Humiliating Need

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Old drawing done in 2004 when I was about 20? More on my website jngaio.com

(Content warning, this writing contains a description of sexual activities done within the context of a D/s relationship where a dynamic of consensual non-consent has been mutually and enthusiastically agreed to.)

What is the feeling I had last night? You forcibly held my legs open and put your tongue to my clit. You know how much I hate that, I’d rather you went right to raping me but instead you are taking your time and doing things to my body that nobody else has, discovering new capacities for sensation that even I was unaware of.

I blink away tears of humiliation. Your tongue flicking on my clit makes me feels good, makes it thicken with arousal and somehow this makes me feel utterly revealed, utterly vulnerable. It’s like you’re learning to play my body better than I can and that makes me feel less powerful than ever. Beatings are one thing, beatings are hard work to take and each one becomes more difficult, more harrowing as I learn that your sadism is as boundless as my masochism, as I learn with sick excited horror that we have so far yet to go. But the more violence I take from you, the more powerful I feel, impressed by myself and my capacity for endurance. You call me a tough bitch and like a child, I feel a swelling of pride.

This is different. This is pleasure. This is the sort my first boyfriend always tried to give me and then cried when he could not, this is the sort of pleasure I thought myself incapable of and believed myself broken. Faulty goods drawn more to pain than pleasure. You call me a sick bitch and I feel seen. But this contact between your tongue and nerve endings in my cunt creates sensations I’ve not noticed before when mashing myself into my vibrator or the beautiful face of a woman. Why is this different? What is happening here? How can pleasure be so much more humiliating than any nasty words you’ve ever said to me?

It’s because you see me and read me more and more clearly. It’s because my ache for you grows every day. It’s because the boundaries between us are dissolving as you not only become accustomed to being entitled to my body but become able to play it, like you’ve been investigating all the places, both internal and external, that constitute who I am. It makes sense to have a good grasp on the workings of your property, to know the value of it, to know what you can do with it. But your discovery of things about me that even I didn’t know… that shocks me to the core and I’m running out of places to hide.

I feel stupid, confused and suddenly, very young. Like a child, embarrassed by the funny “down there” feelings they didn’t realise they could have.

I feel myself close to climax but the performance anxiety of that often shuts me down with men (less so with women) and besides, the intensity of my desire for you makes me feel entirely open, with all my guts to be seen, with all my need for you making me feel helpless in the intensity of my own lust. “I’m yours” I cry “I’m a whore” I moan “I’ll do anything for you.” I mean it. My desire for you is a desire for your lust, your violence, your attention, your love. I’m obsessed with it and will do anything to attain and retain it.

You fuck me for awhile, it feels so desperately, pathetically good to have your cock slipping inside me and pushing so deep that my cervix cramps and at some point I start sobbing and hitting you and screaming that I love you. You hold me and comfort me and we cry together and kiss and exchange many more declarations of love. Then we sleep, you are so exhausted from work, from the world, from survival. I experience a deep protectiveness towards you, a profound, tender love and gratitude that you manage, somehow, to find these pockets of energy, intimacy and connection to share with me. To me, it’s nothing short of miraculous, every second we get together is precious.

Today I lay sick in bed with tonsillitis and a gentle fever. My head is swamped by thoughts of you and my cunt still aches with my constant desire for you so that even the feel of my cotton underwear pushing against it causes an irritation of pleasure. I want you, constantly and so to me you are more powerful than you could possibly realise. Your touch turns me weak, stupid, needy and wet. When I say I am your property, I mean it. When I say I am your whore, I feel it as a deep and fundamental truth about myself.

You see me. You know me. I’m yours. You own me.

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2019 Will Be Beautiful

At the start of the year, I made a Spotify playlist called “2018 will be magic”. It was a desire, a decision, a hope. 2017 was a year of trauma, of mental health collapse, of emotional abuse, of the worst sort of suicidal ideation, of conflict, of loss, of feeling the pain was forever and hopelessness was the only truth, of grief, of decisions, of bones and muscles cut, of hope, of hope, of growth, of change, of love.

2018 would be magic, not matter what. Something had shifted within my eternal landscape, with Buddhism teaching me about the ways in which self-awareness and self-compassion compliment one another, with the realisation that generosity, empathy and kindness are not character traits I had to be ashamed of (how strange and sad and sick our society is that somewhere along the line, I eternalised the idea that these traits of mine made me weak) but that if we give our light openly, it only grows. Light only grows.

