On the Theme of “Being Broken”

11 Jun

It’s been the topic of blogland for a while.  i’ve probably missed some of the posts, but Little Monkey, mouse’s Omega, Sin, DV, and others have all talked about it lately.  Exploring the concept, trying to define it, discussing the value it has for them – it’s all interesting.

A comment on Sin’s blog kind of cracked me up, the person said she thought the words to describe the concept were “emotionally disturbed,” and i thought, well, in the mundane world, yes.  No doubt that’s true.

But ~ but ~ what she doesn’t understand is that she’s not in Kansas anymore.

We often talk about the intersection of BDSM and abuse.  Explore where those lines are, push at the boundaries between them.  In this case, i think we’re pushing at a different intersection.

i think we’re at the crossover between BDSM and spirituality.  God.  

i don’t pretend to “get” this.  But i know there are huge similarities.  Slave routines and rituals often mirror the devotions of  monks and nuns.  Little things ~ when i capitalize “He” when referring to my Sir ~ is the same thing we do for God or Jesus.  

{i don’t know about Buddha ~ do we capitalize “He” when it’s Buddha?  Hmmmm, i don’t know.  But i digress…}

 In the Catholic tradition, pain is valued. The pain of sacrificing ~ think “no meat during Lent” ~ but physical pain too.  Pilgrims on their knees headed for a shrine, nuns who used to use self-flaggellation as a penance, or the stigmata, pain is a powerful expression of devotion in Catholicism. 

And it’s not just the Catholic tradition.   Think Native American traditions. Sweat lodges and vision quests, where the spiritual seeker may even go without food or water for days.   

An extreme form in Native American spirituality is suspension rituals, which you can read about here.

These experiences are designed to take us beyond our usual boundaries.   The  intensity breaks us open.

When a D/s couple gets involved in “breaking” him or her,  i think the slave is seeker, the Dom  a spiritual guide,.  

Emotionally disturbed?  Maybe.  

But it seems we’re designed to want to go farther, deeper, harder into our own spirituality.  

There are risks inherent in that process ~

Beware ~ There Be Dragons Here ~

but great potential for growth and gain as well.

26 Responses to “On the Theme of “Being Broken””

  1. Fondlers Anonymous June 11, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    Great job with the religious parallels. I’m catholic and have always thought of pain and sacrifice as a way of serving and revering.

    • aisha June 12, 2012 at 7:13 am #

      Thanks, FA. Yes, it’s an intrinsic part of Catholicism, having been raised Catholic, i can appreciate that!


  2. heather1 June 11, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Some of us actually do live in Kansas! LOL And by the way it’s a great place to live.


    • aisha June 12, 2012 at 7:14 am #

      Lol, Heather1, i know people really do! At least theoretically, i know it. And i bet it is great!

      But, um, when you enter the world of kink ~ no matter where you live ~ you’re not in Kansas anymore…



  3. vanillamom June 11, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    You have a way, my dear friend, of framing things in a way that makes logical sense out of amorphous concepts. That is a great gift.

    I’m not ready, yet, to talk much about my time with M yesterday. I’m still processing (and happy..so so happy)…but I wanted to add to what you say here as BDSM as it relates to spiritualism.

    I’ve been many faith traditions…nothing suits me as well as being a pagan. But I’ve found an equally powerful form when I practice Yoga. I am often transported to ….a place of balance. Where I just…am in touch with a force greater than me.

    Yesterday I was blindfolded, sat on the couch. I sat, hands on my lap, back straight. No figiting. When I felt restless, I concentrated on my breath (as we do in yoga when a pose is challenging…to help us through it)…

    Later, He told me I’d been sitting there, still as could be, for over 45 minutes! Whoa. Time sure can stand still. And yet…I was fully present. Tuned in to myself, and Him when He would come over and touch me occasionally. In my day to day?I could never sit still for that long…always too much to do. But there? I was doing what He called on me to do. To sit. To wait.

    And fully at peace.


    • aisha June 12, 2012 at 7:16 am #

      Hi, ‘Nilla,

      Thanks for the kind words, and for sharing the images from your time with your Master. It sounds like it was a powerful experience. And yes, that seems to be how it works…



  4. joyce June 11, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    Interesting parallels… I’ve read many of the blogs on ‘breaking’. First thought it was just a difference in semantic meaning. Now it appears that the ‘depth’ and end results of ‘breaking’ are the differences. Do you effect changes in behavior (pushing the limits) or “break” and completely restructure the basic personality of self to suit the Dom?


