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BDSM, Conscious Kink & My Inner-Dominatrix


In the summer of 2021 I was doing my own inner-child work and exploring what was holding me back in really stepping into my sexual power. During an exploration I came across a ‘part’ of me who I wanted to hand over the responsibility of my goal of ‘unapologetically expressing my authentic sexual self’. She was located in my pussy and I named her ‘Pussy Goddess’. She was kitted out in wet look pvc gear with hold ups and high heels. She was confident, took no bullshit and had this grounded inner-confidence of knowing herself and her power. I found her scary. She was just… too much. She was too brave. She was too powerful. She was too confident. She was too assertive. I knew in that moment that I wasn’t in the position to embody her. To become her.


Fast forward to the summer of 2022. After a connection with a man, let’s call him Jay, who triggered my anxious attachment in ways that I had not experienced for a good many year, the situation completely freaked me out.


All the work I had done on myself meant nothing?


I was supporting others with anxious attachment and here I was going back to ground zero?


Did this mean I was a failure?


Recognising that my inner-child had been triggered in this experience with Jay I told myself I wasn’t going back there. That I wasn’t going to allow myself to go to those dark places of neediness and self-abandoning to get the attention and approval of a man.


So I decided it was time to embody my inner-dominatrix, the Pussy Goddess. The one who I could trust to be responsible for my sexuality and my behaviour in relationships.


So I reached out for Dominatrix lessons. A workshop organised by Lex Ryder who is based local to me in the north-west of England. I gathered together five other women also looking to connect to that part of themselves. We explored the theme of power. Why we are afraid of power. What holds us back from expressing and tapping into our own power. Especially as women. What we noticed was the conditioning to be passive, to be ‘good’, to be liked, to conform, to not be… too much. I notice this fear in men too. My male clients afraid to step into their own power for fear of being seen as toxic. Afraid to channel their anger lest it turn into aggression. A fear of hurting. Of damaging. Of being dangerous. The fear of being that vision of ‘toxic masculinity’ that we hear so much about.


So what do we do when we fear stepping into our power? We stay small. We dim our light. We say ‘yes’ when we mean ‘no’. We lack boundaries. We don’t ask for what we want.


At the Dominatrix workshop we explored our different archetypes of Authoritarian, Mother, Seductress and Queen. We explored which ones we embodied well and with confidence and which ones brought us discomfort. I noticed that within myself I felt most comfortable with my seductress - thank you Burlesque lessons(!) and doing lots of shadow work around connecting to my inner-slut. I also felt comfortable in the mother archetype - being a mother myself. The ones I felt more discomfort with were Authoritarian and Queen. With this knowledge I decided that further exploration was needed.


Cue Seani Wild Love - a man I had heard many in the sexuality industry talk about. He is renowned for travelling the world with Conscious Kink and BDSM workshops and retreats. I received the news that he would be coming to the north-west of England. I signed myself up. Wanting to take my journey to the next level.


I had explored BDSM and Kink in my 20s albeit not very consciously and if I’m going to be honest, in a relationship which was abusive, so the lines of trauma and sexual eroticism were reasonably blurred. After doing so much healing work around my inner-victim and working through my anxious attachment, it became quite clear to me that for me to fully submit, I would first need to fully access my power. True submission comes from a place of self-trust. Of knowing your boundaries. Of listening to the body and not pushing your own boundaries but also taking yourself to your edges. It’s a fine balance. To fully submit requires trust of the Dominating person to respect boundaries and to hold space. My fear was of becoming a victim again as I had been in that abusive relationship. I am still working through the shame that comes from being in ‘victim’. The victim part that cries out for attention. That part of me that’s weak. Incapable.


I saw Seani’s arrival as an opportunity to embody even more my own power and Dominatrix.


The foundation of Seani’s retreat was listening to self. To tuning into the body. Noticing what feels good, what doesn’t. Practising our ‘no’, ‘yes’ and ‘maybe’. Getting clear on what we want. Clarity on what we don’t want. Frequently tuning into our limits. Negotiating. Pausing. Stopping. We were invited to take ownership of our experience no matter whether we were giving or receiving, top or bottom, Dom or Sub…


It wasn’t until the second day that I had some very emotional realisations. Partnering with a female-bodied person I was in the role of Dominatrix. I could have her do whatever I wanted (within her limits of what she was willing to do) and I could do to her whatever I wanted (again within her limits). As I looked around the room at what other people were doing, I froze. I had no idea what to ask for or what to do. I felt extremely uncomfortable. I was worried about humiliating my submissive. I was worried about how I might be perceived for the things I did to her or asked her to do. I decided to start off with something small and asked for a foot massage. Seani came over and asked if I would like a suggestion, I said yes. He suggested that as I receive the foot massage that I tell her to tell me how beautiful I am. This felt extremely uncomfortable for me. I had been bullied at school for my looks and so this felt too much. Also, when I had received compliments, it always felt like it was because someone wanted something in return. So I adapted it to her telling me what she liked about my feet.