Emotional abuse combined with chronic pain and depression showed me what the worst sort of self-loathing feels like which nearly culminated in a cessation of my own existence. Learning the skill of self-love was not as a thing of scented candles and Instagram capitalism, but a thing of valuing and caring for oneself with the same compassion and understanding that you would show a dear friend or precious child. Learning the skill of self-compassion taught me to be better at sitting with the pain of others, while also becoming better at understanding my own boundaries and limits of what sort of behaviours I will accept in others. Brene Brown was right, the most empathetic people are the best at practising boundaries. Love the person, don’t love the behaviour.

And I’m learning to practice empathy for my need to hate, also. Learning to value and protect my right to anger. I still think of my ex at times and have these spikes of pain and rage that anyone could ever call me the love of their life and a piece of shit within the same day. I still feel confusion and hurt, sometimes, when a sense memory reminds me of how I felt so utterly alone and abandoned in New York. I still can’t look at photos and footage of the place without feeling nauseous and shaky. One day my heart will heal and let him go entirely, but I am kind to myself about the effects of trauma and if for now, hate is what my heart needs, I hold that emotion gently, carefully, cautiously, examining it, letting myself know what that feeling is and the grief and pain that lies underneath. I honour the child contained in my heart who cannot understand – even long after I feel I’ve processed it on every other level – how eyes that looked at me with love could suddenly burn with disgust and loathing.

2018 would be magic, no matter what. But actually, it’s been the most amazing year of my life so far. There is new love opening up parts of myself that had previously been unexplored and unarticulated, as well as old love deeping, ripening, strengthening. New friendships blooming, others growing as I learn to better open myself to people with personal truth, vulnerability, sublime stupidity and joy. The have been supremely fulfilling artistic collaborations, absurd, colourful, sexy parties and adventures, a reconnection with my love of nature, learning how much I love my friend’s children, exciting new projects on the horizon and clown school.

Holy fuck, clown school. Where I discovered things about my physicality that brought me joy and insight and a love for my body and movement when a lifetime of chronic health conditions had left me feeling disconnected from my body at best and like it was my enemy at worst. Where I learned to be more brave and vulnerable and open to the stuff of myself than I have ever been. Where I learned how to breathe into the energy of a moment, of an audience, of a feeling. Where I learned to take the energy of fear and ride it like a wave. Where I had moments of feeling myself to be utterly fucked up, utterly insane, a complete snivelling, disgusting, abject mess… and instead of hiding away, I stood up in front of my classmates and rode those energies. Not mental illness, not at clown school, just extreme states. Glorious, invigorating, terrifying, exhilarating and addictive extreme states. Clown school, where the teacher confirmed my belief that you can get so much more out of people if you practice empathy, remain open to their energies and critically engage in their art in a way that is generous and open, without treading on their heart and soul. Everyone got a turn to shine at clown school and it further deepened my belief that we shine so much brighter when we shine together.

2018 has confirmed my horror at the capitalistic and individualistic concepts that permeate our culture, attitudes, relationships and souls. It was an antidote to so much of that. It was a year of sharing, of collaborating, of helping and letting myself be helped. It’s been a year of learning all the ways in which I am privileged and how deep the systems of inequality and oppression are and affect so many living beings.  It’s been a year of opening myself, properly, to my joys, pains, fears, darkness, hopes… and of opening myself, properly, to that of others. This process of openness, of not clinging to a fixed identity, of not shutting down to pain or the discomfort of conflict and of growth, it’s a constant one and it requires the right combination of discipline and gentleness. It’s the work of a lifetime, really.

2018 has contained the continual discovery of how my surgeries have transformed my life. The process is imperfect, my structures are still a struggle and the neuropathic pain has become it’s own disease. Nonetheless, my capabilities have been increasing and I have slowly, steadily, been spending more time in my studio. The feelings are mixed, sometimes it’s joy and freedom and an overwhelming sense of gratitude at my unbelievable luck. Other times it’s guilt, anxiety, fear that I’m too far behind my peers after so many lost years, frustration at the ways in which pain still holds me back, fear that I’ll fuck this up and wreck my body again, guilt that I still get depressed and anxious and whingy when my life is so much better than it was. But I breathe, I give myself compassion, I gently move myself back on track. It’s ok, I tell myself, it’s ok.

It’s ok. It’s better than ok. This year has not been without challenges, deep fears, so many tears and I know the way that life works, I know that it isn’t just an upward trajectory. I read the signs in the air, I smell the warnings in the wind and worry for the entire goddamn world. But I’m resolved to keep fighting for the values I have defined for myself, those of light, love, hope and art.

I’ve made myself a new playlist, it’s called “2019 will be beautiful” and it will. No matter what. No matter what waits in store. Even if I have to frame a steaming pile of shit and blood in plastic op-shop gold, 2019 will be beautiful.

Our Tangled Roots

I’m learning on the fly how to hold the pieces of myself together. It’s a skill I’ve never been good at before, I’ve so often crumbled, wilted, broken down, melted down. But now I know it isn’t just about me, now I know the ways in which the architecture of myself is interlocked with the structures of beloved others so that we hold one another up.

