Finding your Comfort Zone
We all seek comfort. Why wouldn’t we? Ultimately a place where we feel safe and in control is what we are stacked to aim for. Comfort is a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint so it is natural that as people we try to pursue this state. But what happens once we arrive? What happens when we find our ultimate comfort and are firmly planted in our comfort zone? In terms of Dominance and submission, my experience is that we need less comfort and more risk. We need to push out of our comfortable space in order to find real growth, for only then can we truly feel free.
I assume that as part of your journey this has already begun to happen: who would be here without that gamble of course? But in order to keep things going you need to keep pushing and challenging and trying, so that you don’t become too comfortable in your little bubble of bliss. And if you haven’t yet mustered up the courage to suggest that you give D/s a go, I can recommend it wholeheartedly for only by pushing through those uncomfortable conversations and awkward questions can you really embark on a life that excites you.
How D/s uses discomfort to keep you growing
Well for a start, it should challenge you. Those conversations that you have of fantasies you share, the limits lists you write, the things you talk about with the caveat you never want to do them, are all fodder for pushing you outside the place where you feel safe and in control. For a submissive it is all about giving up control and it is usually the case that this is something which is part of a D/s dynamic. For some they may give this up on their own terms, and therefore the period of learning and growth will be relatively short lived, but for those who have control taken from them, consensually of course, there will be a much bigger bang.
For the Dominant too, their control is challenged. They may be handed the gift of submission, but it is theirs to take as they see fit and good. Things won’t always go according to plan and so there is the balance of controlling the responses of the submissive partner, while at the same time juggling the unknown and responding to every tiny change. They have to be completely focussed and in tune with the submissive so that they can gauge things and keep them safe. So while safety and trust are paramount, there are always risks.
The Fear Zone
While I would hope that none of us are actually scared, there is a fear or anxiety in trying some of the things that make up the stuff of your fantasies. But feelings of fear can be quite closely linked to those of arousal and I would imagine that watching a good horror movie is probably more likely to get the blood pumping and work as a precursor to sex than watching a soppy rom com. I thought I should probably check that theory out and what do you know? There is actually evidence that scary activities increase your overall arousal level, and you are much more likely to be more passionate about anything when your arousal is high than when it’s low.
The term for this is misattribution of arousal which is the idea that sexual attraction can be heightened under times of high anxiety. Essentially we reach out for one another. In addition our brains produce more dopamine and serotonin when we are scared or anxious; these are chemicals that are also produced when we are attracted to someone, so it makes sense that while we might try to avoid the fear zone, it can be good for us to experience it in a controlled way and on some sort of level.
The Learning Zone
What the fear and adrenaline does it to push us into a place where we can learn. Once safely away from our comfortable space, we become heightened and function much better on a cognitive level. We are able to deal with problems and come up with solutions. We become much more focussed on acquiring new skills and feel keener to extend our comfort zone to take in this new learning. We begin to see opportunities and there is a sense of personal achievement which encourages further exploration.
This is great in a relationship when you are on that journey together. The learning is a shared experience and it is often something that you have come through in a way which unites you with the other person. There is a sense of closeness and intimacy and a feeling of strength in terms of where you have come together. This is the crux of they way that D/s play works. It is why it keeps things exciting, why it brings you an emotional connection and why it keeps you doing what you are doing – or to be precise, doing new things beyond your comfort zone that you haven’t done before.
The Growth Zone
When we reach the growth zone, we feel that we are living our dreams. We have a sense of purpose and set new goals, building on our achievements and looking forward with a vision which involves new objectives. This is typical of D/s couples: they feel that they are living their happily ever after. There is a sense that they should never say never because looking back, they really can’t believe how far they have come. I have been around enough of them to know that they absorb new information and ideas like sponges and tend not to judge others but are accepting of difference, as they listen with interest wondering what might some day apply to them.
I have always thought that embracing D/s was to some extent like opening a door and once open, you find that lots of other doors that you never quite saw were there suddenly open up too. It can feel liberating as well as exciting and because you make the journey together your shared experience binds you in a deep and intimate way. You see sides of each other on your travels that no one else ever sees and you grow as individuals as well as together as a couple. So really this is why comfort can be over-rated. It can be really good for us to be uncomfortable now and then.
And a final note from me on discomfort
I have made my exploration of humiliation a bit of a specialist subject on this blog and I have littered it with posts about erotic humiliation in the hope that I can learn more from others who may feel the same. So that said, it seems like I have to acknowledge that on some level, mental discomfort is highly arousing to me. I don’t want it to to be but it is. That is a fact. I don’t want to twist and turn and writhe and squirm, and yet when HL makes me, I love it and I let go and submit to him completely. I feel free from my conscience and from the societal expectations that might hold me back. So for me, discomfort is a turn on and a thrill.
To read more about humiliation follow the link to the category of posts on the topic. To find out who is enjoying comfort and writing about it from the other side, click on the Wicked Wednesday badge below.