Seani came over a little while later and I opened up. I was really struggling to do this. I was finding it very difficult. The realisation was because that she was female-bodied. Could I trust her to respect her own boundaries? From my own personal experience and working with women I know many women do not communicate their boundaries. I felt that I couldn’t trust her to do this. My partner was very experienced in Conscious Kink exploration and reassured me that she wouldn’t do anything that she didn’t want to. I then had an idea of what I could ask her to do and I giggled. At that moment Seani saw the giggle and said ‘that’s it, that’s what you can ask her to do’. The tears began. The act was humiliating for her. I felt embarrassed about what came to my mind. I judged myself on my idea. I was fearful of my own power. That I might abuse it. I didn’t know if I could trust myself. I expressed this to Seani.


I told him what had come to my mind and he suggested I tell this to my partner to see if it was within their boundaries. My submissive willingly did the act without further discourse. There was a mixture of relief - I did it, I had asked. I then felt shame and embarrassed. I noticed the discomfort in asking for what I want. For feeling unreasonable. For feeling bossy. The bossiness part was quite strong for me. I had been told this frequently in the past for asking for certain needs to be met or standing up for myself. When I hear a child now told they are ‘bossy’ I always reframe it to ‘assertive’ and encourage that. My relationship to my own power was very much being triggered by having a female-bodied submissive. I pondered if I would be able to dominate a man. Upon reflection I knew I could. In our previous exercises around pain and pleasure I had felt very willing to explore my limits more enthusiastically with a man than a woman.


I believe this ‘willingness’ comes from the fact that I can trust men better to state their boundaries. My body and nervous system sees men as more capable of voicing their needs and boundaries based on my previous experiences in interactions with men, especially at a sexual level. (I know cognitively this not to be true based on my work with men who also often struggle with boundaries and for asking for what they want - in some situations, even more so than women). However, my body’s experience is that men have the power and privilege. I wanted to explore this dynamic with a man.


We later explored archetypes and I chose further work around the Queen archetype, having been one of the ones I had struggled with during Lex’s Dominatrix workshop.


I was paired with a man who was exploring his ‘warrior’ archetype. I was invited again to command. What I noticed was resistance again. Over the last two years in my various trainings I have attended many anti-racism lectures and workshops. The workshops had really brought to my attention my ‘whiteness’. My privilege as a white person. I was aware of how my presence could affect the nervous system of people with colour. That a person of colour would feel the need to ensure I felt ‘safe’ and not threatened by their skin colour. That a person of colour can expend a lot of energy making sure that I felt comfortable.


My ‘warrior’ was from South Asia. Immediately I felt huge discomfort of commanding a person of colour to do something for me. I was very aware of British Colonialism and how Queen Victoria’s rule had divided much of India, Pakistan and neighbouring countries. I called Seani over again and explained my concerns. He invited me to name it to my ‘warrior’ out of scene. He was very reassuring that it wasn’t a problem and he was happy to ‘serve’. I noticed myself again not trusting. Not trusting because I knew from the lectures that a person of colour may ignore their own discomfort to placate a white person. I was even more acutely aware of my own whiteness. I felt shame.


I didn’t resolve in that weekend my complicated relationship to power. What it did is brought more self-awareness. The days following I began to reflect upon where I was handing over my power to others. Where I was maybe dimming my light so as not to shine too brightly for fear of reprisal. Where I was making choices out of fear of being seen. Where it felt safer not to be too much. When I did’t ask for what I wanted because how I might be perceived. Where the conditioning of centuries or millennia was running through my DNA and staying small was safer. Where staying small meant I would be loved. Where staying small meant I would belong.


With this realisation and awareness comes a new commitment…


To notice, experience and accept without judgement the discomfort as I begin slowly stepping into my power.


To expand my window of tolerance.


To create new boundaries.


To create a positive relationship to my power.


To embody my Pussy Goddess so that she is the one who leads the growth in my sexuality.


So that she is the one who shows up in my relationships.


Instead of my inner-child.


Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at hello@carlacrivaro.com.


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