This post is about erotic photography and where it fits within our D/s dynamic. I have written about photography before, including pieces about publishing images, and also some pieces which touch on how it can make me feel with regard to my submission to HL. Over the years I have come to see that this happens for me in a number of ways and I thought for the Tell Me About prompt it would be good to collate some of these ideas. I have also listed other relevant post at the end.
A sense of ownership
The first pictures posted of me online, were posted by HL. He had spoken about wanting to share them for a while. He said he liked them and was proud of me and liked the thought of other people looking at me. He posted them on Fet and I panicked a bit. He took them down and then put them back up again later. There has always been a privacy issue and it just felt like an unnecessarily risky step. Like all of these things though, the seed was sewn and, in time, it felt more manageable.
The move to posting images did make me feel a sense of his ownership of me which I liked. I still found it difficult to do so I had to push myself to think more submissively in order to manage it. It was HL who encouraged me to put some images on my blog. I think this was also part of his plan as he thought that the positive feedback would help me. I suppose I wanted to do it for him so it really did form part of my submission. In addition, he pushed me past some of the barriers I had set up, so it also allowed for personal growth.
Exploring the outside world
Finding my submissive headspace continued when HL pushed me past another boundary and we took pictures out of doors. I worried about this for a long time but in the end, it felt amazing. There was a freedom which I could have attributed to being exposed in a very natural setting, but I don’t think it was that. It was the complexity of my feelings and my fears. Again, I wanted to make him happy, and by now I realised it would mean growth, but I had to shift myself quite far into that in order to make it work.
I had to let go. Of myself, of my fears, of everything. HL encouraged me and reassured me, and it was ok. I had to trust him and he reminded me of that. Once I had removed my clothes it was strangely liberating, but I recognised also that had shifted quite deeply into another part of myself. I am not sure what he thought or what he noticed. For some reason we didn’t really talk about it, so I think he just enjoyed the fact that he was bringing me something I embraced, and I believe he is right in feeling that is enough.
Body image and rules
At around the same time we started with the pictures, he issued some new rules about my body. I am prone to put myself down and, because of my dysmorphia, really don’t see myself as others do. It didn’t just go for things about my body but from this point on, to make negative comments about myself was not allowed. He admitted that it annoyed him. He said it made what he had said insignificant and that it would be really nice to hear me accept a compliment as he was tired of my running myself down.
I wasn’t sure. It felt like too much. It was what I had always done and it was part of who I was. I didn’t think I could stop. But I did. It was actually much easier than I thought. It didn’t change what I felt of course, that would be ridiculous, but it did change the amount of attention that I gave to the negatives. Once I started to post pictures myself, I was shocked at the comments I received. They were very complimentary and I accepted them, as per my rules, with the grace with which they were given.
I can’t say that it sorted out my messed up head but it did add some other voices to the one that HL had been using for so long, and it did allow me to enjoy taking, editing and posting the best of the images that we took. I have the submissive mantra in my head of trying to see myself though his eyes, and this is pretty much what I did. I am a sceptic by nature but it really did start to work and I felt more accepting of myself and my body than I had in a very long time.
Feeling sexy and being enjoyed
This feeling of being sexier had a knock on effect for HL and for our relationship. When I am in a better place with myself, I won’t just be more sexual, I also feel more energised and more open to trying new things, so it can help our dynamic in that way. It isn’t that I become the person in the picture as such, that would be too strong, but I can try to tap into the feeling that she is part of me. Although an image in only ever a tiny part of the actual person, it can help to be able to see what is possible.
Seeing myself as sexy, and therefore feeling sexy, has allowed me to do things that I might not have done otherwise. Dancing for him would be one thing where it can take an enormous effort to push myself to do something like that, but the result is that I become deliciously lost in the experience and in that headspace. I suppose it is like role play in a sense in that by being the person that he sees, I am becoming her for a time. I have also noticed a change in the way others respond to me when I feel like this, so maybe it is true that sexy is a state of mind.
Finding what is erotic
It is important to me to find something erotic in the pictures that we take. I know that others take photos for other reasons but pushing boundaries with images for me is about challenging the way I see myself, rather than challenging the way that others see me, or the way that the world sees certain sexual things. To me, erotic is about the suggestions, it is about the story, it is about the connection that sits behind the picture itself. For this reason, I wouldn’t choose to share a picture that I wouldn’t find erotic myself.
Again, this can help as it is not only about HL showing me how he sees me, but also about me showing him how I want to be seen. The process has highlighted a lot of things that can be issues and negative triggers for me, and also allowed me to learn more about the things that I find sexually appealing in others. I think for me, less is definitely more in terms of what I find erotic and so suggestion rather than things which are explicit work much better.
This has led to some rules around what is seen and what is not. I thought that I might find this restricting when we talked about it but actually it allowed us to be more creative and work together to find ways to make images that we both liked. While HL has some more intimate pictures that he keeps for himself, they really do nothing for me. I wouldn’t choose to look at something explicit of others and I have no desire to see pictures like that of myself. I am happy that he enjoys his private collection if that works for him, but it would have the opposite effect for me.
We have actually found the whole experience of taking erotic pictures together to be quite an intimate one for us. Being exposed is not easy for me, but it is something which has led me to understand more about myself, my own kinks and the drivers for them. I do not see myself as an exhibitionist, but I do get something from being the exhibit. Being shown in this way defintiely taps into my submissive space and in doing so, allows me the freedom to leave my self regulation behind, and just go with the moment a bit more.
Erotic photography and where it fits
I can honestly say, that erotic photography plays quite an important part in our dynamic for the reasons outlined above. I have written a lot about it over the years and the following posts go into some of these areas in a bit more detail if you are interested.
A Picture of submission explores the way that my limits have shifted over time
A Shot of the erotic looks at the way that we have viewed some of the images we take
Picture Perfect is about trying to attach positive memories to images and the potential in doing this.
Photography and Collaboration examines the partnership between HL and I and he connection that comes from taking the pictures.
To see who else is writing about erotic photography and the part it plays in their dynamic, please hit the Tell Me About badge.