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Author Topic: Kink and Spirituality - Special Topic Discussion  (Read 27036 times)
Jenett
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Religion: Priestess in initiatory religious witchcraft tradition
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« Reply #3: March 22, 2010, 07:40:36 pm »

What role does various kink play in your religion?  Is pain something sometimes to be courted, or always a bad thing?  Do your gods approve of things that aren't necessarily mainstream?  Why/why not?

*Challenge*, especially looking at the bits of myself that feel uncomfortable when pressed, is a big part of my religion. I've got a theory that religious witchcraft is a lot of looking at what hurts when you push it, and figuring out why that is, so you can fix it/change it/make it useful in some way. Ordeals - including pain - can be very useful with this. Sometimes it's a diagnostic, sometimes it's a tool, sometimes it's a way to clear the path for other work. Depends on the issue.

Some things I've done something with:
- Pain: Not so much, though it's an area (at least 'sensation on the edge of discomfort') that I'm actively interested in exploring but only in the right circumstances, and those haven't come around. (I'm interested in sensation and what my body tells me, not long-term damage, and that takes someone who a) knows what they're doing and b) who I trust.)

- Other sensation - experience with ritual scourging (which is generally *not* designed to be painful, just to remind that it could be, from both my experience and conversations with others) is experience with sensation. Again, would like to do this more and explore further, with someone I'd trust to do it safely. But repetitive rhythmic sensation is a really powerful thing for me.

- Restriction and bondage: Done this, done this in ritual setting, and got a lot out of it. I'm not talking forced blood restriction per se (though I've had that too, mostly through crossing my legs wrong while meditating and getting pins-and-needles), but things that change how my body moves and shifts and what opens up in my body as a result. There are ritual formats of this - but there's also other things that most people don't bat an eye at. (The water aerobics class I was at on Sunday morning would probably not think they were doing restrictive movement, for example, but that's part of how my brain experiences it.)

Not having to be the one in control is something I'd like to explore in a lot more detail in the right setting.

- Restricted input - blindfolding, being placed in a low-context environment (dark room, not able to see much, able to overhear things in the next room). Also shows up in a number of magical traditions about avoiding certain foods, words, etc. at certain points in the year. I find that these things tend to hone attention on the remaining senses in a way I find very useful (though not something I'd want to keep up all the time.)

I should note that none of these are particularly sexual for me, though they could be combined with that in the right circumstances. They are, however, *intimate* things for me (as pretty much anything involving physical touch is), and so they're not something I'd do randomly or with people I didn't want an intimate energetic/emotional connection with, because I don't do casual touch at all well.

On deity:
I have a very strong draw for a particular kind of commitment: I have an inherently feudal brain, and my brain is *much* happier when I'm in a clear-cut relationship with defined roles and expectations. I'm very much M'Lady's [1] handmaiden, not her equal. Valued, nurtured, treated well - but handmaiden. I've also got a particular kind of service commitment with my tradition (that I think honestly puzzles the founder of the tradition, who is not at all wired that way, so we don't talk about it much.) But part of that goes both ways - feudalism done well requires active work taking care of one's vassals, as well as for one's vassals to provide service.

In both cases, physical challenge is not a particular part of the deity commitment, not because it's wrong or bad - but just because that's not the shape of the interaction. I have had physical limits pushed more by Himself, but not particularly in kink-related ways. (though if he thought they'd be useful, I'm sure they'd be used, and that'd be fine.) And I think that physical challenge is not Their tool of choice, because I've already got enough of it going on. (Asthma is already a galaxy of potential breath restriction. I don't think They need to make that particular point over and over again, for example.)

Finally, in terms of community: I'm rather bemused because I've somehow become my trad's go-to person for kink curiousity, in large part because I treat it much the way I do witchcraft in general: it is potently soul-changing, so should be treated with integrity and care and attention to detail, but it is no more inherently wrong or bad or icky or dirty than any other part of witchcraft. That a tool can be misused does not make the tool inherently flawed. 

[1] For those not familiar: M'Lady and Himself are the names I use for the deities I work with primarily on a personal level. Being a fervent polytheist, I also honor the deities of tradition, coven, and a few others, but most of them have fewer Opinions on this particular issue. A little more on the personal deity stuff is available http://gleewood.org/threshold/about/background/personal/)
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