Did you know that some trees fuse their roots together? They share information and nutrients and become stronger within this interdependence.

I used to think that I wasn’t important, that my absence would be to the detriment of nobody. Wisdom came when I nearly ended my own existence and was confronted by the tremendous pain of a beloved. Now I can clearly see the way hurt spirals outwards and I feel, as a deep responsibility, the importance of my continual striving to keep myself intact.

Kindness is to never shame those who cannot cease their disintegration. Compassion is to understand the drive towards self-destruction and know it for what it is; the anguish of an animal in acute pain. Pain that may feel utterly inescapable. Pain that may be utterly inescapable.

Do you know that you are important? Perhaps you cannot conceive of the ways in which your existence enriches mine, perhaps you cannot believe that your absence would leave a permanent wound within my chest. Do you know that you are a source of love and light and joy? Do you know that I’m holding the pieces of myself together for you?

Look, can you see it? Love, can you feel it? My roots are fused with yours.

I Wish

I wish I could travel back in time. Back to when you were wide eyed and tiny, back before the world had you so badly battered and bruised. I wish I could hold you in my arms, kiss your sweet forehead, stroke your soft hair and tell you that you’re safe. I wish I could have made you safe, kept you warm, sheltered from what was yet to come.

I wish I could soften the world around you. I would file and smooth the rough edges so they could no longer pierce your skin. I would take away the violent forces of inequality, brutality and modern forms of slavery that suck away your blood, breath, strength and hope. I would take you to an open field and watch you frolic in the daylight. I would strip away my clothes and frolic with you.

I wish that I could shoulder your burdens for you. If only I had a stronger frame with which to carry things, I would take it all off you so that you might experience a lightness so profound that you take to the sky like a butterfly.

Were it an option, I would take a thousand beatings to see you flying free. If I could negotiate with the Gods, I’d offer my soul in exchange for you emancipation.  But, mortal and small, all I can do is hold your beautiful hand and love you with all the things that I am.

Sometimes I feel overwhelming dismay at my own impotence. In the cold reality of existence, the beat of my heart feels like a speck of dust in the face of a tidal wave. Feeble, I feel, foolish. But when my heart pounds and glows just underneath my ribcage, I know it is the only thing I have to give.

Wash

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When he visits me, washing becomes an event. I demand that he scrubs me clean like I’m a naughty toddler. I whine when the water is too hot or too cold and splash about in hopes of getting his shirt wet because I like to make him mad. When he pulls the plug and I watch the water sucked down the drain, I push my arse into the air just asking him to push his fingers inside my holes. When he is away, washing becomes a display. I take photos and videos like a digital siren because I want to remind him of what is here for him. His eyes on me make me feel as if I exist and am beautiful and I am a junkie for his attention.

On my Instagram.

“I love you” words

How did we get here? Like you’re a stranger I always knew or actually I think I always imagined you but now you’re here and I can touch you and I keep thinking maybe I’m making you up but the details are so much more than my notions and daydreams and longings. I never thought you were real because you never think dreams are real and even when you believe them you never do. But I can touch you and you’re tangible, physical, beautiful.

My heart is racing and my body shakes sporadically from the adrenaline. Your hands are so much bigger than mine, your body is so much heavier and so you easily crush me under the weight of you and keep me still so still when sometimes you even stop my breath and it is solace and safety and you look into my eyes and our fear makes us glow all the brighter.

Freedom is an illusion because our time and physicality and capacity is limited so limited so finite. But don’t we just forget that in the moments that pass too quickly but are the most brilliant fireworks? Multichromatic paroxysms that make us gasp and our chests hurt and our tears mingle as our faces press together and we are afraid to be so vulnerable as to cry but, defiantly, rebelliously, we do. What sick fucker ever told us it was wrong to cry anyway? I want to lick up your tears, not to hide them but to adore them. I want to worship at the altar of your pain. I adore every aspect of your humanity.

Freedom is an illusion and yet the possibilities are so much greater than our poor, sweet, dear little brains can imagine when they are trapped in labyrinths and habits and well-trod pathways. It takes energy, bravery, compassion and comradery to break with tradition and roam in the wilderness. We hold hands and offer comforting “I love you” words as a means of sustenance and strength. We fuck and talk and talk and fuck until sleep and other practical matters such as the rest of everything demands our attention and then only for a little while.

Here you are with me in dark places I’ve only ever glimpsed alone before and then you shine your flashlight on me and see me and tell me I am beautiful and bravely ugly. Suddenly, loneliness is a memory. We share our worlds and pains and loves with one another, we make offerings and slowly we learn to trust and take them.