I’m afraid of something. Proper “break out in a cold sweat, paralysed to the spot, staring at it” terror. I can trace the origin of this fear back to the summer of 1975. I know exactly what happened to trigger it, and the secondary reinforcing event a few days later. I remember the nightmare it caused.
Fortunately I don’t come across these things in my daily life. In fact I haven’t seen one for over a decade. But I’m sometimes uncomfortable around things that are a bit like them.
Fear and apprehension limit our behaviour and choices. There’s a reason why I haven’t seen these things in a decade: I don’t go where they are. But what if there was something there I really wanted to do or see? Or what if one turned up in a place I already was, and loved?
I’d need someone I trusted to be understanding of my fears, and to help me beyond them, to see the wonder of these ghastly things.
Because if there’s someone you trust utterly, then the power of that trust overcomes the strength of your fear. You can follow guidance and do things that you would otherwise be too apprehensive to do. That’s why the trust a sub has for her Dom should be total. It should be strong enough that she can place herself in his care when she is at her most vulnerable. It’s why no one should submit to someone they don’t trust, utterly, completely.
The ability of a Dom to take his sub to her boundaries, and to stretch them, challenge them in ways that she has previously been too nervous or apprehensive to allow is based entirely on that bond of trust. By listening, learning and understanding her deeply – all the time – that trust is earned and built.
There’s a world of difference between pushing at boundaries, challenging them, moving them ahead of you and overstepping them.
If someone oversteps boundaries, consistently, even if it’s in a small way, they show that they cannot be trusted. It shows they haven’t listened or understood, they haven’t identified which boundaries the sub is ready to have challenged and which need more time and preparation.
It’s all about personal growth and support. Push too hard or too fast, try and be a half step ahead all the time, and your sub will be uncomfortable. That adrenalin will manifest as fear rather than a nervous apprehension that excites.
This kind of coercive impatience will mean the trust isn’t built and you’ll achieve less, move more slowly, or more likely not at all when your sub chooses to follow a path of growth with someone she can trust, utterly and completely, and so feel not fear, but that excited apprehension.
That trust must work both ways, too. Would I challenge my paralysing fear for my sub? In a heartbeat. Hope it never becomes necessary though. Holiday in the Baltic isn’t her style.
© Charles Rochester 2015