    • vanillamom June 11, 2012 at 10:59 am #

      at abby & joyce…perhaps if you substitute the word “opened” rather than broken. Broken does imply resistance…and there are submissives who resist being opened fully (let’s face it, it’s us at our most vulnerable)…

      But I prefer to say that He has opened me…given me experiences that I’d have never had before. And maybe fantasized about. And maybe sometimes don’t really fully enjoy…like …um…assfucking. It is NOT my most favorite activity. He knows it (and likes that I’m not fully into it…He is a sadist, after all)…yet my orgasms from being used that way are incredible and intense.

      That’s the only analogy I have ! But perhaps it is the implied violence behind being broken? I dunno. There is violence in D/s. Hitting someone who is tied, blindfolded, and vulnerable? That’s violent.

      But…i like it.



    • aisha June 12, 2012 at 7:29 am #

      Hi, Joyce,

      Interesting questions, but i think you’re missing part of what i’m saying. This isn’t something the Dom does to the submissive or slave to make her more pleasing to Him, at least not exactly.

      Hmmm. This might be its own blog post.



  5. abby June 11, 2012 at 9:01 am #

    Thank you for this perspecctive. Have bee reading the various posts on “breakiing”, and I have been troubled by them. I kept thinking if you break something (one), what if you can’t fix it. I do realize it all about degree. Your viewpoint helps to sort my “uneasy” and maybe understand the concept better. I do want to serve, capitalize He, etc….Lots of thinking still to do. hugs abby

    • aisha June 12, 2012 at 7:30 am #

      Thanks, Abby.

      It’s a difficult concept, and, imo, if applied incorrectly, it’s just abuse. So it’s good to be a little uneasy.


      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  6. jade June 11, 2012 at 9:22 am #

    This. Yes. Certainly, this echoes my own thoughts, esp. in regards to Catholicism. i think that there is a misconception, sometimes, that the point of breaking is to alter who the slave fundementally is. i think that is the true danger zone.

    i have been broken in ways that destroyed my sense of joy, peace, excitement until i felt less than human. And that–has absolutely nothing– to do with what i think a slave is truly seeking when they are walking the path you speak of.

    In my opinion, the path of breaking is spiritual, emotional and has great value as it breaks down the barriers we have erected in life that comes in between the Master and the slave.
    The point is not to change who the slave is, i don’t think.

    The point, to me, is to create visually, emotionally, physically, spiritually…..a connection and experience that is not so very different from our connection to God. Which is not to say that i think a Master should replace God, because that is not the case at all. i am only saying that in the same way that i do not always draw a distinction between the Goddess and the part of Her that lives in me and informs me, guides me, protects me……i desire that same sense of all-encompensing, all-consuming devotion that can flow between a slave and her Master.

    For me, the way to have that, is to walk the path of breaking….even as i know too well the true danger that lurks inside of misused power.

    We trust and have faith that God, Goddess, Budda, (your Spiritual Source), will not consume you whole even as we may well believe this is possible. But we trust. We trust with our secret prayers, our faith, our rage, fear, and joy. We trust these things will not be used against us but instead to make us stronger.

    In this way of thinking, it seems reasonable to me that we would seek this same boundless faith in our Master and in our Self.

    i apologize for the length of this response. i’ve started to erase it but that seems not right somehow. i know you won’t mind.

    PS (Where is that baby???)

    • aisha June 12, 2012 at 7:51 am #

      Dear Jade,

      This is beautifully said. i’m so glad you didn’t delete this. You describe it so well. Yes.

      Thank you.



      P.S. That baby is taking its own, sweet time about getting here! i’ve had a couple of little talks with it, but so far he/she is ignoring me…

  7. sin June 11, 2012 at 11:09 am #

    Aisha, as always you make excellent points. I didn’t really think of this in terms of religion, at least not this time. It’s not the first thing that comes to mind for me, as I don’t usually think of myself as a spiritually seeking person, though I think I am more and more as time passes.

    And I think that like religions, this can look crazy if you aren’t in the middle of it somehow. I studied the sundances, because I was looking at the giving in potlatches, and I remember, that at the time I thought the pain part was crazy. Just goes to show, doesn’t it?

    • aisha June 12, 2012 at 7:58 am #

      Hi, Sin,

      That is funny – that you thought the pain was crazy. i love that. But you’re right, unless you’re in the mix, it can look pretty crazy.

