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Author Topic: Kink and Spirituality - Special Topic Discussion  (Read 19907 times)
Darkhawk
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« Reply #30: April 02, 2010, 12:10:45 am »

All of this is doubly relevant to spiritual kink - spirituality gets very much the same kind of "mine is normal, yours is weird and there's probably something wrong with you" judgementalism, and there's a strong correlation between kink in a spiritual context, and ecstatic/"shamanistic" spiritual practice.

I have my serious doubts that any of the stuff I'm actually into, especially as it gets more explicitly religious, can pass muster as any value of "sane" or "safe", because cracking open the mind to let the universe in, dealing with gods on their own turf, ecstatic communion, and so on, are all pretty much definitionally out of my mind and doing that is full of the possibility of not getting back.
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« Reply #31: April 03, 2010, 09:18:26 pm »

I have my serious doubts that any of the stuff I'm actually into, especially as it gets more explicitly religious, can pass muster as any value of "sane" or "safe", because cracking open the mind to let the universe in, dealing with gods on their own turf, ecstatic communion, and so on, are all pretty much definitionally out of my mind and doing that is full of the possibility of not getting back.

Hi, Darkhawk,
isn't that what it's supposed to be though? I mean, is spirituality, direct contact with the Gods, meeting them on their own turf as you said, ..can that ever be safe?  Sometimes, one of the ways that I know I am in true contact with my gods is by the heart stopping sense of terror that precedes their presence.....

aliceanna
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« Reply #32: April 07, 2010, 11:53:41 am »


I'm not sure that what I'm going to post is in the general tone of the thread, so apologies for that.

I find a 'kind of link' between kink and spirituality in my life in the way that some aspects of spirituality are framed as a kind of 'submission' (albeit sometimes unwillingly!) to a god/ess/s.  this is probably more prevlant in Christianity rather than in Paganism where is appears that people *may* have a more 'person to person' style of relationship with their god/ess/s (please note that is my very superficial observation and is not intending to imply a lesser respect!)
in Christian texts the 'language' of submission is often used as a kind of a metaphor.  obviously the way people feel about it differes between individuals and although there are not really Pagan texts as such (e.g. like bible or quran) there is no reason why Pagan individuals cannot frame it that way if it suits their outlook on spirituality.
although I am into kink up to my neck and as extreme as it gets  Grin I tend to attribute my inability to submit, to a 'religious' upbringing where one is perhaps expected to 'submit' to the power of 'a' god (which of course can include gods, goddesses, not only 'the Christian god' Smiley )
therefore 'submission' to a human being would not tally with my 'beliefs' as it were.
of course, that doesn't take into account bottoming (as compared with submitting).  I'm coming from a perspective where its more about control and ownership so my thoughts above aren't really related at all to 'top/bottom'.
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« Reply #33: April 14, 2010, 12:34:54 am »

I prefer the RACK framing over the SSC framing myself, not because what I'm into is particularly "extreme" as a rule, but because very little in kink - or in life generally - is so completely safe that risk-awareness is unnecessary. 

I hear you. I think SSC can be more reassuring for new people, but potentially falsely reassuring. I've seen people only identify RACK with "extreme" play or edgeplay, but I disagree.

(Incidentally, I'm very glad to see this topic and will be replying to it properly when I come back from a retreat. I'm back on Sunday.)
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« Reply #34: April 14, 2010, 07:22:11 am »

I hear you. I think SSC can be more reassuring for new people, but potentially falsely reassuring. I've seen people only identify RACK with "extreme" play or edgeplay, but I disagree.

(Incidentally, I'm very glad to see this topic and will be replying to it properly when I come back from a retreat. I'm back on Sunday.)

For those of us not in the know - RACK?
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« Reply #35: April 14, 2010, 07:49:25 am »

For those of us not in the know - RACK?

Sunflower mentioned this earlier in the thread--that would be "risk-aware consensual kink" (versus "safe, sane, and consensual").
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« Reply #36: April 14, 2010, 08:03:57 am »

Sunflower mentioned this earlier in the thread--that would be "risk-aware consensual kink" (versus "safe, sane, and consensual").

