When I dance Argentine Tango… Sublime Surrender – October 16 2013

Tango his n hers

I have contemplated for some time whether to repost this. The words that shut ‘Sublime Surrender’ down. It is too much a part of my journey to exclude. I am aware I have changed a lot since I began this blog. I am the same but have allowed my writers voice to emerge louder and louder. I am as complex as the rest of you and I am writing from all the places I feel at home all at once. Bear with me, there will always be a touch of each part of me. Sublime Surrender has become quiet (there are deeply personal reasons for this that I am not ready to share) but there will always be the physical representation of love and relationship in the form of erotica, the dynamics of dominance and submission, the spiritual representation of love, truth and beauty, my random musings and general representations of me as an artist, dancer, writer, lover, friend and one as lost as any one else. Thank you all for reading, understanding and for taking the time to visit my corner of this terrible paradise… In response to Mr Modigliani’s post and questions back on 15 October 2013:

When I dance Argentine Tango, the lead is the painter and I am the brush. The lead is the Dominant and the follow submissive. Together we create upon the dance floor a canvas in motion. We become a moving three-dimensional work of art. Our materials are not paint but the music, our bodies and the environment in which we dance. Yet if either of us disconnects from any of these things if we lose sight of any ‘other’ within our dance the moment is lost and must be sought and found again. If one of us is not humble and honest we lose the authenticity of the improvisation. It doesn’t matter what our individual skill level we have a dance to share, to experience one another and create something unique, to potentially learn from one another and leave the dance more fulfilled rather than lost, empty, nervous, confused, dissatisfied or any other of a myriad of negative feelings.

A humble follow does not saturate the dance with her needs and wants but listens with her whole body, her whole self, and waits for her moments, showing her skill by responding clearly and with the right tone and musicality to each lead; by taking the invited opportunity and enhancing it without dominating the dance. A humble lead is dominant in the dance but not blind to the follow, he can sense what she is capable of and take her there and potentially beyond. The follow enables his skill, never forget that follows: we enable his lead therefore we can disable it as well. Within the shared framework of the music and the floor (possibly crowded) he guides her as they paint their dance. If a follow is afraid, arrogant, unable to centre, distracted, disinterested, indifferent etc she emasculates her lead on the floor and he is unable to truly dance with this follow. A lead can disable a follow with excessive force, an ambiguous or light lead, inability to react to the floor or poor tango etiquette but neither can fail the other with insufficient skill. The dance is always the responsibility of the dancer with greater skill. No verbal dialogue is required for this work of art, no language other than the shared knowledge of Tango. In any country you can dance together and not speak a common word. Within the dance he (or she) becomes my muse and I his (or hers – this is not a gender war read your gender into the role you relate to). Each adapts to the other and creates. Other people have described the sensation of all of these things coming together in an exquisite harmony as a ‘tangasm’ but I do not like this overtly sexual term; social Tango is not sex. Another term is ‘co-creation’ but this again has an overtly new age spiritual flavour. To me it is simply Tango. There is no other term required. Tango y nada mas. Tango and nothing more. Sometimes the dance does not work and we can learn from these opportunities. Other times the dance does work; it is lyrical, unique and unforgettably beautiful. Both are valid, both are real why call one tangasm and the other nothing or something negative? Yet the harmony will never happen unless each truly meets in the moment, or are open to the possibility of such a thing.

For the lead: do not push the follow into territory she is not familiar with to the point of discomfort, scold, or correct/instruct her on the social dance floor, if she is able then take her further with clear direction do not let her doubt it will damage her. For the follow: do not back lead, be a stubborn follow or act unreasonably; instead be relaxed with a dance energised focus, be open and willing. Meet each other as the best you are. Gift one another with the skills you have. Learn from the mistakes and triumphs however seemingly small or large. We are often quick to criticise, teach yourself to be quick to complement both yourself and your dance partner. Do not be lazy or complacent in your dance be actively engaged so that growth can occur and connection can truly exist. Please note that I am not suggesting that there is only good or bad tango dances; there is not just black and white here but rather a vast pallet of colours. I am also not suggesting that you should dance with people you do not enjoy dancing with or feel uncomfortable with. Nor that you not offer constructive criticism but please save it for the practice environment not the social dance floor. Tango is, to borrow and simplify a Flamenco term, duende, both pleasure and pain. We are always seeking balance and striving towards the best we can be. Tango y nada mas, para siempre. Como la vida. Tango and nothing more, always. Like life.