      And interesting that you see yourself as more spiritually seeking now. i’m glad this made sense to you.


  8. monkey June 11, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    You might have bared this topic to it’s bedrock, aisha. It does feel like a spiritual quest for me. Not a quest to change who I am but one to release and refine who I am. I like the sub as seeker, and the Dom as guide. Works on so many levels.

    • aisha June 12, 2012 at 8:05 am #

      Thank you, monkey, i’m glad what i said resonated with you.

      i learn so much ~ you give me so much to think about ~ i really appreciate it.



  9. Conina June 11, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    So many views on this topic. It’s amazing we can still, as a community, be set abuzz like this.

    I like your take on it a lot. There is something soul-baring, soul-enriching, about being taken past where you thought your limits lay.

    • aisha June 12, 2012 at 8:06 am #

      Hi, Conina,

      It is amazing, isn’t it? i think there will always be new depths, and new facets to explore on this topic.

      And i’m glad you liked my perspective. i like the sound ~ the feel ~ of “soul-baring, soul-enriching…”


  10. lil June 11, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    Love this post.
    I read that comment on Sin’s blog, and I must say–I laughed. Because aren’t we all (kink or no kink), at least somewhat emotionally disturbed in our own ways?

    • aisha June 12, 2012 at 8:07 am #

      Hi, Lil,

      i know, right? We are all a little nuts…



  11. mouse June 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    We come here with our personal baggage, mouse’s baggage includes being broken and damaged by an uncaring dominant type. This is a topic that while mouse understands on a philosophical level what Monkey, Sin and even you have expressed, but it’s something that at the same time leaves mouse with the feeling of ice water running through her veins.

    And no worries, Daddy is reading this with mouse and encouraging her all the way.


    • aisha June 12, 2012 at 8:10 am #

      Dear Mouse,

      And the kind of “being broken” that you’re talking about is very different – that’s abuse. The same as what Jade was describing when she said:

      “i have been broken in ways that destroyed my sense of joy, peace, excitement until i felt less than human.”

      And Jade goes on to say, correctly, i think:

      “And that–has absolutely nothing– to do with what i think a slave is truly seeking when they are walking the path you speak of.”

      i can sure understand how it makes you feel though. i’m glad Omega is there for you ~ always.

      Thank you for finding the way through your thoughts to share them here.



  12. Wordwytch June 12, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    A very interesting and timely topic. Before I go on, I must mention that my one son did a sun-dance. He has the scars on his chest from where he pulled thru. Said it was intense on a spiritual level he never expected. He’s my “old soul” child… 28 this year.

    As for the ‘breaking’ … I see it as expanding/overflowing/growing beyond. Yes, the sub is there to experience it. Usually at our request, for it is the sub who controls the relationship. And it is the Master/Sir/Dom to guide this experience as they are in control of the scene.

    I know I didn’t understand at first how pain or any stimuli that intense could actually help someone grow/change. (you can all stop laughing now!) Wolf and I talked about it a LOT. Still didn’t totally make sense. So of course, in order to write, I have to understand. I understood a lot after that first spanking. What I really understood though later when I was very stressed out was how freeing it could be. I could let go of all that stress and pain with pain. Yes, that’s warped, but it’s true. I understood the concept of Dom in the boardroom and sub in the bedroom.

    And if I ever needed a good explanation of the whole breaking concept it’s been the last few weeks. Wolf’s schedule has been horrid. We’ve had little to no time for play in spite of the fact that we actually live together. We don’t always play D/s, but I realised amidst tears not so long ago that I needed that transcendence, that brokenness to relieve the stress and inner turmoil. Yes, it changes me, but in a better, not a bad way.

    Besides… who said Kinky was bad?

    • aisha June 12, 2012 at 8:12 am #

      Hi, Wordwytch,

      Wow ~ how cool about your son!! i can’t imagine that, and yet i know at least one person who has also done it. Amazing.

      And yeah, it’s amazing the effect that pain can have. Powerful and wonderful.

      Here’s hoping you get what you need from Wolf ~ and soon! Cause i sure didn’t say Kinky was bad!!



      • Wordwytch June 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

        I have less than 24 hours until we go on a little mini work vacation. I am so looking forward to some stress relief! And of course the world in conspiring to dump more stress on my head. grrrr… The bigger question… how thin are the walls at that hotel?

        I’ve also come to the conclusion that anyone who says kinky is bad should be made to experience it first. We all had to eat that casserole or those veggies we didn’t think we’d like as kids, so …. 🙂

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