BDSM: More Vulnerability, More Meaning

This is a basic thing: to be vulnerable is to risk getting hurt.

It’s why we try to cover or change our vulnerabilities.

But there is also a time to release them: into the hands of someone you trust.  (Note that “vulnerability” is not a quality of tops or bottoms; it’s a quality of all of us.  There’s as much danger in applying the blade as there is in receiving it.)

Does this mean that one should automatically seek to be vulnerable in every scene and with every person?  No.  It means being aware that just as vulnerability is a source of fear, unease, and powerlessness, it can also be the catalyst which frees us from those things.

In other words, I’m not telling you to simply open yourself up to everyone, any more than you out to routinely leave your door unlocked, or run around naked in a dangerous neighborhood at night.

I am saying that opening a part of yourself which is afraid, perhaps broken, perhaps prone to damage—is one of the keys to overcoming those things.

Your mileage may vary.  Your catharsis is your own.

But sometimes, it makes sense to shed your armor.

Powerful vulnerability is a learned skill; it’s easy to be either impenetrable, or totally porous, and neither one of those should be your goal.  If you never let anything in, you look tough, but all you’re doing is blocking.  You’re dealing with the surface, and preventing anything from actually entering your mind and affecting you.  In contrast, if you let everything in, you’re actually missing out on a critical piece of development—the choice inherent in allowing yourself to be exposed.

Chosen vulnerability is a tremendous power.  It takes guts.  It involves risks.  It absolutely means there’s significantly more potential for damage.  It’s easy (and understandable) to just lock everyone out.  It’s also hard as fuck, if you’ve let someone or something in and it damages you, to fight through that damage to try to heal it.  Every piece of the process of vulnerability is a struggle.

But it matters.  Because every damn moment of that struggle develops strength.  Every piece is an opportunity—sometimes a requirement—to understand more about yourself, about what you fear, and what you can overcome.

And if you can’t be vulnerable, then you miss out on most of the deepest connections you can make in kink.  If you can’t open up, you can’t be hurt as easily, but you also feel far, far less.  Vulnerability is a power which makes your kink experiences much more moving, because they have far more repercussions.  It’s not an easy skill.  It’s not always pleasant.  Sometimes, it hurts like a motherfucker, and for all the wrong reasons.

But without it, a part of your kink is hollow.

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