All words by the author writing as Errant Satiety – any questions? Contact me directly in the first instance, want to share? In this instance please ask my express permission…

Apologies, I cannot locate where I retrieved this image from kudos to whomever caught this shot…

And yes there is a musical offering: Pearl Jam, I know it doesn’t make much sense.

Achilles Heel – 25 September 2013

I have been seeing a psychotherapist because anxiety was plaguing me. She only wants to see me once more as things are going well and she has a healthy approach with an expectation of no more than 6 – 8 sessions (evidence strongly suggests that seeing a therapist any more than 10 times is not actually beneficial to your mental health). Anxiety has been with me, on and off, for a long time. I thought it would go away once I left my ex-husband (I won’t go into this deeply but this was a controlling non D/s relationship with no rules except emotional manipulation & obeying his clinical narcissism; not a healthy relationship) but it stayed. It was different but recently has impeded my growth and, on occasion, my ability to function in my day to day life. I haven’t actually talked to my therapist about my desire for submission but rather spoke with her about my desire for service. She is a Buddhist and likes to practice mindfulness so she has a good understanding of service if not the specific kind I mean (this was one of the reasons I went to her). In one of her sessions with me she asked me to write on post it notes my values and we proceeded to place these on the wall in order of importance to me. Values are important in that they (holistically in my case) inform our beliefs and direction in life. What I found hard was that she wanted a linear list in order of importance. At the time she explained how to order my values by asking things like ‘Can you have loyalty without integrity?’ That got me thinking about some of the things on my list. Service is a highly important value to me yet can I have genuine service without integrity? Without loyalty? Without empathy? Without mindfulness? When I start to look at my list I realise that service needs to come lower down the list. So then where does submission sit within this list? I serve all in my life (even the stranger whose letter blew out of their mailbox today and I dutifully found the letterbox and ensured the letter was safely stowed inside) but my submission is just for one. It all boils down to subjective perspective. As most of the words used to describe values are nominalisations anyway, they mean different things to each individual. For me my submission is paramount yet, at least in this way of viewing values, for it to be real it actually has to be placed beneath the other values in my hierarchy to ensure my submission is true. Values differ from needs and wants yet all of these things feed our person, what we base our ‘self’ on, what our frame of reference is in this vast world of differing beings. Is submission a value? Or a need? I think, believe, feel that for me service is a value inextricably linked with my need for submission. It doesn’t devalue my submission to place it in a different category but helps me clarify what submission is for me. Needs are, in my definition, the basic necessities that we require in order to live, these are mostly referred to as physical needs. Yet needs are holistic. We have emotional needs, intellectual needs and spiritual needs; a need to feel we belong, a need to stretch our minds, a need to have some kind of meaning. Without theses forms of nourishment, as surely as without water, we will wither and become unwell. Values are a frame of reference, a personal moral code, which underpins and motivates our decisions, actions and way of living. Needs are necessities without which we become sick. And wants are the icing on the cake. And with all of this the idea is to seek a healthy balance so that our life can be the best we are capable of. If we are unbalanced in anyway any of these things can potentially become addictions that we might lose ourselves in (or lead to unhealthy behaviours). I recently posted about how I felt my need for submission and my denying that need was leading to my anxiety. When I disclosed this to my partner, whom I was in essence asking to become my Dominant, I felt extremely vulnerable and I had a massive panic attack. Since we, in essence, resolved the discussion my anxiety has gone. We will see if it stays away, it is my warning sign, my Achilles heel, reminding me to check myself; what need am I ignoring? What value have I compromised? What want is driving me to distraction?