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Friday, October 5, 2012

A Lesson in Passivity

Sleep has always been an issue for me. I began dealing with serious insomnia when I was in preschool. Although no one has ever come out and said that the two things are related, I also began to suffer from migraines around the same time. Getting to sleep has pretty much been a constant battle in my life. The other day, when I last wrote a blog post, I was writing after having been awake nearly all night. Malignus had gone to take a nap. I mentioned in my last post that we were going to a friend's birthday party that night, and the idea was that we would both nap before we went to this, so as to be perky and enjoyable people. I never got my brain slowed down enough to sleep. It just didn't happen. When Malignus got up from his nap, I let him know that this was the case. We talked a little and did a few other things, then, before I started getting ready to go out, he turned to me and said "Where's your hairbrush?"

Being a very suave and non-awkward girl, I responded with "Under the bed. What did you ask?"

Malignus told me that I was an awkward penguin before sitting on the edge of the bed and beckoning me to bring him the hairbrush.

I basically save my good lines and seamless transitions for when there's a camera

Once I was in position, we began a conversation about me being passive. Our very first few conversations about submission had focused on the differences between it's active and passive forms, and our earliest D/s interaction was about something very similar to what we were about to revisit: me making myself passive, vulnerable and comfortable in order to sleep. This is something that does not come naturally to me. Because I spent so much of my life before Malignus in a state of constant hypervigilance, I somehow ended up with the idea that because I am far more relaxed than I used to be on a regular basis that I was doing "better enough" at this and I therefore wasn't focusing on it enough. Honestly, though, my inability to be comfortable being passive has caused me three large problems:

1) I don't sleep because I spend about three or four hours (literally) thinking about things instead of letting my brain fall asleep. I basically fall asleep only when my body reaches a sufficient point of exhaustion, and I often end up getting so over tired that I'm prone to emotional conflagrations because I am just so tired that I start crying all over the place.

2) I don't experience "headspace" or "subspace" with the amount of frequency or ease that other submissives seem to. At the time we're discussing in this story, I'd only had a proper subspace experience twice and both times were after I'd been frequently and fairly severely spanked over the course of a weekend before the spanking which put me into subspace, so my resistance had been slowly but surely removed over a period of time.

3) I don't find many traditionally relaxing experiences relaxing. I actually had to take a freaking class on relaxation in college, during which they taught me ways to actively relax my body, probably because they had given up on me just doing it. Massage used to make me tighten my muscles that much more in response to the stimuli, and my mind kept working pretty constantly even during things like hot soaks or yoga.

Anyway, Malignus gave me a series of instructions about being passive to the spanking he was about to give me and to be aware of these things for the future so that I could use them to sleep. Other times, I'd struggled against the idea of being passive. It seemed too hard for me. This time, I wanted to be spanked, I wanted to be obedient and, most importantly, I wanted to learn what I was being taught. I was tired of hindering myself, and I just let go and passively accepted and reacted. Most importantly, I let my brain go. It was awesome. I got into a circle of gratification, because the more I took passively, the better I felt about myself and the better I felt about myself, the more I was able to take. When the spanking was over, I was quite sore, but I felt a strong sense of accomplishment, and the wonderful sense of closeness that I feel with someone after a spanking which was purposeful and communicative. I can feel their investment in me literally radiating through my body, and that leaves me feeling incredibly loved. I got really good sleep that night. I just chose to do it, and then I did it and I woke up feeling like an awesome person.

I've kept this lesson in my mind recently, and I've discovered its usefulness in other situations, such as the aforementioned subspace problem. This past weekend I attended a cabin spanking party (more details on that in an upcoming post) during which I found myself able to choose to be passive during some of the spankings which I received, and as a result, I floated off into nice, safe, snuggly parts of my brain with great ease.

I haven't slept enough recently, but it's been due to external stimuli and the burden of constantly traveling, but when I have slept, it's been high quality, sweet sleep.

It turns out that feeling relaxed is a very nice thing.

I'm off to do some more of that, since tomorrow I'm going to Disneyland with Lily Starr and Robert Wolf. Fuck. Yes.


  1. Alex,

    I've struggled with insomnia on and off in my life... I had the very same issues. Now, if you're going to be in CA, you might think of picking up a natural prescription to help remedy that (wink wink). ;)


    1. Hi there!
      I've been given that advice a lot of times, but it's not something that I want to explore very much, since I obviously won't always have access to such things, so I'd rather build up my abilities to sleep without external aids. I know it works for a lot of people, though!

  2. This sounds so good and positive and helpful. Well done Malignus, and well done you.

    It's also food for thought, because I've always been an advocate of active submission - service of all kinds, communication, negotiation, etc - but you are correct that "passive" isn't necessarily a bad thing. I'm another hyper type and I've always found TTWD helpful with grounding me in my body and quieting my busy brain, but I've never formed the positive association with passivity before. Fascinating, captain!

    1. Hey, Pandora!
      I agree-- I've always really pushed the active submission angle. Learning about passivity hasn't been exactly natural for me, but I've found great benefit in it. It's just important to remember to choose to be passive at the right time and in the right place and not fall into a habit of it.
      Hugs time!

  3. I'm glad that it worked out and you were able to sleep well that night. I work in the sleep field and insomnia is definitely one of the hardest sleep issues to solve. It's not as simple as just taking a pill or putting a CPAP on because there are so many psychological things linked to the problem.

    1. The sleep field sounds really fascinating. There's so much going on on the neurological level relating to sleep that I'd love to learn more about. Based on my understanding of things, I'm doing pretty well with the new strategy. :)

  4. <3 I've been remiss checking out the blog lately, so how happy am I to come here and see a post about you figuring out how to sleep better? This is one of the things I've wanted for you most since we started talking. I remember writing you a huge email about this kind of thing at some point. <3 to your choosing to be passive and let the sleep happen. It's a glorious thing.

    1. I've actually gone back and re-read that email since I finally got the pieces in line regarding what, exactly, being passive is, and it really does continue to help. You're an awesome Boss! <3

  5. Alex

    Sunday night winding down who has the time for sleep anyway. Too many things to do and to little time to get it done. well you get it. I am glad that the spanking accomplished the desired result, just what the doc ordered. Hope the trip to The Happiest place on Earth turned out well, it has been too long since I went there myself.


    1. Thanks! It's really lovely when a spanking can provide something less traditional like that. Disneyland was amazing, full post about that coming soon. For now? More sleep! :)