Ah, thank you.  Somehow I didn't tie the acronym to the description.
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Darkhawk
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« Reply #37: April 14, 2010, 06:46:35 pm »

I hear you. I think SSC can be more reassuring for new people, but potentially falsely reassuring. I've seen people only identify RACK with "extreme" play or edgeplay, but I disagree.

I do think it's true that a majority of RACK people are more on the edgy-and-dangerous side when compared to the public-relations version of the kink community, and some are smug about it.  But I prefer RACK to SSC because it's more honestly descriptive of what I do - even though I don't really do SM at all, and thus lumping me in with the people who do, like, corset piercings or heavy floggings or whatever else is Too Brutal For SSC is hilarious.

An old blog post has some discussion of the issues here.  The blog is called "Let Them Eat Pro-SM Feminist Safe Spaces"; it's a group blog, and some people might consider it not safe for work or whatever.
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« Reply #38: April 15, 2010, 01:25:22 pm »

I think I envy people that can use pain - AT ALL.  I can deal with pain, ignore pain, get wiped out by pain .. but use it?  Other than the basic "ow that hurts, maybe I shouldn't do that again" about the closest I can get to using anything in that respect AT ALL is a certain respect for scratchy yarn - sometimes I want the scratchier texture.

Dat's IT.

Just using Heartshadow's post to jump in late here. Although, on a personal level, I am so with you on the subject of pain. Even before the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, I did not do pain well, at all. I do understand the concept of pain for focus, etc, but honestly, all pain EVER did for me was punt me out of where ever my head was and into ouch, ouch, ouch.

I practice tai chi, and we sometimes do some serious deep dives into working the body HARD to prepare for tai chi. What that means is we can do full lengths of the gymnasium we practice in, doing nothing but a single type of move, knees bent, sunk into the position, and never rising for the length of the room. There is pain, and sweat, and the body is pushed to test the boundaries of itself. But, the still point awareness achieved during a tai chi set, for me, comes only during the set itself, without the rigorous stress, and then only when I am relatively pain free. A sharp jolt in the knee or ankle during a set will punt me back into normal head space faster than a speeding bullet.

On the other hand, I have also practiced temple meditation, which means sitting is one place for a looooong time, holding the "pose", with eyes open. In this case, pain is expected, at least at the beginning, and is an obstacle to be overcome, not a tool to help. (at least for me..... others might have a different experience) The idea is to train the body and mind to be able to reach the still state despite physical (and later, mental) stress or pain. By practicing in a controlled environment, you can later use the skills to be able to quiet the mind in the midst of chaos. It has taught me to move through pain, but I still don't think I'm wired to transform pain to pleasure. Maybe it is a state of mind?

I am somewhat reluctant to speak of "kink" with regards to my religious or spiritual practice, just because we have historically had to defend ourselves against judgmental opinions. Traditional BTW practice is very oath bound, and talking or writing about ritual practices is........skirting the edge.

I can point out that "published" sources of information mention binding and scourging, as well as other "alternative" methods to help achieve altered states of awareness. Within the coven, though, we are very careful to draw the line between traditionally approved "kink", and coven members' personal spiritual kink, or even non-spiritual kink. There is ever the fear that one might confuse ritual practice with "fun".

While our religion does not condemn fun, it does not include it as part of ritual practice. We walk a fine line. To be blunt, we do not welcome kink into circle for kicks and sexual perks, it is specifically for ritual requirements, like raising power, altering awareness, etc. 

Upon reading this I realize we sound sort of fuddy duddy, but we do have some BDSM folks in the group. so are conscious of the need to separate fun from ritual.

Just a final point...... kinky friends of mine have made it a point to remind me that Vanilla IS a flavour......and is often the very best base for the addition of various toppings......LOL

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« Reply #39: April 15, 2010, 02:26:27 pm »

While our religion does not condemn fun, it does not include it as part of ritual practice. We walk a fine line. To be blunt, we do not welcome kink into circle for kicks and sexual perks, it is specifically for ritual requirements, like raising power, altering awareness, etc

Just taking this one point - What's the difference, exactly, between say scourging to raise power and scourging as a meditative-sex thing?  If the idea is that it's supposed to get you into a different headspace, and it gets you into a different headspace - isn't it the same thing?

