|Feri and D/s
||[Jan. 22nd, 2008|08:24 pm]
So my friend Yezida has suggested that I write an essay about D/s and Feri. I've been thinking about this ever since she made the suggestion. There are lots of reasons why I hesitate to do this. Perhaps it is too personal, too precious, too mysterious.
And because a lot of my thoughts on the matter veer towards things that are too secret to write about for anyone but initiates.
I would have to write for an audience who is somewhat familiar with Feri, and mostly ignorant of D/s. Tricky. And interesting. Of course it would be my personal opinions on both, and those may vary from many people who engage in either of these contexts. But that again, makes it interesting. So I'm going to blog about it a little here.
There are strictures in Feri, about giving your power to another. And for all the talk of total power exchange and whatnot, I have to say that I have seen several kinds of submissives who do this differently. In my early days, I played with a lot of brats, people who I had to break, or to dominate. It is, of course, what they wanted. They wanted to be taken. But that is domination, not submission.
When I first began to play with Fluffffy, and I see it in Truffle as well, the first moment of our play was her giving me her submission. And that was an incredibly powerful act. See, that's the thing. Submission is given. It is the act of a powerful being. And in the act of submitting, it makes them even more powerful as a person, as a being. They are there, every fiber, in the moment, perfectly balanced and present and paying attention. It is as close to a state of grace as anything I've ever seen.
And ultimately, it is the mystery of Feri. Yep. That's why you can't find it on a website, or wheedle it out of some drunk initiate who wants to have sex with you. Because it is a mystery, and it requires your participation.
There are always those bottoms (and students) who are just playing the part. I had a girlfriend who loved how she looked in her collar. She loved how she looked much more than she loved me as the person that collar represented. I was her Top, not Seyewailo. So nothing is exchanged. But even in her case, there were moments. We had amazing, blinding, earthshattering sex. And in those moments, she gave herself to me, and in those moments, we were lost in the exchange.
It is an exchange of power. It is not one sided. And as the Domme, I'm aware of the contract. At least I'm aware that there IS a contract. Just as there is an exchange between an initiate and their Gods. When I was first playing with Fluffffy, I remember us talking about how I do not bottom. In this area, I'd have to say that most of the people I run into are switches. I am not a switch. But I have actually had someone say to me that they did not trust me because I did not understand bottoms because I did not switch. Fluffffy and I had talked about it, because I assured her that switching was not going to happen with us.
When I went to the Gathering in NM, I participated in a sweatlodge. We got to the site well before dawn, and Fluffffy sat with the firetenders, but did not come inside (I consider this participating). See, her father was dying from a horrible disease that she has a 50/50 chance of getting herself. I went to pray that she did not get it. Half way through, when they opened the door, I crawled out. I hurt. I hugged the ground desperately. I did not think I could go on. Fluffffy ran to me and looked into my eyes. She began to cry, to beg me not to go back in. I just looked up and said, "I haven't said my prayer yet," and I crawled back inside. I could hear the tinkle of the hardware on her collar even inside the lodge, and it gave me strength. I did not throw up. I did not pass out. I said my prayer. And, of course, it did not come out like I had intended it to. Instead I prayed for strength, that we might be able to deal with whatever happened. I prayed for her father, that he find the strength to finish what he had to face. I prayed and I sang and hung onto the sound of my voice like a lifeline. And Fluffffy stayed with the firetenders. She tended the fire. She served. And I bottomed.
The witchy thing was a new experience for her when we first started doing this. And in the end, she simply said to me, "You do bottom. You do serve. It is just that the Mistress you serve is not human." And that sums up the gist of what I'd say right there. Our Mistress is not human.
There are tasks They have handed me that I have not wanted to take on. Seriously. But I serve. It is part of the contract. There are times I think being a Domme gives me a strangely sobering idea of what that contract looks like.
When I look at my sub, what I see is something precious. This person is putting not only their body, but their entire well-being in my hands. And the more powerful the sub, the more precious the gift. There are those who are just doormats, who are not even there. That frightens me. And I've seen my fair share of that in Feri as well. It scares me in that context as well. But when I see Truffle take on her collar, and look up at us with that look of ecstasy, I understand in some small way, that we are precious to our Gods. We are their agents in the world. We are willing to live with wild hearts, to fly in the face of all cultural decency, to dare to become something else. Oh, yes, and to have wild, earthshattering sex in union with them, to give ourselves over to the mystery. And if anyone hurt Truffle without her consent, I would rip their throat out with my teeth. I would have no problem doing harm. When Fluffffy wore my collar, I was like that all the time. She was mine. Don't fuck with her. And I've seen my Gods do the same.
If you just like how the collar looks, you don't get it. No mystery for you. If you just want to be a big scary witch, no donut. If you kneel at the altar, you learn the mystery. And it changes you.
It's an ecstatic tradition, folks. You have to participate. And it doesn't matter who you like in the community, it doesn't matter how famous you are, or if you go to Pantheacon, etc. If you don't participate in the ecstasy, you have a nice collar. And that's all.
Now a good sub knows they are precious. They are aware of their value, and they take care of themselves. They know their limits, and take responsibility for their own outcomes. The same can be said of a good witch. And this is where I usually get flamed, because honestly, if more subs were witches, we'd have a lot easier time of it. Because a good sub knows how to say "no," and future good subs don't say no, but can learn. Fast.
See, in Feri we like to go on and on about abuses. Not to say that there aren't abuses and abusers. There certainly are. But when a person finally stands up and says "NO!" we start talking about how bad the other person is, instead of talking about the power of the person who drew the boundary. A good sub can call a scene, and can look back at it as a mistake and never let that particular mistake happen again. And that is something that the leather community is much better at than the Feri community. A person who cannot say no is not safe to play with. Do not try to engage them in the mystery, because it is abusive. To them, and to the tradition. I'm not blaming the victim here. I'm saying that even when bad things happen to a good submissive, they are not a victim. Of course, in the middle of wanting something so badly, people give up their ability to say no, and that is when things really go wrong. If you want something more than your own sanctity, that you are willing to violate your own limits, then things go downhill in a big hurry. A person on their knees in adoration is the most powerful person in the world. But when a person goes beyond their own "no", that is when they give up their power. Powerlessness then is also an exchange, just not a healthy one.
Tops can be damaged as well. It is something that few ever really talk about. And I think that is because we don't want to think about the power of submission, and the power of the exchange. We don't want to think about exactly what the exchange is, of how power flows. That is something the Feri community is better at than the leather community. Perhaps because we expect a witch to be powerful. That expectation gives us permission to explore the exchange. But do we?
Maybe we can't. It's a mystery. We're not being all secretive because we are trying to lord it over someone. We simply can't explain it. It isn't for words. I think of Fluffffy trying to explain to non D/s people why she would want to submit, to be owned, to belong to someone. I remember her standing up tall and saying, "I am precious, I am wanted, I am never alone."
As a witch, I am precious, I am wanted, I am never alone. Never.
But I have to think about this some more.