that I went to see John, knowing full well that he wasn’t going to care any more about me this time than he did the last time? That’s the unconscious/compulsive part. I’m doing it without thinking, and without taking care of myself. By choosing emotionally-unavailable partners, I am also recreating the abandonment that I felt as a child. And I’ve done it over and over and over again. The good thing is that this experience allowed me to see and become conscious of my pattern. Now that it’s not unconscious, I can decide to take better care of myself (and I have, this blog is just behind my real life by a few months).

I would definitely label what happened with Alan as an unconscious, compulsive reenactment of my trauma. But I would not agree that it was bad for me. Because it’s exactly that experience that helped me see what I was doing, and decide to do something healthier. For me, that means choosing partners that are emotionally-connected, that can help me have a corrective, healing experience, like Meg wrote about. My power and control issues come out in seduction and sex. That works for me, and even my therapist says it’s OK for me to tangle with this stuff here. So, I’m moving forward, shamelessly, with my D/s exploration of myself.

In the end, I killed the flame. But in the dark, I found another shiny piece of myself.


  1. Thanks littlegirl, this truly is a fantastic post. The elicit trauma/comfort has been an important part of my relationships but I never really thought about it and for the first time I understand this process a little more.Thank you =)

  2. Albeit not nearly as well put, I believe most submissive women have such depth of desire. Your great hope and longing to get close is a fearful thing to nearly all men; to get that close, a great compatibility is needed and that takes time and commitment. The question to those without this kind of commitment to another remains, “Do I continue to play, to express my sensuality as I search for that man?”It’s not easy to abstain.Missy and I first met at an airport, she was to stay for a week. We had spent many hours on Skype, but this was…risky; like your weekend w/ Alan. Odds are these things don’t usually workout, but once in awhile, you find a Missy and together you slug out the tough parts and search for the good.A relationship.Realize when Missy came along I was not new to the D/s game, but I remember when I started out. I remember being met with a submissive’s challenge, then looking in the mirror and saying:“Are you man enough for this, or man enough in that way?”You girls ask a lot from a man, you ask him to let you get beyond close and go beyond the realm of the norm in passion. You’re a big ticket item.Yet the real foolery would be to ask for less. Perhaps that is the aim of all true kinksters: To Demand More.If you need more, you might as well learn to demand it, right?Nicely written,-B

  3. There should be a reaction labeled "LG is the most awesome person ever!" Because that totally how I felt after reading this. You fully investigated your experience with Alan, and saw what you'd gained from it, even though it could have simply even written off as a "bad" experience. I hope you'll be able to find a D/s partner who will help you through that afterward period of vulnerability. Amazing =]

  4. Do you think, knowing now that you need someone capable of nurturing and reassurance after that kind of scene, you will have a more difficult time finding a Dom that can provide that?

  5. perfect. 🙂 so proud of you!

  6. Thank you lg for this post and your previous ones. You are indeed a brave woman. I like what B said about submissives 'demanding more' from our men. I think this is true, and is a big part of what makes me feel like a submissive rather than the dominant I am often assumed to be.I feel a certain kinship with you because of how you approach your sexuality with such passion, honesty, and vulnerability.I wish you many great moments of release and relief that can fill your everyday with smiles and comfort.

  7. This was wonderful, and so brave. I know what you mean about telling all the parts of your interactions/relationships. Sometimes it's so hard to be that vulnerable to expose the "bad" stuff. It takes courage to be able to admit it, and to be able touse it, and to examine it and learn from it. Thank you so much for sharing you with us.:)

  8. Thank you, everyone for the supportive comments. Each one means so much to me! B, I also love what you say about demanding more. It's been pretty hard for me to get to the point where I could ask for more, but I think you're right that, at least for me, it's all about asking for it.Sky, I appreciate your question. I think that it's already hard to find compatible D/s sexual partners. Adding on additional requirements (whether emotional or physical) is always going to make it harder. For my part, I've actually found someone, a wonderful Dominant man I call the Professor. I haven't written about him yet on this blog, because there's much to tell. But I'm really happy and fulfilled by him right now, and he's AMAZING with the emotional stuff. :)Again, I thank all of you for commenting, for reading, and for supporting me.

  9. What I love the most is that you write with an honest, clarity that expresses so well the base humaness of your experiences.

    You’re a brave little girl! Excellent!

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