(if because of oaths you can't talk about this, just say so).
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« Reply #40: April 15, 2010, 03:35:15 pm »

Just taking this one point - What's the difference, exactly, between say scourging to raise power and scourging as a meditative-sex thing?  If the idea is that it's supposed to get you into a different headspace, and it gets you into a different headspace - isn't it the same thing?

(if because of oaths you can't talk about this, just say so).

Scourging to raise power and scourging to alter headspace are similar. Scourging to get your ya-yas off.....different.

"Oooh, baby, hit me harder........." . Not a phrase for ritual space.... at least, not our space.
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« Reply #41: April 16, 2010, 03:10:57 am »

Scourging to raise power and scourging to alter headspace are similar. Scourging to get your ya-yas off.....different.

"Oooh, baby, hit me harder........." . Not a phrase for ritual space.... at least, not our space.

Not a phrase that has ever come up in any ritual that I have been in either! Then again, pain in a group ritual was not something that my old coven ever did. I use it in my solitary rituals as it is something that I am always feeeling, even on a good day. It helps me focus, but I'm sure that I would somehow manage without it, given the chance.
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« Reply #42: April 23, 2010, 02:57:24 pm »

I have my serious doubts that any of the stuff I'm actually into, especially as it gets more explicitly religious, can pass muster as any value of "sane" or "safe", because cracking open the mind to let the universe in, dealing with gods on their own turf, ecstatic communion, and so on, are all pretty much definitionally out of my mind and doing that is full of the possibility of not getting back.

I hear you.

I've recently realized that what I want to do and what I already do spiritually/religiously is decidedly *not safe*, for what sounds like somewhat similar reasons. (This actually came through juxtaposing kink and spiritual discussions - go figure.)

I guess I'm working toward RACLWAB-OH. (That would be Risk Aware Consensual Living With a Broke-Open Head. Cheesy )
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« Reply #43: April 24, 2010, 02:11:26 am »

I guess I'm working toward RACLWAB-OH. (That would be Risk Aware Consensual Living With a Broke-Open Head. Cheesy )

I'm right there with you!  Wink
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« Reply #44: June 15, 2010, 04:24:10 pm »

What role does various kink play in your religion? 

I'm finally replying to this...

Kink is an incredibly important part of my life as a whole, and of my spirituality. My partner said yesterday that the kink community was pretty much his spiritual community, and I think that's apt. (Other than OTO, we don't have a lot of local people around working with the same paths we do.) Kink has been a way for me to explore my boundaries, honor my sexuality, and open major things up for myself.

My partner and I have done magical and religious rituals involving kink, and found them to be very powerful.

I enjoy some kinds of pain, although my kink isn't only about pain. I'm definitely a masochist (among other things) and the feeling I get bottoming in a pain scene is a bit similar to pushing myself when I do ecstatic dance. I also am very careful with my own boundaries and limits and being able to communicate them has been very useful in all contexts.

What do my gods think? (Major UPG ahead.) This is something I wrote about this on another forum:

I've definitely honored Set as a god of perverts and transgressors. Smiley I also honor Melek Ta'us, the Peacock Angel, a bit similarly. He is Lover and Opposer and beauty and danger and desire held under the hand of Love - sounds like kink to me.

I associate Aphrodite with kink as well, particularly her fiercer aspects. As well as being associated with beauty, sex, love, and desire (all of which can work with kink), she also has epithets like Summakhia (Ally in War). There are images of Her with a whip and being whipped, as well as being bound as part of ancient magical practices.

My UPG is that Scathach also is associated with kink, particularly when it involves flow states. Or blades. Smiley Her shrine currently has various kinky implements on it, as well as nametags and wristbands from kink events my partner and I have been to. I'm thinking She might like rough body play as well.

I honor Wepwawet in relation to kink, although it's not quite as direct an association. He is the Opener of Ways, and kink is one way I've opened for myself and had opened for me. I want to keep learning and eventually teach others, which is one form of way-opening for me.

In thinking about this, I realized that I pay attention to self-sovereignty, group structures, and power dynamics as part of my devotion to Horus the Elder. (Or this tendency is part of why I'm a devotee of his.) Although I hadn't considered this before, I can see this in relationship to how I look at and do D/s play. Maybe that actually falls under the domain of Bawy, the syncretic form of Horus and Set. Not sure on this one yet.
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